Taunton Town vs Walton Casuals
Date: September 26th 2020
Competition: Pitching In Southern League
Venue: Cygnet Health Care Stadium
Kick Off: 3.00pm
The Peacocks got their home Southern League campaign off to a winning start with victory over the previously unbeaten visitors. It took two more accomplished finishes from striker Toby Holmes to secure the points for his side who in truth struggled to gain any great fluency during the 90 minutes against a well-organised Stags outfit.
The hosts named an unchanged team for the third successive match and soon won a corner from which Holmes had an effort charged down. Walton broke away to carve an opportunity of their own, Lloyd Irish palming wide an Adam Coombes shot at the near post as the visitors went on to enjoy some early possession.
Town responded after ten minutes, Jay Foulston’s cleared corner falling to Dan Sullivan who volleyed narrowly wide before he rifled a 20 yard shot past the post moments later. Jamie Short then jumped in to meet Joe Guest’s loping cross but his header proved easy pickings for Casuals keeper Denzel Gerrar.
A break from Ollie Chamberlain saw him find Short who made ground inside before firing the wrong side of the post but frustratingly the Peacocks were playing in fits and starts. On the other hand the visitors, although looking sprightly on the break, did not unduly trouble the home defence either. Zidan Akers set up Coombes for a shot which he blazed well over the top before Akers himself saw his effort comfortably held by Irish at his post.
Half time was slightly delayed after Foulston required treatment, the half being brought to a close by Sullivan’s corner which failed to clear the near post, summing up a forgettable opening 45 minutes. Head of Football Rob Dray made a switch at the break, bringing on Dan McBeam for Short and switching formation to hopefully kick-start his side’s fortunes and McBeam was soon involved, sending a swerving shot just over the top from outside the box.
Tempers started to become frayed in the face of some dubious officialdom after Foulston needed further treatment for an alleged elbow as Town kept plugging away at the Invest Southwest End. Jake Wannell headed Foulston’s corner wide and Gethyn Hill turned onto Ben Adelsbury’s diagonal pass but also missed the target before Holmes finally broke the stalemate on the hour. Irish’s clearance downfield was flicked on by Hill and the former Southern League Golden Boot winner took the ball in his stride to fire across Gerrar into the far corner.
Gerrar dived to hold Sullivan’s cross with McBeam waiting to pounce as the home side looked for a second and were reminded of the need to increase the daylight between the sides when Akers curled a 20 yard shot wide. Wannell’s free kick hit the wall and his follow-up was pouched by Gerrar at the other end before Akers missed the clearest chance for his side four minutes from time, being put in the clear by Kyen Nicholas, but failing to get any power in his shot and Irish claimed easily.
Holmes made them pay a minute later, creating a goal on his own. He received a pass on the left flank, outmuscled the defender and advanced to the byeline where he again left the opposition in his wake before firing home inside the near post from the angle of the six yard box. Town could now breathe with a late comeback from the Stags never appearing likely. Cole Brown fired their last attempt well wide before a late skirmish generated four bookings and ended the afternoon’s proceedings following a challenge on Sullivan. Not a classic Peacock performance by any stretch but three points nonetheless.
Taunton: Lloyd Irish, Jamie Short (Dan McBeam 45), Jay Foulston, Ben Adelsbury, Nick Grimes (captain), Jake Wannell, Ollie Chamberlain, Gethyn Hill (Owen Howe 67), Toby Holmes (Ross Staley 87), Dan Sullivan, Joe Guest. Unused subs: Jake Mawford, Jordan Copp
Walton: Denzel Gerrar, Rio Davidson-Phipps, James O’Halloran, Aaron Lamont (captain) (Kyen Nicholas 84), Mitchal Gough, Dylan Merchant-Simmons, Jacob Munting (Tayshan Hayden-Smith 60), Hamilton Antonio, Gabriel Odunalke (Cole Brown 60), Adam Coombes, Zidan Akers. Unused subs: Antonio Walker-Barth, Bernard Tanner
Referee: Martin Underhay (Weymouth)
Referee’s Assistant 1: Alastair Francis (Beaminster)
Referee’s Assistant 2: Simon Mitchem (Wareham)
Albert Goodman Man of the Match