The Viridor Stadium stages its first game of the New Year when Town host AFC Totton in the Evo-Stik League tomorrow afternoon (7th January), kick-off 3.00pm. It will be the second meeting between the sides in the space of four weeks after the Peacocks returned from Hampshire with a 3-1 victory last month and hopes will be high that the league double can be achieved tomorrow and in the process register Town’s ninth successive win, their best run of form since the end of the 2013-14 season when they won their final nine fixtures. Totton have found it hard going this season, currently sitting in 20th spot but despite their lowly position have won at North Leigh, their sole success on the road so far, and taken a point at promotion challengers Evesham United so there will be no room for complacency from Town tomorrow as they seek to maintain their play-off chase. Manager Leigh Robinson remarked:” We had a good win at Totton a few weeks ago but they had a couple of decent players missing that night and have signed a few since then so they are likely to be improved from the team that we faced last month. We’re in good shape though and as well as wanting to carry on our winning run, the players will all want to play for a place in the side at Hereford next week in front of a big crowd.” Craig Duff is again absent tomorrow due to a hamstring injury while Pierce Mitchell will also not be involved due to the same type of complaint although his omission is more of a precaution and he should be ready for next weekend’s big game at Edgar Street.
Town secured a fantastic eighth successive Evo-Stik League victory after a 4-2 win at Bideford yesterday afternoon (2nd January). It was far from the most convincing Peacocks' performance of the season but they ultimately got the job done against the North Devon side to remain well placed for a play-off push. Town couldn't have asked for a better opening, Matt Wright nodding on Alex Hoyle's long ball to Jordan Rogers who calmly slotted home past keeper Grant Fisher inside the first minute (as pictured). Rogers latched onto a flicked goal kick to drill home a second goal from 18 yards with only three minutes gone, with Fisher then going on to deny Rogers twice and an Ed Palmer free kick. Bideford reduced the arrears when James Richards fired home a 25 yard free kick on 35 minutes but Town hit back immediately, Owen Irish heading in a Shane White corner to make it 3-1 two minutes later. After Town had withstood some increased Bideford pressure after the break, Ross Staley expertly swept home Town's fourth of the afternoon on 66 minutes after Ollie Chamberlain had laid the ball back to him. However Bideford continued to ask questions of Town who conceded another goal six minutes from time when Richards netted his second free kick of the match. The Peacocks though deterred a late home surge to claim victory and remain in seventh spot. 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:" It wasn't the prettiest of games on a sticky pitch but a well earned three points at a difficult place to win. We knew Bideford had a weakness in goal today with their usual keeper missing so the plan was to try and get shots away early in the game and this worked well getting two goals. Overall we weren't physically at our best today, you could see the Christmas period had affected the players' rhythm a little bit as we've become used to playing more games but hopefully today has helped us get over that and we'll be sharper on Saturday."
Town will hope to carry on where they left off when they open 2017 with an Evo-Stik League game at Bideford tomorrow afternoon (2nd January), kick-off 3.00pm. Seven wins on the bounce have put the Peacocks within touching distance of the play-off zone and with games in hand are well positioned to make a concerted challenge in the second half of the season. The trip to North Devon will not be easy though with ninth placed Bideford among a host of clubs who can also stake a claim for a play-off berth come April. Town have already visited the Sports Ground this season, an experimental side consisting of Under 18’s and fringe players going down to a 4-0 defeat in the Southern League Challenge Cup in October, and with the Robins buoyed by their victory in the derby game at Barnstaple on Boxing Day, Town will need to be in the groove to get something from the match. The only injury doubt for the Peacocks is Craig Duff who left the action early against Tiverton on Boxing Day with a hamstring tweak, otherwise manager Leigh Robinson has a full squad to select from. He commented:” It will be an interesting game as both sets of players know each other well. Bideford have an experienced side and plenty of talent, and play their home pitch well so we need to be at our best to keep our excellent winning run going.”
