Nick McCootie’s close range finish proved the difference in Bristol as Town notched up their second pre-season win. It proved a pretty competitive work-out with Cribbs, looking forward to their debut season in the Southern League, eager to clip the Peacock feathers.
An unseasonably fresh July evening saw the visitors enjoy much of the early play. McCootie was unable to direct a header on target from Zac Smith’s chipped cross and Austen Booth powered a header just over from a Lee Lucas free kick while Lucas himself then flashed a strike narrowly wide before the hosts began to show, a free kick from Josh Bennett being headed clear as far as Jake Hodgson who fired over.
Cribbs were certainly doing their best to thwart any threat from the Peacocks as some meaty challenges came in from both sides. Chances were not plentiful though until the 38th minute which produced the game’s only goal which was tinged with controversy. A Lucas corner was nodded down by Nick Grimes and fell for Cam Evans to shoot, however his effort deflected upwards and fell for Dan Ball to head at goal from the left touchline, with McCootie applying the final touch to find the net. Strong protests from the home side that the ball was out of play when headed goalwards were dismissed and Town had the lead.
Cribbs keeper Rob Brown blocked a Dave Sims-Burgess shot and Evans fired over as half time approached but there was time for Cribbs to threaten following a run from David Duku into the box, the ball falling free for new signing from Bridgwater Jake Brown to fire wide.
Debutant Peacocks’ keeper Dan Lavercombe punched clear a Bailey Croome free kick when play resumed before the standard spate of substitutions began ten minutes in. There was no let up in the physical aspect of the game though, which produced a yellow for a Cribbs player after a foul on Ollie Chamberlain as Town continued to probe for a second. Sub trialist Phil Mendonca had an effort blocked before Smith was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet, his header from an Evans’ cross smacking off the crossbar. The Town No 16 required treatment afterwards following a nasty encounter with the post but thankfully nothing serious.
Another smattering of subs occurred with just over 15 to go. A turn from Mendonca on the edge of the box produced a shot which Brown parried and managed to gather just before the Peacocks trialist No 26 whose heavy challenge necessitated treatment for the Cribbs keeper. The same trialist then fired high over from a decent position and saw a header go wide in the final minute but there were no more goals as another box was ticked leading up to 5th August.
Taunton: Dan Lavercombe, Nick Grimes (captain), Dan Ball, Ollie Chamberlain (Trialist 63), Nick McCootie (Trialist 55), Austen Booth, Zac Smith (Trialist 63), Cameron Evans, Dave Sims-Burgess (Phil Mendonca 55), Dylan Morgan, Lee Lucas (Trialist 63). Unused subs: Jay Foulston, Lloyd James, Nat Jarvis, Ross Stearn, Lloyd Irish
Cribbs: Rob Brown, Ollie Case, Josh Bennett, Ryan Cainey (Momodoh Kenneh 64), Ryan Crouch (Tom Anthony 64), Ross McErlain, Jake Brown, Matt Hurley, David Duru (Steve Murray 55), Bailey Croome (Sergi Sahr 64), Jake Hodgson (captain)
Referee: David Trevaskus (Weston-super-Mare)
Referee’s Assistant 1: Luke Hulbert (Bristol)
Referee’s Assistant 2: Elliott Richards (Bristol)
” It’s another tick in the box along the way down towards the finish line….” watch the match reaction of Rob Dray on Peacocks TV HERE
No match highlights are available