TAUNTON Town head of football Rob Dray has described this Saturday’s Somerset derby at Frome Town as ‘must-win’.

The Peacocks were knocked off the top of the table after a 2-2 draw with Hartley Wintney last weekend.

Ben Adelsbury’s red card in that match means he is suspended for this Saturday’s game at Berkley Road (ko 3pm).

Otherwise Dray should have a full squad to select from, and he told the County Gazette: “We need to win.

“On Saturday, for the first time this season, we had six, seven or eight outfield players who were off it.

“You’ve got to do the basics well; if we do that we’re a match for any team in this league.”

Regarding Frome, who are second from bottom in the division, he added: “A lot of teams in the last three months have raised their game against us, then the game after they go and lose heavily.

“It’s a local derby at their place, and it’s a free hit for them with no pressure.”

Opposition in focus

WHEN you’re desperate for a win, it’s perhaps useful for your next fixture to be against a team who have lost nine of their last 12 games, and each of their last four.

Taunton head to Frome on Saturday to take on a fellow Somerset side who are starting to look cut adrift – nine points off safety – in the battle to avoid the drop.

It’s come to the point that, following a 1-0 loss at bottom side Staines Town on Saturday (the Swans’ first win since November 10, and following a sequence of 19 straight defeats), Frome circulated a press release confirming that manager Danny Greaves retains the support of the board.

In truth, the Robins have been in trouble all season, with only nine league wins and 21 defeats – one of those a 3-0 reverse away to Taunton on October 6.

Their defence hasn’t been that bad (58 conceded), but 37 goals scored in 33 league games is a poor return; the last time they found the net was on February 9.

A Western League constant from 1946 to 2009, Frome won promotion to the Southern League and then moved up to the Premier Division just two seasons later (in 2011), remaining at that level ever since.

The Robins gained their two highest positions in their league history in the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons (eighth and 13th), but it looks like a miracle is required if they’re to retain Premier status for next campaign.

They could do without a visit from a frustrated Taunton side eager to end a run of three games without victory.

There shouldn’t be any travel fatigue for the Peacocks either, with just 43 miles between the Viridor Stadium and Frome’s Special Effect Stadium (Berkley Road).

Elsewhere this weekend

WELLINGTON are without a game in the Toolstation Western League Premier Division, but Bishops Lydeard welcome Devizes Town in the First Division.

In the Somerset County League, Watchet Town travel to second-placed Nailsea & Tickenham in the Premier Division.

Minehead are at Bridgwater Town Reserves in Division 1, while Staplegrove travel to Burnham United.