We are delighted to report that we have won the Division One South & West Team of the Month award for December, the second time this season that we have won the accolade. It follows a perfect month in which the Peacocks won all six of their Evo-Stik League fixtures, scoring 24 goals in the process and conceding only three. The club will receive a cut glass trophy along with a 4.5 litre bottle of Bell's Whisky which will be presented before a home game in January. The award comes hot on the heels of our Team of the Month success for October which was presented before the home game with Evesham United earlier this month by our Director Brian Rose in his capacity as a Southern League Director (as pictured left) to manager Leigh Robinson and Chairman Kevin Sturmey. Town won both their League fixtures during October along with four Cup matches including the notable scalps of National League South sides Hampton & Richmond Borough and Hemel Hempstead Town in the FA Cup. Here's to some more awards in 2017!
Supporters who attended our FA Cup 1st Round Proper tie at home to Barrow were invited to hand in their match tickets at the recent home games with Evesham United and Paulton Rovers earlier this month in order to be entered into a prize draw. The draw took place before Boxing Day's encounter with Tiverton Town and the three prize winners can be announced as follows:
Replica Shirt - Adam Kent
Family Ticket to a home Evo-Stik League game - Morgan Kmita
FA Cup commemorative bottle of champagne - Derek Norman
Congratulations to all prizewinners who can email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange collection of their prizes from the club office.
A double strike from Jordan Rogers propelled the Peacocks to their seventh successive Evo-Stik League win after they beat Tiverton Town 2-0 at the Viridor Stadium yesterday afternoon (26th December). The first half was a somewhat cagey affair with minimal chances, the visitors' having the best opportunity early on following a defensive mistake but Levi Landricombe saw his shot cleared off the line. Rogers lashed home a shot from the left side of the box two minutes after the break to hand Town the advantage after Matt Wright had flicked on a free kick before Rogers fired home another on 72 minutes following a centre from Pierce Mitchell. Owen Howe and Levi Landricombe were both dismissed for the visitors in the final few minutes as the Peacocks ended 2016 on a high note. Match report can be viewed HERE and match photos from club photographer Tim Norbury can be viewed HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson commented:" A good win for us in what was a typically scrappy Boxing Day game really. Whilst chances were at a premium I thought we showed more intent throughout and on the day had the quality in front of goal with two good finishes from Jordan which were probably both half chances. Whilst we can enjoy our day today I think we all know that should the teams meet again in April then that will be the more important game to win, FA Cup aside."
The scene is set for a Boxing Day treat at the Viridor Stadium when the Peacocks take on local rivals Tiverton Town in the Evo-Stik League, kick-off 1.00pm. The Devon side, which includes a sizeable number of former Town players in their ranks, are enjoying a fine league season, having lost only twice in 22 matches to sit ten points behind leaders Hereford in second spot. Since suffering their only home defeat to Shortwood in early November, Tiverton have embarked on an unbeaten seven game run, winning six including notable victories at Salisbury and Evesham United. During that sequence, striker Levi Landricombe has hit the net eleven times but Town are already well aware of his threat after he scored a first half hat trick in the memorable FA Cup tie at the Viridor in August which finished 4-4. The Peacocks went on to gain a deserved 2-0 win in the replay before returning to Ladysmead less than a week later to fight out a 1-1 draw in the league fixture thanks to a Pierce Mitchell equaliser. Meanwhile, since their FA Trophy reverse at Chelmsford City in late November, Town have reeled off six league victories on the trot and rattled in 23 goals to sit in 7th spot with games in hand to climb higher into the play-off zone. Town will have a full squad to select from, with Ed Palmer available after serving his two game suspension and both Ben Palmer and Brett Trowbridge fit to return after knocks.
