Pre-season friendly
Clevedon Town 2, Taunton Town 2

TAUNTON Town opened their pre-season campaign with a behind-closed-doors friendly at Clevedon Town on Tuesday night.

The Peacocks needed a 93rd-minute equaliser from new signing Aaron Bentley to avoid defeat, after Finlay Biggs had scored twice for the Western League side.

Bentley was not the only new name in boss Rob Dray’s squad, with Joe Guest, Gethyn Hill, Toby Holmes, Lee Lucas and Jake Wannell all starting, and Jordan Copp and Owen Howe on the bench.

Four triallists - Jamie Bremner, Jay Foulston, Jake Mawford and Aaron Ward-Baptiste - were also involved.

It was two of last season’s players who combined for the opening goal, though, as Dan Sullivan crossed for Luke Spokes to head home after 10 minutes.

Biggs turned the game on its head with goals just before half-time and on the hour mark, but the Peacocks rescued themselves in stoppage time as Bentley headed in from Copp’s corner.

Taunton Town: Lloyd Irish (c), Jake Mawford (Jamie Short 46), Jay Foulston, Ben Adelsbury (Aaron Bentley 46), Jake Wannell (Jordan Copp 67), Joe Guest, Lee Lucas (Callum Watts 71), Toby Holmes (Aaron Ward-Baptiste 62), Gethyn Hill (Owen Howe 62), Dan Sullivan (Ollie Chamberlain 46), Luke Spokes (Ross Staley 46). Sub not used: Jamie Bremner.

Taunton head of football Rob Dray told the County Gazette: "We can't take much from the result - we've had five months off and only had four starters from last year - but Clevedon deserve credit, and they had some good young players.

"There were loads of positives for us, and we looked very good for the first 35 minutes especially.

"Sully [Dan Sullivan], Luke Spokes and Lee Lucas did well in a midfield three in front of Joe Guest, and I thought Jake Wannell was outstanding at the back with Ben Adelsbury.

"It was good to look at the new lads - they're what we thought they were when we signed them.

"The match was well worth it, and is a good building block for us."

The Peacocks visit Bitton on Friday, and Dray added: "Bitton will be another tough game, which is good for us.

"We're still working towards a September 19 start [to the 2020/21 Southern League season], but I think it will be impossible to play without anyone coming through the gates - we'll see."