Clevedon Town toppled by Taunton in pre-season opener
- Credit: pitchero.com/clubs/clevedontown
Clevedon Town returned to action in front of fans at the Everyone Active Stadium for the first time since Boxing Day with a pre-season friendly defeat to Taunton Town.
The sides had drawn 2-2 last summer, but the Seasiders fell to a 4-2 defeat on this occasion as Jared Lewington's hat-trick lifted the visitors.
And the hosts were left to rue a slow start, conceding four times in 25 minutes before halving the deficit during the rest of the match.
Gethyn Hill beat Charles Lovell from the penalty spot on 12 minutes, after Ollie Babbington handled Ollie Chamberlain's cross, to open the scoring.
And Lovell was robbed by the alert Lewington a minute later, who rolled the ball into an empty net to make it 2-0.
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Dan Sullivan's pace took him clear of the home defence on 21 minutes and a low cross found Lewington to sidefoot his second and Taunton's third, before completing a 10-minute hat-trick on his debut from Hill's cross, after a great ball from Sullivan.
It was nearly 5-0 but Hill's chip was saved by Lovell, before Clevedon hit back on 26 minutes as the returning Alex Camm set up man of the match Morgan Williams to fire across Lloyd Irish and into the corner of the net.
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Lovell had to save a shot from Hill, while Callum Kingdon cut out another Sullivan cross and Ross Staley fired over before Irish saves from Jack Jones at the other end.
Clevedon made four changes at the break and Ethan Feltham fired just over, before Kingdon headed over from a free-kick.
Hill hit the crossbar on 67 minutes before trialist Cam Pike saved Chamberlain's lob, but Clevedon grabbed a second on 74 minutes when Glen Hayer's spectacular volley beat Irish after Camm's free-kick was headed on by Alex Kemsley.
Clevedon are set to visit Bishop Sutton on Tuesday, then host National League South side Chippenham Town on Friday (July 16, 7.30pm) and Southern League neighbours Weston on Tuesday (July 20, 7.30pm).
Clevedon: Lovell (Pike 46), Babbington (Hayer 46), Nicholson, Kingdon, Yarde (Kemsley 46), Hedges, C Gould (Feltham 46), M Williams (E Williams 72), Jones (Pitt 62), Camm (C Gould 78), Davies (King 62).