Torquay United vs Taunton Town


Date Time League Season Match Day Full Time
March 12, 2024 7:45 pm National League South 2023/24 12/03/2024 90'


Torquay United0
Taunton Town3



A revitalised Peacocks claimed a tremendous victory at Plainmoor in the first ever league fixture between the sides. A decade ago, the Gulls were plying their trade in League Two and had just beaten Rochdale 2-1 on 11th March 2014 while Town were resident in the South and West Division of the Southern League and beat Evesham United by the same scoreline on that day. Fast forward ten years to both being in the National League South and in the context of where the club are now and the severe challenges it has faced this season, this result and performance was without doubt the most impressive of the campaign.

After Saturday’s success at Worthing saw the Peacocks finally end a winless run of 13 games, it was as you were with an unchanged starting eleven and bench for the shortish jaunt down to the Devon coast. The early exchanges saw neither side gain the ascendancy with some token efforts at each end posing minimal trouble for the respective keepers. Taunton won the first corner, but the home side posted the first attempt, Brett McGavin firing over after Kevin Dawson’s cross had been cleared. In response Nick Grimes made ground for the Peacocks and his goalward drive was gathered by Gulls keeper Mark Halstead as Nat Jarvis tried to connect before Ollie Chamberlain’s shot deflected for his side’s second corner.

Visiting custodian Dan Lavercombe was in commanding form, punching away Jack Stobbs’ free kick and holding Ollie Tomlinson’s looping header before showing a safe pair of hands to pouch Arkell Jude-Boyd’s awkward strike on the bounce. However, there appeared no real threat from either team until Town struck to take the lead on 22 minutes. Tomlinson’s stray pass allowed Lloyd James to find Jarvis on the edge of the box and the Town No 9 neatly turned the defender and slotted past Halstead for a well-deserved second goal in as many games.

The goal inspired the visitors to raise it up a gear and just four minutes later they were two goals to the good. The excellent Zac Bell’s long throw reached the near post where Cameron Evans steered a header beyond the stranded Halstead into the far corner. Could this be happening? Too right it could and now the Peacocks were beginning to dictate. Zac Smith made ground to force the United keeper into a diving stop while the Bell/Evans combination nearly paid dividends again but on this occasion the header found the side netting. A poor clearance from a Bell throw then fell for James to fire a left-footer which Halstead parried away before the Gulls enjoyed their most concerted period of play leading up to the break. However, the lack of a cutting edge was evident. Jude-Boyd’s strike took a slight deflection to earn a corner for the hosts while Aaron Jarvis and Brad Ash both saw attempts blocked for corners, Lewis Collins curled high over the top and Ash’s header was nowhere near as the Town defence reigned supreme and gave a reminder at the opposite end that there was more to come when Marcus Day did well down the right to put a centre across the face of goal with no white shirt there to apply the necessary touch.

A scrappy start to the second half then saw the hosts show some intent towards the Taunton box but the visiting defence were having none of it as Town always looked the more menacing going forward, with Halstead out to clear ahead of Seb Bolton who moments later gave way to Ross Stearn. Halstead was called into action again when he parried Smith’s strike away at his near post after the Town man had ghosted inside from the left but the Gulls keeper could do nothing on 59 minutes when a punt upfield was headed away as far as Stearn who made ground, sidestepped a yellow shirt and buried an absolute screamer into the top corner from 25 yards to hand the Peacocks a 3-0 advantage 😊

Such was the quality of Town’s performance that they rarely looked troubled, efficiently dealing with anything into the area and when Torquay did have an opening their shooting went AWOL, Jude-Boyd launching a shot onto the empty terracing. Play became punctuated, with firstly Dan Ball getting a final warning rather than a second yellow for a foul on Tom Lapslie which required the physio, then a double substitution for the home side and then more treatment, this time for both Lavercombe and United sub Duane Ofori Acheampong who when attempting to reach Stobbs’ cross collided with the Town No 1.

Gulls’ striker Jarvis directed a header wide from Jude-Boyd’s cross before the Peacocks were unlucky not to add a fourth nine minutes from time. Grimes found Stearn whose neat lay-off put Chamberlain away but his strike from just outside the box cannoned off the bar. Six minutes of added time saw McGavin strike the wall with a free kick while a deep Stobbs corner found Tomlinson whose header towards goal was stifled by Lavercombe. Torquay had long since run out of ideas though and Town sub Evander Grubb who had just replaced Jarvis nearly capitalised on Grimes’ clearance, but the ball just wouldn’t sit down. Joyous celebrations at the final whistle and there will be more of those if the Peacocks can replicate this type of display in their remaining games.


Taunton: Dan Lavercombe, Zac Bell, Nick Grimes (captain), Dan Ball, Ollie Chamberlain, Lloyd James, Nat Jarvis (Evander Grubb 90+5) , Zac Smith, Cameron Evans, Marcus Day, Seb Bolton (Ross Stearn 57) . Unused subs: Rabby Tabu Minzamba, Louie Slough, Jaden Brown

Torquay: Mark Halstead, Arkell Jude-Boyd, Austen Booth (Duane Ofori-Acheampong 67), Aaron Jarvis, Lewis Collins (Tom Lapslie 57), Brad Ash, Brett McGavin, Dean Moxey (captain), Ollie Tomlinson, Jack Stobbs, Kevin Dawson (Will Hawkins-Davies 68). Unused subs: Ross Marshall, Rhys Lovett


Referee: Lisa Benn (Pevensey)
Referee’s Assistant 1: James Long (Truro)
Referee’s Assistant 2: Steven Swan (Truro)




” We dominated large parts of the game, took our goals really really well, I have no complaints……..” watch Rob Dray’s match reaction on Peacocks TV HERE


Match highlights can be seen courtesy of Torquay United FC HERE


Match photos from Club Photographer Debbie Gould can be viewed HERE

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