GoCrea8 Premiership
Whitchurch 4, Taunton Vale 1

VALE travelled to Whitchurch for a relegation six-pointer with a depleted squad and only one substitute.

Nevertheless, they were travelling off the back of three strong performances following the Christmas break and believed they could get something out of the game.

The majority of the first half was a cagey affair with few notable chances, but a lapse in concentration led to Whitchurch opening the scoring.

Vale were well in the game at half time and the first goal of the second half was clearly going to be crucial.

Regrettably, this went to Whitchurch after a powerful flick found its way into the goal.

With the onus on Vale to attack, the game opened up and Whitchurch added a third and fourth goal.

Vale continued to chase the game and got some reward with a Martin Johnson drag flick into the bottom corner, but the team now face an uphill battle to retain their Premiership status.

Man of the match: Ed Whittle

Conference South
Taunton Vale A 6, North Devon 1

VALE 2nds’ home game against North Devon was a game Vale knew they could win, particularly with a 16-man squad and lots of experience at hand.

After 15 minutes an aerial ball found Greg Durston, who ran in to the ‘D’ before he was fouled by the onrushing keeper, who was sin-binned.

Durston converted the penalty flick with ease and Vale knew they had to push for another goal to take advantage of the visitors not having a keeper, which they did when a breakaway led to a second goal.

Paul Hawkins got two after the break and Durston added to his tally to make it two for the day, albeit a hat-trick was denied by the cross bar.

A bizarre panic in the D near the end of the match saw Harry Stephenson get a rare goal, as he pummelled a shot in from mid-air.

North Devon pinched a consolation late-on, but these were a much needed three points in Vale’s survival quest.

Man of the match: Matt Upham

Central 1
Taunton Vale B 2, Firebrands B 2

THE men’s third XI snatched a late equaliser to share the spoils against their counterparts from Firebrands.

Vale started brightly, moving the ball well and winning a number of penalty corners, which they unable to convert.

Firebrands, meanwhile, looked dangerous on the break and took the lead just before half time.

The second half started badly for Vale when they conceded a second goal through a penalty corner.

The hosts continued to dominate possession but found the Brands keeper in inspired form as they pushed to get back into the game.

Jonty Lawford converted from close range with a quarter of the game to go, and the rest of the half saw Vale pressing for an equaliser.

With minutes to go, a short corner was converted by Rich Edwards to give Vale a point in their battle to avoid relegation.

South East 1
Ashmoor B 2, Taunton Vale C 2

THE early exchanges looked promising for Vale, who were rewarded with a goal through Freddie Wolfenden, but the early success was short lived and Vale allowed Ashmoor back into the game resulting in a 1-1 half time score line.

Vale improved slightly in the second period and went back into the lead from a reverse stick through ball from skipper Chris Foster to Stuart Morling, who finished well at the back post.

Vale could not hold onto the lead, however, and a mix up at the back resulted in an Ashmoor player being allowed to walk into the D and finish well into the top corner.

A disappointing result and performance in a game that Vale should have taken full points from.

South East 2
Yeovil & Sherborne B 3, Taunton Vale D 4

THE 5s earned a well-deserved win in a rollercoaster match against Yeovil and Sherborne B.

Having gone two up in the opening 15 minutes thanks to goals from Ed Howard and James Waterman, Vale appeared in complete control before three goals in quick succession by Y&S saw Vale 3-2 behind at half-time.

Vale came back into the game after half-time and a brilliant second goal by James Waterman saw the scores level before Ben McElroy scored a stunning winner inside the final 10 minutes.

It was all the 5s deserved after a fantastic team performance.

Man of the match: James Waterman


TAUNTON Vale ladies 1st XI were edged out 2-1 at home to Cheltenham on Saturday, so they remain seventh in the Premier Division 1 table.

This coming Saturday they have a good opportunity to get back to winning ways as they travel to basement club Newent (11am start).

In the Central Division, Vale 3rds were held at home by bottom side Bristol University 3rds.

The 3-3 draw leaves Vale in ninth, and their next match is away to fourth-placed Old Bristolians on Saturday, February 24 (12.30pm).

The 2nd XI were beaten 4-1 away to Bude in the South Division.

It means they remain in the relegation scrap, albeit six points ahead of second-bottom Okehampton.

They also have the next two weekends off, returning to action at home to Exeter University, who sit second in the table, on February 24 (10am).

Vale 4ths are also in a battle to beat the drop after losing 1-0 at home to Winscombe 2nds in Sedgemoor Division 1, which sees three points separate Winscombe in sixth and Sidmouth & Ottery 2nds in ninth (second bottom).

Eighth-placed Vale go to fifth-placed ECVH on February 24 (10.30am).

As for Vale’s 5th XI, they were without a game last weekend, but they do play this Saturday, at home to Weston-super-Mare 3rds (11.30am).

Vale are ninth in Sedgemoor Division 2, with Weston 11th having failed to win all season – recently losing 25-0 to league leaders Chard.