TAUNTON boss Rob Dray hailed the impact of his wing-backs, as Jamie Short ended the day with two assists and the returning Shane White picked up the man of the match award from Saturday's 2-1 home win over Hayes & Yeading United.

A goal in each half from Ollie Chamberlain and Andrew Neal gave the Peacocks a 2-0 lead, and although Hassan Jalloh's penalty made it a nervy finish, the home side held on for the three points that keep them fifth in the Premier South table.

Head of football Dray said afterwards: "Shane was outstanding today and Jamie had two assists.

"In the opposition half I thought Jamie was very, very good. Defensively, I was left questioning him a couple of times, but that's what he gives you.

"He's not a natural defender, and there's a couple of little things we've got to get into him, but he always gives 100 per cent, he's brave and his attitude is always nailed-on."

Short has made the right wing-back slot his own this season, which has led to Pierce Mitchell leaving the club after three years, in search of more regular football.

On Mitchell, Dray said: "He's just been unfortunate in that he's missed some key games through work and holidays at the start of the season.

"He picked up an injury, too, and Shorty's come in and set it alight – that's how it works with me, if you play well you keep the shirt.

"Pierce is a great lad off the pitch, a fantastic lad with a great sense of humour.

"He's very well though of, we wish him the best and hopefully we'll see him back here one day – just not for anyone else!"

As for the opposition, Dray said that Hayes & Yeading's recent player recruitment means that they are now a much better side than their 15th place in the table would suggest.

"They were nothing like it [15th], miles away," he said.

"They looked like a top four or five side to me, certainly with the calibre of player they've brought in recently.

"It was a bit nervy towards the end for us, but we had to dig in today.

"We had chances to go 3-0 and 4-0 up, didn't take them, but two goals at home should be enough – and it was.

"Fair play to the boys for digging in with 15 minutes to go, a lot of teams would have buckled against a side like that [Hayes & Yeading], and I think some will, with the attacking set-up that they have.

"It was a good win, and an important win."

The Peacocks are now nine games without defeat in the league, but Dray still believes they can improve.

He added: "Defensively I thought we were good, there were some great performances today, but I still think we can do better.

"Our decision-making at times has to be better, and our game management – when we are under pressure, we have to be not so 'football illiterate' at times, because at times we were today, but we got the win and that's all that mattered.

Taunton's next fixture is away to familiar rivals Salisbury, this Tuesday (ko 7.45pm).

Dray said that centre-back Ben Adelsbury was "touch and go" for Tuesday, after being taken off at half-time on Saturday due to a hamstring spasm.

Nick Grimes, himself returning from injury, took Adelsbury's place and the 21-year-old could be set to start at Salisbury.