After a 4-0 win at the Viridor Stadium on the opening day of the season the Peacocks went into this game hoping to secure their first double of the season against the division’s bottom side.
Taunton kicked off and within seconds a Pierce Mitchell shot was comfortably saved by home keeper Louis Dixon. Dixon was in the action again after 6 minutes when he parried a Ryan Brett corner in to the path of Shane White who headed over. The visitors continued to press and were rewarded after 12 minutes when a cross by Andrew Neal was headed home by unmarked skipper Matt Wright.
Taunton carried on in the attacking vein and Matt Buse headed wide after 18 minutes from a Mitchell cross. A second goal seemed inevitable and it duly arrived four minutes later when Ollie Chamberlain let fly from 20 yards and Dixon was beaten.
Staines were creating chances themselves and a shot by Matthew Campbell-Mhlope after 26 minutes was deflected for a corner. Andrew Neal, Matt Wright and Pierce Mitchell also had chances but visiting keeper Lloyd Irish made a fine save six minutes before the break when he tipped a Luke Wright shot onto the crossbar. Irish was making his final appearance for a few weeks before flying out to Australia, bringing an end to a run of 239 consecutive appearances. One minute before half time Matt Wright had a final opportunity of the half from Lewis Hall’s cross but his header went over the bar.
Chances were harder to come by in the second half but after 60 minutes a Ryan Brett free kick was turned goal bound by Matt Wright and Shane White’s shot hit the back of the net but the “goal” was rightly disallowed for offside. Six minutes later the home side’s Luca Charles-Valentine shot just wide from a free kick
Chances continued at both ends but Taunton finally made the game safe 8 minutes from time when sub Craig Veal shot past Dixon. Another Taunton sub Dan Sullivan had a shot in injury time but Dixon made another good save – Staines finally got a deserved consolation goal in the third minute of injury time when a corner was prodded home by Finley Tapp but there was barely time to kick off before the final whistle confirmed another three points in the bag. With second placed Weymouth being held 2-2 at home to Harrow Borough this meant the lead was up to seven points going into the Christmas games.
Match: Staines Town v Taunton Town
Date: December 22, 2018
Competition: Evo Stik League | Southern Premier
Venue: Wheatsheaf Park
Kick Off: 3.00pm
Staines: Louis Dixon, Finely Tapp, Mack Miskin, Ben Jones, Gradi Milenge (captain), Veron Kokurinkov, William Montague (Elliot Baptiste 86), Luke Wright, Massil Chabane, Luca Charles-Valentine (Ruudi Clarke 86), Matthew Campbell-Mhlope (Thomas Gogo 50). Subs not used – Milos Vukasinovic, Andre Odetola.
Taunton: Lloyd Irish, Pierce Mitchell (Craig Veal 63), Lewis Hall, Ben Adelsbury, Keith Emmerson, Matt Buse, Ollie Chamberlain, Ryan Brett, Matt Wright (captain) (Dan Sullivan 87), Shane White, Andrew Neal. Subs not used – Josh Nelmes, Douglas Camilo, Chandler Hallett.
Referee: George Warren (London)
Referee’s Assistant 1: Peter Giorgiou (London)
Referee’s Assistant 2: Samuel Ingrey (London)