TAUNTON Town beat Clevedon Town to 4-1 to reach the first qualifying round of the FA Cup and in the process earned a cheque for the best part of £2,000, writes Kerry Miller.
The Peacocks were as good as Clevedon were inept and thoroughly deserved their trip to Paulton Rovers in two weeks’ time as their incisive forward play was too much for the visitors who looked to be going through the motions once two defensive mistakes had allowed Town to go 2-0 up midway through the first half.
Despite losing Rodney Marsh to injury in the pre-match warm up, Taunton hit the ground running and wide man Ben Carter and strikers Steve Murray and Joe Bushin were too much for the Clevedon defence to handle. Carter and Bushin had both gone close before Carter’s curling cross found Bushin on the far post and he nodded home the opener with 13 minutes on the clock.
Clevedon responded when Kyle Thomas all but finished off a good move but screwed his shot wide and in truth that was as good as it got for them as after Carter had put Murray in with a precision pass which brought a save from hard working keeper Kane Mannings, a dreadful mix up in the defence presented the ball to Murray and he found room to fire home with ease past the stranded Mannings.
By the half hour mark Clevedon had little shape and were ripe for the taking, Carter enjoying himself as he again fed Murray who hit a dipper just over from 25 yards which had the 231 strong crowd purring.
Within three minutes of the restart it really was all over as Jamie Price was given acres of space to throw over a pinpoint cross and Bushin’s finish was an exact replica of his first. On the hour Clevedon should have reduced the arrears as the home defence got into a tangle at a rare corner but Omarii Sims, who had a brief spell at the Drive, could not finish from four yards.
Town were enjoying themselves and Murray’s deflected shot came back off the post with Mannings beaten and after boss Leigh Robinson introduced Simon Ingram and Lewis Tasker, Jamie Short’s free-kick found Price whose header found the top of the net rather than the back of it. They were not to be denied a fourth as Murray again was given room and his cross was too much for midfielder Luke Hall-Cousins who slid it into his own net with ten minutes left.
Five minutes from time Kyle Thomas’s fine 25 yard drive gave Clevedon a shred of consolation but Town’s undefeated run now reaches 16 and a juicy derby at Winterfield Road awaits on September 13.
Taunton: Joe Perry, Jamie Price, Steve Kingdon (captain), Owen Irish, Ben Mammola (Simon Ingram 73), Rob Norrish, Jamie Short, Brett Trowbridge (Lewis Tasker 73), Steve Murray, Joe Bushin (Shane Kingston 86), Ben Carter. Unused subs: Aidan Chainey, Nat Pepperell.
Clevedon: Kane Mannings, Joe Swift (Kye Thomas 49), Callum Brown, Charlie Hitchings (Troy Budd 60), Ben Murray (Kaine Gazzard 80), Kye Mountford (captain), Kyle Thomas, Luke Hall-Cousins, Omarii Sims, Jamie Adams, Aron Robbins. Unused sub: Louis Keane.
Referee: Simon Shaw (Bristol).
Assistants: Jack Seymour (Bristol), Jack Bonnick (Bristol).
Match Sponsor: Taunton Town FC Supporters’ Club.
Matchball Sponsor: M A Collard Family Butcher.