Town will be hoping to recover from their midweek disappointment when they travel to Kidlington in the Evo-Stik League tomorrow (9th September), kick-off 3.00pm. Not only did the defeat to Tavistock in the Emirates FA Cup on Tuesday deprive the Peacocks of valuable prize money, it also brought to an end their unbeaten record this season so they will be looking to get back on track when they make their first ever visit to Yarnton Road tomorrow. Four wins from their opening four league fixtures has sent Town to the top of the West Division whilst their Oxfordshire hosts have experienced a mixed start to this season after transferring from the Central Division over the summer, currently lying in 15th spot. They have yet to win at home following an opening day draw with Yate and then defeat to Bristol Manor Farm but have gained an away victory at Winchester. They also remain in the Emirates FA Cup after thrashing St Margaretsbury 6-1 last weekend.
The Town squad will hopefully have a new face in it tomorrow subject to paperwork being processed in time for the transfer of Omar Simpson (pictured) from Paulton Rovers. The 27 year old striker was at Yeovil Town in his early career before going on to play for Chippenham Town and Frome Town, as well as a number of Western League clubs. He has also competed for Great Britain in athletics at both 200 and 400 metres. The Peacocks have also signed on former Under 18 player Matt Trump ahead of the trip east as they have a lengthy number of absentees tomorrow. Chris McGrath and Joe Charles remain on the injured list while Les Afful is suspended for one game after his sending off at Tavistock last Saturday. In addition Ben Palmer is away at a wedding and Lewis Powell is unavailable following seven day approaches from two other clubs. Assistant manager Michael Meaker is also away and Matt Villis is extremely doubtful with a hamstring injury. Manager Leigh Robinson commented:” It’s a bit of a step into the unknown tomorrow at a ground we’ve never been to. What we do know is that Kidlington have plenty of talent and have had a couple of good results already so it will be tricky as it’s also one of our longest trips of the season.”
There will be no Emirates FA Cup run from Town this season after they lost 2-1 to Peninsula League Tavistock at the Viridor Stadium in a 1st Qualifying Round replay yesterday evening (5th September). The Peacocks were basically not good enough on the night as they suffered their first home defeat in any competition since August 2016. They could hardly have made a worse start, Josh Grant firing the visitors ahead from the penalty spot in the first minute after Arran Pugh handled Dan Sullivan's cross. Pierce Mitchell and Ryan Brett both came close to an equaliser before Tavistock doubled their lead after 24 minutes, Town's defence in no mans' land as Luke Brown ran onto a long ball to steer past Lloyd Irish. The hosts offered little in response against the lively Lambs for the remainder of the half before Brett's cross hit the bar when play resumed. Ross Staley then gave the Peacocks hope when he drilled home a loose ball from just inside the box on 56 minutes but Tavistock continued to look dangerous on the break as Ben Cross fired against the post. Despite Town putting on the pressure, they were unable to muster much in the way of chances as they made an underwhelming exit from the competition. Match report can be viewed HERE while match photos from club photographers Tim Norbury and Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE and HERE. Goal highlights from the game can also be viewed on Peacocks TV HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson remarked:" Obviously we're really disappointed to exit the FA Cup at this stage. We knew before the game that the momentum was marginally with Tavistock after the way the game finished on Saturday and the plan was to try and wrestle that back but giving away a penalty after 30 seconds made that pretty difficult and allowed Tavistock to sit deep and counter attack us. Over the tie we unfortunately made more errors and Tavistock were more clinical in front of goal and that is what has cost us. Disappointed for the supporters who enjoyed themselves so much in this competition last year and we of course hoped to go further than this stage this season but it does allow us to focus on the league and save all of our energy for that."
Reaction - midfielder Shane White said:" Just absolutely gutted to be honest to be out of the FA Cup this early on. I thought we did enough second half not to win the game but to take it into extra time but it wasn't to be. Take nothing away from Tavistock, they would beat many teams in our league but now we're out it makes you realise how special last season's run was. We're top of the league though and and we know on our day we can beat anyone in this league. I'm sure we will put it right on Saturday and go and get another three points."
The Peacocks will be aiming to achieve a more consistent performance when they host Tavistock at the Viridor Stadium in an Emirates FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round replay tomorrow evening (5th September), kick-off 7.45pm. The first tie in Devon on Saturday seemed to be going to plan after Town built a 2-0 lead but then they faded badly, with Tavistock levelling the scores and looking the more likely winners. With home advantage, Town will hope to progress but the Lambs showed enough in the first game that they are more than capable of causing an upset as they provided the hardest match of the season so far for the Peacocks who will need to show greater focus tomorrow to get through and claim the £3,000 prize money on offer. Another incentive for the winner is a home tie against Southern Premier Frome Town in the next round on Saturday 16th September after the FA released the draw for the 2nd Qualifying Round today.
