TAUNTON Town are hoping for another good home crowd as they continue their promotion push against basement side Bishops Cleeve on Saturday.

A crowd of 423 watched them beat Didcot Town 3-1 last weekend, and Salisbury’s 1-0 loss at home to struggling Barnstaple Town means the Peacocks sit eight points clear at the top of the league, with two games in hand over their nearest rivals.

Manager Leigh Robinson said: “It was a good day for us, with a good win on a heavy pitch – full credit to Kevin [Sturmey] and Simon [Best] for getting the game on.

“And it got even better when we learned afterwards that Salisbury hadn’t won.”

Keith Emmerson made his debut in the match, and Robinson said that he was happy with his squad as it stands.

He explained: “We have players who can play in different positions to cover us across the pitch.

“We work to a budget and we’re pretty much on that.

“My job is to put out the best team within our budget, and we’re doing that, so I’m happy [with the squad].”

Robinson expects to have a full squad on Saturday, aside from new loan signing Joel Randall, who will be in action for Exeter City Under-18s.

He should be available for Tuesday’s match away to Paulton Rovers (ko 7.30pm), but before that the Peacocks welcome Bishops Cleeve to the Viridor Stadium.

Saturday’s game (ko 3pm) pits top against bottom, although the Mitres had beaten Mangotsfield United and Slimbridge before losing to Cirencester Town on Tuesday night.

And, as Barnstaple demonstrated last weekend, Taunton can’t take any game for granted.

Robinson said: “Salisbury were overwhelming favourites against Barnstaple, so it shows what can happen.

“We have to turn up and be focused, and if we are the best team in both boxes, as I always stress to the players, then I am confident of getting the result.”

TAUNTON Town are offering £1 entry to all Emergency Services staff for Saturday’s game.

Coastguard, Fire Brigade, NHS and Police staff will be able to watch the Peacocks take on Bishops Cleeve for the discounted price, upon production of a valid ID card.

Elsewhere this weekend, Wellington travel to Brislington in the Toolstation Western League Premier Division, though Tangerines manager Clive Jones is not overly optimistic the game will go ahead.

Brislington are 13th in the league, two places above Wellington, so the away trip represents a good opportunity for Jones’ side to pick up some points to put even more distance between themselves and the dropzone.

Jones said: “I would be surprised if there was much football on Saturday given the weather.

“But we will prepare for it going ahead.

“It should be a tight game between two even sides.”

Wellington held a training session last night (Wednesday), and it was a big one for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, because it will see the return of Ian Bellinger, the striker having been out since the end of last year.

Jones said: “I will love to have him back, though I don’t know if he could play on Saturday.

“We need him back. That’s nothing against the other players that we have, but he gives us something different.”

In Division One of the Western League, Bishops Lydeard - fresh from a 5-1 win at Bristol Telephones last time out - travel  to basement side Portishead Town – weather permitting.

Manager Brett Andrews said: “Hopefully we have a game, to keep our run going.

“But it’s weather-dependent, with pitches being saturated, so it’s touch and go.”

Portishead did cause a surprise in the reverse fixture, winning 2-0 at Cothelstone Road in December.

“Every opponent can cause you a problem in this league, so we have to deal with that,” said Andrews.

“I’m confident we can do so if we play like we did on Saturday.”

Staplegrove are without a game in the Somerset County League Premier Division.