TAVISTOCK AFC hosted Taunton Town for their second pre-season friendly, with their Somerset opponents favourites for next season’s Southern League title. Taunton just missed out on the title in last game of last season, when they were pipped by Weymouth.

Both teams were lively from the start producing some fine pass and move football for the spectators. Both Wright and former Lambs player Josh Grant went close, before Tallan Burns forced Irish in the visitors’ goal to make a couple of smart saves.

Tavistock conceded the opening goal when poor marking from a corner kick, saw the ball find Palmer unmarked at the far post, who flashed the ball home from eight yards.

Tallan Burns then saw one of his fine efforts well saved by Irish.

Taunton passed the ball with accuracy, and it was Neal who showed his pace and composure as he calmly chipped the ball over advancing keeper Josh Oak to double the visitors advantage.

The Lambs continued to play attractive football and almost opened their account but were denied by another fine save by Irish who turned Tallan Burns’ fine effort away for a corner kick.

Neal got his second for the visitors, when fine work by Wright on the right, saw him provide the perfect cross to give him the easiest of tasks to score.

Ten minutes into the second half saw another ex-Lambs player Dan Sullivan replace Grant, he was soon in the action and forced Oak to make a fine save.

Things got worse for the home side when they conceded a penalty when Neal was adjudged to have been pushed in the penalty area. Neal fired home the spot kick to complete his hat-trick.

Four minutes from the end a penetrating run into the penalty area from Coppin, set up triallist Rice who scooped the ball high into the net.

This was a really good work out for the Lambs against a top quality team, that will be challenging for the title next season. Tavistock played some really good football and had theybeen more clinical in front of goal the score line would have been closer. They have a good foundation in place on which they can build to have a good season in the Western League.

The Lambs have been drawn at home to Hengrove Athletic in the extra-preliminary round of the FA Cup on Saturday, August 10 and they are home in the F A Vase when Hallet are the visitors on August 21.