BetVictor Southern League
Premier South
Taunton Town 1, Weston-super-Mare 2

TAUNTON Town suffered a blow in their bid to climb the Premier South table, as they were beaten 2-1 at home by Weston-super-Mare on Boxing Day.

Weston, who were relegated from National League South last season, have made an indifferent start to this campaign, but they have brought in a host of loan signings in a bid to improve their current standing.

One of those signings, Brad Ash, scored the winner at the Cygnet Health Care Stadium on Thursday, as the Peacocks were unable to build on Andrew Neal's equaliser from the penalty spot.

The first half was a goalless affair, with Zac Smith seeing a shot held by Luke Purnell in the Weston goal and Matt Wright having a couple of efforts blocked.

At the other end, former Stevenage and Preston player Scott Laird drove just wide from 30 yards, and his free-kick was headed off target by Chris Knowles.

James Waite and Laird did find the target towards the end of the match, only for Peacocks goalkeeper Lloyd Irish to keep their shots out.

Waite was not to be denied six minutes into the second half, though, as he played a one-two with Ash and then picked out the bottom corner left-footed.

In response, Taunton introduced West Brom loanee Owen Windsor from the bench, and Wright knocked down a Ryan Brett free-kick for Ben Adelsbury, but the defender shot wide.

The hosts were level on 65 minutes, however, as Purnell committed a foul inside his area and Neal stepped up to dispatch the penalty.

Irish prevented Weston regaining the lead five minutes later, with a superb save to tip Laird's free-kick past the post.

He could do nothing about what proved to be the winning goal, though, as Waite ran in behind the home defence and squared the ball for Ash to tap in.

Some late pressure and goalmouth scrambles yielded no reward for the hosts, with Adelsbury's free-kick being claimed by Purnell the closest they came to a second equaliser.

Taunton Town: Lloyd Irish, Shane White, Lewis Hall, Ben Adelsbury, Nick Grimes, Jamie Price (Owen Windsor 59), Ollie Chamberlain (Jamie Short 71), Ryan Brett, Matt Wright (c), Zac Smith (Harry Kite 80), Andrew Neal.
Subs not used: Dan Sullivan, Callum Watts.

The Peacocks will be looking to bounce back on New Year's Day, when they travel to take on near-neighbours and promotion rivals Tiverton Town (3pm).