The Peacocks made it seven games unbeaten when they gained a comfortable 4-1 Evo-Stik League victory over Winchester City at a windswept Viridor Stadium yesterday afternoon. Town were good value for the points against a City side which began the day in fourth spot but which soon found themselves trailing after Matt Wright was pulled to the floor inside the box and Ben Adelsbury sent Ryan Pryce the wrong way from the spot with just seven minutes played. Good work by Ross Staley then freed Pierce Mitchell and from his right wing centre Ollie Chamberlain controlled and slotted home to double the lead after 30 minutes. Winchester got themselves back in it seven minutes later when Oli Bailey's far post header went in off Adelsbury following a Dan Williamson cross. The testing conditions continued after the break but this did not deter Town from taking a 3-1 lead after 54 minutes, Ryan Brett's miscued cross-shot falling to Staley who had his first effort blocked by Pryce but netted the rebound. Staley was then denied by Pryce for a second time before the Peacocks wrapped up the scoring with twenty minutes to go when Mitchell's ball across goal was drilled home by Matt Wright. Dan Sullivan forced Pryce into another save as Town maintained their three point lead at the top. Match report can be viewed HERE while match photos from club photographers Tim Norbury and Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE and HERE. Match highlights can be seen on Peacocks TV HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson remarked:" A good win and a good performance to go with it. In fairness both teams tried to play football and put on a decent show in pretty bad conditions. I thought we started excellently and showed real attacking intent to go into a 2-0 lead. Their goal knocked us a little bit against the run of play but we kept coming forward in the second half and Ross' goal settled us down again and we were able to enjoy the rest of the game. A job well done and we move on to two important games next week in two competitions."
Reaction - opening goalscorer Ben Adelsbury said:" It was a great result in difficult conditions, especially in the second half playing against the swirling wind. I thought we played some nice football at times, using our full backs to maximum effect to create our chances and goals. We now look forward to hopefully picking up another three points at Slimbridge on Wednesday evening."
Town will be seeking to maintain their three point cushion at the top of the Evo-Stik League table when they entertain Winchester City tomorrow afternoon (21st October), kick-off 3.00pm. Last Saturday’s win at Swindon Supermarine saw the Peacocks keep their league momentum going after securing eight victories from their opening ten fixtures and only one defeat. The visit of the Hampshire side to the Viridor Stadium tomorrow promises to be another tricky test, with Winchester lying in 4th position and having won four of their five away games in the league so far this season, their only loss coming at Cirencester last month. After ending September with two impressive wins on the road, the Citizens have gone four matches without a victory in all competitions, last weekend’s draw with Paulton halting a sequence of three successive defeats.
The Peacocks welcome back Matt Wright, Ben Adelsbury, Shane White and Dan Sullivan to the squad after all were rested for the midweek Somerset Premier Cup tie against Ashton & Backwell. Brett Trowbridge is also fit to return but Mark Preece, Matt Villis, Joe Charles and Arran Pugh remain on the injured list. Coach Rob Dray commented:” It’s another big test for us tomorrow. Winchester were a good side last year and strengthened well in the close season. After our performance last week which was our best of the season so far, we haven't let ourselves get carried away this week and the message to the lads is as it has been all year, which is head down, do the fundamentals well and take care of our own business. As we have seen in this division there have been a number of so called surprise results on a weekly basis so our focus is on what we do. The squad as it usually does has evolved over the last six weeks and as a management team we never stand still in trying to raise the bar and keep the competition within the group as high as possible. At the same time we have a good group now and won't get players in just for the sake of it so it's a fine balancing act”. Tomorrow’s game will be the first opportunity for home fans to see recent signing Sullivan in action and Dray continued:”He's been a breath of fresh air with his unselfish style and work rate. We’re lucky to have him here and look forward to working with him. Tuesdays game gave some much needed time to several of our longer term injured including Macca, Ben and Owen who all came through unscathed and will give us some more depth than we have had in recent weeks.”
