Town hit the road for the 2nd Round Qualifying of the FA Trophy following the draw made yesterday (31st October). They will visit league rivals Bishops Cleeve on Saturday 12th November, bringing to an end the Peacocks' amazing run of home draws in FA competitions which stretches to 14 ties over the past two seasons. In fact their last away draw in the FA Trophy was in 2013-14 when they lost at Swindon Supermarine, the side they conquered at the weekend. With the next FA Trophy round on the 12th November, this means Town's Evo-Stik league fixture at home to Larkhall Athletic will have to be rescheduled. Several other league games which have been postponed due to Town's cup involvement have now been rearranged. Paulton Rovers come to the Viridor Stadium on Tuesday 6th December with the trip to AFC Totton now planned for a week later on Tuesday 13th December. The away game at Bishops Cleeve which has been shifted from this coming weekend due to Town's FA Cup meeting with Barrow will now take place on Tuesday 10th January.
Town return briefly to Evo-Stik League duty when they host Slimbridge tomorrow evening (1st November), kick-off 7.45pm. League fixtures have become somewhat rarer for the Peacocks recently following their exploits in cup competitions which have accounted for six of the last eight matches played. The two league games Town have fulfilled have both resulted in comfortable victories and they will be keen to continue accumulating points to ascend the table tomorrow against their Gloucestershire visitors who have already travelled to the Viridor Stadium this season in the FA Cup, with Town winning through 2-0 thanks to goals from Matt Wright and Ryan Batley. The Swans made an impressive start to the campaign, actually being undefeated until their FA Cup exit, but have since struggled for form and have lost seven of their last eight league outings to rest in 17th place. Team changes will be necessary with Owen Irish suspended for one game after receiving five bookings this season and Ed Palmer away on a course. Striker Jordan Rogers has served his one game suspension but will not be risked ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup tie with Barrow after he was substituted at Yate last week due to a knee twinge. Matt Villis returns to the squad after missing the last three games because of injury whilst Town are set to include two new signings tomorrow night including wide midfielder Ross Staley (pictured) who has joined the Peacocks from league leaders Hereford. The 22 year old came up through the Bristol Rovers youth academy before going on to play for Yate Town, Gloucester City and Shortwood United until linking up with Hereford in January 2016. It is also hoped another new face will be involved subject to paperwork being processed in time. Manager Leigh Robinson commented:” It’s a tricky fixture tomorrow as Slimbridge gave us a real test in the FA Cup earlier this season. I guess people will be expecting us to rest numerous players tomorrow with Sunday in mind but we can’t really do that with three big players already unavailable. We’ll need to call on the strength of the squad again and hopefully a few will put their hand up and give me a sleepless night on Saturday over selection for Barrow.”
It was 35 years ago that the Peacocks reached the 1st Round Proper of the FA Cup for the first time in their history and we want the side that wore the claret and blue that day against Swindon Town at the County Ground to be present this Sunday when the current Town side take on Barrow at the Viridor Stadium. Club legend and record appearance holder Tony Payne is trying to organise the reunion of the 12 players present and to date has been in contact with several of the side. If anyone knows the whereabouts of any player from the team listed right or manager Frank McMahon, can they please contact Tony on (01823) 286042 or 07929 619695. Up The Peacocks!
The Peacocks kept up their fantastic form in cup competitions this season when they beat Swindon Supermarine 5-0 in the Buildbase FA Trophy 1st Qualifying Round at the Viridor Stadium yesterday afternoon (29th October). In truth the visitors got away lightly with the scoreline following a terrific Town performance which saw them 3-0 ahead at half time before adding two more after the break to seal a superb victory and add another £2,700 to their FA prize pot this season. Callum Martindale and Craig Veal had already spurned chances before Town took the lead on 16 minutes when Brett Trowbridge played in Veal who steadied himself to fire past Connor Johns. Veal, Ollie Chamberlain and Shane White all came close before Town increased their advantage on 39 minutes when Pierce Mitchell unleashed a stunning left foot volley into the top corner. Chamberlain then fed Veal to run on and steer the ball home a minute before the interval to put Town totally in command. Supermarine had their best spell in the early part of the second half without unduly troubling Lloyd Irish before Chamberlain made it 4-0 after 62 minutes, shooting past Johns after an Ed Palmer free kick had been headed down. A great run from Palmer then set up Veal to round Johns and fire home (as pictured) to secure his hat trick with nine minutes remaining while Chamberlain and Josh Searle nearly added further misery for Marine who were glad to hear the final whistle. 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 enthused:" As close to perfection as it gets today I thought. Probably our best performance in my time as manager and simply incredibly enjoyable to watch. We created loads of chances, passed it well, had good movement and had terrific cutting edge all afternoon. Overall it's been a great week with three wins, 13 goals scored and some prize money in the bank. A good confidence boost before the big game next weekend."
