Taunton drew 0-0 with Tiverton in their first match in over a fortnight today.
The hard work of the groundstaff in getting the Evo-Stik league game on when most locally were still postponed was rewarded by an intriguing if unspecular contest in front of a season's best attendance of 390.
The opening half-hour was largely devoid of goalmouth incident. Nat Pepperell, on his debut for Taunton having rejoined from Weston-super-Mare, came closest, forcing Chris Wright to race off his line and save.
The home side had a fabulous chance to open the scoring as the first period approached its conclusion. Simon Ingram released Carl Cliff Brown and, as the Tiverton defence hesitated anticipating an off-side flag that never came, the burly striker slammed a fierce angled shot that Wright did brilliantly to deflect on to the cross-bar.
Ingram, Owen Irish, Craig Herrod and Pepperell all had further chances as Taunton finished the first half in complete control.
The visitors looked a lot brighter after the break. Josh Searle and Owen Howe, a half-time replacement for striker Dave Pearse, both went close. At the other end Andy Robertson pushed a shot over the bar at the end of a tidy Taunton move.
The closest Tivvy came to scoring was when left-back Lewis Tasker curled a free-kick into the side-netting after 70 minutes. Howe did force the ball over the line shortly afterwards, but was penalised for a foul on home keeper Conor Thompson.
The match petered out into a stalemate – Taunton's first point and clean sheet at Wordsworth Drive against their old rivals since October 1998 when Antony Lynch gave the Peacocks a 1-0 win in front of a 1,065 crowd. Those were the days!
Taunton: Conor Thompson, Ben Mammola, Alex Jeannin, Owen Irish, Ben Gerring, Rob Norrish, Nat Pepperell (Jamie Short 70), Simon Ingram (captain) (Rodney Marsh 77), Carl Cliff Brown, Andy Robertson, Craig Herrod (Khaled Badavi 85). Unused subs: John Harris, James Blake Tiverton: Chris Wright, Josh Concanen, Lewis Tasker, Kevin Hill, Alex Faux, Tom Gardner (captain), David Steele, Russell Jee, Dave Pearse (Owen Howe 45), Joe Bushin (Jules Emati-Emati 84), Josh Searle (Harry Nodwell 53). Unused sub: Mark Saunders Referee: Anthony Cloak (Barnstaple) Assistants: Andrew Rodda (Exeter), Richard Lawrence (Axminster) Match & Matchball Sponsor: Sun Scaffolding Attendance: 390