It’s now seven points from their last three National League South games for the Peacocks as they gained a confident win over the Wiltshire side. In Town’s most impressive performance so far in their first season at Step 2, they bossed the first half but only had a single goal to show for it before the visitors drew level against the run of play early in the second half. However the Peacocks quickly regained the advantage and added a superb third to ensure the vast majority of the 1148 crowd went home happy.
Town showed a couple of changes from the side that had started two days earlier at St Albans, Zac Smith coming in for his first start of the season in place of the injured Joe Guest while Dave Sims-Burgess replaced Harry Warwick up front. Considering the exertions of the match 48 hours earlier, the hosts made an impressively lively start to the contest. An early Jay Foulston free kick eventually found its way back to him and from his second pop he rasped a shot narrowly wide while Smith capitalised on a slip by Tom Mehew to move inside and have a strike blocked. With the Bluebirds failing to clear, Sims-Burgess found Foulston whose cross found its way to Chamberlain who fired over.
Another slick build-up down the left saw Smith find Foulston who teed up Lee Lucas, but Chippenham skipper Will Richards made a good block at the expense of a corner. Lucas then set up Chamberlain, but his tame shot travelled wide as the home side continued to go at the visitors with an intensity not yet seen this season. Their efforts were rewarded after 25 minutes with the opening goal. Lucas found Nat Jarvis who turned in the box but had his strike blocked, and when the ball fell to Foulston on the left side, his low drilled cross was turned into his own net by the outstretched leg of Luke Russe.
Sims-Burgess’ cross was too high for Jarvis while Chamberlain made space for a shot which hit a defender as the Peacocks searched for more and nearly got it when Sims-Burgess harried Henry who recovered to claim the ball. In contrast Chippenham barely created anything of note in response, a break from Russe finding Joe Parker whose cross was claimed by Jack Bycroft. The first half concluded with another home attack featuring Chamberlain who was having a fine game, the move eventually ending with Jarvis skewing a shot over.
The Peacocks were back on it when play resumed attacking the Town end. Chamberlain skimmed past his man and crossed to the far post where Lucas headed wide at full stretch and then Wannell headed straight at Henry from a James free kick. A goal out of nowhere then threatened to spoil the afternoon. Chippenham gained possession after Nick Grimes lost his footing and half time substitute Caine Bradbury picked out the far corner of Bycroft’s net with a peach of a strike from the left side, the visitors’ first effort on goal after 50 minutes.
Town responded in the best possible way by going back up the other end and retaking the lead, a James’ free kick from the right flank being powered home at the far post by the head of Wannell two minutes later. The hosts immediately made their first switch, with Nick McCootie replacing Jarvis before the visitors, seemingly awakened by their goal, began to at last display some attacking prowess. A neat phase saw them work their way into the box, Seb Palmer-Houlden turning to fire in a shot which Wannell blocked but their hopes were dampened on 62 minutes when the Peacocks added a third. And what a goal it was, Sims-Burgess gaining the ball on the right and when his centre was cleared, it fell to Chamberlain outside the box who hit the sweetest of strikes past Henry who didn’t have an earthly as it smashed the net. Smith retired a minute later after making a valuable contribution in his first outing, with Joe Budd coming on, before Town were forced into their final substitution when Foulston walked off gingerly following treatment on his leg and Dylan Morgan entered the fray.
The Peacocks’ Man of the Match Wannell who proved immovable throughout was then involved at both ends, firstly heading a James free kick over the bar, and then clearing off the line from Landon Goulding who got his head on a bouncing ball following a corner. Chippenham continued to play it around nicely as they tried to make inroads, Jordan Young firing a snapshot wide and then seeing his free kick safely held by Bycroft before Morgan came close to notching a fourth when he nicked the ball down the left and darted away to lash a shot off the bar.
The Bluebirds kept pressing until the end but found the hosts and keeper Bycroft too tough a nut to crack. The Peacocks’ keeper clutched a flicked header from Palmer-Houlden before tipping another effort from the same player over the top from Mehew’s cross. Young then cut inside to drill a shot off the crossbar during stoppage time as Town stood firm to ensure the three points remained at the Cygnet. Early days but 11th place in the table after six games is a very respectable start which the Peacocks will undoubtedly be looking to build on.
Taunton: Jack Bycroft, Jay Foulston (Dylan Morgan 68), Nick Grimes (captain), Dan Ball, Jake Wannell, Ollie Chamberlain, Lloyd James, Nat Jarvis (Nick McCootie 53), Zac Smith (Joe Budd 64), Dave Sims-Burgess, Lee Lucas. Unused subs: Harry Warwick, Zac Smith
Chippenham: Will Henry, Eddie Jones, Landon Goulding, Will Richards (captain), Alefe Santos (Caine Bradbury 45), Callum Gunner (Noah Coppin 74), Tom Mehew, Seb Palmer-Houlden, Joe Parker (Jordan Young 64), Luke Russe, Will King. Unused subs: Matt Jones, Joe Hanks
Referee: Samuel Read (Swindon)
Referee’s Assistant 1: Martin Underhay (Weymouth)
Referee’s Assistant 2: Mark Senior (Plymouth)
“I’m really proud of the players, they put in a right shift, togetherness is fantastic……” watch Rob Dray’s Match Reaction on Peacocks TV HERE
Match highlights can be seen on Peacocks TV HERE
Mind In Somerset MOM
Jake Wannell receives the Taunton Town Man Of The Match award from Lucas Hockaday, coach of Matchday Mascots Bishops Lydeard Under 9’s