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Taunton Town Results Match Review
Tuesday 06 February 2018
Paulton Rovers v Taunton Town
2 - 2

Town overcame a dreadful opening spell to share the spoils with old rivals Paulton on a wintry evening at Winterfield Road. After conceding twice within 15 minutes, the Peacocks battled back to restore parity and were unlucky not to snatch maximum points as they stretched their unbeaten run to 18 games.

New signing Josh Nelmes made his debut for Town at centre half, with Toby Down switching to left wingback and Shane White pushing up into midfield while Ollie Chamberlain dropped to the bench.Sleety snow falling for the majority of the game made conditions very difficult for both teams but it was Paulton who adapted far better as they pushed Town back from the off and were rewarded with the opening goal after six minutes. Josh Morgan-Williams weaved his way through a hesitant Town defence before he was deemed to have been caught by Keith Emmerson and former Town midfielder Dale Evans confidently converted the penalty.

At this stage Town had barely ventured into the opposition half until, in their first real foray, they came close to an immediate equaliser but Matt Wright’s near-post header from a Ryan Brett corner went the wrong side of the post. Paulton quickly regained the initiative and after Lloyd Irish had dived to hold a Joe Hillard shot, they added a second goal after twelve minutes. Josh Ford pumped a free kick downfield which Omar Simpson, only recently departed from the Viridor Stadium, swivelled onto to volley past a static Irish from the edge of the box.

Mitch Tippins’ cross-shot was headed clear to Joe Guest who drove well over and then Irish won the race to the ball with Tippins as Town creaked but eventually they gained some impetus playing up the slope without creating a clear opportunity. Wright was in space on the left but his cross to Brett was cut out by Rovers keeper Andrew Hannah while Emmerson fired over following a Brett free kick and then Kyle Knott tackled Wright as he looked to break clear, with Dan Sullivan unable to capitalise on the loose ball.

Irish clutched a header from Ford at his post as the home side threatened again while Town’s attempts continued to end in frustration. Brett’s shot was deflected wide before a chance to reduce the arrears was missed just before half time. Pierce Mitchell won a header to release Sullivan and from his chip to the far post, Toby Down planted the ball over the bar from six yards.

With the lines swept of snow at the break, Paulton began the second half keeping Irish occupied, holding a soft shot from Simpson and then gathering an angled effort from Tippins but the tide had turned as the Peacocks increasingly enjoyed the majority of possession down the slope. Les Afful, who had replaced Down at half time, found Sullivan who in turn fed White on the left. His shot was parried by Hannah with yet another ex-Town player Nuno Felix tidying up on the line to thwart Town again and when Sullivan saw his strike deflect wide from a Matt Buse cut back it appeared it was going to be one of those nights, with seemingly every Town attack either being foiled by resolute Paulton defending, lack of sharpness in front of goal or just that bit of luck on such a slippery surface.

Thirteen minutes were left on the clock when Town got the breakthrough their efforts deserved.  Emmerson, who had been moved up front, received Sullivan’s short pass to drive into the net from 20 yards via a slight deflection. The away support was then in raptures when the Peacocks drew level two minutes later. Buse released Mitchell down the right and from his cross, White’s mishit shot rebounded off Knott on the line to Emmerson who steered home at the far post.

Buoyed by the burst of two goals in two minutes, Town maintained the pressure as they looked for the winner. A Ben Adelsbury header was diverted off the line by Knott while attempts from Craig Veal, Emmerson and Adelsbury were all blocked in a frantic spell. Paulton though nearly had the last word on the counter, Liam Monelle’s snapshot held by Irish as a committed contest came to a conclusion.          

By Andy Power

Taunton: Lloyd Irish, Pierce Mitchell, Toby Down (Les Afful 45), Ben Adelsbury, Keith Emmerson, Josh Nelmes, Shane White, Ryan Brett (Ollie Chamberlain 62), Matt Wright (captain) (Craig Veal 62), Dan Sullivan, Matt Buse. Unused subs: Chris McGrath, Joel Randall

Paulton: Andrew Hannah, Kyle Knott, Nuno Felix, Sam Hedges, Josh Ford (captain), Joe Guest (James Byrne 89), Joe Hillard, Dale Evans, Omar Simpson, Mitch Tippins (Liam Monelle 81), Josh Morgan-Williams (Josh Cann 75). Unused subs: Jack Ball, Camen Harvey

Referee: Matthew Rushton (Pewsey)

Assistants: Said Ouchene (Yate), Shane Mansfield (Bristol)

Attendance: 159


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