There was nothing casual about the Peacocks as they breezed to a convincing win against their first time visitors from Surrey.
The Town side remained unchanged from the weekend win over Wimborne and they were soon into their stride when Matt Wright released Craig Veal down the right but a defender got a touch to the cross to prevent Dan Sullivan from opening his account. The first goal wasn’t long in coming though at the Invest Southwest End, with Wright heading in Ryan Brett’s corner from six yards after eleven minutes. Sullivan’s flick then put Wright goalside of the defence but his strike was parried by Casuals keeper Denzel Gerrar before Pierce Mitchell saw his shot blocked.
The visitors were playing some crisp football and reminded Town of their threat when Taureen Roberts laid the ball off to Jack Battie whose curling effort from just outside the box crashed off the bar and James Ewington blazed the rebound over.
The Peacocks needed a second goal to cement their advantage and they got it on 29 minutes. Sullivan won the ball in the middle and fed Mitchell who jinked in from the right to send a left footed shot into the far corner. Another strong run, this time from Sullivan, was rudely interrupted by a foul but Ben Adelsbury’s free kick went the wrong side of the post. Casuals again menaced just before the break when tricky footwork from Roberts put Dan Bennett clear but Lloyd Irish was untroubled as he put his attempt over the angle.
Town’s half time advantage was soon extended two minutes into the second half when Brett’s corner from the left was knocked down by Wright and Veal was on hand to hook the ball into the net from close range. It was then game over on the hour after Mitchell lofted in a high ball from the right and Joe Hicks intended header back to Gerrar was intercepted by Sullivan who nodded over the helpless keeper for the hosts’ fourth of the evening.
Rocky Neal appeared off the bench in place of Veal soon after having completed his suspension and then Harry Gardner came on for Wright who limped off after a late tackle from Hicks which produced the only card of the night. Town kept up the offensive with Sullivan bursting into the area to see his strike palmed out by Gerrar and Brett lifting the loose ball over the top. A surge upfield from Ed Palmer then found Sullivan whose cross was inches in front of Neal and Gardner.
Despite the inevitable outcome, the Stags continued to play some tidy stuff with Ewington firing into the side netting from a Harry Mills’ cross. Nathan Wood’s crossfield pass then found Roberts but Irish had little trouble holding the shot while the Peacocks’ keeper also stopped Isaac Sarpong’s strike, with Adelsbury quick to clear to prevent Wood from pouncing on the rebound.
Gardner came close to scoring his first Taunton goal when he played a 1-2 with Lewis Hall, only to see his shot deflected over by Gerrar. From the Brett corner that followed Shane White was also unlucky, ghosting in at the near post but seeing his header tipped over by Gerrar.
A busy, high tempo performance maintained Town’s momentum towards the top of the table with the only disappointment of the evening being the crowd of 369. The Peacocks deserve more.
Match: Taunton Town v Walton Casuals
Date: November 14, 2018
Competition: Evo Stik League | Southern Premier
Venue: Viridor Stadium
Kick Off: 7.45pm
Match Sponsor: Timpsons
Matchball Sponsor: MA Collard Family Butcher
Taunton: Lloyd Irish, Pierce Mitchell, Lewis Hall, Ben Adelsbury, Ed Palmer, Matt Buse, Shane White, Ryan Brett, Matt Wright (captain) (Harry Gardner 69), Dan Sullivan (Brett Trowbridge 87), Craig Veal (Andrew Neal 60). Unused subs: Josh Nelmes, Keith Emmerson.
Walton: Denzel Gerrar, Harry Mills, Alex Kelly, Joe Hicks (captain), Max Hustwick, James Ewington (Nathan Wood 73), Isaac Sarpong, Dan Bennett (Ronald Sobowhale 53), Joe Battie (Luke Holness 53), Taureen Roberts, Ryheem Shackleford. Unused subs: Kyron Farrell, Reece Robins.
Referee: Robert Cockle (Bristol)
Referee’s Assistant 1: William Payne (Bristol)
Referee’s Assistant 2: Michael Halford (Bristol)