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Taunton Town FC: News
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CAST YOUR VOTE FOR PEACOCK PLAYER OF THE YEAR

With the end of the season fast approaching, it is now time for all Peacocks’ fans to submit their vote for their Player of the Year. After such a memorable campaign there are bound to be plenty of candidates to choose from so make sure you get your nomination in for your chosen player. Please email your vote along with your name to admin@tauntontown.com or alternatively come into the office to make your nomination. Voting is strictly limited to one vote per supporter and all nominations must be received by 5pm on Sunday 7th May.

The winner of the award will be presented with the Frank Summers Trophy at the club’s Presentation Evening which is being held on Thursday 1st June at the Cooper Associates County Ground. The event will be hosted by BBC Somerset’s Claire Carter and Jack Murley, and for more information and details on how to book your place for what is sure to be a very enjoyable evening please click HERE.

TOWN HAVE TO TRAVEL FOR PLAY-OFF SEMI

The final day of the Evo-Stik League season did not go the way the Peacocks wanted as they suffered a 1-0 defeat at North Leigh yesterday afternoon (22nd April). Town went into the game knowing a win would confirm a minimum third place finish and a home tie in the Play-Off Semi-Final but it proved beyond them following a disappointing display against the Oxfordshire side. The Peacocks made a decent enough start but found chances hard to come by on a rock hard playing surface. Ross Staley and Craig Duff both saw efforts deflect wide whilst Staley had a shot diverted into the hands of stand-in home keeper Stuart Hole. It was North Leigh who had the clearer opportunities in the goalless first half, Duff heading off the line from Will Wellon's header before Lloyd Irish tipped a Michael Hopkins penalty (as pictured) onto the post in stoppage time after a Matt Villis challenge on Lance Williams. Playing down the slope, Town pressed for a breakthrough but struggled to create. Staley fired wide from 25 yards before forcing Hole to tip over another strike from just outside the box. As the game appeared to be dwindling to a draw, a George Seacole cross was tucked home from close range by Roger James three minutes from time to register the winner for the hosts. With Salisbury and Tiverton both winning, the result means Town end the campaign in fourth place and now face an away game at Tiverton Town in the Semi-Final of the Play-Off this coming Wednesday (26th April). Match report can be viewed HERE and match photos from club photographer Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE.

Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson commented:" Another frustrating afternoon and disappointing not to nick a goal. Their goal and losing the fixture is a bit of an irrelevance as we had all pushed forward trying to win it as we knew a draw would be no good, that wouldn't normally happen. To be honest, even if we'd won, Wednesday at home to Tiverton would have been a 50/50 game and away it will also be a 50/50 game so it's still all to play for. In reality we've known for a long time that the season was going to come down to one or two play-off fixtures so nothing has changed in the last week. Yes, it would have been a nice bonus to be at home but it's a one-off game and anything can happen. Sure, we need to improve from our last two games but over the years I've seen teams fly into the play-offs and lose while other teams stumble into them and win it, we just need to win more key moments than recently."  

DRAMATIC LAST DAY IN PROSPECT

It’s the final day of the 2016-17 Evo-Stik League season for the Peacocks tomorrow as they conclude their fixtures with a trip to North Leigh, kick-off 3.00pm. It promises to be a nail-biting day with three sides all still in the hunt for runners-up spot guaranteeing home advantage in both the semi-final and final of the Play-Offs. Salisbury currently hold second place, one point ahead of Town, and they finish the season away at Bideford whilst Tiverton lie in fourth, level on points with Town and having the benefit of a home match against Paulton Rovers. A win for the Peacocks tomorrow will ensure a third place finish regardless of how Tiverton fare due to having a far superior goal difference but whether that would be good enough for second place depends on the Salisbury result.

The various permutations certainly make it an intriguing last day of a highly successful season for Town but they know it will be far from easy at Eynsham Hall Park tomorrow. Seventh-placed North Leigh have been on the verge of the play-offs for a good part of the campaign and come into the game on a decent run of form. Since losing at Hereford last month, they have suffered only one defeat in nine games, having won seven of them, and fought back from two great Jordan Rogers’ strikes to earn a point with a 2-2 draw at the Viridor Stadium back in September.    

