Pre-season friendly
Willand Rovers 2, Taunton Town 5

TAUNTON Town beat Willand Rovers 5-2 in their penultimate friendly match, which saw all seven goals scored in the first half.

With the game being played only two days after Tuesday night's Somerset Premier Cup final defeat at Weston-super-Mare, Taunton boss Rob Dray rotated his squad – Naby Diallo, Lewis Hall, Luke Manley, Jack Rice and Jamie Short all coming in.

Willand have earned promotion to the Southern League for the forthcoming season, and they took the lead on three minutes, with former Peacocks striker Craig Veal rounding goalkeeper Lloyd Irish to give his new side the lead.

The visitors were level in the 11th minute, Dan Sullivan equalising, and fellow forward Andrew Neal was unfortunate not to put his side ahead as he was denied by the home keeper.

Willand went back ahead on 28 minutes, Dean Stamp setting up Luke Mortimore to smash the ball home, but it was 2-2 just two minutes after that, Sullivan setting up Neal to finally get his goal.

The Peacocks then ran riot, scoring three times in nine minutes – Neal crossing for Sullivan to head home on 32 minutes, and Sullivan completing his hat-trick in the 37th minute with a fine strike that found the top corner.

And they weren't finished there, Sullivan picking out Neal to make it 5-2 on 41 minutes.

That was the end of the goalscoring, however, as a goalless second half ended with Taunton the winners by a three-goal margin.

Taunton Town: Lloyd Irish, Luke Manley, Lewis Hall, Shane White, Ed Palmer, Jamie Price, Jack Rice, Naby Diallo, Dan Sullivan, Jamie Short, Andrew Neal. Substitutes: Ben Adelsbury, Josh Grant, Noah Coppin, Matt Wright, Ollie Chamberlain.

Taunton head of football Rob Dray said: "They [Neal and Sullivan] were outstanding with their movement, and it's good to have your strikers scoring in pre-season.

"They looked a class above, and Sully looked a lot more like his old self."

He added: "We've had five games in 13 days, and it was a mixed side tonight.

"Jack Rice showed great energy, and he's going to be a good player.

"Luke Manley's just 17, Noah Coppin too – he came on with 25 minutes to go and was unlucky not to score."

The Peacocks play their final pre-season match on Monday (ko 7.45pm), at home to Bideford, and next Saturday (3pm) they travel to Gosport Borough for their opening league match of the 2019/20 season.