Two goals from Andrew ‘Rocky’ Neal helped ensure the Peacocks bounced back from their defeat in Surrey seven days earlier. Just as in the Metropolitan Police game, the scoreline against their Somerset rivals did not accurately reflect the complexion of the match, with Town stumbling to a single goal interval lead before an improved second half saw them pull away.
With skipper Matt Wright suspended and fellow striker Dan Sullivan not fully fit, changes were necessary with Craig Veal slotting in up front with Neal while Brett Trowbridge came in at the back for his first start of the season. Despite a blustery and chilly afternoon, the highest crowd of the season to date were in attendance at the Viridor Stadium but early play from the Peacocks did little to warm their supporters up with the visitors the livelier.
Nice link-up down the right between Ollie Chamberlain and Pierce Mitchell raised hopes of a breakthrough at the Invest Southwest End but the former’s shot was blocked, in the main though it was the Robins who were playing the ball around in a more accomplished fashion. Lloyd Irish had to be alert to gather ahead of Kane Simpson after Kris Scott had hooked the ball into the box before Dan Demkiv got goalside of the defence to set up Ryan Bath who blasted over the top when well placed.
The Peacocks were not keeping possession well enough but did force James Carey into his first real save albeit a routine one when Ryan Brett drilled in a 20 yard ground shot. With neither side essentially threatening, it took a penalty to get the scoreboard active on 23 minutes. Mitchell fed Veal down the right and Marcus Mapstone was penalised for stopping the cross with his hands. Referee James Durkin pointed to the spot and Neal sent Carey the wrong way to put Town ahead.
A neat lay-off from Neal then gave Veal an opening but he launched a left-footer well over before Frome had the best of the remainder of the first half. They came very close to equalising on 32 minutes when Bath stretched to connect with Demkiv’s low cross but saw his effort hit the underside of the bar before being cleared. Mapstone ran in to send a header just wide from Kris Scott’s corner while Simpson fired over as the Peacocks held out until the break, their only other sniff coming when Brett sent a soft free kick into the wall.
Attacking the newly named Innovation By Design End, Veal darted through in the opening moments of the second half but Carey was out quickly to block the danger with his legs before the Peacocks’ striker had another opportunity but didn’t connect cleanly with Chamberlain’s knock-down from a Matt Buse cross.
Shane White had to unfortunately leave the action five minutes in due to a dead leg, with Nuno Felix coming on. Chances continued to remain few and far between though, Irish making a rare save when he caught Demkiv’s strike from the edge of the box. The second goal that Town needed for security came after 65 minutes, Brett’s corner from the left being met by Ben Adelsbury’s header which was was headed in by Chamberlain from three yards via the crossbar.
Frome were probably feeling slightly aggrieved about their deficit considering they had arguably played the neater football but without carving much out. In fact they could have fallen further behind when Veal threaded a pass through to Neal who raced away on his own. However he miscued badly wide.
The match appeared to be meandering to its conclusion when a couple of incidents brought some late drama. With two minutes remaining, Brett was red carded after going in late on Kris Scott near the centre circle, the second week in succession that Town had been reduced to ten men. This had no effect on the game as the Peacocks added a third goal two minutes into stoppage time when a headed clearance from Josh Nelmes was misjudged on the bounce by Sam Teale, allowing Neal to run clear from halfway and clip the ball over the advancing Carey. There was just time for the kick-off before the final whistle blew to confirm the Peacocks’ victory.
Match: Taunton Town v Frome Town
Date: October 6, 2018
Competition: Evo Stik League | Southern Premier
Venue: Viridor Stadium
Kick Off: 3.00pm
Match Sponsor: Peacocks Prize Bingo
Match Ball Sponsor: Sam and Paul Dalling
Taunton: Lloyd Irish, Pierce Mitchell, Shane White (captain) (Nuno Felix 50), Ben Adelsbury, Josh Nelmes, Matt Buse (Keith Emmerson 77), Ollie Chamberlain, Ryan Brett, Brett Trowbridge, Craig Veal (Douglas Camilo 87), Andrew Neal. Unused subs: Dan Sullivan, Mike Davies.
Frome: James Carey, Connor Roberts, Ricky Scott (captain), Ollie Knowles, Marcus Mapstone, Sam Teale, Kris Scott, Alex Monk (Josh Brace 66), Ryan Bath (Kris Miller 74), Kane Simpson, Dan Demkiv (Dan Whitley 89). Unused subs: Connor McCormack, Joe O’Laughlan
Referee: James Durkin (Bournemouth)
Referee’s Assistant 1: Neil Lane (Plymouth)
Referee’s Assistant 2: Murat Kaymaz (Plymouth)