A first Peacocks’ hat trick for Dave Sims-Burgess helped his side easily negotiate the opening round of this season’s Somerset Premier Cup competition. The visitors from Bath battled spiritedly throughout and might have sneaked a consolation with better finishing but Town always had far too much for them.
The central defensive trio of Nick Grimes, Dan Ball and Jake Wannell were all rested, resulting in a Peacocks side heavily orientated towards attack. Lloyd James and Jay Foulston assumed the centre back roles with Zac Smith and Ross Staley out wide while all four main strikers were named in the starting eleven and Lloyd Irish made his first appearance of the season in goal. As expected, all the play was towards the Down goal for the vast majority of the tie. An early James ball was cleared over his own bar by a defender and from the resultant James corner, visiting keeper Oliver Coleman had to tip away an awkward delivery while Foulston curled a free kick wide after Harry Warwick had been brought down.
Coleman tipped away a Morgan strike from 20 yards as the home side continued their early pressure which yielded the opening goal after 11 minutes. Foulston’s corner was cleared to James, his shot was blocked and when he regained the ball, his chip into the box picked out Morgan on the left and he drove his finish past Coleman at his near post. Sims-Burgess then missed a golden opportunity to quickly double the lead, Morgan’s pass finding him free in the box, but his effort was wide of the target.
A mazy run from Warwick ended with his shot being blocked while Sims-Burgess saw his header cleared off the line by Luke Lecrass as the one way traffic was maintained which led to Town’s second goal after 37 minutes, a James corner reaching the far post where Sims-Burgess slotted home via the underside of the bar. A third soon followed two minutes later when Nick McCootie lofted a ball forward and Sims-Burgess neatly anticipated to run in and guide his header past Coleman from six yards before Morgan wasted another chance when he put Warwick’s cross wide at the far post.
There was no let-up for Odd Down after the break. Staley’s corner was played out to James who saw his strike bundled wide by Coleman who could do nothing to prevent the Peacocks extending their lead after 52 minutes. Sims-Burgess won the ball and moved inside to fire home a fine 20 yarder via the inside of the post to complete his hat trick. Warwick did well to post a shot from a tight angle which Coleman pushed over before Warwick headed wide, James fired a free kick narrowly over and Smith also drove a shot over the top as the openings continued to mount up.
Foulston went off with a tight hamstring and was replaced by Ollie Chamberlain just past the hour before the visitors had a glimmer at the other end on 64 minutes, Tyrone Mulholland setting up William Humphries who sliced wide of the target. McCootie showed him how it should be done four minutes later. A lovely move out of defence saw Sims-Burgess lay off to McCootie on the left and he stepped inside a defender to lash a humdinger past the helpless Coleman from the edge of the box for a 5-0 lead.
Warwick nicely found Jarvis in the area, but his shot was well-blocked by David Hare while Coleman was called into action yet again, turning aside Chamberlain’s strike, before goal number six arrived on 74 minutes. Staley played a corner short to James on the right and the skipper for the night evaded the attentions of nearby defenders to make room and rifle a terrific shot into the far corner. Jarvis headed Staley’s cross over before the Western Leaguers launched a few raids of their own, one of them ending with Cameron New teeing up Lecrass for a shot which hit the side netting while Irish had to make his only real save of the evening when he parried wide an effort from Josh Clark who had made inroads into the box.
Morgan and Sims-Burgess had shots blocked in quick succession as Town ended the contest back on the offensive which produced the final goal of the evening two minutes from time, Warwick receiving McCootie’s pass to easily glide past the defence and drive home into the net, Coleman getting a hand to the shot but unable to keep it out. A comprehensive victory for the Peacocks then who were professional throughout and which will hopefully give added confidence for the harder battles ahead in the next few weeks starting with the weekend trip to League leaders Ebbsfleet.
Taunton: Lloyd Irish, Joe Budd, Jay Foulston (Ollie Chamberlain 63), Lloyd James (captain), Nat Jarvis, Nick McCootie, Harry Warwick, Zac Smith, Ross Staley, Dave Sims-Burgess, Dylan Morgan. Unused subs: Nick Grimes, Dan Ball, Jake Wannell, Jack Bycroft
Odd Down: Oliver Coleman, Luke Lecrass, David Barroso (Jake O’Brien 73), David Hare, Jake Neil, Caelen Simpson, William Humphries, Josh Clark, Luke Short, Luke Bryan (captain) (Tyrone Mulholland 61), Omari Sims (Cameron New 40). Unused sub: Aden Criddle
Referee: Jordan Lee (Taunton)
Referee’s Assistant 1: Brian Lee (Taunton)
Referee’s Assistant 2: Sean Clarke (Stoke-sub-Hamdon)
“They kept that intensity and that tempo right through the whole game and that’s very hard to do in these games……” watch Rob Dray’s Match Reaction on Peacocks TV HERE
Match highlights can be seen on Peacocks TV HERE
Mind In Somerset MOM
Dave Sims-Burgess was named Taunton Town Man Of The Match, photo to follow