The Peacocks brought an end to their five match losing streak at the Cygnet Health Care Stadium with a crucial win over the bottom placed Essex side. Much like having to take a large spoon of foul-tasting medicine to get better, the 90 minutes was a pretty unpleasant watch, but the overriding focus was on securing the three points, not how it was achieved, and to that effect the medication worked.
With Nat Jarvis starting a three game ban, Rob Dray rotated the side again with Jake Wannell and Ross Stearn back in the starting line-up and Dylan Morgan on the bench. It soon became apparent that this wasn’t going to be a classic. A scrappy opening spell was interspersed with two bouts of treatment for the Beach Boys’ loanee from Ipswich Town Alfie Cutbush which eventually forced him to retire after only eight minutes before the Peacocks were mighty fortunate not to find themselves a goal down four minutes later. Nana Kyei released Quentin Monville down the left and his centre was perfect for the unmarked Lewis Manor who thankfully fired against the underside of the crossbar, keeper Jack Bycroft claiming the loose ball.
The hosts recovered from that lucky escape to start making inroads at the other end. Wannell blazed a shot high over the top while appeals for handball from an Ollie Chamberlain cross fell on deaf ears. A throw-in then contentiously went Town’s way which led to the only goal of the night, Cam Evans pass putting Joe Guest in space on the right and his low cross was drilled home by Lee Lucas past former Chelsea Under 18 goalkeeper Mitch Beeney.
The remainder of the half saw the Peacocks carve out a few more opportunities without being able to add to their tally. Zac Smith’s forward ball found Dave Sims-Burgess inside the box, the Town striker opting to take the ball around Beeney who managed to claim. Stearn was caught on the edge of the box by Tosan Popo but Lloyd James’ free kick found the clutches of the Concord custodian before Stearn blasted over the bar from close in following Chamberlain’s burst into the box.
An unassuming first half continued in the same vein after the break although Town were close to adding a second a few minutes in when Chamberlain’s cross reached Smith who found Stearn at the far post but his shot smacked off the bar and over despite protestations that Beeney had managed to touch the effort onto the woodwork. In response Concord sub Ricky Modeste tried his luck from distance but Bycroft had it well-covered while the Town keeper showed a safe pair of hands when catching an Alex Hernandez free kick at full stretch, however there were generally no good vibrations from the Beach Boys.
Town persevered attacking the Showtime Attractions End knowing a second goal would surely settle matters. Morgan who had replaced Sims-Burgess eight minutes into the half scurried to the byeline but could only find Beeney with the cross before the Rangers’ keeper touched over a fierce left-footed strike from Lucas, the ensuing corner being headed wide by Wannell. Smith then had a shot blocked before Beeney held his drive at the near post as the Concord defence dug in.
Nick McCootie took over from Stearn for the final 13 minutes as Town kept the visitors at arms’ length. Bycroft caught a couple of crosses but Concord failed to create anything of note as the hosts wound down the clock, although unsuccessful appeals for a handball two minutes into stoppage time did have home fans’ hearts in mouth temporarily. It was ugly but the Peacocks had done what they needed to and there is no doubt they deserved the victory. All being well the Easter period will harvest sufficient points to banish any relegation fears for good 🦚
Taunton: Jack Bycroft, Nick Grimes (captain), Jake Wannell, Ollie Chamberlain, Lloyd James, Joe Guest, Ross Stearn (Nick McCootie 77), Zac Smith, Cameron Evans, Dave Sims-Burgess (Dylan Morgan 53), Lee Lucas. Unused subs: Dan Ball, Lloyd Irish
Concord: Mitch Beney, Tosan Popo, Jack Thomas (captain), Quentin Monville, Alex Hernandez (Jack Munns 74), Lewis Manor, Nana Kyei (Mohamed Bettamer 68), Ben Steward, Jimmy Wallace, Max Hudson, Alfie Cutbush (Ricky Modeste 8). Unused subs: Charlie Campbell, Aaron Benstead
Referee: Dale Wootton (Bishops Cleeve)
Referee’s Assistant 1: Mark King (Saltash)
Referee’s Assistant 2: Andrew Glanville (Plymouth)
“Awful game to watch, awful game to manage, didn’t look very nice to play in to be fair, but we won……..” watch Rob Dray’s Match Reaction on Peacocks TV HERE
Match Highlights can be seen on Peacocks TV HERE
Mind In Somerset MOM
Lee Lucas receives the Taunton Town Man Of The Match award from the family of former Peacocks’ supporter Roy Gordon who sponsored the match in his memory