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Taunton Town Results Match Review
Saturday 03 February 2018
Taunton Town v Bishops Cleeve
4 - 0

The Peacocks added another three points towards their promotion kitty with a straightforward victory over the division’s bottom side.

Manager Leigh Robinson had the luxury of naming an unchanged starting line-up to the previous fixture against Didcot while the conditions also bore similarities, light rain before and during the game adding unwanted moisture to the already heavy pitch. The sticky surface was therefore a major contributory factor to a messy opening to the proceedings, with little of interest until Shane White curled a shot narrowly wide from Ollie Chamberlain’s square pass.   

White then launched himself to plant a header well over as Town took a firm grip on the game, being rewarded with the opening goal after 18 minutes. Ryan Brett’s corner from the right was challenged for at the near post, the loose ball falling for Matt Wright to loop a sideways header over the posse of players and into the corner of the net.

The traffic continued to be mainly one way towards the Invest Southwest End for the remainder of the half. Dan Sullivan shielded Chamberlain’s knock-down to set up Pierce Mitchell for a drive which went just over and Cleeve custodian Sam Gilder turned a Ryan Brett shot wide. The only moment of concern at the other end came when Town were caught in possession, the visitors breaking but Ben Adelsbury was on hand to cut out Ieuan Crowe’s cross.

Town doubled their lead eight minutes before half time, Sullivan’s pass releasing Wright who was brought down by Ben Tunnicliff inside the box. Sullivan converted the spot kick with the minimum of fuss and his side were close to making it three before the whistle, his back heel teeing up Mitchell whose left foot strike from 20 yards was tipped over the bar by Gilder.

Wright was then impeded by Jordan Staten inside the area two minutes into the second half, referee Kane sensibly playing the advantage but when Brett’ s effort hit the post and was cleared, another penalty was awarded. Sullivan sent Gilder the wrong way for his 14th League goal of the campaign from only 16 appearances. Affairs became momentarily heated, Joe Bates and Brett clashing which culminated in Cleeve’s assistant manager Matt Jeynes being sent from the dugout.

Once tempers had subsided, Town resumed their offensive on the Cleeve goal. White’s pass found Wright in a promising position but Gilder saved with his legs and Mitchell hooked a volley onto the roof of the net from Matt Buse’s cross from the left. Sullivan was then inches away from his hat trick, collecting Chamberlain’s cross to forage in and rifle a shot the wrong side of the post.

Lloyd Irish, on his 250th appearance for the club, had only one save of note to make for the 90 minutes, blocking a Ben Hands strike from distance after Keith Emmerson had headed clear a James McCarthy free kick. With the points safe, the hosts made a double substitution on 68 minutes with both goalscorers retiring to the bench but this was of no consolation to the Mitres as the final goal of the afternoon arrived three minutes later. Buse’s excellent diagonal pass found Mitchell in space and he advanced to drill past Gilder into the far corner from 16 yards.

In the time remaining, the Peacocks could have boosted their goal difference further. Buse blasted over while Les Afful’s centre was hacked over his own bar by Joe Noakes who also blocked White’s shot on the line. Bates, after being booked for a foul, then received a second yellow immediately afterwards for words said to the referee and Cleeve had to play the final three minutes with ten men. Town kept pressurising until the end, Craig Veal’s effort being smothered by Gilder, to send the Peacocks faithful in the 436 crowd home happy.   

By Andy Power

Taunton: Lloyd Irish, Pierce Mitchell, Shane White, Ben Adelsbury, Keith Emmerson, Toby Down, Ollie Chamberlain (Tom Stone 82), Ryan Brett, Matt Wright (captain) (Craig Veal 68), Dan Sullivan (Les Afful 68), Matt Buse. Unused subs: Chris McGrath, Michael Meaker

Bishops Cleeve: Sam Gilder (captain), Ollie Butler (Ben Hands 39), Joe Noakes, James McCarthy, Jordan Staten, Ben Tunnicliff, Anthony Burton (Harlie Price 75), Michael Ford (Harrison Iddles 60), Ieuan Crowe, Joe Bates, Jamie Lock.

Referee: Stuart Kane (Saltash)

Assistants: Neil Lane (Plymouth), Devon Campbell (Plymouth)

Match and Matchball Sponsor: Sun Scaffolding

Attendance: 436

 

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