GoCrea8 Men’s League
Conference South
Taunton Vale A 3, PGSOB 2

WITH four points from their last two games, Taunton Vale men’s 2nds came into Saturday’s game with mid-table PGSOB full of confidence. 

They were sharp from the very start, winning two short corners in the first 10 minutes, one of them being converted by Mark House, only for the visitors to equalise straight away.

The hosts had plenty of possession and eventually they worked an opportunity for attacking midfielder Adam Veitch, who worked his magic to beat three players and power the ball into the top of the net.

They led 2-1 at half time, and a strong start after the break saw them win another short corner, and again House finished off the Vale set-piece routine.

Vale looked to defend their lead and stood firm, until a misplaced pass from the away side still found one of their strikers and it was 3-2.

That meant a tense last 15 minutes, but man of the match Ivo Maxwell led the resistance with a determined performance and the hosts held on.

Vale now have eight points – seven of those from the last three games – and have given themselves a chance of pulling off a great escape from relegation.

This Saturday brings a very tough game, away to second-placed Firebrands A (2pm start).

Central 1
Taunton Vale B 6, Team Bath Buccs D 1

THE 3rds put in their best all-round display of the season against Team Bath Buccs D, resulting in a 6-1 victory.

The first 10 minutes were evenly poised, but Vale’s high energy pressing game – led by the midfield three of Dave Eaton-Jones, Richard Clements and captain Tom Tridgell – allowed Vale to get on top.

They duly took the lead as Richard Clements guided in a short corner rebound. 

The confidence from the previous week’s 4-3 win at Mid Somerset was flowing through the side, and with Rich Edwards ably marshalling from the back, the hosts were dominant. 

Jonty Lawford, taking over from last week’s hat-trick hero Colin Jewhurst (who was attending the birth of his daughter Emma), converted two opportunities to make it 3-0 at half-time.

Despite a minor ‘tremor’ at the start of the second half (undoubtedly due to the earthquake) as Bath pulled a goal back, Vale retained possession well and pressed to great effect.

Three further goals were scored by Liam Elliott, Steven Rybaruk and – completing a hat-trick of his own – Jonty Lawford to round off an excellent all-round display.

Man of the match: Jonty Lawford

Vale go to mid-table rivals Somerset Gryphons on Saturday (3pm).

South East 1
Isca D 3, Taunton Vale C 2

VALE were slow out of the blocks and conceded two early goals. 

Captain Chris Foster moved himself upfield to add experience to the young frontline, and this brought them back into the game. 

Two short corner goals followed, both from Andy Rogers, but then a very soft third goal gifted Isca the points.

This Saturday, eighth-placed Vale host league leaders Minehead (3pm).

South East 2
Taunton Vale D 4, Chard A 3

THE Vikings produced a scintillating second-half performance that blew away promotion contenders Chard.

The visitors led 1-0 at the break, as Vale’s young goalkeeper Josh Baker again gave a commanding performance.

Early in the second half it was 2-0 from a penalty stroke, but the hosts then then sprang into life as Ed Waterman bamboozled the Chard defence with his skills, rounding the keeper to score.

Two minutes later the home team were level though Jon Pike’s far post finish and Vale pressed home their dominance by scoring two more goals, through James Waterman and another for Pike. 

The visitors rallied and scored with a few minutes to play, but the hosts held on.

Man of the match: Ed Waterman

The Vikings make the very short trip to Taunton CS A this coming Saturday (noon).

TAUNTON Vale’s Over-50s men hosted Lichfield HC on Sunday in the quarter-finals of the England Hockey Plate competition.

Vale were 8-0 winners, with goals from Stuart Morling (2), Malcolm Pressly-Smithy, T. Organ, Jason Hedaux (2) and Barrie Izard (2), to advance to the semi-finals, to be played on March 11.