Pre-season friendly
Taunton Town 0, Bristol City XI 1

A FIRST-HALF penalty from Diego de Girolamo was enough to separate the sides at the Viridor Stadium on Friday evening, as Taunton Town suffered their fourth pre-season defeat against a young Bristol City XI.

The hosts were improved from their midweek loss to Bridgwater Town, however, with the second half full of positives for Leigh Robinson's side ahead of their return to competitive action next Saturday (August 12).

There was a suspiciously first-choice look to the side, with Owen Irish shaking off recent injury concerns to start, and Ross Staley providing the link between the midfield and strikers Matt Wright and Lewis Powell.

The Peacocks made a positive start, winning a couple of early corners, but clear chances were hard to come by, Staley shooting straight at goalkeeper O'Leary, and Arran Pugh and Ben Adelsbury had to be alert to deny the visitors at the other end.

Pugh, however, was the guilty man just before the half hour, as he tripped City striker De Girolamo in the box, and he picked himself up to convert the spot-kick.

The visitors remained on top through to half time, but it was still 1-0 at the break, with the attendance confirmed as 436.

The second half nearly started with a bang for the Peacocks, as Ryan Brett diverted Shane White's shot into the net, but he was flagged offside.

Les Afful and Joe Charles came off the bench to add some more attacking endeavour for the hosts, but despite some fine passing and sustained pressure leading to a number of set-pieces, Charles' shot over the bar was the best chance for an equaliser.

The Peacocks will hope to take this encouraging performance into their final friendly match, away to Bovey Tracey (August 8, ko 7.45pm), and their opening league match of the new season at Cirencester (August 12, ko 3pm).

Taunton Town: Lloyd Irish, Pierce Mitchell (Joe Charles 71), Ryan Brett, Owen Irish, Arran Pugh, Ben Adelsbury, Brett Trowbridge, Shane White, Matt Wright (c), Lewis Powell (Craig Duff 77), Ross Staley (Les Afful 63).