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FOOTBALL: Taunton extend unbeaten run
9:25pm Sunday 8th December 2013 in Somerset Sport
TAUNTON slipped one place down the Calor League table yesterday despite extending their unbeaten run to seven games with a 1-1 draw at Clevedon, writes James Wright.
Manager Leigh Robinson was forced into just one team change, Shane Kingston being drafted into midfield in place of the unwell Andy Robertson.
Visitors to the Hand Stadium do not know what to expect from their hosts. In the past month the Seasiders have thrashed leaders Cirencester 3-0, but also shipped seven goals to Paulton at their home ground.
Saturday's Clevedon fell somewhere in between these two extremes and perhaps deservedly shared the spoils from a generally drab encounter. The visitors started best with in-form striker Steve Murray making a powerful burst through the home defence to set up Nat Pepperell to shoot just wide.
But thereafter Taunton lost their way and keeper Joe Perry had to be at his most agile to keep out a header from ex-Yate anchorman Edd Vahid and a stinging drive by Joe Teall. It was against the run of play that the Peacocks got their noses in front just before the interval. Murray won a corner, and Pepperell delivered the flag kick on to the head of unmarked captain Jamie Price for the opening goal.
The pivotal point of the match came midway through the first half when for a few glorious seconds Taunton thought they had doubled their advantage. Chris Young played in Price whose drilled low centre was stabbed home by Murray at the far post. But the effort was ruled out for offside and, instead of being two up, Taunton were on level terms barely a minute later when Matt Thorne rammed home a penalty after Ben Mammola had tripped Adi Adams.
The game became more fractious as chilling rain swept in off the Bristol Channel, and Taunton were again indebted to Perry for a fine late save from sub Felix Nuno to preserve their unbeaten run.
Clevedon: Oli Barton, Sam Teale, Conor O'Sullivan (Nuno Felix 63), Ben Murray, Ollie Barnes, Matt Thorne, Adi Adams, Edd Vahid (captain), Clayton Fortune, Joe Teall (Jordan Edwards 81), Reeko Best (Ibz Diallo 63). Unused subs: Callum Vickery, James Dunn.
Taunton: Joe Perry, Jamie Price (captain), Steve Kingdon, Owen Irish, Nathan Rudge, Ben Mammola, Shane Kingston (Simon Ingram 75), Rob Norrish, Chris Young, Steve Murray (Jamie Short 80), Nat Pepperell. Unused subs: Lewis Tasker.
Referee: Mark Russell (Portishead).
Assistants: Ademola Oleaginous (Kingswood), Martin Peters (Knowle).
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