TAUNTON Town boss Rob Dray was delighted by the way his side overcame pre-match difficulties to return to winning ways at home to Blackfield & Langley on Saturday.

Dray admitted he and his coaching staff "had five starting line-ups written down" as various factors came into play, be it players stuck in motorway traffic, injuries in the warm-up or an admin mix-up which prevented Exeter City loanee Harry Kite turning out for the Peacocks.

They responded in style, winning 4-1 to move into the play-off places following their first league match since October.

"We had quite a few things chucked at us before we'd kicked a ball today," Dray said.

"We had different personnel. We had about five sides written down and it changed dramatically.

"I like that flexibility and adaptability within the squad, playing different shapes.

"Jack Rice wasn't expecting to start today but he grabbed his chance, I thought he was outstanding for an hour.

"It was tough for 20 minutes until we got the third but I think overall we thoroughly deserved it."

Town were two goals up inside 10 minutes through Andrew Neal's lob and Ryan Brett's low finish but Charlie Gunson's super strike early in the second half put the visitors right back in it.

Gunson later hit the bar as the Peacocks survived some nervy moments before Matt Wright's scrappy finish and Jamie Short's deflected shot gave the scoreline a slightly flattering feel.

"It probably looks more comfortable than it was," Dray admitted.

"At 2-0 we had a great chance where Jamie [Short] should have made it three.

"We have to be better at killing teams off and I think we were better at that last year, but teams are different - perhaps a little bit better - this year and they know about us."

Taunton's strong finish to the game was particularly impressive given their FA Trophy exploits earlier in the week.

Town were knocked out by Aveley on Monday night after a long trip to Essex which could have taken its toll, but the Peacocks players responded well.

"Monday was very difficult and, physically, I don't think people realise how difficult it is for these lads to have a quick turnaround," Dray said.

"Ben Adelsbury, for example, got home at 5.30am on Tuesday and then he had to go to work. You wouldn't have to do that in any other industry.

"People don't realise the sacrifices these lads make to be at this level of football."

Some of Town's senior players may be given a rest on Wednesday night, when Taunton welcome Truro City in the Southern League Cup.

Dray is expected to hand opportunities to several of the talented young players signed on for the club as part of the partnership with Bridgwater & Taunton College.

Two of those, Noah Coppin and Callum Watts, came off the bench in the closing stages of Saturday's win and showed some neat touches.