FOOTBALL: Taunton reach semi-finals of the Somerset Premier Cup

This is The West Country: FOOTBALL: Taunton reach semi-finals of the Somerset Premier Cup FOOTBALL: Taunton reach semi-finals of the Somerset Premier Cup

Taunton beat Frome Town 5-2 in the quarter finals of the Somerset Premier Cup at Wordsworth Drive last night, writes James Wright.

Frome - who play a level above Taunton in the Southern league, premier division - had already experienced a taste of the Peacocks’ ability when they were dumped out of the FA Trophy in the autumn.

And they got another reminder yesterday when the Peacocks turned in perhaps their best performance of the season to progress to the last four in impressive style.

In a lively opening Ricky Hulbert had a header saved and Luke Ballinger fired over for Frome while Clay Bond saw a shot charged down at the other end.

Jordan Copp rattled the woodwork with a raking shot as Frome enjoyed slight territorial advantage.

The game exploded into life with a flurry of goals in the closing ten minutes of the first half.

Following the award of a free kick for handball right on the edge of the Frome box, Taunton captain Simon Ingram left Darren Chitty rooted to the spot with a delightful curling effort.

The visitors equalised with a free kick of their own, Ballinger plopping the ball on to the forehead of centre-back Josh Ford who had a spell at Taunton earlier in the season.

The Peacocks were soon back in front though, Jamie Short and Raith Plant combining to punish hesitancy in the Frome defence, the latter netting with a low shot.

Then 20 minutes into the second half Carl Cliff Brown set up Rodney Marsh. He brought the ball down well and beat Chitty at his near post with a neat shot.

And, with Frome pushing up in search of a route back into the tie, Marsh got behind their defence to slide home a fourth.

Copp briefly blasted the visitors back into contention with a stunning strike, but Marsh immediately slammed the door shut again, completing a seven minute hat trick with a fine angled drive.

The draw for the semi-finals was made after the match and paired Town with Bridgwater Town.

Leigh Robinson's team will make the short trip to Fairfax Park on Tuesday, April 9, meaning they will play the Robins in three consecutive weeks.

Taunton: Christian Watts, Jamie Short, Alex Jeannin, Owen Irish, John Harris, Shane Kingston, Clay Bond (George Rogers 20), Simon Ingram (captain), Carl Cliff Brown, Rodney Marsh (Toby Nicholson 89), Raith Plant (Tom Hopkins 81). Unused subs: Sam Towler, Ryan Andrews.

Frome: Darren Chitty, Josh Brigham (Matt Smith 59), Michael Reaney, Dave Thompson (Dean Flockton 74), Josh Ford, Rob Hobbs (Dave Gilroy 69), Luke Ballinger, Dean Evans (captain), Ricky Hulbert, Mike Perrott, Jordan Copp. Unused subs: Tom Evans, Lloyd Chamberlain.

Referee: Adam Penwell (Weston-super-Mare).

Assistants: Philip Milton (Watchet), Brian Lee (Taunton).

Match Sponsor: Les Marsh Carpets.

Matchball Sponsor: Somerset County Sports.

Attendance: 101.

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