A solitary goal from Shaun Anthony just before the break was enough for the Peacocks to beat Ashton and Backwell United 1-0 in the Somerset Premier Cup 1st Round yesterday evening (17th October). A much changed Town side had a frustrating evening at times against the Stags who were indebted to their keeper Lewis Coombes for keeping the score down. Michael Meaker blasted a good chance over and Coombes denied both Ryan Brett's free kick and Les Afful's shot before Town grabbed the breakthrough five minutes before half time, good work by Matt Trump and Afful ending with Anthony tucking home. Further chances came and went for the hosts when play resumed, Coombes foiling Meaker and Ross Staley with fine saves while a cross from Meaker hit the crossbar. Lloyd Irish had a quiet night in comparison, a good stop from Callum Biggins in the first half being his main contribution. The Peacocks now face Weston-super-Mare in the 2nd Round. Match report can be viewed HERE and match photos from club photographers Tim Norbury and Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE and HERE. Match highlights can also be seen on Peacocks TV HERE.
Reaction - coach Rob Dray said:" Pleased with the outcome of the game, it ticked a lot of boxes in that we progressed to the next round of the cup as holders and importantly we didn't get injuries to add to the list!! We played at a pleasing tempo,and credit to Ashton & Backwell, they never gave in and pushed us for 90 minutes. Tom Stone and Trumpy excelled and these games are a great platform for these players. Other plusses were Macca, Ben and Owen coming through 90 minutes with no complications while Shaun and Meaks showed superb desire and attitude and they put in a great shift between them. In all a good night."
Reaction - centre half Owen Irish who made a return to action for the first time in over five weeks commented:" Many positives to take from the game last night. Lots of players getting much needed minutes under their belts, further first team experience for young, talented local lads and progressing through the next round of a cup which is valued by the club and fans. Although the score line would potentially suggest a tight game, I think that if it wasn't for their keeper, who was in fine form, we could have easily scored five or six. I believe all the lads involved came through the game unscathed and an exciting fixture awaits us in the next round."
The Peacocks begin their defence of the Somerset Premier Cup when they play Ashton and Backwell United at the Viridor Stadium tomorrow evening (17th October), kick-off 7.45pm. The first round tie was originally scheduled for last Tuesday but had to be rearranged due to Town’s FA Trophy replay at AFC Totton. Tomorrow’s visitors currently lie in 19th spot in the Toolstation Western League First Division with three wins from their 12 fixtures to date including a 2-1 victory in their most recent game against Bishop Sutton.
Manager Leigh Robinson takes the opportunity to make changes following Saturday’s win at Swindon Supermarine. Matt Wright, Shane White, Ben Adelsbury and Dan Sullivan are all rested while Brett Trowbridge and Mark Preece both have injuries along with longer term absentees Arran Pugh, Matt Villis and Joe Charles. Owen Irish and Ben Palmer return to the line-up after a spell out injured while Tom Stone, Matt Trump and Shaun Anthony who all played in the Southern League Cup win at Bideford will start the game along with evergreen assistant manager Michael Meaker. Ross Staley and Ollie Chamberlain are in the squad but will be on the bench. Following the draw made this evening, the winners of tomorrow’s tie will host National League South side Weston-super-Mare in the 2nd Round in week commencing 6th November. The Peacocks beat Weston in last season’s final to win the trophy for the third time in four years.
Town ended the only remaining unbeaten record in the West Division of the Evo-Stik League South with a fine 3-2 victory at Swindon Supermarine yesterday afternoon (14th October). It followed a superb first half performance by the Peacocks who built up a two goal lead and were unlucky not to score more. Shane White saw his header hit the post with Ross Staley's follow-up cleared off the line, and then Matt Wright's finish was ruled out for offside. New signing Dan Sullivan then rifled a great strike off the crossbar before Town's dominance paid dividends after 28 minutes when Wright headed home White's corner at the near post. Supermarine then had a goal of their own chalked off before Town added a second a minute before the break when Ollie Chamberlain latched onto a Ben Adelsbury pass to loft the ball over Marine keeper Josh Hill from a tight angle and run in to nod into the unguarded net. Supermarine came out on the offensive and were back on level terms after an hour. Brad Hooper converted a penalty four minutes into the second half after White brought down Joe Selman and then TJ Bohane scored from close range after a miscued shot had fallen to him. However Town showed true character to hit back straightaway and after Adelsbury's free kick had smacked off the post, a lovely move ended with Sullivan netting from Pierce Mitchell's cross to give the visitors a 3-2 lead after 65 minutes. Wright found the net again but the flag was raised, however Town deservedly saw out the rest of the game to claim another three points to stay at the summit of the table. Match report can be viewed HERE and match photos from club photographer Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE while match highlights on Peacocks TV can be seen HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson remarked:" A really good win to top off a fantastic week. In the first half I thought we really looked the part and played fantastically well with plenty of energy and incisiveness. We had a mad ten minutes after half time when we gave away a bad penalty and then their second goal which was a bit fortunate but the reaction from the team was fantastic and arguably more pleasing than the first half performance. I'm delighted with the character, desire and application of the players this week in two tricky away fixtures and hopefully we can now replicate this at home in the next fortnight."
