A goal in each half was sufficient to guide the Peacocks to a 2-0 Evo-Stik League victory at Barnstaple Town yesterday evening (20th March). The win puts Town 11 points clear at the top of the table and signified a remarkable 24 successive league matches without defeat, surpassing the run of 23 games in the 1999-2000 season. It was a case of job done in a game which was fairly drab for much of the evening. Town pressure paid off when Craig Veal gave the Peacocks the lead after 14 minutes when he volleyed home Dan Sullivan's cross and the points were sealed in the 62nd minute after Ben Adelsbury's header was turned into his own net by Barum defender Sam Haynes. Match report can be viewed HERE and match highlights on Peacocks TV can be seen HERE while match photos from club photographer Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson remarked:" Not a pretty game of football on a very difficult surface but another dogged performance and important three points for us. We had to be patient as running with the ball or putting any sort of passing together was extremely difficult but the players stuck to the task, restricted Barnstaple to very few chances and took our moments when they came along. Special mention for Lloyd, 200 games in itself is a great achievement but 200 consecutive games is incredible and he's been a massive part of our success over the last few years. Also brilliant to have beaten the club unbeaten record which stood for 18 years, another testament to the determination of these players."
The Peacocks will be aiming to take full advantage of their Evo-Stik League game in hand over nearest rivals Salisbury when they travel to Barnstaple Town tomorrow evening (20th March), kick-off 7.45pm. Saturday’s draw in Wiltshire maintained Town’s eight point buffer at the top of the table and they know victory at Mill Road tomorrow evening would extend the gap further with just ten more fixtures to play. It will be the third attempt to stage the game, with the original match postponed in January due to waterlogging and then the rearranged fixture being called off just over an hour before kick-off three weeks ago because of a frozen pitch.
Barnstaple remain at the lower end of the table and will be keen to get something from the game tomorrow to put further daylight between themselves in 20th place and the bottom relegation spot currently occupied by Bishops Cleeve. Saturday’s reverse at home to Cirencester was their first defeat in four games, their three previous outings including victory at Paulton and a draw at Winchester. The Peacocks though, defending an unbeaten away record this season, will be full of confidence after their battling performance at Salisbury and are able to name an unchanged squad for the trip to North Devon. Barnstaple's pitch was snow-covered today but with a thaw expected a decision will be made regarding the game early tomorrow afternoon.
The Peacocks stretched their undefeated run in the Evo-Stik League to 23 matches with a 2-2 draw at Salisbury yesterday afternoon (17th March). A point apiece was probably a fair outcome from a well-contested game in which Town fought back from conceding an early goal to lead at half time before the hosts levelled after the break. Town's lack of match action for the past three weeks was evident early on as Salisbury were ahead inside the first two minutes, Stuart Green netting following a cross from Dan Young. The visitors began to find their feet and drew level after 13 minutes when Ryan Brett's free kick from the right was headed home by Shane White at the far post. Dan Sullivan missed a great opportunity to give Town the lead when he rounded Whites keeper Charlie Searle but saw his attempt blocked by Elliott Wheeler before Matt Wright headed in Brett's corner at the near post on 42 minutes to put the Peacocks ahead at half time. Zack Kotwica's shot skimmed the post as Salisbury pressed for an equaliser which arrived after 65 minutes, Lloyd Irish parrying a George Colson header and Green converting the loose ball. The remainder of the game saw few chances but it was Town who so nearly snatched a winner in stoppage time when Searle saved Ollie Chamberlain's shot and the rebound was hacked away to safety, leaving the Peacocks in the same situation as before the game, eight points clear at the top with a game in hand. Match report can be viewed HERE and match highlights on Peacocks TV can be seen HERE while match photos from club photographers Tim Norbury and Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE and HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson said: "A really good result for us in the circumstances, having not played for 21 days and going away to a place like Salisbury. I thought it was a really good game between two good sides and a draw probably a fair result as both teams would have felt hard done by to lose. Despite a bad start I thought our character and grit was again in evidence to turn it around before half time. We were disappointed to concede in the second half the way we did but then could have won it in injury time when Ollie had a great chance and probably hit it too well. Must say that our support was magnificent today and our pocket of 70 fans or so made far more noise than the other 700 people in the ground which was great to see."
