TAUNTON Town suffered the first relegation in the club's history this season as they finished 22nd in the National League South.

The Peacocks ended the campaign on 46 points after winning ten and drawing 16 of their fixtures in the league.

What are the telling statistics though is the 20 league defeats, 71 goals conceded and just 44 goals scored.

Ultimately, the table doesn't lie and Taunton's relegation is just when you look at the campaign as a whole.

Taunton went a stretch of 19 league games from October to March where they only picked up one win in the league.

For the bulk of those fixtures, the club had a full strength side (besides injuries), the same group of players that were top of the table in September.

Of course, we are all aware of the financial difficulties the club faced towards the end of 2023, with the HMRC winding up petition and the lack of funds to pay players.

This caused the core of the playing group to depart Wordsworth Drive and left Rob Dray with a much younger and inexperienced squad.

The fresh-faced group did give their all in the bid for survival as points were even harder to come by in the new year, and they gave the fans an exciting week when they defeated Worthing and Torquay.

However, ultimately the group wasn't strong enough to secure enough points for safety. And on that topic, the group lacked goals, which didn't help the cause.

Looking at league goals only, the top scorer for the Peacocks this season was Ross Stearn with eight in the campaign.

In second was centre back and captain Nick Grimes on six, followed by Ollie Chamberlain and Dylan Morgan on five, Cam Evans on four and Nat Jarvis with three.

Over the course of the season, Taunton has deployed nine players in the front two positions of their 5-3-2 formation.

Stearn being one who contributed with a decent amount of goals (8), however the other eight strikers (Jarvis, Seb Bolton, Evander Grubb, Nick McCootie, Malachi Linton, Dave Sims-Burgess, Elliot Dugan and Marley Rose) scored just eight goals between them.

The severe lack of goals definitely hurt Taunton in their pursuit of safety, and it can be linked back to the very defensive formation utilised by Dray.

Their 5-3-2 was at times hard for defences to break down, but it was also hard for Taunton to move the ball forward with passes and towards the end of matches when they were chasing the game, it was easily shut down by stubborn defences.

At times it appeared Dray reluctant to change things up, even mid-game when Taunton were a goal behind. 

Ultimately the board have decided to not renew Dray's contract and the Peacocks will now be under new management for the 2024/25 season in the Southern League.

But the question that will remain unanswered is would the Peacocks still be in the National League South if changes were made on and off the pitch earlier in the season.