FOOTBALL: Wantage given tough baptism

Taunton’s Owen Irish goes flying after a challenge from Wantage No 9 Jimmy Deabill,

Taunton’s Owen Irish goes flying after a challenge from Wantage No 9 Jimmy Deabill,

First published in Headlines

Wantage Town suffered a baptism of fire as they marked their Southern League debut with a 3-0 home defeat by Taunton Town on Saturday.

Gary Ackling’s side, with six players making their league debuts, were outplayed by the visitors in this Division 1 South & West encounter.

Home skipper Tom Melle-dew, who later missed a penalty, fired a shot inside a minute which was saved by Taunton keeper Joe Perry.

But it was Taunton who held sway.

Wantage keeper Lee Farrow made one fine stop before the Somerset side took the lead.

Ryan Millward brought down the tricky Joe Bushin on the edge of the box.

From the resultant free-kick, Nat Pepperell’s scuffed effort went under the jumping Wantage wall and into the corner of the goal.

Jimmy Deabill then headed wide for Wantage.

Just before half-time ,Taunton had a goal disallowed for offside and then hit the woodwork.

The Peacocks eventually doubled their lead early in the second half.

Jamie Price was tripped by Jon Steedman in the penalty area and Pepperell converted the spot-kick.

On the hour, Ackling brought on Richie Guy and Swindon Town loanee Curtis Da Costa, with Matt Jones pushing further forward.

The hosts had their best spell of the game and won a penalty when Deabill was brought down.

But Melledew’s spot-kick was easily saved by Perry as the hosts wasted a chance to get back in the game. Taunton sealed the result five minutes from time when the impressive Bushin held off Millward and finished emphatically.

Wantage Tn Farrow, Kidd, M Jones, Steedman, Millward, Cattell (Da Costa 60), Sadler (Roberts 83), Melledew, Deabill, Lachacz, Johns (Guy 60). Subs not used: Tucker, Riccio.

Attendance: 106.

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