There will be one change to Town’s squad with centre half Matt Villis returning after serving a one match ban for his recent dismissal at Shortwood. Joe Charles and Chris McGrath though are both still sidelined through injury. Manager Leigh Robinson said;” It was a good contest on Saturday and an entertaining cup tie. Tavistock will arguably be more confident tomorrow than they were on Saturday so no one should be thinking that just because we’re at home now that will be the end of it. We disproved that last season at Hemel Hempstead.”
The Peacocks let slip a two goal lead as they had to settle for a 2-2 draw at Tavistock in the Emirates FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round yesterday afternoon (2nd September). It was a disappointing outcome for Town who started well against the Peninsula League champions but failed to maintain this standard over the 90 minutes. Town enjoyed plenty of possession without creating many clear chances until they took the lead after 32 minutes, Ollie Chamberlain latching onto a Lewis Powell pass to outwit his defender and drive home inside Josh Oak's near post. That goal gave the visitors the advantage at the interval and things looked rosy when Powell doubled the score six minutes into the second half, hooking Pierce Mitchell's cross past Oak after a bout of Town pressure. Lloyd Irish denied Jack Crago when he was put through but the warning was not heeded as Crago got his side back in it after 57 minutes, crashing home a drive after some generous defending. Matt Wright had a goal chalked out for allegedly impeding Oak but the hosts capitalised on some more slapdash play from Town to equalise on 82 minutes, the unmarked Crago heading home at the back post from Tyler Elliott's cross. The home team looked the most likely winner at this stage as Town's decline was capped off by Les Afful being sent off in stoppage time after receiving two quickfire yellow cards. The sides must now do it all again in the replay at the Viridor Stadium on Tuesday evening, kick-off 7.45pm. Match report can be viewed HERE and match photos from club photographer Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE. Goal highlights from the game can also be viewed on Peacocks TV HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson said:" Goals change games and no better example of that than today. We were crusing at 2-0 and in full control, gifted them a really poor goal to make it 2-1 and from there the momentum shifted and we couldn't wrestle it back. In many ways we ended up getting out of jail today as we were that poor in the final 20 minutes we could have lost, so the positive is that we can have another go at it on Tuesday night."
Reaction - midfielder and former captain Brett Trowbridge commented:" It started out looking a very promising afternoon but it ended a frustrating one. I thought going forward it was close to the best we had played this season since the Cirencester game especially for the first hour anyway. Olly scored a fantastic opening goal which is something he is more then capable of doing, then Lewis added a typical classy instinctive finish he is renowned for. Their goal sort of came from nowhere and knocked us out of our stride really. We are normally very good at defending a one goal lead but on this occasion it did not happen. The way we conceded both goals was disappointing from our perspective and it is not something that happens too often. We are still in the hat come Monday's draw though which is a positive on reflection. Tavistock are a good side who gave us plenty of problems and would do well in our league. We will have to be right on our game to progress to the next round on Tuesday night. They will bring a confidence with them and rightly so. We hope our fans will give us the edge being at home to help us get over the line so please get behind the team...Up The Peacocks!"
The Peacocks continue their Emirates FA Cup campaign when they travel to Tavistock for a 1st Round Qualifying tie tomorrow (2nd September), kick-off 3.00pm. A 3-0 victory over Larkhall Athletic a fortnight ago steered Town through the Preliminary Round, a game which has been sandwiched by four Evo-Stik League wins to leave Town with a 100% record so far this season. Tomorrow’s tie is a real banana skin though against the current Peninsula League champions who are also undefeated so far, having beaten Shepton Mallet and Shaftesbury to reach this stage in the competition whilst racking up 24 goals from four Peninsula League fixtures. Resounding victories over Falmouth and Witheridge were followed by a 3-0 win at Bodmin last weekend before the Lambs dropped their first points of the season and conceded their first league goals when drawing 3-3 with Launceston on Wednesday evening. The sides have met twice before in the competition, the Devon club winning a home tie 7-2 in the 1948-49 season while the Peacocks edged through 2-1 in the Preliminary Round seven years ago.
Town will not have a full complement available tomorrow. Chris McGrath remains on the injured list along with Joe Charles who has missed the last two games due to a knee strain while Matt Villis is suspended for one match following his sending off at Shortwood last weekend. Loan striker Olly Mehew though has been given permission to play in the competition by his parent club Forest Green Rovers so is in the squad. Assistant manager Michael Meaker commented:” We’re looking forward to the game tomorrow. It’s been an excellent start from the boys and we still haven’t been playing to the level we know we can but still been winning. We have a fantastic bunch of lads here this season who are all in it together and pure winners, the atmosphere in the changing rooms and training has been spot on. Let’s hope we can get fired up for tomorrow’s game and have another great FA Cup run this year.”
