Bet Victor Southern League Premier Division South

Poole Town 0, Taunton Town 1

ANDREW Neal's second half strike secured a hard-fought three points for Taunton Town at Poole on Saturday afternoon.

In a tight contest between two promotion-chasing teams, Neal bundled home from a corner on 74 minutes to ensure the Peacocks gained a measure of revenge against the side who had beaten them in last season's play-off semi-final.

The visitors were boosted by the return from injury of Bristol City loanee Zac Smith and spurned a fine chance to go ahead in the 21st minute when Matt Wright fired wide from Shane White's cross following a neat move.

Neal was then denied by Poole goalkeeper Luke Cairney having been played in on goal before the hosts came close twice in quick succession, Carmichael firing over and Brooks denied by Lloyd Irish.

Those opportunities came either side of Ben Adelsbury heading over for Taunton in a first half which ended goalless.

The second period began with Poole on top but Brooks sent a presentable opportunity wide on 47 minutes to hand Taunton a let-off.

Nick Grimes was then inches away from breaking the deadlock, heading just wide from a corner on the hour, but the Peacocks did not have to wait too much longer for the breakthrough.

It came from another corner, with Ryan Brett's delivery causing problems in the home defence - poacher Neal was on hand to turn the ball home.

Irish was called into action to deny Dennett and Carmichael as Taunton were forced to withstand late pressure, which only increased during seven minutes of added time.

The visitors - who handed debuts off the bench to new strikers Jake Johnson and Owen Windsor - defended stoutly to hold on to their lead, wrapping up a win which keeps them in fifth ahead of next Saturday's visit of Beaconsfield Town.

Taunton Town: Lloyd Irish, Shane White, Lewis Hall, Ben Adelsbury, Nick Grimes, Jamie Price, Harry Kite (Jamie Short 64), Ryan Brett, Matt Wright (Jake Jackson 70), Zac Smith (Owen Windsor 88), Andrew Neal