Bet Victor Southern League Premier Division South

Merthyr Town 4, Taunton Town 1

ELIOT Richards scored a hat-trick as Taunton Town’s five-match unbeaten run was brought to a juddering halt at Merthyr Town on Tuesday night.

Kick-off was delayed in Wales because of floodlight failure but, once the match was underway, it could not have started any better for the Peacocks as they went ahead inside two minutes through Ollie Chamberlain.

Ryan Brett’s header was saved soon afterwards and it was all downhill from there for the visitors, as Richards levelled on 14 minutes.

The same player netted his second just after the half hour, capitalising on Taunton’s failure to clear their lines and curling into the corner from 20 yards.

Captain Matt Wright was sent on for Shane White at half-time as the Peacocks looked to turn the tide, but Merthyr established a two-goal cushion just four minutes after the restart courtesy of Ian Traylor’s volley.

Former Bristol Rovers and Exeter City frontman Richards then completed his treble on the hour, turning home Traylor’s effort to seal the points for the hosts, though Chamberlain reduced the margin of victory with his second of the game on 83 minutes.

Rob Dray’s side will look to bounce back from this disappointing result when they welcome Salisbury to Wordsworth Drive on Saturday.

Taunton Town: Lloyd Irish, Jamie Short, Ross Staley, Ben Adelsbury, Nick Grimes, Shane White (Matt Wright 45), Ollie Chamberlain, Ryan Brett, Dan Sullivan, Harry Kite, Luke Spokes (Dan Demkiv 52). Subs not used: Jamie Price, Callum Watts, Lewis Hall