After three weeks without match action, the Peacocks will finally hope to recommence their Evo-Stik League fixtures when they travel to Salisbury tomorrow afternoon (17th March), kick-off 3.00pm. And they could hardly have wished for a tougher assignment with which to return to duty. Two strikes from Matt Buse plus further goals from Dan Sullivan and Matt Wright steered Town to a dominant 4-1 win at the Viridor Stadium back in December, a result which has sparked Salisbury into a sequence of 11 league wins from the following 13 games since, with defeats coming at Didcot last month and a single goal reverse at home to Barnstaple. This run of form has seen the Whites pull clear in second place, ten points ahead of third placed Evesham who they beat 2-1 last weekend. Salisbury therefore have had at least 90 minutes game time in the past three weather-impacted weeks whereas Town have not taken to the pitch since stuttering to a 1-1 draw at North Leigh on the 24th February. Despite not playing though, the Peacocks still sit comfortably clear at the summit of the table, eight points clear of tomorrow’s hosts and with a game in hand, so a positive result will constitute another big step towards their promotion ambitions.
The enforced break has at least allowed two of Town’s injured players to recover, with Pierce Mitchell and Keith Emmerson both in tomorrow’s squad along with recent signing Nuno Felix. Exeter City loanee Joel Randall is the only absentee who was injured training with his parent club. Manager Leigh Robinson commented:” First v second tomorrow which obviously brings an excitement of its own but having not kicked a ball in anger for three weeks I think our lads would be over the moon to play any game of football right now. Obviously it’s impossible to tell whether we’ll come out very fresh or very rusty from this enforced break but I’m sure the adrenaline will kick in for such a big game.”
We have received the following information from Salisbury FC regarding arrangements for Taunton supporters who are attending this Saturday's game:
"With a large crowd expected for the match between Salisbury FC and Taunton Town on Saturday March 17th, kick off 3pm, there will be a partial segregation that both sets of supporters are asked to take note of.
Visiting supporters will have dedicated use of the downstairs Magnet Bar at the Partridge Way end of the ground, which is near the entrance to the ground. They will be allocated turnstiles E and F to enter the ground. Stewards will be on hand to direct visiting supporters.
Once inside the ground, Taunton supporters will have their own section of terracing at the Partridge Way End, along with seating, should they require it, in Block H of the Main Stand. A tea hut serving hot food will be available there, along with toilets.
Any disabled Taunton supporters who wish to attend are asked to contact Salisbury FC and we will make special arrangements to accommodate them where they choose, in either the segregated Taunton section or in our regular disabled section.
Home supporters who normally sit in Blocks E, F, G and H will be allowed to enter through turnstiles E and F but will only be able to sit in Blocks E, F and G of the Main Stand.
Otherwise, home supporters are asked to use Turnstiles A, B, C and D at the North Stand terracing end of the stadium to access their usual place in the ground.
The Sarum Suite bar will be solely for the use of home supporters for this match.
Bars and turnstiles will be open at 1.30pm."
It's another frustrating weekend for the Peacocks after their Evo-Stik League game at Winchester City was postponed following a pitch inspection this morning. Wet weather in the past 24 hours had left the Citizens' pitch saturated and with more rain forecast today the referee called the match off. A new date for the fixture will be confirmed in due course. The Town players will have to settle for a training session today and with no midweek game on the agenda, they will travel to Salisbury next weekend having not played a league match in three weeks.
After a weather-enforced two week break, the Peacocks will be eager to resume their Evo-Stik League campaign when they travel to Winchester City tomorrow (10th March), kick-off 3.00pm. Consecutive games against Barnstaple and Slimbridge have fallen foul of the recent freeze and after two weeks without a match Town will want to get their promotion quest back on track following disappointing performances against Bideford and North Leigh in their two most recent outings. Whereas last week it was snow and ice, rain has returned though and after some heavy downpours this afternoon and with more forecast overnight, Winchester are arranging a pitch inspection for around 9.00 tomorrow morning.
Town will be chasing a league double over their Hampshire hosts after winning the reverse fixture 4-1 at the Viridor Stadium in October courtesy of goals from Ben Adelsbury, Ollie Chamberlain, Ross Staley and Matt Wright. City though are still within touching distance of the play-offs so will have a double incentive to end the Peacocks’ unbeaten away record this season and keep their own hopes alive. They sit in 9th spot but have picked up just one point from their last three matches which includes conceding four goals in successive games against Bristol Manor Farm and bottom side Bishops Cleeve. With just twelve league fixtures remaining and an eleven point lead at the top of the table, Town meanwhile will be aiming for a positive result ahead of their visit to second placed Salisbury next weekend.
