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Taunton Town Results Match Review
Tuesday 07 November 2017
Barnstaple Town v Taunton Town
4 - 2

It was a second successful visit to North Devon for the Peacocks this season as they ousted Barnstaple from the BigFreeBet.com Challenge Cup to follow their win at Bideford in the previous round.

There were five changes to the Town team that had won so handsomely at Didcot but they did not have the best of starts, with Barum opening the scoring after just eight minutes when a Lloyd Gardner cross from the right was met first time by Jed Harper-Penman whose effort arrowed over Irish into the top corner. The Peacocks weren’t trailing for long though, Les Afful winning a ricochet in the middle which was gathered by Shaun Anthony who released Omar Simpson to run clear and net clinically past Rob Holmes four minutes later.

Shane White curled a shot straight at Holmes as the game was proving to be an open one with play flowing from end to end. Town edged in front after 21 minutes with a controversial goal as far as the hosts were concerned. Good work by Simpson saw the ball reach Anthony in the middle and he was tripped after slicing the ball wide. Referee Bonnick pointed to the spot and although Holmes guessed correctly to keep out Ben Adelsbury’s penalty, Ross Staley was there in a flash to fire home the loose ball.

Town added a third five minutes later when Les Afful was brought down on the left edge of the box and from White’s free kick Chris McGrath headed in at the back post. The visitors went on to have the best of the remaining 45 minutes, with Staley rifling a couple of strikes over the angle and Holmes saving Afful’s shot after Max Gillard had gifted possession.

Barum enjoyed a decent spell when play resumed after the break, Jordan Charran heading over from Gardner’s cross and then Lloyd Irish tipping a swerving Harper-Penman strike wide. However they found themselves even further behind after 63 minutes following a bout of pressure from the Peacocks, Simpson paving the way for Pierce Mitchell to cross and White was there at the far post to convert.

Mitchell made space but saw his effort deflected for a corner whilst Tom Stone’s shot glanced off a defender and hit the crossbar, with Adelsbury drilling the follow-up goalwards but again a touch kept it out at the expense of a corner as Town maintained the offensive. However Barnstaple had the final say on 74 minutes, Harper-Penman setting up the overlapping Walton to fire home a drive across Irish from the left side of the area.

An entertaining tie kept up the interest until the end, with Afful’s effort parried by Holmes and Mitchell having another strike diverted wide, as the Peacocks progressed to the last 16 of the competition.     

By Andy Power

Taunton: Lloyd Irish, Pierce Mitchell, Ross Staley, Tom Stone, Chris McGrath, Ben Palmer, Shane White (captain), Ben Adelsbury, Shaun Anthony, Omar Simpson, Les Afful. Unused subs: Ollie Chamberlain, Brett Trowbridge, Rob Dray

Barnstaple: Rob Holmes, Max Gillard (Alex Gray 73), Jordan Walton, Kai Fisher, Chris Ibbeson, Tony Radford (George Nancekivell 73), Lloyd Gardner, Fletcher Williams (Mike Humphreys 73), Jordan Charran, Niall Heeney (captain), Jed Harper-Penman. Unused subs: Tallan Mitchell, Neil Osbourne      

Referee: Jack Bonnick (Bristol)

Assistants: James Gallagher (Exeter), Carl Peters (Bridgwater)

Attendance: 105


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