Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division South

Taunton Town 1, Dorchester Town 1

TAUNTON Town were forced to settle for a point against Dorchester Town in a scrappy affair at the Viridor Stadium.

Both the goals came in the first half, Andrew Neal’s 10th-minute opener being cancelled out by Brennan Camp’s equaliser seven minutes before the break, and a winner proved elusive in a second half short of clear-cut chances.

AS IT HAPPENED: Peacocks forced to share spoils

After a quiet opening 10 minutes, Taunton drew first blood from their first real chance as top scorer Neal tucked home a rebound from close range after Matt Wright’s angled shot was spilled by Southampton loanee Kingsley Latham.

Neal and Dan Sullivan were lively figures up front throughout the first half but their scoring touch evaded them after the opener, Sullivan spurning a great chance to make it two when he thundered a shot against Latham from close range.

The youthful visitors were growing into the game and equalised seven minutes before the break. A free-kick wasn’t cleared and defender Brennan Camp capitalised in style, firing an effort into the top corner on the half-turn to leave debutant goalkeeper Chandler Hallett with no chance.

Ollie Chamberlain headed wide and Sullivan missed the target from 20 yards as the Peacocks sought to restore their advantage before the break, but it was the visitors who came closest in what remained of the first half as Callum Rose’s header was cleared off the line by Pierce Mitchell.

The Magpies started the second half on top and missed a super chance to take the lead as a loose touch by Sam Jackson in acres of space allowed Hallett to spring off his line and smother his shot.

The busy Tom Blair fired over after working space in the area but opportunities were at a premium in a second half which saw two players – Ben Seymour and Neal – booked for diving and a Dorchester coach sent to the stands.

Seymour and Kyle Egan fired efforts from range on to the roof of the net as the visitors looked the more likely to find a winner for the majority of the second period, with Mitchell fortunate to avoid a second yellow card late on after hauling down Blair.

Taunton saved their best efforts for the five minutes added on, Neal firing wide and Chamberlain forcing Latham into a fine save, but the Peacocks did not do quite enough to merit the victory on a frustrating afternoon for the hosts.

Weymouth and Salisbury both won, reducing Taunton's lead at the top to four points - Weymouth have two games in hand.

The Peacocks are back in action on Wednesday night in a rearranged home match against Beaconsfield Town (7.45pm).

Taunton Town: Chandler Hallett, Pierce Mitchell, Lewis Hall, Josh Nelmes (Ryan Brett 55), Ed Palmer, Matt Buse, Ollie Chamberlain, Dan Sullivan (Craig Veal 75), Matt Wright (c), Keith Emmerson, Andrew Neal.