Pre-season friendly
Taunton Town 1, Bideford 0

SUBSTITUTE Jack Rice struck a late winner as Taunton Town rounded off their pre-season with victory over Bideford on Monday night.

The visitors to the Cygnet Health Care Stadium play in Division 1 South of the Bet Victor Southern League, one level below the Peacocks, and they made a confident start here.

Visiting goalkeeper Joe Moore made a decent block to deny Andrew Neal, while at the other end Ben Carter volleyed wide.

Ollie Chamberlain forced another save from Moore, and Pierce Mitchell fired into the side netting, but generally it was a first half of frustration for the home side against a Bideford team boasting several Peacocks from yesteryear – Toby Down, Craig Duff and Ben Palmer.

Taunton introduced Jamie Short and Josh Grant early in the second half, and Grant hit the bar following a fine move, but the visitors still threatened at the other end.

Grant had two chances in three minutes – one shot cleared off the line and another saved by Moore – but with no breakthrough forthcoming, the Peacocks brought Noah Coppin and summer signing Rice off the bench with 15 minutes left.

Rice soon saw an effort parried by Moore, but he would not be denied in the 89th minute, controlling a cross and lashed it into the top corner to win the game.

Taunton Town: Lloyd Irish, Pierce Mitchell, Lewis Hall, Ben Adelsbury (Josh Grant 56), Ed Palmer, Shane White, Ollie Chamberlain, Naby Diallo, Matt Wright (c) (Jamie Short 46), Dan Sullivan (Noah Coppin 75), Andrew Neal (Jack Rice 75).
Subs not used: Ryan Brett, James Sleeman-Keen.
Attendance: 364

The serious business starts now, as Taunton head to Gosport Borough for their opening Southern League match this Saturday (ko 3pm).