A first half hat trick by last season’s top scorer Andrew Neal set the Peacocks on the way to the next round of the Southern League Challenge Cup at Kingsley Road.
Taunton were soon out the blocks, with Jack Rice seeing two efforts saved. The first goal duly arrived after 14 minutes when Neal cut in from the left and drove a low shot past home keeper Liam Kingston. Captain for the night Lloyd Irish made a good save after 28 minutes to deny Billy Tucker an equalizer but it was Neal who struck again two minutes later from a right wing cross by Matt Wright to double his tally.
Despite Toby Down missing a presentable chance for the hosts when he headed wide from a corner, Town continued to dominate, and it was no surprise when a third goal came just before the break. Lewis Waldy, one of several former Peacocks playing for Bideford, brought down sub Noah Coppin and Neal converted with ease to complete a hat trick, just as Dan Sullivan did last month at Winchester in the FA Cup.
Any thoughts of Taunton relaxing after the break were soon dispelled as Matt Wright shot past Kingston to make it 4-0 five minutes after the break. Two minutes later Bideford pulled a goal back through Ryan Turner, making his 100th appearance for the Robins, but Taunton responded again, with Rice, who had a spell on loan at Bideford earlier in the season, letting fly for a fifth goal after 61 minutes.
Bideford’s Theo Simpson had a shot rebound off the post after 65 minutes before his side pulled another goal back four minutes from time through Turner. Kingston prevented a further goal for the Peacocks with a fine save to deny Coppin’s header as Town took their place in the draw for the Second Round.
Match: Bideford vs Taunton Town
Date: October 1, 2019
Competition: Southern League Challenge Cup
Venue: The Sports Ground
Kick Off: 7.45pm
Taunton: Lloyd Irish (captain), Jamie Short, Lewis Hall, Jack Rice, Ed Palmer, Jamie Price (Noah Coppin 14), Ollie Chamberlain, Ryan Brett (Harry Kite 61), Matt Wright (78), Dan Sullivan, Andrew Neal (Matt Villis 72). Unused sub: Ben Adelsbury
Bideford: Liam Kingston, Niall Heeney, Lewis Waldy, Charlie Lawrence, Toby Down, Ben Palmer, Ben Carter (captain), Aaron Taylor (Stephen Reed 81), Ryan Turner, Theo Simpson (Sean Downing 66), Billy Tucker (James Mayne 66). Sub not used – Kevin Squire.
Referee: Stuart Kane (Saltash)
Referee’s Assistant 1: Neil Lane (Plymouth)
Referee’s Assistant 2: Neil Hunnisett (Saltash)
Unfortunately neither of our photographers were able to attend
The Albert Goodman Man Of The Match