Manager Leigh Robinson will again have a full squad available for the journey to Oxfordshire although defender Ed Palmer is again unlikely to feature to avoid the risk of a booking and subsequent suspension which would rule him out of the Play-Off Final should Town get there. Fellow centre half Alex Hoyle has also declared his fitness after coming off at half time during the game with Bideford on Monday due to a hamstring problem. Robinson remarked:” It will be a tough game as North Leigh are a decent footballing side. However we have proved several times this season that we are more than capable of rising to the occasion. The recipe is simple tomorrow – win and we play at home in the play-off semi-final as well as potentially finishing second. Fail to win and we could be away in the play-offs which, whilst not an impossible task, makes things that much harder.”   

ON YOUR MARKS FOR WORDSWORTH

Our club mascot Wordsworth will be taking part in the Mascot Race at Wincanton Racecourse this coming Sunday (23rd April). The event takes place at 2.15pm following the first horse race of the day at 1.50pm with Wordsworth racing over a distance of around 150 yards which will include three small jumps. Mascots from clubs including Bath City, Yeovil Town, Salisbury, Poole Town, Weymouth, Newport County and Woking amongst others are expected to participate in the race, with prizes for the first three mascots to finish plus the last placed so hope Wordsworth will feel like the cat that’s got the cream at the finish! Please go along to support Wordsworth on Sunday if you can - the Mascot Race is part of a St George’s Day celebration at the racecourse and more details can be found HERE   

DEADLOCK AT THE VIRIDOR

The Peacocks completed their home programme in the Evo-Stik League for this season with a disappointing 0-0 draw against Bideford this afternoon (17th April). It was a laboured display going forward by Town who never hit a tempo whilst at the other end Lloyd Irish made several smart stops to keep the scoreboard blank. Town missed a great chance to take the lead inside the first minute when Jordan Rogers headed Ross Staley's cross wide of the target (as pictured) before Irish saved well from a Sean Downing header. Staley's effort skimmed the post while Pierce Mitchell's shot was held by Joe Moore and Rogers saw a header cleared off the line as the opening 45 minutes ended goalless. The second half was even more unconvincing from Town who too often resorted to the long ball. Craig Duff came close but opportunities were generally scarce whilst Bideford threatened on the break, with Ben Watson firing wide and Irish holding a Downing shot. The Town keeper then pulled off another fine save after Downing had met a Matty Bye free kick but the home side had to make do with a point. With Salisbury winning, the result sees the Peacocks slip to third and they will now refocus and aim to finish the season with three points at North Leigh this weekend. Match report can be viewed HERE and match photos from club photographers Tim Norbury and Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE and HERE

Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson said:" A very frustrating afternoon and certainly a poor performance in an attacking sense. We just couldn't get going, lacked a spark, didn't win anywhere near enough second ball and didn't show enough desire in the box. It's not uncommon to see a performance like that after Saturday / Monday fixtures but we brought in fresh legs to try and prevent that but simply didn't play well enough. It's a shame but far from a disaster though. This team has pulled off some amazing wins this season against the odds so our chances of going up are (as it stands) no different to the start of the day."

FINAL HOME LEAGUE GAME OF 2016-17

As the final week of the Evo-Stik League season begins, the Peacocks have two vital games remaining beginning with the visit of Bideford to the Viridor Stadium tomorrow afternoon (17th April), kick-off 3.00pm. The weekend victory at Bridgwater ensured Town stayed firm in second spot although with both Salisbury and Tiverton also claiming maximum points, the battle to finish as high as possible for home play-off advantage remains extremely tight. The North Devon side will present an awkward test for Town tomorrow as until recently they were on the fringes of the play-offs themselves. However they have picked up just four points out of a possible 24 after failing to secure a win in their last eight League fixtures which now sees them sitting in 9th position. The Peacocks will be chasing a double, having won 4-2 at the Sports Ground in the first game of 2017 thanks to a double strike from Jordan Rogers and one apiece from Owen Irish and Ross Staley.

In the other matches involving near rivals tomorrow, Salisbury host Wimborne while Tiverton travel to Barnstaple but the Peacocks know they just need to concentrate on their own game as the destiny of the runners-up spot is in their own hands. Manager Leigh Robinson will again have a full squad to select from for the Bideford game, remarking:” Both teams know each other well and several players have played for both clubs so an interesting game is in prospect. It is still very tight at the top so we will need to keep our focus and carry on from where we left off at Bridgwater.”