Town secured their fourth win from as many Evo-Stik League games when they beat Paulton Rovers 3-0 at a sun-drenched Viridor Stadium yesterday afternoon (28th August). The victory keeps the Peacocks 100% record intact and maintains their position at the top of the West Division table. Although not up to full speed, it proved a comfortable win for Town who bossed the first half. They had already come close through Matt Wright and Ryan Brett before the deadlock was broken on 26 minutes when Ollie Chamberlain was brought down by Joshua Cann and Les Afful drilled home the penalty. The lead was doubled a minute into first half stoppage time when Lloyd Irish's long free kick wasn't cleared and Afful laid the ball back to Chamberlain who swept home a lovely finish from the edge of the box. Ben Adelsbury rattled the post with a free kick moments into the second half and Lewis Powell later headed against the bar while Lloyd Irish had a quiet afternoon in the home goal as the heat began to take its toll on both sides. Loan striker Olly Mehew then wrapped the points up eight minutes from time, cutting in to beat the defence and rifle a fine strike into the roof of the net from 18 yards. Match report can be viewed HERE and photos from club photographers Tim Norbury and Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE and HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson remarked:" Another solid win on a really hot day which made it difficult for both teams. We defended really well again, Lloyd was rarely called upon and we took our chances when they came along despite not being at our best going forward. It's been a good month which we can put to bed now. I still think there is much more to come from this team and we have more gears to use if we need to. Despite the results I wouldn't say we've played brilliantly this month or been especially easy on the eye but we've been very effective in picking up results and controlling games and this is what it's going to be about this year. We all know we can still improve as a team and we'll be working hard in September to make sure this happens."
Reaction - Man of the Match and scorer of the second goal Ollie Chamberlain said:" The boys knew that coming into today's game was going to be difficult as it was a tough test on Saturday with the heat and finishing with 10 men, but I think we played well considering today's conditions. We made a couple of changes from Saturday which had a positive impact, as we started the game well and deservedly got the first goal through Les with a well taken penalty. I think after that we became a bit sloppy and didn't keep the pressure on them as we should have, but saying that we were able to get the second goal at a crucial time. With the two goal cushion, we wanted to control the game a bit more in the second half but with Saturday taking a lot out of us and the heat today, I think we started to flag a little which kept them in the game. With Olly getting the 3rd with a well taken finish we were then able to see the game out comfortably. It wasn't the prettiest of games but we were able to get the three points we deserved to maintain our 100% start, so overall we are pleased."
It’s two Evo-Stik League games in two days for the Peacocks when they entertain Paulton Rovers at the Viridor Stadium tomorrow afternoon (28th August), kick-off 3.00pm. As a result of Saturday’s victory at Shortwood , Town are the only side in the West Division with a 100% record after the opening three fixtures and they will be out to prolong that sequence against their old rivals tomorrow. However Paulton have hit some early season form since suffering a home defeat to Slimbridge on the opening day, a creditable draw at fancied Salisbury followed by an FA Cup win at Portland and then victory over Evesham.
The Peacocks name the same squad that travelled to Shortwood with the exception of Joe Charles who tweaked his knee in the warm-up so Ben Palmer may step in for his first involvement of the season on his way back from injury. Coach Rob Dray commented:” It will be another hard game tomorrow and in quick succession after Saturday so our strength in depth in the squad will need to kick in. Paulton have had some decent results so we are aware how difficult it will be. The management and players realise how much of a target we have become in a short period of time which in itself provides another set of problems, more mentally than anything else. Saturday was another example of a great away win, played well in periods but then made it hard for ourselves by not finishing teams off when we have them in deep water. All said we have defended well consistently and will always look dangerous in the final third with the quality we have so all positives. The league has thrown some random results out already and we all realise how important consistency is going to be this year.”
