Pre-season concluded for the Peacocks as they gained victory over their Devon visitors who will be making their debut in the Southern League this coming season.
The game, rapidly arranged on Friday due to the late withdrawal of Bristol City U23’s, began openly with Jay Foulston volleying beyond the far post from Lloyd James’ diagonal pass and Nick McCootie posting two efforts, glancing wide from an Ollie Chamberlain cross and an acrobatic volley also missing the target after Jake Wannell had weaved into the box. At the other end, Will Buse in the Peacocks’ goal did well to hold a deflected shot from Aamir Daniels and Ben Cross fired over from range.
The opening goal arrived on 12 minutes, Foulston’s pass finding Dylan Morgan who nicely rounded keeper Josh Oak to slot into the empty net. After James had struck the post with a free kick, Town doubled their lead on 24 minutes when Morgan found Harry Warwick and he cut inside the defender from the right to drill home a great finish beyond Oak for his 6th goal of pre-season. Warwick then twisted, turned, and twisted again to get in a shot which forced the Lambs’ keeper into a diving save.
The visitors were playing some decent stuff going forward themselves and after Buse had held a shot from Liam Prynn, they reduced the deficit on 36 minutes through Josh Grant who made space on the left to rifle his effort across Buse and into the net via the post. The Peacocks replied quickly by adding to their lead four minutes before half time. Nick McCootie’s chipped cross from the left came off the bar and Luke Ward returned the ball into the middle from the opposite side for Morgan to tuck home for his second goal of the afternoon.
Tavistock again pulled a goal back two minutes into the second half when a hooked ball over the top caught the Town defence out and Alex Battle ran forward to curl a fine finish into the corner. The visitors continued to ask questions as they looked to cut through, Buse having to field shots from Joe O’Connor and Prynn before the Peacocks hit the woodwork for the second time, Nat Jarvis getting on the end of Will Tunnicliff’s cross but finding the crossbar. Jared Lewington also dragged a shot wide as play became less fluent following substitutions and tactical changes.
A dangerous run from Prynn saw the Lambs’ striker fire narrowly over before two goals in the final stages from Lewington saw Town home. Ross Staley’s cross from the left was headed in on 84 minutes and after the Peacocks’ striker had prodded wide from another Staley cross, he got ahead of his man to convert Chamberlain’s ball at the near post.
Next stop National League South.
Taunton: Will Buse, Luke Ward (Ioan Richards 54), Jay Foulston (Will Tunnicliff 54), Nick Grimes (captain), Dan Ball (Joe Budd 45), Jake Wannell, Ollie Chamberlain, Lloyd James (Lee Lucas 45), Harry Warwick (Jared Lewington 61), Dylan Morgan (Ross Staley 54), Nick McCootie (Nat Jarvis 54)
Tavistock: Josh Oak, Ben Cross, Dan Evans (captain), Taylor Scarfe (Josh Robins 73), Tallan Burns (Joe O’Connor 45), Liam Prynn, Ben Fowles, Callum Watson, Alex Battle, Aamir Daniles, Josh Grant (Josh Parry 69). Unused subs: Iestyn Harris, Ed Harrison
Referee: Craig Scriven (Highbridge)
Referee’s Assistant 1: Nat Wormleighton (Bridport)
Referee’s Assistant 2: Ben Jackson (Bridgwater)
Head of Football Rob Dray said:” Firstly many thanks to Tavistock for filling the hole City left and good luck to them in the Southern League. I thought in patches we were very good but at times a little sloppy. We’ve had a decent pre-season overall but that’s now done and dusted and we move on to Saturday.”
Match highlights can be seen on Peacocks TV HERE