Taunton win lifts City back in play-off places

City moved back into the National League South play-off places this afternoon with a hard-fought 2-0 win over struggling Taunton Town at Wordsworth Drive. An early strike from Cody Cooke and stoppage time Jack Bates cracker bookended a resilient defensive showing.

City’s first attack on three minutes saw them take the lead. Jack Batten’s ball over the top picked out Cooke and he held off a defender before firing high past Irish in the Taunton goal. Buoyed by this start Elliott Frear almost made it two-nil in the 9th minute, latching on to a loose ball but seeing his shot hit the post from a narrow angle. Dan Hayfield then headed a 17th minute cross into the side-netting before a weaving Scott Wilson run ended with Irish smothering his shot. In-between these chances Batten received lengthy treatment after appearing to be caught by an elbow from Jarvis but after being bandaged up he was able to carry on. The home began to enjoy more of the play as the half progressed, Chamberlain fired over when well-placed and Acey rounded Will Buse but overran the ball. Several long-throws into the City box caused problems and the half ended with Buse having to be alert to block Smith’s shot after he had raced clear.

The Peacocks continued on the front foot after the interval but struggled to fashion any clear-cut chances. Acey had a long range effort well held by Buse then saw another effort clear the bar. Their frustrations began to show as manager Dray was booked for his touchline antics and this wasn’t helped as the referee waved away several penalty shouts and a number of promising positions were halted by an offside flag. Their best chance fell to Bolton with 15 minutes left but he couldn’t beat Buse from close range. And in stoppage time City secured the vital win when substitute Bates cut inside from the left flank before curling a perfect shot past Irish from 20 yards.