FA Cup second qualifying round

Taunton Town 4, Bitton 0

TAUNTON Town avoided an FA Cup banana skin by cruising past previously unbeaten Western League Premier outfit Bitton at the Viridor Stadium.

On a filthy day in Taunton more reminiscent of January than September, two goals in each half were enough to see the hosts comfortably through to the third qualifying round.

The game began under persistent drizzle and, as a consequence, both sides initially struggled to string together any meaningful spells of possession.

Bitton saw two players booked inside the first 23 minutes for late lunges across the slippery surface and Taunton steadily began to show their superiority.

Andrew Neal had an effort saved and sent a header over before opening the scoring just after the half-hour, rifling Dan Sullivan’s low cross into the roof of the net.

It was a Sullivan cross which doubled the lead five minutes before the break, as his innocuous left-footed ball in from the right hand side was missed by two Bitton defenders and ended in the bottom corner.

Town took a 2-0 lead into the break and put the outcome beyond doubt five minutes after the restart, Buse slotting home Shane White's cross following a neat move down the right hand side.

Sullivan and Matt Wright fired efforts against the post either side of Nuno Felix's goalline clearance from Ben Bament's close-range effort as both sides created chances early in the second period.

Bitton were determined to show why they came into this match having won every game so far this season, and Josh Egan forced Lloyd Irish into a save to his right before Bament was denied by a crucial last-ditch block by Ben Adelsbury.

The hosts were continuing their search for a fourth at the other end and, after two efforts from substitute Craig Veal missed the target, centre-half Josh Nelmes provided it with a close-range header from a corner.

That was the end of the scoring as Taunton saw out a routine win - the draw for the next round is on Monday.

Taunton Town: Lloyd Irish, Shane White, Nuno Felix, Ben Adelsbury (Brett Trowbridge 75), Josh Nelmes, Matt Buse, Ollie Chamberlain, Ryan Brett, Matt Wright, Dan Sullivan (Craig Veal 72), Andrew Neal

Bitton: Dan Worton, Dan Hynes, Toby Osman, Scott Brice, Steve Jones (Dean Griffiths 59), Kane Ingram, Mario Mateus (Reeko Best 62), Ibrahima Diallo (Jordan Whittaker 75), Ben Bament, Josh Egan, Ben Harris

Attendance: 450