Pierce Mitchell returns to the squad after hobbling out of the Swindon Supermarine match three weeks ago with a groin strain and new signing Nuno Felix also comes in. However Keith Emmerson is unavailable as he is playing for the Army team and loanee Joel Randall also misses the trip after suffering an injury whilst training with his parent club Exeter City. Manager Leigh Robinson remarked:” Winchester is never an easy place to go and we had a tough game there last year I seem to remember. Everyone was really frustrated that we were below our best and not clinical enough to beat Bideford or North Leigh so hopefully this enforced break has freshened us up mentally and we'll be firing on all cylinders tomorrow.”
As reported on our Social Media channels earlier, we are pleased to announce the return of Nuno Felix from Paulton Rovers. The 27 year old left-sided player hails from Portugal and was a member of the Benfica academy as well as being with Bristol Rovers as a youth. After spells at Yate Town and Clevedon Town, he first joined the Peacocks in the summer of 2015 before moving on to Paulton at the end of the year. He then went on to play for Chippenham Town where he was a regular in the side that won the Southern Premier title. Since leaving Chippenham in December he has spent time at Banbury United and Paulton. Manager Leigh Robinson commented:” It’s fantastic for us to have secured a quality player at a key time. He's had a bit of an unsettled season this year but in the previous two years he was a key part in a successful Chippenham team, returns to us with higher level experience and undoubted quality which the fans will remember from his previous spell with us.” Felix goes straight into the squad for tomorrow's game at Winchester City.
There is an opportunity for Taunton Town fans to get a glimpse of potential first teamers of the future when the Taunton Town JPL Under 13 side play a game at the Viridor Stadium next week. The club's Welfare Office Neil White tells more:
"In youth football, U13 is the start of 11 v 11 on a full size pitch and Thursday 15th March sees Taunton's U13's playing at the Viridor Stadium for the first time on Taunton's very own pitch. With the normal home venue on the playing fields of Taunton and Bridgwater College (Taunton Site), this gives the youngsters the opportunity of a 'First Team' experience playing under floodlights at the home of the Peacocks.
The match on the 15th is a bit of a derby match against opponents Bridgwater and with free entry, it is the ideal opportunity to come and support your local club and watch the fruits of Taunton Town's brand new development programme. Currently running U12, U13 and U15 match and training squads, training takes place on a Tuesday evening at Bishop Fox's Astro with Junior Premier League matches on a Saturday morning. Considering the squads have only been together since September the quality and skills on display are second to none and it will be well worth coming down to watch an entertaining game of youth football.
If you have a child looking to join next year's U12's (current U11's), please drop a line to Neil White, Club Welfare Officer and Youth Administrator: email@example.com to note interest. Trials will be conducted May / June to select match squad players. Football is open to everyone, and the emphasis at Taunton is development. That is why we also run a training squad, so with work, attitude and endeavour the opportunity exists for promotion to the match squad. So if your child still wishes to play for his grass roots team, but would like the expert coaching that Taunton provides, you can also note interest for joining Tuesday night training only.
We will also be looking to recruit FA Level 2 coaches and coach assistants as the programme expands. So if you can commit to Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings and want to join this very exciting period of club expansion, please drop a CV to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kick-off next week is at 7pm, playing four twenty minute quarters. Thursday gives you a fantastic opportunity to meet the team so make sure you're there early...Up The Peacocks!"
Chairman Kevin Sturmey added:" It will be great to see our own Under 13's in action next week and with free entry for all I hope our supporters will come along to see the strides these lads have made already. Our aim is to develop our own players through the youth development structure and then to provide our Education Partner Bridgwater & Taunton College & University Centre Somerset with a number of players after year 11 to join their excellent football structure as well as their further education from 16-22 years of age. Going though our whole JPL system from 11 years of age will give the players more opportunities with a sound grounding and development and better prepare them for higher level football at College/University and semi professional level and hopefully even in to professional football for some.
Just having one under 18 team did not really work for a number of reasons, mainly matches being played that clashed with College and other football so this system will in our opinion provide a better learning vehicle from a younger age so players will know the expectations to become the ultimate of playing for Taunton Town in the first team at whatever level we reach."
Given the deluge of snow in the past 36 hours, it is hardly a shock that the Peacocks' Evo-Stik League game with Slimbridge due to take place at the Viridor Stadium tomorrow (3rd March) has been postponed. Permission had been granted to all clubs in the league to call off their fixtures today rather than leave it until matchday and with no chance whatsoever of the game taking place the postponement was a formality. A new date will be announced shortly. Meanwhile dates have been fixed for Town's two other recently postponed fixtures. The away game at Barnstaple Town which was called off just over an hour before kick-off on Tuesday evening has been rescheduled for Tuesday 20th March and the home match with Wimborne Town, postponed from next week due to them having a cup commitment, will take place on Tuesday 27th March.