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Top Two Are Pulling Away In The Evo-Stik South West

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The top two in the Evo-Stik League South West, Taunton Town and Salisbury FC, both own on Saturday and there`s now a five-point gap between them and third-placed Bristol Manor Farm, who were beaten at lowly neighbours Mangotsfield United.

Leaders Taunton eased to a comfortable 4-0 win at Testwood Park against play-off contenders AFC Totton.

It was a special day for the Peacocks` Ross Staley, who is leaving later this month for a coaching job in Australia.

He netted a hat-trick with goals in the 8th, 37th and 52nd minutes, with Matt Wright adding the other 2 minutes after half-time.

Taunton hold a seven-point lead over Salisbury, who had to scrap for a late 3-2 win at Cirencester Town.

The Whites twice took the lead through Danny Young after 14 minutes and a powerful Owen Howe drive after 53 minutes but were twice pegged back, Henry Spalding on 27 minutes and Aidan Bennett on 74 minutes netting for the home side.

But Claudio Herbert popped up to win it for Steve Claridge`s side in the 87th minute.

At Cossham Street, Kailan Gould gave Mangotsfield the lead on the half-hour mark and Jordan Ricketts added a second 2 minutes before half-time.

But just a minute after the restart, Dean Stamp reduced the deficit for Manor Farm.

However, the Mangos held on, despite having Lewis Powell sent-off after 64 minutes.

Now only three points separate fourth-placed Swindon Supermarine from tenth-placed AFC Totton.

That`s after `Marine were held 3-3 at mid-table Larkhall Athletic, whose Joe Tumelty after 16 minutes and Cory Simpson 7 minutes later, had them two-up.

But `Marine fought back to lead with goals from Joe Selman just before the break, a Mike Baker own goal on 74 minutes and then Selman again 8 minutes from time.

Wimborne Town and Evesham United are fifth and sixth respectively, but the visitors` 4-3 win saw them move level on points with the Magpies.

In an action-packed game, Wimborne surrendered a three-goal lead given to them courtesy of a Toby Holmes hat-trick in the 12th, 17th and 53rd minutes – his last coming from the penalty spot.

But Evesham scored four times in 16 minutes starting with Matt Liddiard on 70 minutes to return to Worcestershire with all three points.

Adam Mann bagged two of the others, sandwiched by Archie Haskayne.

Didcot Town, Bideford AFC and Winchester City make up the rest of the tight pack with the Stags, but only the Devon side won on Saturday – 1-0 at home to bottom-markers Bishops Cleeve, thanks to a goal from Sean Downing 2 minutes into stoppage time at the end of the game.

Didcot shared a six-goal draw at Shortwood United, who led 2-0 with Nick Humphreys and an Adam Learoyd own goal, by the 16th minute.

Learoyd scored at the right end on the half-hour mark, only for Liam Meredith to restore United`s two-goal advantage 4 minutes after half-time.

But the Railwaymen fought back with an own goal from Richard Thwaite on 52 minutes and an 84th minute Marlon Agyakwa equaliser.

Winchester shared a 2-2 draw at Paulton Rovers, whose Josh Morgan-Williams cancelled out Pat Cox`s 32nd minute opener for City in the 55th minute.

Liam Monelle then gave Rovers the lead on 67 minutes, only for Jamie Barron to level from the spot with 17 minutes to go.

Second-bottom Barnstaple Town suffered a 5-2 defeat at Kidlington, whose Declan Benjamin, Duran Martin, Darius Browne and a George Nancekivell own goal had them 4-0 up by the 34th minute.

Archie Reay reduced the arrears 20 minutes from time, only for Lewis Coyle to make it a nap hand for the Oxfordshire side 6 minutes later, with Harry Stevens netting a second for Barum 2 minutes into time added on.

Not far away, third-bottom Slimbridge earned a 1-1 draw at North Leigh, who led through Roger James` 20th minute opener until 19 minutes from the end when Joe Wilton levelled.

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About Author

Former Swansea City and Kettering Town defender who has been managing the likes of Kettering Town u18s, Rothwell Town, Desborough Town and Wellingborough Town for 33 years as well as being technical director at AFC Rushden & Diamonds. Began in non-League journalism as editor of Team Talk magazine back in the early 1990s and then as editor of Non-League Daily, joining Pitchero to set up Pitchero Non-League in January 2011. Also works for the National League.

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