TOWN HIT BACK TO CLAIM DERBY HONOURS

The Peacocks recovered from going a goal behind to race to a 5-1 Evo-Stik League victory at Bridgwater Town yesterday afternoon (15th April). Town had the points in the bag by half time as they led 4-1 against their already relegated neighbours and added another in the second half to claim the double over the Robins. Bridgwater threatened an upset when they took the lead after 11 minutes, Elliot Ripley's header from Tyne Govier's free kick looping over Lloyd Irish. Josh Searle nearly responded immediately but hit the post, however the Peacocks were back on level terms after 19 minutes when Kurt Robinson handled a Pierce Mitchell cross and Craig Duff converted the spot kick. Town went on to boss the remainder of the opening period, coming close on several occasions, before three quick goals put paid to home hopes. Ollie Chamberlain put Duff away down the right and he squared to Searle who fired into an empty net (as pictured) for a 2-1 lead on 38 minutes. Matt Wright then headed in a Shane White cross on 42 minutes before Duff added his second of the afternoon a minute from the break, steering home from close range after Wright had flicked on an Owen Irish cross. Matt Buse saw his curling effort touched onto a post by young Bridgwater keeper Ashton Granter as Town looked to add more in the second half and they were eventually successful on 68 minutes when Wright headed home another from Chamberlain's centre. Duff was unlucky not to claim his hat trick when his strike hit the woodwork as Town eased to victory against a spirited Robins team. The win keeps Town in second place, with no ground gained as both Salisbury and Tiverton both won, and the focus now turns to the Easter Monday game against Bideford at the Viridor Stadium. Match report can be viewed HERE and match photos from club photographer Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE.

Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson commented:" Very much a case of job done on a very poor playing surface which made putting three passes together pretty difficult. We made a few changes and the lads who came in did really well which bodes well as we head towards the play-offs as it gives us options. There are harder tests to come and we now move on to Monday."

PEACOCKS CHASE DERBY DOUBLE

It’s the penultimate weekend of the Evo-Stik League season tomorrow (15th April) and the race to finish as runners-up to Hereford in the South and West Division continues with the Peacocks in local derby action at Bridgwater Town, kick-off 3.00pm. With Town lying just one point ahead of Salisbury and two of Tiverton, there is little room to breathe amongst the top three play-off contenders in the battle to secure second place and a guaranteed home tie in both the semi-final and final of the promotion prize knock-out. Salisbury travel to Mangotsfield tomorrow and Tiverton entertain Winchester whilst Evesham can secure the remaining play-off spot with victory at Bideford, our next opponents on Easter Monday. Town meanwhile can afford no slip-ups at Fairfax Park against their local rivals who have only pride to play for, their relegation having been sealed several weeks ago. The Robins have experienced a difficult campaign on and off the field, and have not picked up a point since their win at Slimbridge on 27th December, one of only two League victories this season. As a note of caution though, their other win was at home to Tiverton so there can be no room for complacency, borne out by the result in the earlier meeting between the two sides in August when an Ollie Chamberlain goal in the final minute settled a poor game in favour of the Peacocks at the Viridor Stadium.  

Manager Leigh Robinson remarked:” It’s an important afternoon for us and in many ways a must win game as we look to consolidate second place this weekend. Two games in three days are always tricky at this time of year but everyone is fit and available so we have options and fresh legs to bring in on both days. ” Centre half Ed Palmer is only one booking away from another potential suspension so although fit for selection, he is unlikely to be risked in the final three fixtures ahead of the play-offs.     

DONATIONS MADE TO FOUR CHARITIES

The proceeds of our FA Cup Charity Dinner and Christmas Charity Collection were presented before our recent Evo-Stik League home game with Mangotsfield United. The Charity Dinner was held in January to celebrate the Peacocks’ terrific FA Cup campaign this season and a raffle and auction on the evening generated over £1,600. That amount was combined with the money raised by the Christmas Charity Collection via a ground collection and donations from players, management and directors, giving a total of £2,000 which was split equally between four local charities. Chairman Kevin Sturmey is pictured presenting the cheques to all four charities who were:

Reminiscence Learning who specialise in dementia care, activity and reminiscence. Fiona Mahoney aka Archie who is the figurehead of a dementia awareness project linking all areas of the community commented:” We would like to thank the club for choosing Reminiscence Learning to receive a donation. As a small local charity this will really help us to make a difference to the lives of those living with dementia in our community. Archie would like to thank the team for being part of the photo shoot – he would have loved to have had a kick around on the pitch.” For more information on Reminiscence Learning please click HERE.