There’s more cup action for Town tomorrow afternoon (29th October) when they entertain Swindon Supermarine in the 1st Round Qualifying of the Buildbase FA Trophy, kick-off 3.00pm. The Peacocks’ sensational run to the 1st Round Proper of the Emirates FA Cup has understandably taken all the headlines but the FA Trophy can prove another valuable source of income and provide the potential for a meeting with one of non-league’s bigger guns in the later stages. Tomorrow’s encounter at the Viridor Stadium with league rivals Supermarine will be another difficult game for Town who have already met the Swindon side this season, going down to a narrow 2-1 defeat at the Webbswood Stadium last month. Marine are again amongst the leading pack in the South and West Division, sitting in 5th place and having scored five goals in each of their two most recent away fixtures although they did go down 3-0 at home to Hereford on Tuesday evening. However, with £2700 on offer for tomorrow’s winners, Town who are unbeaten in their last five matches can approach the tie with confidence on the back of their recent performances. Town will not be at full strength though, with Jordan Rogers suspended for one game after accumulating five bookings this season whilst Ryan Batley is unavailable due to work commitments and both Matt Villis and James Regan are attending weddings. Ed Palmer is back in the squad after missing the trip to Yate due to being away on a course.
Town maintained their fine recent form with a resounding 5-1 victory at Yate Town in the Evo-Stik League on Tuesday evening (25th October). The Peacocks had been much the better side in a goalless first half but were unable to make the crucial breakthrough. A Jordan Rogers' header smacked back off the post and Shane White's follow-up was kept out by Yate keeper Jono Brown while other attempts from Pierce Mitchell and Ollie Chamberlain weren't far off. Town were rocked when Luke Bryan fired the hosts in front from a Ciaran Greening free kick five minutes after the interval, however Town responded in style. White brought Town level from the penalty spot on 58 minutes after Brett Trowbridge had been brought down and Craig Veal headed in an Adam Kelly cross five minutes later (as pictured) to put the Peacocks ahead. Matt Wright buried a header past Brown from Kelly's free kick from the right after 69 minutes before adding his second of the night and Town's fourth on 86 minutes when he received Kelly's pass to beat his marker and fire home through Brown's legs. White leaped to head home a Kelly free kick one minute from time as Town extended their unbeaten run to five games. Match report can be viewed HERE and match photos from club photographer Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson remarked:" It was a good performance and nice to get a few goals. Football is all about winning but there has to be an element of enjoyment and the way we played tonight you could see the players enjoyed it which is important to me. We were very creative in the first half but couldn't find the final ball or finish and their goal early in the second half was probably a blessing in disguise as it meant we had to up the urgency. After Shane equalised with the penalty, Adam came on and changed the game by adding some real impetus and freshness, and Vealy also got going in the second half, causing lots of problems. It's great for me to be able to keep rotating the squad and see everyone playing for places and hopefully this will continue for a few more weeks."
Following discussions with various parties including the local Football Licensing Officer and given the level of interest shown in the game, it has been decided that Town's FA Cup 1st Round Proper tie at home to Barrow on Sunday 6th November will be all-ticket. Full details to follow.
