GoCrea8 Men’s League Premiership
Taunton Vale 2, Westbury & UB 3 

LAST Saturday brought a crucial home match for Vale men’s 1st XI, against fellow strugglers Westbury.

A large home support cheered on the Vale team, and the spectators enjoyed an end-to-end battle.

A flurry of penalty corners were defended well by Vale, and they then counter-attacked, with a sharp deflection by midfielder Olly Rowe at the back post giving the hosts the lead.

Another well-worked move saw Liam Pigden make it 2-0 with his third in three games, and Vale were cruising at half time.

They knew Westbury would come at them hard in the second half, and the visitors pulled one back within a couple of minutes of the restart.

And they completed their comeback by equalising and then taking the lead with about 15 minutes left. 

Vale thought they’d equalised with Karl Trunks’ flick from a penalty corner, but the umpires ruled it out.

In a last-ditch effort to grab a point, the hosts took their keeper off and played with 11 outfielders for the last five minutes, but could not convert any of their chances.

They face an uphill battle to stave off relegation, although the bottom of the table is tightly congested.

The weekend’s defeat makes this coming Saturday’s match at second-bottom Whitchurch (2pm start) look like one they must win at all costs.

Conference South
Yeovil and Sherborne 6, Taunton Vale A 0

BASEMENT side Taunton Vale 2nds remain stuck on one point for the season after a heavy loss at mid-table Yeovil. 

The visitors started the match well, but the home side broke the deadlock from a short corner and quickly doubled their lead. 

Vale upped their game and piled on the pressure, but two counter-attacks from the opposition caught them cold, and the score was 4-0 at half time.

For all the away side’s efforts, they could not find a goal, instead conceding another couple before the end.

Next up, Vale host third-bottom North Devon on Saturday (1.30pm).

Central 1
Clifton Robinsons B 4, Taunton Vale B 0

THE men’s 3rds travelled to unbeaten league leaders Robinsons with a depleted side, but despite this they put in a spirited performance. 

The first half started with what was to become a familiar pattern of Vale defending manfully, with goalkeeper Martin Lawrence producing outstanding stops, and Mark Lecompte and George Hebditch making vital interceptions. 

Despite their heroics, the hosts took the lead after Vale lost possession. 
Colin Jewhurst forced the keeper into a fine save from a one-on-one, but it was 2-0 at half time.

After the interval, Vale continued to defend superbly, with youngster Tom Howard impressing, but their small squad began to take its toll, as they tired and conceded two more goals.

Man of the match: Martin Lawrence

This Saturday, Vale entertain Firebrands B (3pm), both teams on 13 points.

South East 1
Taunton Vale C 2, University of Exeter F 3

THIS week’s opposition for Vale C were University of Exeter F, who had won the reverse fixture 8-0 in October. 

As expected, the opening exchanges were predominantly the visitors attacking and Vale resolutely defending. 

The regular giving away of possession ultimately resulted in them conceding two goals in the first half. 

The hosts came out fighting and pulled one back courtesy of a fantastic finish from Jon Pike. 

Vale then equalised when a short corner was well converted by Andy Rogers. 

The university side piled on the pressure and eventually broke through with around 10 minutes to go to win it.

They are at home to the league’s bottom side Ashmoor B on Saturday (1pm).

South East 2
Taunton Vale D 1, East Devon C 3

THE Vikings produced a display that belied their league position and more than matched their second-placed opponents in a flowing, end-to-end match. 

Despite being 2-0 down at the break, Vale were never out of it, and early in the second half debutant Ben McElroy scored with an opportunistic effort. 

Young keeper Josh Baker produced several top-class saves, while there was another phenomenal performance from fellow youngster Ed Howard.

Men of the match: Josh Baker and Ed Howard

On Saturday the Vikings travel to take on Yeovil & Sherborne B (2.30pm).

TAUNTON Vale ladies 1st XI claimed a 1-0 victory away to Premier Division 1 basement club Teign on Saturday.

The result sees Vale sit seventh out of 12 teams in the standings, and this Saturday they host third-placed Cheltenham (11.30am start).

Vale 2nds were beaten 4-1 at home to Caradon, which leaves them seventh in the South Division.

On Saturday they go to Bude, who are one place and below them (2.30pm).

The 3rd XI’s difficult season in the Central Division continues, as they lost 7-0 away to table-toppers Clifton Robinsons 3rds.

Vale, second bottom in the standings, entertain basement side Bristol University 3rds on Saturday (4.30pm).

The 4ths lost 6-2 at Yeovil & Sherborne 2nds in Sedgemoor 1, and this Saturday they’re at home to Winscombe 2nds (10am).

Vale 5ths beat Taunton Civil Service 2nds 3-1 in Sedgemoor 2; they’re without a game this weekend.