TAUNTON stretched their winning run to six matches yesterday, two early goals putting them on course to a regulation 3-0 victory over Thatcham Town in Berkshire, writes James Wright.
In probably their last game at Waterside Park for a while, Thatcham Town having tendered their resignation from the Calor League), Taunton were quick out of the blocks.
They took a third minute lead when Ben Carter slammed home a loose ball at the far post after a tidy move down the left and, with a far post header, Nat Pepperell almost immediately doubled the advantage.
In the early stages the visitors were in disarray and only a cracking low save by Aaron Bufton denied Rodney Marsh after he had been set up by strike parter Steve Murray.
However Marsh, in for the suspended Chris Young, was not to be denied in the 18th minute. After Carter had tigerishly won the ball in midfield, Marsh outpaced the Thatcham back line and clipped the ball past Bufton.
Taunton continued to dominate after the break. Murray came out second best in a one-on-one with Bufton, then Marsh converted a Pepperell centre only to be flagged offside.
Simon Ingram saw a shot deflected behind twenty minutes from time, and Bufton also saved well from Carter and Owen Irish as Thatcham continued to frustrate the rampant Peacocks.
Taunton keeper Joe Perry was not called into action until the 80th minute when he tipped over a dipping free kick from veteran Thatcham defender Sean Wimble as the home side briefly threatened a response. However, just seven minutes after replacing Marsh, Ross MacNab barged his way through the home defence to slam home the final goal.
Taunton: Joe Perry, Jamie Short, Steve Kingdon (captain), Owen Irish, Ben Mammola, Rob Norrish, Ben Carter, Simon Ingram (Lewis Tasker 77), Steve Murray, Rodney Marsh (Ross MacNab 72), Nat Pepperell (Shane Kingston 77) Thatcham: Aaron Bufton, Jake Johns, Sean Wimble, Carl Evans, Gareth Thomas (captain), Callum Willmoth, Seam O'Reilly, Gio Wrona (Liam Painter 60), Leon Bird (Yashwa Romeo 60), Luke Abrahart (Alex Oakman 76), Aaron Ferris. Unused sub: Rob Why.
Referee: Adam Bayliss (Oxford). Assistants: Mike Wheeler (Oxford), Richard May (St Neots).