An inexperienced Town side lost out to their visitors enjoying their first ever Southern League Cup tie. The Peacocks featured six debutants including four players from their Education partners Bridgwater and Taunton College, three of whom were only 16 years old, and all acquitted themselves well.
The early exchanges saw little in the way of action in either box, the nearest thing to a chance coming when Rocky Neal twisted and turned before getting in a shot which Joe Moore held. Street didn’t threaten until they had their first opportunity after 17 minutes from which they took the lead, with three former Peacocks involved from the five in the Cobblers’ side. Lewis Tasker whipped in a cross which deflected for a corner and from Craig Herrod’s delivery centre half Scott Thomas ran in to net with a firm header.
The other two ex-Town players then combined to put Street two goals to the good three minutes later, Lewis Waldy’s pass to Josh Wadham giving him space to advance before Jack Dray caught him just inside the area. Phil Ormrod fired home the penalty without much ado.
Ormrod was found in space on the right soon after but his lob over Lloyd Irish rebounded off the bar and then Wadham capitalised on a mistake to race into the box until a tackle took the sting out his intent and the ball ran to Irish. Street kept up their offensive with Josh Bennett sending a long range lob over before Herrod received a long ball from Ollie Morris to slot clinically past Irish and put the visitors three up six minutes before the break. The Peacocks gave themselves hope a minute later when they pulled a goal back, Neal latching onto a long White pass over the top and neatly dinking the ball over Moore from the right side of the box.
Street nearly restored their three goal advantage with half time imminent when Herrod crossed for Harry Foster to crash an acrobatic volley off the bar. Their fourth score wasn’t long in coming though, Tasker crossing from the left and Ormrod stretching his leg to convert at the far post after 49 minutes. This led to a sustained spell of Street pressure, with Irish holding Foster’s header and Ormrod’s shot while Tasker fizzed a drive just wide.
Town should have reduced the deficit on the hour when Ollie Chamberlain who had come on as a substitute for the second half put Veal through but his effort was kept out by Moore’s legs and the follow-up was also foiled. White’s header was blocked from a Veal corner with Chamberlain blazing the loose ball well over before Town revived hopes with a second goal on 77 minutes, a long cross in from Finlay Biggs reaching Neal who directed a close range volley past Moore.
Street had the final say on the scoreboard nine minutes from time, a lob downfield from Jakob Dickens reaching Ormrod to steer past Irish despite the Town keeper getting something on it. The action continued until the whistle, with White drilling a long range strike wide and young sub Ollie Down profiting from Veal’s run down the right, turning to plant a shot narrowly past the far post. Neal’s free kick was straight at Moore while Irish prevented another goal at the Invest Southwest End by tipping Waldy’s drive over. An entertaining game and no tears shed at an early exit.
Match: Taunton Town v Street
Date: September 4, 2018
Competition: League Challenge Cup | Preliminary Round
Venue: Viridor Stadium
Kick Off: 7.45pm
Match Sponsor: Bridgwater & Taunton College
Match Ball Sponsor: Soccerbox
Taunton: Lloyd Irish, Patrick O’Halloran (Charlie Dodd 65), Finlay Biggs, Mario Franco, Tom Stone, Jack Dray (Ollie Chamberlain 65), Shane White (captain), Noah Coppin, Liam Gilbert (Ollie Down 54), Andrew Neal, Craig Veal. Unused subs: Dan Howell, Matt Howell
Street: Joe Moore, Josh Bennett (Jakob Dickens 69), Lewis Tasker, Ben Amghar (captain) (Connor Townsend 64), Scott Thomas, Ollie Morris, Lewis Waldy, Craig Herrod (Kyle Strange 74), Phil Ormrod, Josh Wadham, Harry Foster. Unused subs: Lee Smith, Tom Punchard
Referee: Phillip Eddie (Plymouth)
Referee’s Assistant 1: Murat Kaymaz (Plymouth)
Referee’s Assistant 2: Thomas Anstice-Mitchell (Plymouth)