TAUNTON Town boss Rob Dray is hopeful of having both Lloyd Irish and Shane White in his squad for tomorrow's home match with Gosport Borough (ko 3pm).

The Peacocks have had 10 days off since their last match, due to scheduled opponents Salisbury's FA Trophy involvement, but they still have a four-point lead at the top of the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division South standings.

It's been an opportunity for the team to try out some new ideas – and have a rest.

Head of football Dray told the County Gazette: "We've been working on a better 'Plan B', as we need to have some options in our playing style.

"No wholesale changes, just something that we can switch to in certain games.

"But the most important thing has been rest.

"Even our 'gazelles' – Busey [Matt Buse] and Chambo [Ollie Chamberlain] – have been tired, with a lot of mileage in the legs.

"Playing six games in 19 days takes its toll."

Tomorrow's visitors to the Viridor Stadium, Gosport, are 19th in the table – just one point and two places outside of the dropzone – but there's plenty of Football League experience in player-manager Craig McAllister and his assistant Matt Tubbs.

The Boro have also won at promotion contenders Harrow Borough and Weymouth already this season.

Dray added: "There are games where you might say, 'on paper we should win that', but it's such an unpredictable league.

"There's four points between ninth and 19th, so it's exciting.

"[Gosport] have serious experience and good players."

Goalkeeper Irish has been away on holiday in Australia since Christmas, while versatile defender White sustained a fractured cheekbone at Merthyr Town on New Year's Day.

"Shane has a small fracture, not a break, but it's a six-week recovery period as they were reluctant to operate when it will heal naturally," said Dray.

"We're trying to source a mask for him; he wants to play but we have to be careful with him.

"He'll be back in the squad on Saturday and we'll monitor him.

"Lloyd got back [on Tuesday], so we'll have him in the squad and monitor him for jet-lag."


TOMORROW'S Toolstation Western League matches include Wellington AFC's home match with Roman Glass St George, offering the Tangerines a chance to move further clear of the dropzone, while Bishops Lydeard are away to Warminster Town (both ko 3pm).

In the Uhlsport Somerset County League, Minehead AFC go to Saltford, Staplegrove host Timsbury Athletic and Watchet Town entertain Shirehampton (all ko 2pm).