Casuals 1 Taunton Town 5

Taunton Town won’t have too many easier away games as they made light work of a poor Casuals side without really moving out of second gear.

The visitors started the brighter, with Ryan Brett having a shot blocked from 6 yards by Mike Atkinson. Andrew Neal was causing all sorts of problems for a lucklastre Stags defence in the first 20 minutes, putting a shot just wide after a decent move on 18 minutes. The Stags showed a few signs of early promise, Cheyce Grant looking lively down the right hand side and Rene Howe shooting wide, but it was Grant who saw a dubious offside flag raised which ruled out what seemed to be a legitimate goal, as the replay has since confirmed was the case.  Two minutes later it was Taunton who took the lead with a Dan Sullivan stoke from the edge of the box, and just five minutes later they doubled their lead as Neal crossed in low from the right for Matt Wright to stroke home with ease.

A minute later there was hope for the Casuals as Charlie Fox cleared upfield for Rene Howe to shrug off his man and stoke the ball home for 1-2, but just a minute later the two goal advantage was restored thanks to some comical defending in the Casuals box to allow Harry Kite to swoop in for a simple finish.

The Casuals’ Mike Atkinson did his best to rally the home side but Taunton came and did a job with relative ease, winning possession yet again in the 65th minute through Kite, who swept the ball in for Wright to tap home a second, almost in disbelief as the ball fell to his feet completely unchallenged.

Howe hit the post from an overhead kick from a Fitzpatrick cross moments later but that summed up the hosts’ day, and their misery was compounded in the final minute as Ed Palmer smashed home a shot from 8 yards following a corner that was presented to them after Mike Atkinson narrowly avoided slotting the ball into his own net from the edge of the box.

The Stags surely won’t have many worse days than this, whereas the visitors get back on the winning trail with absolute ease following their midweek defeat.