Taunton kept their Cup dream alive, coming from two down to force a replay against higher ranked Truro City in a rip-snorting FA Cup thriller at Wordsworth Drive.
The Conference South Cornishmen flew out of the traps and took the lead after nine minutes with a stunning right foot strike by Craig Duff, the ball whizzing over Lloyd Irish’s head and dipping just under the bar. They were all over the bemused homesters at this point, and almost bagged a second when Ryan Brett clipped a shot against the right-hand post.
The lead was duly doubled just after the quarter hour mark when Brett latched on to a poor clearance from keeper Irish and squared it to Matthew Wright who hooked it home at the far post.The tie may have slipped away from Taunton had they not made an immediate response. But they clawed themselves back into contention when Jordan Rogers wriggled clear down the left, drew Martin Rice, and beat the veteran shot-stopper with a delightful clip into the far corner from a narrowing angle.
From that point on, the Peacocks were the better side. They almost equalised on the half hour when a crisp move released Jamie Price on the right, but the captain drilled his powerful shot wide. The domination continued at the start of the second period with the massed ranks on the terrace at the Town End witnessing at close quarters a bizarre sequence of six home corners in barely as many minutes. From them, Owen Irish came closest to netting, his pile-driving shot somehow being beaten out by the Truro defence.
Taunton ramped up the pressure still further as the half progressed. After 66 minutes, Rogers again breached the Cornish back line, but was denied by a great low save from Rice. A minute later Jamie Short and Owen Irish linked up in a clever passing move down the right, the latter teeing up Craig Veal who spun and smashed a ferocious volley that Rice just tipped over. The keeper finally succumbed from Dale Evans’s resultant corner though, the ball finding its way to Rogers at the far post. He got a hand to the striker’s fine shot, but not enough to keep it out.
Both sides had chances in the final stages, the best falling to Truro’s Isaac Vassell who fired wastefully over. The substitute striker further compounded his ignominy by following through high and late on Lloyd Irish a few minutes later to receive a caution. Then, in injury-time, Vassell impeded Irish taking a kick to pick up his second booking and consequent red card. A somewhat silly and surreal end to an otherwise brilliant cup tie.
By James Wright
Taunton: Lloyd Irish, Jamie Price (captain), Nuno Felix, Owen Irish, Jak Martin, Dale Evans, Jamie Short (Aidan Chainey 90+1), Ben Carter, Jordan Rogers, Craig Veal (Josh Klein-Davies 77), Josh Searle (Ryan Broom 61). Unused subs: Charlie Hitchings, Michael Meaker
Truro: Martin Rice, Pierce Mitchell, Connor Riley-Lowe, Jake Ash (captain), Jamie Richards, Arran Pugh, Aaron Dawson, Dan Green, Craig Duff (Les Afful 68), Matt Wright, Ryan Brett (Isaac Vassell 67). Unused subs: Shane White, Rob Farkins
Referee: Sam Allison (Trowbridge)
Assistants: Adam Fricker (Bath), Benjamin Williamson (Melksham)
Match Sponsor: Talk of the Devil
Matchball Sponsor: Friends of the late Ray Marks