The Peacocks fired blanks for the third successive National League game as they suffered a narrow defeat in Hampshire. The positive to come out of the 90+7 minutes was the fact Borough keeper Jack Turner was at least kept busy, pulling off several fine saves but conversely Town keeper Jack Bycroft also earnt his corn although he could do nothing about the winner midway through the second half. A draw would have been a fair result, but goals win points and prizes.
Head of Football Rob Dray made two changes from the side that had lost at Concord, Joe Guest returning in place of Lee Lucas while Nat Jarvis, having now received international clearance, made his first appearance up front instead of Nick McCootie. Thankfully, the heavy downpours that had punctuated the trip up the A303 kept away from the Easy As HGV Stadium as Town again made a solid start to the game. Jarvis won an early corner for Foulston to deliver but Turner claimed, while a Lloyd James free kick into the box was again caught by the Borough keeper. The hosts also threatened, Jake Wannell booting clear ahead of the incoming Omar Rowe whose corner was then cleared and when the ball was returned into the middle, Town saw off attempts from Jack Ball and Tony Lee before an offside flag terminated the pressure.
The Peacocks best effort of the first half came on 19 minutes, Sam Deering’s loose pass being picked up by Jay Foulston whose strike from the edge of the box was well parried by Turner who then dived to hold the follow-up from Dave Sims-Burgess. Turner was then quickly out to collect after Sims-Burgess looked to capitalise on Foulston’s flick while Chamberlain’s shot was blocked as Town probed to open their Step 2 goal account.
Farnborough had their share of goalmouth forays too in an entertaining and generally equal opening 45 minutes. Lee headed Rowe’s corner over the top and Mitch Parker drilled a strike off-target before the visitors came close when Joe Budd volleyed just wide from 18 yards. It was the home side who ended the half with a flurry though, Kevin Lokko riding several challenges to set Rowe free in the box, with his cross being cleared by one Taunton defender off another towards goal. The danger was temporarily cleared but only to Reggie Young who won a late corner. Nothing doing from that, and the whistle blew to end a hard-fought first half.
The hosts began well when the teams re-emerged, Lee running across the edge of the box to see his half volley held by Bycroft, and Ollie Robinson’s long throw leading to a couple of blocked shots in the box. Budd and Chamberlain linked up nicely for Town to set up Foulston for yet another blocked effort before Farnborough skipper Robinson limped off injured shortly afterwards, quickly followed by the Peacocks’ first change with McCootie replacing Sims-Burgess. The match remained evenly poised but Town could not break through, Foulston’s header being clutched high above his head by Turner and Guest curling an effort well over the angle.
A second change for the Peacocks resulted in Ross Stearn replacing Budd but four minutes later the hosts scored the only goal of the night. A free kick on the left was played short by Deering to Rowe and with the Taunton defence slow to react, the former Hayes & Yeading man jinked along the byeline to drill in a hard cross which was cleared into his own net by Nick Grimes on 67 minutes. The Peacocks responded with three corners on the spin, but all came to nothing before Turner made a solid stop, parrying Stearn’s 20 yard shot which fell to Jarvis who was unable to profit. It mattered not though with the offside flag up.
Dylan Morgan took over from Jarvis with 15 minutes to go as Town kept persevering without luck while they were always prone to the counter. Lee released Rowe whose cross was volleyed wide by Michael Fernandes at the far post before Farnborough sub Fernandes broke down the left and laid the ball across for fellow sub Hisham Kasimu to fire in a fine strike which Bycroft bettered with an even better save to push wide.
Not to be outdone, Turner preserved the points for his side four minutes from time. McCootie was brought down outside the area and when James’ free kick took a deflection off the head of a home player, the Farnborough keeper reacted brilliantly to palm away. Morgan darted into the box to see his driven cross blocked before sending a snapshot into the side netting while Bycroft made another save from Fernandes as the home side saw out seven minutes of stoppage time to claim their first victory of the campaign. The Peacocks meanwhile can reflect on a combative display in midfield and defence (bar the crucial switch-off for the goal), however the reality of another 90 minutes without putting the ball in the net needs to be addressed quickly to avoid further impact on Town’s inaugural National League season.
Taunton: Jack Bycroft, Joe Budd (Ross Stearn 65), Jay Foulston, Nick Grimes (captain), Dan Ball, Jake Wannell, Ollie Chamberlain, Lloyd James, Nat Jarvis (Dylan Morgan 75), Joe Guest, Dave Sims-Burgess (Nick McCootie 54). Unused subs: Harry Warwick, Lee Lucas
Farnborough: Jack Turner, Jack Ball, Ollie Robinson (captain) (CJ Fearn 52), Kevin Lokko, Sam Deering, Mitch Parker (Hisham Kasimu 59), Reggie Young (Michael Fernandes 76), Jordan Norville-Williams, Tony Lee, Kenny Davis, Omar Rowe. Unused subs: Liam Ferdinand, Jonathan Page
Referee: Daniel Lamport (Swindon)
Referee’s Assistant 1: Colin Hubbard (Wimborne)
Referee’s Assistant 2: David Pilling (Tadley)
” We’re learning on the job but you’ve got to learn a little bit quicker, simple as that………..” watch Rob Dray’s Match Reaction on Peacocks TV HERE
Match highlights can be viewed courtesy of Farnborough FC TV HERE
Mind In Somerset MOM
Lloyd James receives the Taunton Town Man Of The Match award from Chairman Kevin Sturmey