The Non-League Football Paper
ACE DOM HAS FLEET SO NEAR TO TITLE
ASTOPPAGE-TIME winner all but sealed the National League South title for the Kent side, who extended their unbeaten league run to 18 matches.
The result was harsh on the Peacocks, who matched their visitors, especially during the first half when they created the better chances.
Fleet boss Dennis Kutrieb told The NLP: “It was a tough match and big thanks to Taunton for getting it on. We were not at our best in the first half but grew into the game after the break and created some good openings and had two penalty shouts. I’m really happy with the second-half performance and the final result as this is a tough place to come.”
After three pitch inspections during the previous 24 hours, the first opening fell to the hosts when Dylan Morgan fired over while Town keeper Jack Bycroft saved from Billy Clifford’s volley, with neither side able to gain the upper hand.
It was Taunton though who came closest to scoring during the opening period. Fleet keeper Mark Cousins saved from Dave Sims-Burgess and Nat Jarvis was inches away from Morgan’s cross as the hosts gave as good as they got before Town did find the net five minutes before the break, Cameron Evans’ header finding the corner from a Lee Lucas free-kick, but it was ruled out for offside.
The visitors began to boss possession in the second half as they probed for a breakthrough. Bycroft was there when needed, touching over a Toby Edser free-kick and holding Franklin Domi’s low shot.
The home side also had chances, Ollie Chamberlain firing wide and Cousins parrying from Jarvis but hopes of a point evaporated during the final few minutes of the contest.
Lucas saw red after a challenge on Domi, leaving ten men to negotiate six minutes of added time.
From the free-kick, Bycroft turned wide Luke O’Neill’s strike and with pressure maintained, the visitors snatched the crucial goal three minutes into stoppage time.
Bycroft blocked Darren McQueen’s initial effort from Christian N’Guessan’s centre and Dominic Poleon slotted home for his 33rd league goal of the campaign to spark celebrations amongst the travelling Fleet support who know their team now require just one point to become champions.
Taunton’s head of football Rob Dray said: “We have gone toe to toe with the best side in the division and we deserved a point.”
STAR MAN: Nick Grimes (Taunton Town) ENTERTAINMENT: ★★★★★