The least impressive performance of the Peacocks’ pre-season schedule saw them go down to their North Devon visitors. A decent start boosted by an early goal started to fade as the game went on as Bideford upped their level to overturn the deficit.
The side was again reshuffled in line with pre-season norms with Zac Smith dropping out the starting eleven after suffering a strain in the warm-up. Also missing several other likely first choice players, the hosts made a sprightly start. An early chance was missed when Nick McCootie’s cross was volleyed over by Dave Sims-Burgess but the new recruit from Bath City soon made amends, Will Tunnicliff finding Ollie Chamberlain whose floated ball in was directed home after seven minutes. It was all Town in the initial stages, a great run by Chamberlain ending with a strike parried by Seedhouse and then Sims-Burgess making ground across the edge of the box to fire in a shot which he dragged wide of the far post.
A run from Craig Duff was then halted just outside the box, paving the way for the visitors’ equaliser on 16 minutes courtesy of Alex Byrne who curled the free kick over the wall and into the corner of Will Buse’s net. Another Byrne free kick saw their latest signing and former Peacock Ben Gerring head over before a drink’s break brought play to a temporary halt. Jake Wannell got on the end of a Lloyd James set piece but sent his header over when play resumed while a Bideford defender took action in the nick of time to prevent Sims-Burgess from profiting from a Tunnicliff ball into the area, leaving it all square at the break.
Making two switches for the second half, Town saw a strong run from Chamberlain fall short with the final ball, but it was the Robins who began to increase their competitiveness, arguably overly so at times for what was only a pre-season warm-up. It worked though with the decisive goal coming after 69 minutes. It stemmed from a James’ free kick which hit the wall for a corner from which Bideford broke downfield, Gabriel Plant playing in Louis Jagger-Cane to fire past Buse.
Four Peacock substitutions immediately followed and one of the newcomers nearly had an instant impact, Harry Warwick delivering a fine cross from the left but Nat Jarvis was unable to garner enough power on his header to trouble Seedhouse. Jarvis was then the victim of an unfriendly challenge from Aaron Taylor, resulting in a yellow, but Lee Lucas was out of luck with the free kick which was drilled over.
The Peacocks piled on the pressure in the final stages but finishing was not their strong suit. Chamberlain found space to float an effort just over, Joe Budd fired wide and a run from Dan Ball set up Warwick for a shot which was deflected for a corner. Bideford continued to hang on, with their defence working overtime to get in blocks on attempts from Jarvis, Lucas and Budd and it paid off as they secured the win.
Taunton: Will Buse (Lloyd Irish 70), Joe Budd, Will Tunnicliff (Ross Staley 45), Ioan Richards, Dan Ball, Jake Wannell (Dylan Morgan 70), Ollie Chamberlain, Lloyd James (captain) (Lee Lucas 70), Dave Sims-Burgess (Harry Warwick 70), Nick McCootie (Nat Jarvis 45), Joe Guest
Bideford: Adam Seedhouse, Ash Mitchell (Ben Wood 55), James Mayne (captain), Alex Byrne (Gabriel Plant 55), Adam Hill, Ben Gerring (Aaron Taylor 64), Aaron Taylor (Harry Ford 50), George Nancekivell (Ashton Hewitt 50), Craig Duff (Archie Reay 50), Lewis Wilson (Louis Jagger-Cane 50), Joe Charles (Ethan Phillips 50)
Referee: Matt Eva (North Petherton)
Referee’s Assistant 1: Jordan Lee (Taunton)
Referee’s Assistant 2: Brian Lee (Taunton)
” I thought we were a bit sloppy in our play all over at times…….” watch Rob Dray’s Match Reaction on Peacocks TV HERE
Match highlights can be seen on Peacocks TV HERE