TAUNTON Town need to “back up” last week’s statement result against Southern Premier rivals Truro City with another positive home result this Saturday.

So says Taunton head of football Rob Dray, who has seen his team beat Truro 2-0 and Wimborne Town 4-1 (the latter in the FA Trophy) in the last week.

Hendon are the visitors to the Cygnet Health Care Stadium on Saturday (ko 3pm), sitting 21st (second bottom) in the table – with the Peacocks currently in fifth place.

Dray said: “We’ve got to be right on Saturday, as [Hendon] will be difficult and they haven’t had a midweek game.

“We need to turn up, play with that intensity and pass the ball with more positivity – because I don’t think many teams can live with us when we’re like that.

“We’ve got to keep backing it up [after the win over Truro].

"We're a target now, especially here [in Taunton] – you saw here, [Wimborne] had 11 men behind the ball for 60 to 70 minutes, which makes it hard.

"We’ve just got to be patient, because I know that we will create chances and we will score.”

Dray expects to have a full squad on Saturday, having taken Andrew Neal off against Wimborne as a precaution.

"It was a tight hamstring, and we don't want to risk him – he's so crucial for us," said Dray.

"He should be fine for Saturday.

"We also have Luke Manley coming back from his loan [at Willand Rovers], and Noah [Coppin] back involved after playing for Team BTC in the FA Youth Cup."

Looking at the long-term view, the Peacocks boss is happy with how his squad is shaping up, despite the loss of defenders Pierce Mitchell and Ed Palmer in the last month.

Dray said: "I think it's important that we have that adaptability; we want to be able to change shape and personnel.

"Most of our players can fill several positions within the side – that's crucial for us, and we want to keep a nice tight squad.

"We're always looking to evolve the squad a little bit, depending on what becomes available – it's constant and ongoing.

"Rather than a revolution, we try to evolve it, but if there's someone available who we can get in who will fit and make us better, then we're going to look at that... so watch this space."


The opposition

IT'S not been a happy couple of months for Hendon, although they did win their last league match.

The Dons beat Chesham United 3-1 on August 26, and then drew with Yate Town, but their next five league matches all ended in defeat, and they were beaten 5-4 at Hayes & Yeading United in the FA Cup.

They stopped the rot with a 2-0 home win over Walton Casuals on October 22, courtesy of goals from Treymayne Charles and Reece Mitchell... but that was followed by a 4-1 loss at Whitehawk in the FA Trophy last Saturday.

Connor Tighe put Whitehawk 2-0 up, Connor Calcutt pulled one back, but that was followed by what can only be described as a howler in the visitors' defence.

Over to the Hendon match report: "[Goalkeeper] Chris Grace was bundled over outside his penalty area, about eight yards from the corner flag by Ofori-Acheampong and took a quick free-kick to Luke Tingey, who was stood inside the penalty area.

"Tingey, thinking Grace was knocking him the ball to take the dead-ball himself reached down to stop the ball with his hand and as he did so, the referee pointed to the penalty spot."

David Martin scored the penalty, and Lewis Unwin rounded off the scoring.

The Dons will be desperate not to present Taunton with such gifts this Saturday, and they can take encouragement from their last visit to Wordsworth Drive, back in August 2018.

Ricardo German scored a hat-trick for the visitors, who led 3-1, only for Matt Wright (2) and Dan Sullivan to rescue a point for the Peacocks.

German scored 28 goals in 21 games for Hendon last season, before being snapped up by League Two side Crawley Town – who loaned him out to National League South club Hemel Hempstead this summer.