Taunton Town gathered another useful away point with a combative 1-1 draw at mid-table Clevedon and they might even have secured all three after the Seasiders were reduced to ten men in the final stages, writes Andy Power.
In an opening half which was end to end, the Peacocks were on the attack from the off with a storming run from the halfway line by Craig Herrod being halted with a debatable tackle inside the box.
But referee Newell wasn’t interested in the penalty appeals, allowing Clevedon to break straight down the other end from the clearance which ended with Russ Church lobbing over the bar.
Church then broke through the offside trap and ran clear on goal but was denied by Grant Fisher who also saved a header from Dan Williams following Alex Russell’s free kick.
Taunton’s first chance came when Herrod sustained some facial damage after a challenge from Sam Teale and from the resultant free kick, former Peacock Lee Matthews in the Clevedon goal saved Simon Ingram’s effort low down at his near post.
Carl Cliff Brown also shot narrowly past the woodwork and Shane Kingston launched a 25 yard drive which flew just over as Taunton pressed but they had to remain alert to the home threat, Williams being thwarted by a saving tackle from Ben Mammola as he was about to pull the trigger from close range and a header back across goal from the same player drifting wide.
Clevedon were quicker out the blocks after the interval and eventually took the lead on 59 minutes.
After Fisher had tipped Dave Stone’s shot wide and then held Williams’ attempt low down, a Russell free kick from the left eventually fell at the feet of Teale who slotted home. Williams then missed a chance to increase the advantage minutes later when he lobbed wide and Fisher turned aside a shot by the unmarked Church.
Taunton quelled the home attack and fought back with pressure of their own. Rodney Marsh battled to win the ball from Clayton Fortune and fired a long range drive centimetres over the bar while Matthews had to punch clear from the marauding Cliff Brown.
A foul on Kingston by Teale then led to the Clevedon goalscorer being dismissed after receiving his second yellow card of the game and within a minute or so the Peacocks drew level.
Aron Robbins handled the ball inside the box and Marsh struck the penalty firmly past Matthews’ dive into his left-hand corner with six minutes remaining.
As Clevedon tired being a man down in the boggy conditions, Town had opportunities to grab victory.
A pass from Kingston, who had another fine game in midfield, found substitute Raith Plant but he skewed his shot wide from an angle and Ingram directed a header straight at Matthews from Plant’s cross.
A long ball from Marsh then picked out Cliff Brown who slipped as he knocked the ball past the onrushing Matthews but the goalkeeper managed to get back to touch the ball around the post before it trickled over the line.
Taunton: Grant Fisher, Jamie Short, Alex Jeannin (Raith Plant 78), Owen Irish, Ben Mammola, Shane Kingston, Jamie Beasley (Andy Robertson 66), Simon Ingram (captain),Carl Cliff Brown, Rodney Marsh, Craig Herrod. Unused sub: Tom Hopkins Clevedon: Lee Matthews, Dave Stone, Aron Robbins, Rory Prendergast, Steve Kingdon, Sam Teale, Alex Russell (captain), Adi Adams, Clayton Fortune, Russ Church, Dan Williams (Reeko Best 85). Unused subs: Joe Swift, Liam Lester, Micky Bell Referee: Andrew Newell (Yate).
Assistants: Simon Shaw (Bristol), John Bishop (Bradford-on-Avon).