A DEPLETED Taunton side lost 4-1 at Swindon Supermarine on Wednesday night, writes James Wright.
The work-enforced absences of centre-back Ben Mammola and powerhouse midfielder Rob Norrish were keenly felt as Leigh Robinson's side suffered a harsh but heavy reverse.
When Town visited in the FA Trophy in October they were three down by half-time, but this league game started infinitely better.
They took the lead after just 29 seconds, Chris Young capitalising on hesitancy in the home defence to beat Sam Warrell with a lovely lob.
But by the ten minute mark, the match situation had been reversed. Dan Hilder cushioned a left-foot finish into the unsighted Joe Perry's far corner, then excellent work down the left by Harry Etheridge set up Josh Parsons for the second.
Jamie Price had a header cleared off the line as Taunton battled back. They had other chances to level but, against the run of play, fell further behind in the 27th minute when Hilder wriggled clear of the clutches of Owen Irish and then Jamie Price to slip the ball to Ashley Edenborough for an easy finish.
With Taunton having to commit extra men forward, spaces inevitably opened, and Edenborough profited, muscling his way through the centre to power home his second goal after 38 minutes with the visiting defence appealing for a foul against Steve Kingdon.
Even at 4-1 down, Town continued to enjoy territorial advantage. Ben Carter drove past the far post, then Steve Murray saw an angled shot pushed wide.
A hamstring pull saw Irish withdrawn at half-time, striker Ross MacNab coming on in Nat Pepperell's right wing berth with the latter switching to the left. The attacking move saw Taunton create a host of chances without ever really looking likely to get back into the match.
Just as it had done in October, Supermarine's half-time lead sufficed, elevating them into the play-off places.
Taunton: Joe Perry, Jamie Price (captain), Jamie Short, Owen Irish (Ross MacNab 45), Steve Kingdon, Shane Kingston, Ben Carter, Simon Ingram, Chris Young (Zac Ryder 84), Steve Murray, Nat Pepperell. Unused sub: Lewis Tasker.
Supermarine: Sam Warrell, Harry Etheridge, Mark Flanagan, Jon Steedman, Dave Bampton (captain), Chris Taylor, Dan Hilder, Jake Johns (Craig Curtis 56), Ashley Edenborough (Joe Tustain 73), Josh Parsons, Josh Morse (Jack Hopper 63). Unused subs: Aaron Ferris, Eddie Stevens.
Referee: Kevin Howick (Abingdon).
Assistants: Greg Kornasiewicz (Oxford), Kevin Norris (Oxford).