New recruit Jared Lewington made a successful start for the Peacocks as he scored a hat trick in their opening friendly at the Everyone Active Stadium.
It proved a useful workout for a Town side missing several regulars and who were playing in front of a crowd for the first time in eight months, and the travelling support were well satisfied when their team were two goals to the good after just 13 minutes. Ollie Chamberlain’s hooked cross was handled by Ollie Babbington and Gethyn Hill drove in the resultant penalty on 12 minutes and then Lewington stole the ball off Clevedon keeper Charles Lovell and rolled home into an empty net a minute later.
Another two goal burst then threatened to open the floodgates. Dan Sullivan broke through from midfield and his centre from the left was drilled in by Lewington for the third on 21 minutes and the new striker’s treble was confirmed two minutes later when Sullivan’s ball over the top found Hill on the right and his cross was swept past Lovell.
Hill nearly added a fifth, but a neat turn ended with his shot held by the keeper before the hosts pulled a goal back on 26 minutes when Alex Camm found Morgan Williams in space at the back post and the Clevedon midfielder finished past Lloyd Irish.
Ben Adelsbury’s header was blocked on the goalline, and Hill flashed an effort wide while Irish palmed away Camm’s strike at the other end as an entertaining first half concluded. Clear chances were scarcer after the break as Clevedon came more into the game, the Peacocks coming close though on 68 minutes when Sullivan found Hill on the right side of the box but unfortunately his drive crashed back off the crossbar. By that stage, the visitors had made a quadruple substitution just past the hour mark as the game became more disjointed.
Chamberlain was denied a deserved goal when Cam Pike stopped his lob before the Seasiders added their second goal of the night on 74 minutes, Glen Hayer volleying home after Camm’s free kick had been headed into the box by Alex Kemsley. Hill headed a trialist cross over the top as the game petered out bar a poor and needless challenge on Jay Foulston which produced a yellow card for the home player.
Taunton: Lloyd Irish (trialist 62), Jay Foulston, Ben Adelsbury (trialist 62), Ollie Chamberlain, Lee Lucas (trialist 75), Dan Sullivan (trialist 75), Joe Guest (trialist 62), Gethyn Hill, Dan McBeam, Ross Staley, Jared Lewington (trialist 62)
Clevedon: Charles Lovell (Cam Pike 45), Ollie Babbington (Glen Hayer 45), Elliot Nicholson, Callum Kingdon, Greg Yarde (Alex Kemsley 45), Sam Hedges, Callum Gould (Ethan Feltham 45), Morgan Williams (Ewan Williams 72), Jack Jones (Josh Pitt 62), Alex Camm (Callum Gould 78), Morgan Davies (Freddie King 62)
Referee: Kristian Gould (Weston-super-Mare)
Referee’s Assistant 1: Andie Lambourne (Weston-super-Mare)
Referee’s Assistant 2: Ian Smith (Weston-super-Mare)
“I’m pleased with the win and I’m pleased with the way we went about our business in the first half” – Rob Dray’s thoughts on Peacocks TV HERE
Match highlights on Peacocks TV HERE
Match photos on Taunton Town FC Flickr HERE