TAUNTON Town are targeting a second home win on the bounce this Saturday, as they welcome Hayes & Yeading United to the Cygnet Health Care Stadium (ko 3pm).

The Peacocks ended a sequence of four consecutive league draws with a 3-1 victory at home to Farnborough last Saturday, a result which took them up to fifth in the Southern League Premier South standings.

That kept the gap to early pace-setters Tiverton Town down to seven points, and another three-point haul this weekend would take their unbeaten league run to nine matches.

Visitors Hayes & Yeading are newly-promoted to the division this season, and while they are currently down in 15th place, they’re only five points behind the Peacocks with a game in hand.

Concerning his side’s next opponents, Taunton head of football Rob Dray told the County Gazette: “I watched them last week at Dorchester [Hayes won 3-2], and they’re as good as I’ve seen going forward.

“Defensively they’re not as great, but they’re not alone in that in this league.

“They scored five against Hendon in the FA Cup, so it will be another tough one for us.”

Taunton will be boosted by the return of Shane White, the versatile defender-cum-midfielder returning after a three-game suspension.

Centre-back Nick Grimes could also feature following a spell on the sidelines due to injury, but loan signing Zac Smith remains out of action with an ankle problem.

“Zac will be out for another three weeks minimum, but he’s getting good care at [parent club] Bristol City,” said Dray.

The Peacocks will also be hoping for a bumper home crowd, with the fixture taking place on ‘Non League Day 2019’.

Taunton are offering several discounts to mark the occasion:

  • £5 entry before 2pm (standard league admission price for adults is £10)
  • Under-18s free before 2pm (standard price £5)
  • Season ticket holders can ‘bring a mate for half the rate’ until 3pm (one person per season ticket holder can gain entry for half the admission)

The club will be accepting donations for Taunton Foodbank on the day; contributions of tinned ham or corned beef, jam, biscuits, fruit squash, long life juice, 500g rice or small jars of coffee will be gratefully received.

Opposition in focus

TAUNTON Town have never played Hayes & Yeading United but, then again, this Saturday’s visitors to the Cygnet Health Care Stadium were only formed in 2007.

Rivals Hayes FC and Yeading FC merged, and the 2008/09 season saw them earn promotion to the then Blue Square Premier through the Conference South play-offs.

They dropped back down in 2011/12, the first of three relegations in five seasons as they ended up in the Isthmian League.

But last season saw them win the Isthmian South Central Division, to move up to Southern Premier level, under the management of Paul Hughes.

Midfielder Hughes was at Chelsea 1994-2000, but found his opportunities restricted by the likes of Roberto Di Matteo, Ruud Gullit, Glenn Hoddle, Gus Poyet and Dennis Wise!

Hayes come into this fixture 15th in the table, after three wins, two draws and four defeats in the league so far; the draws were away to Tiverton Town and Gosport Borough, and the end of last month saw them win 3-2 at Dorchester Town.

Goalscoring is clearly no problem for them, keeping them out is another matter – as illustrated by their 5-4 FA Cup win over Hendon.

Elsewhere this weekend

Wellington, currently bottom of the Toolstation Western League Premier Division, host Odd Down on Saturday (3pm).

The Tangerines have won just two of their 10 league games so far but may fancy their chances against a side with 10 points from as many matches.

Bishops Lydeard are without a game in the First Division.

In the Somerset County League, Staplegrove host Bridgwater Town Reserves in the Premier & First Division Cup.

In the same competition, Minehead host Ilminster Town while Watchet Town welcome Burnham United.