Town maintained their winning start to the season with a 2-1 Evo-Stik League victory at Shortwood United yesterday afternoon (26th August). It turned out to be a far from straightforward three points for the Peacocks who were quick out the blocks, grabbing an early lead after just seven minutes when Lewis Powell received a Pierce Mitchell pass inside the box and turned to fire goalwards where Ryan Brett was on hand to convert from close range. Town could have had the game sewn up by the break as they remained well on top. Matt Wright missed two good chances with Ross Staley the provider on each occasion whilst Lewis Powell had his penalty saved by Harry Pickering after Staley had been brought down seven minutes before the break. The Peacocks doubled their lead three minutes into the second half when Wright challenged Pickering for Brett's cross and the loose ball was poked home by Mitchell. The momentum of the game changed with just under twenty minutes left when Matt Villis was red carded as last man after being adjudged to have caught Levi Cox who stepped up to slot home the resultant penalty. Shortwood pressed forward in search of an equaliser but Town thankfully held firm to secure the points and climb to the top of the table. Match report can be viewed HERE and photos from club photographer Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson said:" In many ways yesterday was an example of just how unpredictable football at this level can be. We were fully in control for an hour, created numerous wonderful chances but couldn't quite put the game to bed with a third goal. Then the red card happens and a game that we were so comfortable in turns out to be a real battle for the last 20 minutes. However it was another useful win and a much better performance on the ball than the last two games, particularly in the first half."
Reaction - Man of the Match and scorer of the first goal Ryan Brett commented:" I thought we played some good football yesterday for the first 30 minutes on a very dry pitch making it difficult to move the ball quickly but we dug in until half time and came out and got a well deserved second. Obviously after the sending off, the game became a case of shutting up shop and being hard to break down, and everyone including the subs who came on put in a massive shift to take all three points home. I'd also like to wish Joe a speedy recovery and all the lads are right behind him."
As reported on our Twitter account earlier today, we are pleased to announce the loan signing of Olly Mehew from Forest Green Rovers. The 19 year old striker (right) has joined the Peacocks until 3rd January 2018 and goes straight into the squad for the Evo-Stik League trip to Shortwood United tomorrow (26th August), kick-off 3.00pm. Olly was on Blackburn Rovers’ books before joining Bristol Rovers where he went on to have loan spells at Mangotsfield United and Shortwood United. He signed for Forest Green Rovers in June 2016 and has since been out on loan at Mangotsfield twice, Salisbury and Cirencester before making his Forest Green debut as a substitute in their final league fixture of last season at York City. Manager Leigh Robinson commented:” It’s great to have Olly on board with us for a while. We’ve played against him a few times in the past and he’s always really impressed us with his pace and incisiveness so he’ll certainly give us a different dimension.”
As for tomorrow, the Peacocks will be aiming to maintain their 100% start to the season. Successive wins over Cirencester and Mangotsfield have got Town’s league campaign off to a good start which was followed by last Saturday’s victory against Larkhall Athletic in the Emirates FA Cup. Early season form would indicate Town have a chance of making it four from four tomorrow as their hosts have had a mixed start to the campaign, going down to a 4-2 home defeat to Winchester City on the opening day before recovering to gain a point from a 3-3 draw at Bristol Manor Farm. However they were then turfed out the Emirates FA Cup by South Midlands League side Colney Heath so will be anxious to get back on track against the Peacocks.
Manager Leigh Robinson again names an unchanged squad with the addition of Olly Mehew, with Ben Palmer and Chris McGrath still remaining on the injured list. The Town boss continued:” It’s notoriously a tricky place to go and hard to know what to expect this year as they have had such a turnover of players. We’re in good spirits though after the first fortnight and confidence is good so hopefully we can go and pick up a positive result to keep it going.”
Shortwood are issuing an online programme this season instead of a printed one. The link to the programme can be found HERE.
We are pleased to welcome two new Directors whose position on the club’s Board was ratified at last month’s AGM. Giuseppe Fraschini has joined as Marketing & Communications Director while Dominic Stead will become Community Director.
Fraschini (left), who is a Junior Cabinet Minister on Somerset County Council, will manage the development of the club’s marketing and social media platforms and has already rebranded and relocated the Club Shop at the Viridor Stadium. He commented:” I'm absolutely delighted and I want to thank the board and members for their trust they have placed in me. I've been coming down to watch the Peacocks since I was child and now to be part of the club and help it grow is a really exciting opportunity. We have a very special club, with big plans, great people and a bright future ahead.”
Stead (right) meanwhile who has a background in international property and client management will have the remit of forming and strengthening links with relevant parties in Taunton Deane to assist in moving the club forward. He remarked: “I am delighted and excited at the same time to be involved with Taunton Town FC as it begins its climb up the leagues. A key area will be growing the club in the community and beginning to look at how to improve the facilities and the ground to make sure the club is valued and needed. I am pleased to join the board to help Taunton Town achieve their long term plans.”
Chairman Kevin Sturmey added: “I’m delighted to welcome both Zeppi and Dominic to the Board who both have skill sets we will need moving forward. We have ambitions and plans for the future and need to make sure both the football side and business side of the club work in harmony. With the JPL teams starting as well, these are very exciting times at the Viridor Stadium on and off the pitch."