A fifth goal of the season for Dave Sims-Burgess secured the Peacocks a merited point on the South Coast. After having to withstand a strong start from the Rebels in which they grabbed their goal inside the first quarter hour and also missed a penalty, Town eventually got to grips with their opponents and the 3G pitch to get back on terms before the break and despite both sides having good spells in the second half, few opportunities arose to keep the scoreboard unchanged which overall was about right.
With Nick McCootie suspended for one game after amassing five bookings this season, Sims-Burgess stepped into the forward line, the only alteration to the starting line-up from the midweek FA Cup win over Yeovil. A mild autumn afternoon at Woodside Road saw Worthing on the front foot from the start. Ibrahim Akanbi turned to fire a shot wide before having the chance to put his team ahead after just four minutes. Ollie Chamberlain’s challenge on James Beresford inside the box led to a soft penalty award but Jack Bycroft came to Town’s rescue as he blocked Akanbi’s spot kick down the middle and the ball was scrambled clear.
Akanbi recompensed for his penalty miss when he gave the hosts the lead on 11 minutes, getting goalside of Nick Grimes to lob the ball forward and Javaun Splatt flicked a header on for him to latch on to and drill past the exposed Bycroft into the far corner. Chamberlain fired a centre across goal, but Town were finding it difficult to gain a foothold in the opening quarter against a Worthing side confident in possession and happy to play the ball out patiently from the back before trying to outwit with a sudden change of pace or long ball. One such diagonal pass from Joe Rye saw Bycroft advance but fail to clear cleanly, presenting Akanbi with a chance which he rifled wide of the target before Lee Lucas was pushed inside the box at the other end but nothing doing.
Gradually the Peacocks began to settle and after Sims-Burgess had beaten his man on the left to post a shot which was blocked, the Town striker brought the sides level after 39 minutes. Good work from James, who had another fine game, saw him get into the box, Chamberlain took over possession briefly, returning the ball to James whose neat cross was curled to the far post where Sims-Burgess headed home. Nat Jarvis headed wide although the flag was already raised while Chamberlain received Joe Guest’s pass to move inside and test Harrison Male with a shot from just outside the box as the Peacocks ended the half brightly.
The second half saw the visitors maintain their improvement although clear opportunities were hard to come by. Sims-Burgess couldn’t get a shot away after Dan Ball had nodded down a James set piece while another James free kick was fired straight at Male after Lucas had been tripped. Moe Shubbar made ground across the edge of the area before firing well wide in a Worthing attack, but it was Town who were having the better of it. Jay Foulston played a 1-2 with James but dragged his strike off-target and a curling shot from James was easily held by Male who was also kept busy punching clear two deliveries from Foulston as a number of balls into the box couldn’t pick out a Taunton man.
Dylan Morgan replaced Sims-Burgess with around 15 minutes to go as the match began to swing in the Rebels’ favour. Shubbar’s free kick from the right edge of the box was touched over by Bycroft and a run from Kane Wills culminated in Shubbar curling an effort comfortably wide. The Peacocks responded in the final minutes, a dangerous low cross from Chamberlain being cleared for another Foulston corner which caused some issues in the home defence before an offside flag curtailed the threat. Zac Smith then appeared to be tripped inside the area, but referee Farmer wasn’t interested, frustrating given the merits of the Worthing penalty earlier in the game.
The hosts applied late pressure attempting to overturn a run of two defeats on the bounce but without success. Shubbar was prominent, drilling a shot wide before his free kick from the right was pushed away by Bycroft. Another teasing cross from Ollie Pearce just failed to find the head of Callum Kealy and the outstretched leg of Reece Myles-Meekums and when Shubbar planted another strike onto the terraces from 15 yards it was game over, leaving the Peacocks to return home with a satisfactory point against a top six side.
Taunton: Jack Bycroft, Jay Foulston, Nick Grimes (captain), Dan Ball, Ollie Chamberlain, Lloyd James, Nat Jarvis (Ross Stearn 90+3), Joe Guest (Joe Budd 80), Zac Smith, Dave Sims-Burgess (Dylan Morgan 74), Lee Lucas. Unused subs: Ross Staley, Lloyd Irish
Worthing: Harrison Male, Luca Cocoracchio, Kane Wills (captain), Dan Bowry, Ibrahim Akanbi (Callum Kealy 64), Javaun Splatt (Adam Adam 84), Ollie Pearce, Moe Shubbar, Joe Rye, James Beresford, Mo Jammeh (Reece Myles-Meekums 64). Unused subs: Conrad Honore, Sammie McLeod.
Referee: Aaron Farmer (Colchester)
Referee’s Assistant 1: Antony Smith (Christchurch)
Referee’s Assistant 2: Andrew Dunn (Portsmouth)
“After the first 20 minutes we were absolutely superb I thought………….” watch Rob Dray’s Match Reaction on Peacocks TV HERE
Match highlights courtesy of Worthing FC can be seen HERE
Match photos from Club Photographer Debbie Gould can be viewed HERE
Mind In Somerset MOM
Dave Sims-Burgess receives the Taunton Town Man Of The Match award from club captain Lloyd Irish