TAUNTON Town are looking to take the momentum from Wednesday's thrilling victory over Salisbury into the clash with Beaconsfield Town at the Viridor Stadium on Saturday (3pm).

The Peacocks scored twice at the death to earn a 4-3 midweek victory - their seventh win on the bounce - which opened up a five-point lead over Weymouth at the top - though the Terras do have games in hand.

Weymouth are also without a match this weekend, so Taunton could move eight points clear at the summit with a win.

Pierce Mitchell (groin) and Matt Wright (ankle) are both doubtful having come off on Wednesday night, but Ollie Chamberlain returned to action from the bench against Salisbury.

Saturday’s visitors Beaconsfield were promoted as champions from Southern League East last season and visited Taunton for May’s Champion of Champions match, which Taunton won 4-2.

Town boss Rob Dray said: “They’re still a relatively similar side, but I wouldn’t set too much store by that [Champion of Champions match]... it was a dead game at the end of the season.

“It will be difficult against them, as they’ve had good results.

“It’s a tight league and we have a growing reputation around the league, like we did last season, which can make it harder in games.

“Teams are looking at us in the top three and thinking ‘Taunton will be a tough game’.”

Opposition in focus

BEACONSFIELD Town are the latest team aiming to prove that there are ‘no easy games’ for Taunton Town in the Premier Division South, as they visit the Viridor Stadium this Saturday (ko 3pm).

Based in Buckinghamshire, the Rams are a relatively young team, having been established in 1994 as Beaconsfield SYCOB, a merger of Beaconsfield United and Slough Youth Club Old Boys.

After winning a couple of titles in the Spartan League, they won promotion to the Eastern Division of the Southern League in 2004.

They dropped back into the Spartan League in 2007 but rebounded back up straight away, into Division 1 South & West and then the Central Division.

The club changed its name to Beaconsfield Town in 2017 and won promotion to the Premier Division South the following year.

As winners of the East Division, they met West Division table-toppers Taunton in a ‘Champion of Champions’ match at the Viridor Stadium in May – Ryan Brett, Joel Randall, Matt Wright and Dan Sullivan scoring in a 4-2 win for the Peacocks.

The teams had met earlier in the campaign, Taunton progressing to the FA Trophy third qualifying round, on penalties after two 1-1 draws.

This season has seen Gary Meakin’s men make a decent start to their Premier challenge, by winning six, drawing six and losing three in the league.

Their 24 points leaves them on the edge of the play-off spots, so they certainly have plenty to play for as they come to Taunton this weekend.

They have pedigree against the top sides, too, drawing with both Salisbury (at home) and Weymouth (away).

Last month saw them thump struggling Chesham United 7-0, with Tony Mendy claiming the match ball, but they conceded six in a home defeat to Farnborough just two weeks ago.

Their response to that loss has been good, though, holding title contenders Hendon away from home last Tuesday, Jordan Ajanlekoko and Brendan Matthew scoring in a 2-2 draw.

And they have made it through to the first round of the FA Trophy, with a 3-1 win over Southern League Premier Central side Leiston on Saturday – Charlie Losasso, Ajanlekoko and Marvin Morgan on target for the Rams.

Elsewhere this weekend

WELLINGTON return to Toolstation Western League Premier Division action having had last weekend off.

The Tangerines travel to Shepton Mallet in a mid-table encounter.

In the First Division, Bishops Lydeard travel to basement outfit Bristol Telephones looking for a victory to open up a bit of breathing space between themselves and the bottom two.

In the Somerset County League, 10th-placed Staplegrove entertain 10th-placed Somerton Town in Division 1.

On Sunday, Bishops Lydeard Ladies host South West Women's League leaders Keynsham Town Development in a top of the table clash (2pm).

In the Somerset League, Ash Rangers host Burnham United, Lydeard Reserves entertain Pen Mill Reserves and Wellington go to Combe.