With just two Southern League games remaining of the 2021-22 season, the Peacocks stand on the brink of arguably their greatest footballing achievement in their 75 year history after this win over their play-off chasing visitors. The home side were on top for the vast majority of the game after taking a two goal lead until the Bluebells pulled one back twenty minutes from time to give themselves a shot in the arm for the closing stages as they tried to salvage a valuable point.
With Rob Dray and Matt Villis returning on the sidelines, it was same again for a Peacocks team which remained unchanged from the weekend heroics at Metropolitan Police. A very impressive midweek crowd of 1068, the third four figure attendance at the Cygnet Health Care Stadium so far this campaign, witnessed a relatively quiet start. Ricardo Rees met Sam Kamara’s cutback from the right to force Will Buse into an early save while Gethyn Hill tested Andrew Hannah with a 20 yard strike at the other end. A slip by Lloyd James then saw Yate’s Luke Hopper advance to fire a shot just over the angle as clearcut chances proved elusive.
Attacking the Travis Perkins End, Town had an opening just before the half hour when a James cross was well-controlled by Ross Staley who set up Toby Holmes for a swerving shot into the side netting before the deadlock was broken after 31 minutes. The goal stemmed from a Holmes break into the box which led to a penalty appeal for handball after Joe Budd’s effort hit Will Tunnicliff, Yate scrambling the ball clear but only finding James whose diagonal cross to the far post was serenely volleyed home by Joe Guest, a well-deserved first goal for the Peacocks in his 56th appearance.
Hill fired in another shot which Hannah parried down although the flag was already up while an acrobatic overhead attempt from Hill looped over the bar as Town ended the half in front and looking comfortable. And the safety gap widened five minutes into the second half when the Peacocks notched their second. Zac Smith found Hill down the right and his ball across from the right was steered past the dive of Hannah by Ross Staley via a possible deflection off Yate defender Liam Angel.
Despite a couple of Bluebell openings, Town remained in control. Tunnicliff fizzed a shot wide of Buse’s left-hand post while a corner was nodded goalwards by Angel for big centre half Matt Bower to get his head on but Buse scampered across to his post to gather. Jay Foulston found the side netting with a free kick from 20 yards after Hill had been tripped, the Town’s striker last contribution as he went off to be replaced by Jared Lewington who was immediately on the end of a good build-up but couldn’t connect cleanly.
The visitors gave themselves a lifeline on 70 minutes with a goal out of the blue after some generous defending, Joe Hall’s cross from the right to the far post being directed back into the opposite corner by the head of unmarked fellow substitute James Harding. The goal boosted the Bluebells who began pressing as they enjoyed more of the ball but ultimately failed do a great deal with it, the Town backline making sure there would be no further slip-ups.
Yate’s cause was not helped when Angel received two yellow cards in the space of a minute for a couple of fouls, the second of which presented Ben Adelsbury with a trademark free kick opportunity just outside the box but on this occasion goalkeeper Hannah was there to dive and catch the strike. No announcement was made on the number of minutes stoppage time but there were a few, with every home fan counting down the seconds until the whistle sounded to calm the nerves. The Peacocks had done what they needed to, nothing more, nothing less, and left the field to a rousing reception and in the knowledge that a win and a draw from their final two fixtures will guarantee National League football next season. The next 180 minutes may be the most thrilling in the club’s lifetime! 😬
Taunton: Will Buse, Joe Budd, Jay Foulston, Ben Adelsbury, Nick Grimes (captain), Lloyd James, Toby Holmes (Harry Warwick 86), Joe Guest, Gethyn Hill (Jared Lewington 68), Zac Smith, Ross Staley. Unused subs: Lewis Smith, Ross Stearn, Ioan Richards
Yate: Andrew Hannah, Sam Turl, Will Tunnicliff, Jamie Adams (captain), Liam Angel, Matt Bower, Joe Tumelty (Rudi McKinnon 59), Sam Kamara (James Harding 59), Luke Hopper (Joe Hall 35), Ricardo Rees, Olly Mehew. Unused subs: Andy Lewis, Stuart Fleetwood
Referee: Ross Martin (Weston-super-Mare)
Referee’s Assistant 1: David Lilly (Somerton)
Referee’s Assistant 2: Jack Bromham (Glastonbury)
“We did dominate large parts of the game, I thought they made it really hard for us in the last quarter of an hour….” watch Rob Dray’s Match Reaction on Peacocks TV HERE
Match highlights can be seen on Peacocks TV HERE
Albert Goodman MOM
Nick Grimes receives the Taunton Town Man Of The Match award from Media Team member Jake Crump