Beavers humbled by proud Peacocks
By Rob Overfield
The Beavers were ignobly turfed out of the FA Cup by hard-working Taunton Town, who shut the team down in all areas and earned the giant-killing win.
Dowse named an unchanged team from the one that defeated Hungerford Town, as he was looking to make it to the 4th qualifying round.
Taunton had clearly done their homework, leaving the grass on the pitch a little longer than normal and then proceeded to make sure the Beavers did not make their fast open start to matches.
Brendan Kiernan was the most threatening player for Hampton in the first 15 minutes with two early shots on goal, before setting up Jamal Lowe, whose shot forced a diving save out of Peacocks keeper Lloyd Irish.
The Beavers were just about holding the upper hand as the half progressed, Taunton making sure any chances were half chances as Irish only had one or two shots to save, easy saves in the main.
Hampton were keeping the hosts away from goal, giving no clear openings to the Peacocks, but with half time imminent, they were caught by a sucker punch.
A long ball over the top, possibly controlled by a hand, put Jordan Rogers in space on the left hand side of the box, and his precise finish beat Howe to send the Evo-Stik side into a shock lead.
The lead proved to be short lived as Nicke Kabamba twisted himself to convert a Kiernan cross at the far post in added time, as Irish had only just got the slightest of touches in attempting to save the cross.
Hampton picked up the tempo a little in the second half and early in the period, it was Brendan Kiernan who nearly forced a goal, his shot from just inside the box was blocked by a lunging claret and blue shirt to leave the Beavers denied.
The Beavers were still pressing but were not looking like breaking down the stolid Peacocks defence and with 20 minutes to go, they paid for that inability. On one of their infrequent forays to the Hampton box, Rogers was brought down by Jay Gasson just inside and the referee had to award the spot kick, booking Gasson as well.
Rogers picked himself up and buried the kick past Howe's right hand, just inside the post to give the hosts the lead.
Hampton then created one of their best chances as Nicke Kabamba timed a run perfectly to beat the offside trap, his diving header stretched Irish to the limit with the keeper just getting enough of a touch to sent it over the bar.
Manny Williams was introduced and almost made a name for himself; his header from Tom Jelley's free kick beat everyone but rattled the post and was then cleared.
With 5 minutes to go, a scramble in the box saw a shot hacked off the Taunton line as the Peacocks had to defend even harder in the face of the Beavers pressure.
Williams then rolled a shot agonisingly wide from an acute angle as he found himself on goal, and then with the whistle about to be blown, his rising shot went over the bar.
It was one of those days when nothing seemed to go right for the team, as Taunton set their stall out from early on, and forced the Beavers to play as they want us to play, and they earned their place in the next round.
This morning, it was still painful for Dowse.
"Yesterday was THE worst day of my two years at the club, I'm devastated over the result and I shan't rest until I've sorted it out."
"I can only apologise to the fans and the board, they travelled all that way to see that, and it was nowhere near good enough."
"I was in my office from 9 this morning to start sorting the back four out as I barely slept. We can't go on conceding like this as it's costing us, if we want to be successful we have to tighten things up. I'll be making some phone calls to see who I can get in to improve things in defence."
Thanks to Tim Norbury of Taunton Town FC for use of the photo.