The Peacocks will look to maintain their winning form when they travel to Yate Town in the Evo-Stik League tomorrow evening (25th October), kick-off 7.45pm. Saturday’s victory over Winchester was Town's first league fixture in a month and they will be keen to maintain the momentum at Lodge Road against a Yate side that lie one place below Town in 13th but having played four more games. The Bluebells had a mediocre start to the season but revived during September, picking up nine points from twelve which included a win over Salisbury, and have won two of their last three outings including a 2-1 success at Bishops Cleeve at the weekend. Manager Leigh Robinson said:” We’re expecting a tough game tomorrow as Yate have picked up a lot recently but we’re playing with confidence at the moment and with a near fully fit squad have plenty of options in terms of personnel and formations so provided the concentration levels are as high as they have been in the last few weeks we’ve every chance of picking up a result.” Centre half Ed Palmer is unavailable as he is away on a course but Pierce Mitchell who missed Saturday’s match returns to the squad.
Ten home Saturdays in the past eleven weeks haven't dampened the Town faithful's support as another healthy crowd of 370 witnessed a 3-1 Evo-Stik League victory for the Peacocks over Winchester City yesterday afternoon (22nd October). The league fixture was Town's first since their defeat at Swindon Supermarine four weeks earlier but they were never in any danger of suffering a second consecutive loss yesterday and would have won by a more convincing margin had it not been for visiting keeper Lewis Noice. He made saves from Jordan Rogers, Craig Veal,Callum Martindale and Owen Irish amongst others before finally being breached after 41 minutes when Rogers rifled home from the left side of the area after receiving a long cross from Shane White. Noice made another block to stop Rogers from converting just before half time but the second half was only six minutes old when Town doubled their tally, Owen Irish heading home from Adam Kelly's corner (as pictured). Noice made several more important contributions while Matt Wright headed against the woodwork, but no further goals arrived until the end. Alex Hoyle nodded in Ryan Batley's corner from close range on 90 minutes before Winchester notched a consolation after 94 minutes when Howard Neighbour scored from the spot after an Owen Irish challenge on Dan Simmonds. The win sees Town up to 12th spot with games in hand on all sides above them, and they now prepare for Tuesday's trip to Yate Town for another League clash. Match report can be viewed HERE and match photographs from club photographers Tim Norbury and Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE and HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson remarked:" It was a good performance and a welcome league win. In fairness it should have been a lot more comfortable but their keeper had a great game, making eleven saves I think we counted. We rotated the team a lot after the efforts of midweek and the lads who came in did an excellent job as we knew they would, particularly Alex Hoyle and Josh Searle who were very good. All in all a good win to conclude an exceptional week but we need to keep our focus as the games are coming thick and fast".
After the euphoria of Tuesday’s epic FA Cup victory at Hemel Hempstead, Town return to the bread and butter of the Evo-Stik League when they entertain Winchester City at the Viridor Stadium tomorrow afternoon (22nd October), kick-off 3.00pm. It will be the Peacocks’ first league fixture for four weeks, having had a run of five successive cup ties since their 2-1 defeat at Swindon Supermarine towards the end of September. The game is also the tenth weekend out of the last eleven that Town have been at home, a remarkable sequence that will continue for at least the next fortnight. With all their recent cup activity, Town have fallen behind with their league campaign and have played only eight games so far, three or four fewer than most of the other sides in the division which means Town’s current 15th spot is somewhat misleading. Tomorrow’s opponents Winchester sit in 13th place with 13 points from 11 games but although doing nothing spectacular leaguewise they have also enjoyed a successful FA Cup run themselves this season, knocking out National League South Truro City before departing at Harrow Borough in the Third Qualifying Round three weeks ago. Team changes will be necessary for the Peacocks tomorrow with Pierce Mitchell unavailable due to work commitments while Matt Villis was injured at Hemel so won’t be risked. Skipper Brett Trowbridge returns after missing the midweek fun and recent signing Alex Hoyle who is cup tied is also in the squad. Manager Leigh Robinson commented:” We’ll need to rotate the team quite a bit tomorrow after the huge physical effort of Tuesday night but the squad is strong so I’m confident we can do this without being any weaker. It’ll be a hard game to approach mentally after the high of Tuesday night and could be tricky to negotiate but one thing we do have is plenty of confidence and that’s something you can’t buy or force into people.”