A fantastic strike from Dylan Morgan proved in vain as the Peacocks departed the Premier Cup for 2022-23. Both sides fielded strong line-ups for their third meeting of the season after the visitors had dismissed their higher-ranked opponents from the FA Cup earlier in the campaign but there was to be no repeat as the Glovers proved the better side on the night to win through.
Jake Wannell made his first start in over eight weeks after recovering from an ankle injury and Lloyd Irish made only his second appearance of the season while Lee Lucas, Nat Jarvis and Jay Foulston were all rested for the Peacocks who made a bright start when Ross Stearn was brought down but fired the resultant free kick onto the empty terraces. The hosts soon began to assert themselves, their first opportunity coming when Lawson D’Ath’s cross from out wide on the right found Louis Britton who sent his header over the top. After a stop for treatment for Peacocks’ skipper Nick Grimes, the Glovers again threatened when Wannell blocked Ewan Clark’s strike with an upward header, the ball falling for Britton to turn and squeeze in a shot which Irish managed to gather at the second attempt.
The match was again halted to allow further game time for physio Anthony Cornish, this time needing to treat Irish who was the victim of a challenge from Malachi Linton. When play resumed the home side continued to press forward with a helping hand from Town, Nick McCootie’s wayward pass being collected by Charlie Wakefield who advanced to drill a 30 yard shot off the crossbar. The pressure paid off on 29 minutes when Yeovil took the lead. A Clark corner from the right was headed back across by Max Hunt for Britton who fired home the rebound after his initial volley had been blocked.
Hunt’s looping header proved a routine catch for Irish before a lengthy bout of stoppage time saw both keepers in action. Last season’s title-winning custodian for the Peacocks Will Buse made his only real save of the half, Stearn warming his gloves with a strike from distance which he eventually gathered before Irish dived to claw away Clarks’ curling shot after Worthington’s short free kick to him.
A double switch at the break saw Joe Guest and Zac Smith replace Grimes and Ollie Chamberlain as Town looked to restore parity. Yeovil were first to show, Britton heading wide from Andrew Oluwabori’s cross before Buse safely clutched a 20 yard effort from Morgan. The Glovers’ keeper had no chance though on 50 minutes with the Peacocks’ equaliser, acting centre half Lloyd James finding Morgan just outside the box and he took a touch before arrowing a superb strike into the far corner.
Yeovil responded by going back on the offensive, Oluwabori shooting just wide and James making an excellent block to deny Wakefield after the Glovers’ man had menaced down the right. As the game opened up, Morgan was unable to replicate his earlier effort as he fired over the top while Oluwabori darted across the edge of the box and rifle a shot wide before the hosts notched what proved to be the clincher on 64 minutes. Oluwabori’s cross deflected to Worthington on the edge of the box and his finish into the corner evaded the dive of Irish.
The Peacocks had a chance to hit back three minutes later when Stearn put Dave Sims-Burgess through, however Buse stood firm to block the shot and then moments later Stearn again played in McCootie who won a corner. Opportunities continued at either end with far more entertainment value for the 400 plus crowd than Town’s weekend encounter with Braintree. Oluwabori demonstrated some skilful improvisation to deliver a cross which Britton just failed to connect with and Hunt put a free header wide of the target from Clarks’ cross while Sims-Burgess couldn’t convert a byeline centre from Ross Staley who had done well beating his man on the left.
Morgan limped off to be replaced by Dan Ball for the final ten minutes or so which saw Stearn have a strike blocked to be followed by yet more treatment, with the final effort coming from Yeovil’s Linton who latched onto a poor pass to break down the left and test Irish with a powerful strike.
The Peacocks interest in the county cup is over then for another season but there were some decent individual performances on show at a chilly Huish Park. Of more concern though will be the knocks picked up by some of the squad with a gruelling month ahead.
Taunton: Lloyd Irish Joe Budd, Nick Grimes (captain) (Joe Guest 45), Jake Wannell, Ollie Chamberlain (Zac Smith 45), Lloyd James, Nick McCootie, Ross Stearn, Ross Staley, Dave Sims-Burgess, Dylan Morgan (Dan Ball 77)
Yeovil: Will Buse, Jamie Reckord (captain) (Jamie Andrews 66), Max Hunt, Matt Worthington, Lawson D’Ath, Malachi Linton, Charlie Wakefield, Ewan Clark, Owen Bevan (Ollie Haste 66), Andrew Oluwabori, Louis Britton (Ogwani Mwaruwari 71)
Referee: Stacey Pearson (Bristol)
Referee’s Assistant 1: Jordan Lee (Taunton)
Referee’s Assistant 2: James Knowles (Ilchester)
” I thought we had some really good performances tonight to be fair, I thought we passed the ball and kept it really well……” watch Rob Dray’s Match Reaction on Peacocks TV HERE
Match highlights can be seen on Peacocks TV HERE
Mind In Somerset MOM
Lloyd Irish receives the Taunton Town Man Of The Match award from Club Physio Anthony Cornish