The Peacocks somehow conjured up victory in the dying embers of the game to clinch a third win on the bounce and all but banish any fears of a quick return to the Southern League. In the proverbial game of two halves, Town had the benefit of a strong wind in the first half but then found themselves under the cosh after the break when the elements were against them but looked to be holding on for a point until an astonishing climax in stoppage time produced a winner from Dylan Morgan.
With Nat Jarvis and Lee Lucas both suspended and with Joe Guest and Zac Smith named on the bench despite not being 100% due to illness and injury respectively, the Peacocks really were down to the bare bones against a Rebels side with some relegation anxieties of their own. After a scrappy opening spell as both sides tried to acclimatize to the difficult conditions, Town began to get on top. Jake Wannell’s cross was cleared as far as Ollie Chamberlain who saw his effort blocked while Lloyd James belted a shot well over from 30 odd yards. Ross Stearn then changed feet to post a low strike which proved a routine stop for Slough keeper Will Dennis before his side made their first inroads at the Showtime Attractions End 20 minutes in, Lee Togwell’s cross being headed wide by an off-balance Elliott Benyon who had scored the only goal of the first encounter at Arbour Park seven months earlier.
Momentum remained towards the Slough goal although the gusts blowing down the Cygnet pitch continued to frustrate the hosts with balls carrying in the wind and numerous crosses proving fruitless. That is until the 30 minute mark when Dave Sims-Burgess won another corner, James delivered from the right and Wannell got on the end of it to plant a header emphatically past Dennis to put the Peacocks one up. Slough responded when Gabe George’s pass was dummied, allowing Johnny Goddard to advance and test Bycroft with a low shot held to his right.
Pass of the Day award went to Wannell who found Chamberlain out wide, but nothing came from it as four minutes of stoppage time were announced. With the wind in their favour, the hosts would have hoped to have retired for the break with more than one goal to their name. The fragility of the lead was laid bare when Town were caught by a sucker punch with virtually the last kick of the half. The pacy Francis Amartey who had replaced Benyon earlier was pulled down by Dan Ball, earning the Town defender a yellow and Slough a free kick which George sent in from the left, George Alexander flicked on, and Matt Lench steered into the roof of the net at the far post.
Given the complexion of the opening period Town knew they were likely to have their hands full for the second half and so it proved. Amartey’s shot was pushed round the post by Bycroft just five minutes in before the Town keeper clawed away a strike from Togwell which was heading for the top corner. The Peacocks briefly threatened when Cameron Evans’ cross found Morgan, but he was unable to get a shot away as the Rebels’ defence closed him out. Predominantly though the home fans behind the goal were starved of seeing the ball at close quarters during a second half in which Slough probably accumulated the highest corner count seen at the Cygnet for a long while. Despite their glut of deliveries into the box though, no orange shirt could apply the coup de grace. Scott Davies fired a free kick over the terrace roof, Luca Woodhouse hit the side netting after a corner had been flicked on and George flashed a free kick inches past the far post from the right flank. A fierce shot from Alexander from the edge of the six yard box was then parried at his post by Bycroft and Lench’s driven cross fizzed across goal with no-one able to get a touch as Slough maintained their grip.
Guest and Smith both came off the bench to replace Stearn and Nick McCootie during the latter stages of the half as the Peacocks remained defiant before three minutes of added time completely overturned the preceding 45 minutes. A throw-in down the right saw Evans find space inside the box and his centre fell perfectly for Morgan to drill home past the helpless Dennis with 90+2 on the clock. There was no time for any kind of answer from the shellshocked Rebels who had just seen a deserved point snatched from their grasp. For Town though the victory epitomizes the fighting spirit in the ranks which has seen them victorious in five of their last seven games 🦚
Taunton: Jack Bycroft, Nick Grimes (captain), Dan Ball, Jake Wannell, Ollie Chamberlain, Lloyd James, Nick McCootie (Zac Smith 88), Ross Stearn (Joe Guest 74), Cameron Evans, Dave Sims-Burgess, Dylan Morgan.
Slough: Will Dennis, Josh Jackman (captain), Luca Woodhouse, Shane Bush, Lee Togwell, Matt Lench, Elliott Benyon (Francis Amartey 32), Johnny Goddard, Scott Davies, Gabe George, George Alexander (Ogo Obi 74). Unused sub: Tyrese Owen
Referee: Ross Martin (Weston-super-Mare)
Referee’s Assistant 1: Gareth Dunn (Salisbury)
Referee’s Assistant 2: Thomas Anstice-Mitchell (Plymouth)
“Very pleased to get the three points, disappointed the wind played such a major part in the game……….” 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 Peacocks’ supporter Dave Webster