Preview: – Taunton Town (H)

As Poole Town return to the Black Gold Stadium as they host Somerset side Taunton Town, we take a look at all the stats in our preview.

The two sides first faced off in the Western League, way back in the 1956/57 season. Since then, they have competed in three further competitions – the FA Cup, the FA Trophy, and the Southern League.

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Since Tom Killick took over in 2004, meetings between the two sides have been relatively low scoring affairs. Encounters in the Southern League Premier have never seen either side score more than once.

Poole’s win in the Playoff semi-final in 2019 was the only time under Killick both sides had scored, with Dolphins winning 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

The biggest winning margin between the two sides remains 4-1 – Dolphins beating the Peacocks by that margin in the first league game at the Black Gold, whilst way back in the 1977/78 season, Poole lost by the same margin away at Taunton.

The two sides only met once over the two curtailed seasons, with Andrew Neal scoring late at the Black Gold to give Taunton a 1-0 win.

They wore both shirts

Attention will be on former Dolphin Toby Holmes tonight, with Tom Killick labelling Tony Lee the best striker in the division over the former Parley frontman.

Holmes made his Southern League debut for Poole, before moving onto become a top hitman at this level after spells with Dorchester, Wimborne and Salisbury.

Keith Emmerson has also turned out for both clubs, as well as current Peacock Jake Wannell. Adam Kelly had spells at both clubs, spending time with both clubs during their promotion winning seasons from the Southern League Division One South & West.

Dangerman and Thorn in our side

Toby Holmes battles with Jamie Whisken – (Photo Credit: Andy Orman)

It might be generous to award Holmes with both the label of Dangerman and Thorn in our side, especially when you consider Taunton employ another fine striker in Gethyn Hill.

Hill, a former Wales under 19 international, deserves recognition – and he certainly can be a threat when operating as a sole striker.

However, Hill’s style of play enables Holmes’ poaching instincts to become even more effective – making Toby Holmes an even bigger threat.

The threat of Holmes is very well known in this corner of Dorset – with the lanky hitman grabbing two braces for Wimborne against Poole.

Journeyman

Lee Lucas (Photo Credit: Taunton Town FC)

Another former Welsh youth international on the Peacock’s books, Lucas has been all over the UK playing football.

Starting off in South Wales with Swansea, Lee Lucas, a central midfielder with a decent passing range, had loan spells at Burton Albion and Cheltenham before his release from the Swans.

Lucas then moved to a third country, signing for Motherwell. Upon his release in Scotland, he moved into non-league with Merthyr – before Taunton swooped in to move him back to England.

Mr. Taunton

There is no other option here, with Lloyd Irish garnering nearly 400 appearances since orginally joining in 2008.

Now in his second spell since rejoining from Bideford in 2014, Irish made 237 consecutive appearances in between the sticks for Taunton.

Club captain with over 370 games to his name, Irish also has a goal on his record – a hopeful punt against North Leigh finding the back of the net.

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