Taunton Town vs Dover Athletic


Date Time League Season Match Day Full Time
January 13, 2024 3:00 pm National League South 2023/24 13/01/2024 90'


Taunton Town1
Dover Athletic1



Despite the springboard of an early goal, the Peacocks were unable to press on and convert a number of other opportunities which proved costly as a second half equaliser secured a draw for the men from Kent. Whether this point for Town against a team which had registered a meagre two wins in 26 previous fixtures will have any bearing come the end of the season is open to question but when all is said and done the result still remains well below expectation.

The Taunton side showed just the one change from the midweek derby with Yeovil, Zac Smith returning from injury to replace Marcus Day who dropped to the bench, featuring five outfield players for only the second time in ten games since the FA Trophy defeat to Welling in late November.

An open start to the contest saw both sides on the offensive, an early run from George Wilkinson into the box being dealt with before Town grabbed the advantage on six minutes. Smith’s lay-off to Ross Stearn saw his shot blocked and when Dover failed to clear their lines, Ollie Chamberlain latched onto the stray ball to lance a strike into the bottom corner from the edge of the area. There was an aura of suspended animation as the shot nestled in the net with the effort having not been struck with too much venom (well, not as much as some of Chambo’s repertoire) which was then heightened by referee Crofts consulting his assistant with offside seemingly about to cancel the goal out. No, as you were, and the Peacocks were one up.

The visitors set about trying to restore equilibrium as both teams created openings for the remainder of the first half. A quick break from Bailey Akehurst found Nick Dembele whose shot was blocked for a corner and the Dover forward had a similar outcome when another effort was cleared from the line by Nick Grimes. Zac Bell’s low cross was claimed by Whites’ debutant keeper Daniel Jinadu at the second attempt at the other end as Town were finding plenty of room in the final third, with Chamberlain prominent in the good stuff, one such example when his pass to Cameron Evans was then touched onto Nat Jarvis but Jinadu smothered the shot from the Town No 9.

The lively George Nikaj then caught a Town shirt in possession and opened up for a strike which sailed over the stand roof while Akehurst fired across the face of goal with no-one able to connect as Dover kept the hosts on their toes. Play became scrappy before the home side missed an ideal chance to extend their lead. Grimes strode downfield, laid off to Chamberlain and his pass put Smith free on the left side of the box and Jinadu brought him down as he looked to get around him. There was no hesitation in a penalty being awarded but Stearn, normally so clinical from the spot, delivered an unconvincing effort and Jinadu got down to his left to push aside.

The Peacocks were forced into a change for the second half, Chamberlain having retired with a muscle niggle and being replaced by Louie Slough. The newcomer was soon involved, putting in a cross for Stearn to see his effort held by Jinadu who also clutched Smith’s goalbound lob after Bell’s long throw had been headed clear. Slough then skewed a volley over the top following a bout of head tennis in the box before the visitors drew level after 56 minutes. A free kick was swung in by Akehurst from the right side and Nikaj glanced a header home ahead of the post. This galvanized the Whites for a while as they threatened to add a second. John Oyenuga latched onto a flicked throw to plant a shot into the side netting and Wilkinson managed to squeeze in an attempt which Dan Lavercombe held at his near post before Wilkinson again fired a strike narrowly wide of the target from the left.

Evander Grubb took over from Stearn for the final 20 minutes or so, Town’s final substitution after Marley Rose had replaced Rabby Tabu Minzamba minutes earlier. This sparked a more potent offering from the Peacocks but despite carving out a number of openings, none were taken. Jinadu came off his line to claim Bell’s throw but got nowhere near as Jarvis headed towards the open net, but Jacob Mensah was there to hack away. Grubb was starting to make an impact and had a great chance to snatch the winner when he got goalside of a defender and was through with Jinadu to beat. However the Dover keeper did well to make the block. An Evans header skimmed the far post from Lloyd James’ free kick with the ball scrambled away for another corner as four minutes of added time loomed. Stoppage witnessed one more opportunity to grab a first ever victory over a Dover team, Jinadu advancing to punch away a James corner as far as Grubb who volleyed the clearance back towards the open net but agonizingly just over the bar, concluding an afternoon which showed some positives on an individual basis but which were overshadowed by the overall outcome.


Taunton: Dan Lavercombe, Zac Bell, Nick Grimes (captain), Dan Ball, Ollie Chamberlain (Louie Slough 45), Lloyd James, Nat Jarvis, Rabby Tabu Minzamba (Marley Rose 64), Ross Stearn (Evander Grubb 71), Zac Smith, Cameron Evans. Unused subs: Marcus Day, Callum Dolman

Dover: Daniel Jinadu, James Dunne (captain), George Nikaj, Iffy Allen (Zidan Sutherland 64), Bailey Akehurst, George Wilkinson, Charlie Naylor, Jacob Mensah, Nick Dembele (Destiny Oladipo 68), John Oyenuga (Roman Charles-Cook 85), Scott Holding. Unused subs: Freddie Oliver, Luke Baptiste


Referee: Josh Crofts (Huntingdon)
Referee’s Assistant 1: Thomas Green (Witney)
Referee’s Assistant 2: Daniel Spyer (Calne)




“Disappointed not to win today, I think we had enough chances to win two games……” watch the match reaction of Rob Dray on Peacocks TV HERE


Match Highlights on Peacocks TV can be seen HERE


Match Photos from Club Photographers Darren Harris can be viewed HERE and Debbie Gould HERE

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance MOM

Nat Jarvis receives the Taunton Town Man Of The Match award from our Match Sponsors Foresters Garden Buildings

Many Thanks To Our Match Sponsors

Many Thanks To Our Match Mascots

Taunton Youth Under 12’s