Escape Support Group provides opportunities for families with a child with additional needs to spend time together on trips and short breaks, as well as providing peer group support to their members. Rosemary Cowin, secretary of Escape, remarked:” On behalf of the Committee and family members of ESCAPE, I would like to say thank you very much for the kind donation which will certainly be put to good use for the benefit of our families. Having a child with an additional need can put a lot of strain on a family and so they often do not have the confidence to go on days out. By having an opportunity to go on a trip with other families who know what it is like can really make a difference. I would also like to say thank you to the club for inviting us to the game. It was a lovely opportunity for our young children to see a football match.” For more information on Escape please click HERE.


Taunton Foodbank supports local people in crisis by providing emergency food and support. Melvyn Roberts, Chair of the Trustees, said:” Thank you to all those who contributed so generously for the donation of £500.00 to the Taunton Foodbank. Over the last four months Taunton Foodbank has seen a large rise in the number of those coming to us in financial crisis. In fact, in comparison to the same period last year, there has been a 62% increase in the amount of food we have distributed and on an average monthly basis we have seen a 51% increase in the number of parcels given out and a 67% increase in the number of people for whom we provide food. Over the last year we have distributed over 40 tonnes of food to those in need. Therefore, your gift is all the more important to us and we are grateful for your support. Of course, statistics do not tell the whole story. People come to us feeling desperate, hopeless and overwhelmed. Equally these same people often leave feeling relieved, encouraged and with a sense that someone cares. Your gift goes some way to change the lives of these people.” For more information on Taunton Foodbank please click HERE.


Taunton East Development Trust is an organisation which supports the community of East Taunton by providing opportunities to develop self-esteem, confidence and skills through information, training, motivation and enterprise. The Trust works to promote general charitable purposes for the benefit of the community of Taunton East (the Lane, Lambrook and Halcon Estates) and to provide relief from financial hardship and social and/or economic disadvantage. The trust provides a Link Centre, a drop-in centre for local residents, whose manager Denise Chidgey commented: ” We would like to say a big thank you to the club for the donation, it is very much appreciated. It will be used towards activities for the children over the next few holidays.” For more information on the Taunton East Development Trust please click HERE and HERE.

POINT ENOUGH TO GUARANTEE PLAY-OFFS

Town recovered from conceding early to earn a 1-1 Evo-Stik League draw with champions Hereford at the Viridor Stadium yesterday afternoon (8th April). A point apiece was a fair outcome from a game of limited chances but given results elsewhere, the one point proved sufficient to confirm the Peacocks' play-off place for the third year in succession. The Bulls struck the first blow after just two minutes when a John Mills shot was blocked but not cleared and Mike Symons took advantage to fire into the net at the back post. Town eventually settled and equalised after 29 minutes when Ross Staley was fouled on the edge of the box and Ed Palmer swept his free kick past the wall and the dive of Alex Harris in the Hereford goal into the far corner. Staley volleyed Ben Palmer's cross straight at Harris and then saw another shot parried by the Bulls keeper early in the second half while Mark Preece headed Mike McGrath's corner wide at the other end. Lloyd Irish kept the scores level with the best save of the afternoon, turning Tristan Plummer's shot wide after he had latched onto a defensive slip but neither team could conjure up a decisive opportunity to snatch a winner as the game ended all square in front of 1,073, Town's highest home crowd in the League this season. Match report can be viewed HERE and photos from club photographer Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE. Goal highlights can also be viewed on Peacocks TV HERE.

Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson commented:" A good game between two good sides and certainly a fair result with both defences on top. There were very few clear cut chances in the game and whilst we did a lot of attacking in the second half we didn't get the breaks in the box but I'm very proud of the effort and performance today against a strong side. Part of our job here that is never forgotten is our obligation to give the people of Taunton a team to be proud of and I think today we did that. It's a good result but we move on and need to keep our focus as we have three tough games to come in order to secure second place."


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