A moment of magic from Taunton’s Ben Adelsbury won them the game in the 89th minute after Weston had pulled it back to 2-2 after being 2-0 down.
Gethyn Hill had the game’s first opportunity, which resulted in a goal for the hosts in front of a loud crowd. Lloyd James’ corner was punched clear by Max Harris with Adelsbury collecting on the far side. Working a yard of space to deliver the cross into the box, Hill rose six yards from goal and his downward header nestled in the back of the net despite Harris getting a hand to the attempt.
Scott Laird almost got Weston back on level terms immediately as he was found on the left-hand side of the box, his powerful strike taking a deflection and rattling against the post with Marlon Jackson’s rebound headed off the line by Jake Wannell. Josh Thomas had the next chance against his former club when a corner fell to him at the back post, but the centre-back couldn’t keep his volley down and fired over the crossbar.
The Peacocks were next to have an attempt on goal, and they would find the net for a second time. Former Seagull Hill collected the ball on the left touchline and delivered a cross into the box, flicked on by midfielder Joe Guest. The ball fell kindly to Joe Budd, who took the ball down 12 yards out and fired home past Harris for 2-0.
As Weston looked for a route back into the game, Dayle Grubb’s free-kick was tipped wide by a diving Will Buse, Lloyd Humphries had a header from a Nick McCootie cross held by Buse while a 25-yard Laird effort looked destined for the corner until Wannell threw his foot at the ball and managed to clear it back upfield.
Weston were able to spark a comeback not long before half-time thanks to some great work by McCootie. The No.7 turned his man and managed to find Grubb in space inside the area, who got the ball under control. With Buse making himself as big as possible, he managed to stop Grubb’s effort with his foot but the ball broke for Jordan Bastin inside the six-yard box who hammered home the rebound to pull one back.
With half-time approaching, Laird struck the woodwork again as his shot toward Buse’s near post was tipped onto the upright before a strike from Humphries was held by the Bristol City loanee in the Taunton goal just before the interval.
Two minutes after the break, Taunton had the first attempt when Peacocks skipper Nick Grimes met a set-piece, but Harris was equal to the effort as he palmed it away and Josh Thomas was on hand to clear.
The Seagulls were to get back on level terms on the 50th minute when James Dodd found Keiran Thomas just inside the Weston half. The Seagulls skipper was allowed to bring the ball forward and travel towards the Taunton box, setting his sights for goal. The captain lasered an effort from around 20 yards out into the top corner over Buse’s flailing arm to send the healthy Weston contingent behind the goal wild.
Buse held a Humphries shot at the near post after he had skipped into the box, before Marlon Jackson dragged an effort into the arms of Buse from inside the area following Bastin’s jink inside his marker. Hill then headed a Grimes free-kick wide, while Taunton substitute Ioan Richards then headed over a James free-kick.
Guest then missed a guilt-edged opportunity for Taunton six yards out when he met a Jared Lewington header from a free-kick, but he couldn’t direct his header on target and Weston watched it go wide of the target. Grubb then had a shot blocked inside the Taunton area after a brilliant run from halfway by substitute Sonny Cox.
Despite all the Weston dominance of the ball and their pressure on the Taunton backline throughout the game, it would be the Peacocks that would find the late winner. A foul on Lewington 25 yards from goal allowed Adelsbury to step up to the set-piece, and he curled a magnificent free-kick that even our own Dayle Grubb would have been proud of over the wall and into Harris’ top corner to send the Taunton players, fans and management team wild.
Despite the result, the Seagulls players can hold their heads high after putting in an incredible effort over the 90 minutes for the supporters.
FT: Taunton 3-2 Weston (Hill 12, Budd 29, Adelsbury 89 – Bastin 43, Keiran Thomas 50)
Weston XI: Harris, Keiran Thomas (C), Laird (Murray 90+1), Dodd, Pope, Josh Thomas, McCootie, Humphries, Jackson (Cox 76), Grubb, Bastin (Watts 81). Unused substitutes: Purnell, Avery.
MOTM: Jordan Bastin.