Two second half thunderbolts earned the determined Peacocks a deserved draw against a strong Exeter side.
There was little to report in the opening quarter of the game until the visitors went ahead after 25 minutes when Matt Jay and Archie Collins outnumbered Josh Nelmes to win the ball in midfield, Jay putting former Peacock loanee Joel Randall through to shoot home from 15 yards. Chances continued to be few and far between, Town’s best opportunity coming when Dan Sullivan cut in from the right after 31 minutes but his shot was blocked by City defender Jimmy Oates and rolled harmlessly to James Hamon. Lloyd Irish then kept the deficit to one at the break, denying Jay after Tristan Abrahams had picked him out in the middle.
Town started the second half well and Ben Adelsbury’s snap shot just four minutes after the break was well saved by James Hamon. Pierce Mitchell and Sullivan also tried their luck while Andrew Neal’s overhead kick went narrowly wide. It was Exeter though who added a second goal after 62 minutes when Jay curled a fine shot past Irish from just outside the area somewhat against the run of play.
If the Peacocks were to get anything out of the game they needed to pull a goal back quickly and they did just that only three minutes later when Shane White’s corner was headed clear to find Sullivan who scorched a sweet half volley into the net from 18 yards.
The home side remained on top and after Mitchell had had a shot blocked by defender Jack Sparkes, Town drew level with 13 minutes remaining, Neal latching onto a throw-in on the left and holding off a defender to rifle a fine strike past substitute goalkeeper Chris Weale from just outside the box. The Peacocks had a chance to win the game in injury time but Mitchell’s header went just over the bar, however they can reflect on another impressive performance as they prepare for their Southern League Premier campaign.
Match: Taunton Town v Exeter City
Date: July 27, 2018
Venue: Viridor Stadium
Kick Off: 7.30pm
Taunton: Lloyd Irish, Pierce Mitchell, Nuno Felix (Aysa Corrick 72), Ben Adelsbury, Keith Emmerson, Shane White (captain), Ollie Chamberlain, Josh Nelmes , Dan Sullivan (Douglas Camilo 85), Andrew Neal, Matt Buse. Subs not used Alpha Sow, Tom Stone, Mike Davies
Exeter: James Hamon (Chris Weale 72), Jimmy Oates, Craig Woodman (James Dodd 72), Luke Croll, Will Dean (Alex Hartridge 45), Jack Sparkes, Archie Collins, Jordan Tillson (captain) (Jordan Dyer 72), Joel Randall (Josh Key 45), Matt Jay (Ben Seymour 72), Tristan Abrahams (Harry Kite 72).
Referee: Scott Jackson (Bridgwater)
Referee’s Assistant 1: Craig Scriven (Wedmore)
Referee’s Assistant 2: Brian Lee (Taunton)
Fourth Official: Jordan Hickey (Taunton)