The Peacocks racked up their sixth successive Evo-Stik League victory with a 9-0 drubbing of Wantage Town this afternoon (17th December). Town were dominant from start to finish at a gloomy Alfredian Park, going ahead as early as the 4th minute when Craig Duff got free in the box to shoot wide of home keeper Eddie Cavanagh (as pictured). Owen Irish headed home from Shane White's corner on 13 minutes to double the lead and when a ricochet hit Irish to find the net after 20 minutes the points were secure for the visitors. Ross Staley then scored twice in two minutes, steering home a Duff centre on 22 minutes and rifling home from a Pierce Mitchell cross soon after. Owen Irish bagged his hat trick via a close range header from a White corner as a rampant Town rattled in six inside the first half hour. The game quietened up to half time but Town were back on the offensive after the break. However missed chances and a rare Lloyd Irish save from Sean McKeown kept the scoreboard from altering until the 67th minute when Matt Wright headed in from Staley's corner for number seven. As the fog thickened Craig Veal had a goal disallowed before another quality cross from White was nodded in by Duff for his second and the Peacocks' eighth of the afternoon. Wright's header was blocked on the line but there was still time for a final goal, Staley notching a deserved hat trick of his own when his free kick evaded everyone and went under Cavanagh a minute from time. Victory lifts Town up to 7th, allowing them to celebrate Christmas in good spirits ahead of the Boxing Day derby with Tiverton Town at the Viridor Stadium. Match report can be viewed HERE and match photos from club photographer Colin Andrews and supporter Martin Bamforth can be viewed HERE and HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson commented:"It was a good win on a heavy and sticky pitch. Delighted with the attitude of the players as it's days like today that if you don't apply yourself it's easy to get turned over. I know plenty of people around the league were saying that we'd struggle after the cup runs for motivation but that's six straight wins since Chelmsford, four of which were away so the players have showed great desire to get straight back in the groove in the league. We're in the playoff hunt at Christmas which would have been the aim in August so adding in the cup run into it we can say the first half of the season has been an enormous success and hopefully we can kick on after Christmas."
Town will hope to sign off for Christmas with another three Evo-Stik League points when they travel to Wantage Town tomorrow afternoon (17th December), kick-off 3.00pm. Five wins in a row have propelled the Peacocks up to ninth place in the table and another victory tomorrow will leave them in good shape ahead of the Boxing Day clash with high flying Tiverton Town. The trip to Oxfordshire though throws up a potential banana skin, with Wantage languishing one place off the bottom of the table with only one league victory all season which came against fellow strugglers Bridgwater Town last month. Since that success the Alfredians have picked up a solitary point from five games, although last weekend they only went down to a single goal defeat to runaway leaders Hereford. Following that game manager Stuart Cattell stood down so a caretaker boss will be in charge for Town’s visit tomorrow. Centre half Ed Palmer misses out as he completes his two game suspension while Ben Palmer and captain Brett Trowbridge both have injury niggles so are also absent. Craig Duff though who missed the midweek match at Totton returns to the squad. Manager Leigh Robinson remarked:” Wantage were only narrowly beaten by Hereford last week so clearly there’s some spirit there. We’ve heard it’s not the greatest pitch in the world so we need to adapt tomorrow and show good application in what might not be ideal conditions.”
Another double strike from Matt Wright helped the Peacocks to a 3-1 Evo-Stik League victory at AFC Totton yesterday evening (13th December). Town made an ideal start after just two minutes when Ben Palmer's corner was flicked on by Matt Villis and Wright fired home from close range. A Jordan Rogers free kick beat the wall and the dive of keeper Charlie Searle to put Town two up and in the driving seat on 25 minutes, with Wright and Rogers both close to adding to the tally before the interval. Town went off the boil in the second half and Totton enjoyed more possession, reducing the arrears on 73 minutes when Dave Allen headed in a Mike Gosney corner. However the Peacocks sealed the points and their fifth consecutive win when Wright powered home a header from Shane White's free kick six minutes later (as pictured). The victory saw Town rise two places to ninth as they now prepare for another away day this Saturday at Wantage Town. Match report can be viewed HERE and match photos from club photographer Colin Andrews and supporter Martin Bamforth can be viewed HERE and HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson said:" A long midweek trip which is never easy but a good job done by the players. We continued our recent habit of starting games well and scoring early goals and long may this continue. The second half went a bit flat as we missed chances to seal it at 2-0 and tired a little due to recent workload but happy to have got over the line again and continue on our winning run."