Reaction - Pierce Mitchell who set up Dan Sullivan's winner commented:" I thought the first half of the game was probably our best half of football we have played this season. The shape was the best it's been and we had total control of the game. Conceding the penalty so soon after half time of course gave them momentum. After they drew level I thought we showed great team spirit and all the boys dug in and didn't panic. It was great to see Sully get the winner after a good team goal. Overall a good performance and the boys are all ready for the next game."
Reactions - you can watch post-match reflections on Peacocks TV from assistant manager Michael Meaker HERE and Man of the Match Dan Sullivan HERE.
The Peacocks potentially face their most difficult game of the campaign so far when they travel to Swindon Supermarine in the Evo-Stik League tomorrow afternoon (14th October), kick-off 3.00pm. Supermarine are the only side in the West Division remaining unbeaten in the League and will be sure to provide a tough test of Towns’ table topping credentials. After drawing their opening two fixtures of the season, the Swindon outfit went on to win their next eight games including victory at fancied Salisbury and a run to the Third Qualifying Round of the Emirates FA Cup where they bowed out to Paulton Rovers. They also maintain their interest in the Buildbase FA Trophy after last weekend’s win over Barnstaple.
After Tuesday’s battling win at AFC Totton in an FA Trophy replay, manager Leigh Robinson thankfully has no new injury problems for tomorrow’s game and will include the returning Mark Preece and Chris McGrath in the squad although both are unlikely to start. Owen Irish and Ben Palmer will not be involved but are likely to play in Tuesday’s Somerset Premier Cup tie against Ashton and Backwell United at the Viridor Stadium. Arran Pugh, Matt Villis and Joe Charles though all remain on the injured list. The Town boss commented:” We’re expecting a really tough game tomorrow as Swindon are always a decent side and especially at home. Our confidence levels are good though after Tuesday so we’ll be confident of picking up a result if we can replicate our midweek performance.”
A Ross Staley goal in extra time saw the Peacocks progress in the Buildbase FA Trophy with a 2-1 victory at AFC Totton in a Preliminary Round replay yesterday evening (10th October). Pierce Mitchell fired home from the edge of the box to give Town the lead after 33 minutes but the Stags hit back to equalise on 52 minutes with a strike from Charlie Gunson. Neither side could find the net again in normal time and it was left to Staley to score the deciding goal at the end of the first period of extra time. Match report can be viewed HERE and match photos from club photographer Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE. Highlights from the game can also be viewed on Peacocks TV HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson remarked:" A really gutsy win in the circumstances and full credit to the players. With so many centre backs unavailable, we really had to patch the defence up but Brett Trowbridge was brilliant in there alongside Shane and Ben. Dan Sullivan got off a plane at 6am and grafted through 120 minutes on his debut which again shows the character we called upon last night from everyone. Three games in a row against Totton we’ve been 1-0 up and in complete control and each time they’ve scored out of nowhere to equalise, but delighted on this occasion that we were able to respond and can now look forward to a home tie against Merthyr which should draw a decent crowd."
Town will hope to negotiate the Preliminary Round of the Buildbase FA Trophy at the second time of asking when they travel to AFC Totton for the replay tomorrow evening (10th October), kick-off 7.45pm. After Ben Adelsbury had given the Peacocks a first half lead in Saturday's first meeting, Totton equalised after the break to necessitate tomorrow's game to determine who will scoop the £3,000 prize money and the right to host Merthyr Town in the next round. Town will be boosted by the return of skipper Matt Wright after his one game suspension while new signing Dan Sullivan from Tavistock is in the squad for the first time after being away for two weeks on holiday. However Chris McGrath is unavailable and Matt Villis and Mark Preece are both on the injured list along with Owen Irish, Ben Palmer, Arran Pugh and Joe Charles.
The Peacocks face a replay after being held to a 1-1 draw by AFC Totton in the Buildbase FA Trophy Preliminary Round this afternoon (7th October). After Ryan Brett and Ben Adelsbury had come close, Town made the breakthrough after 26 minutes when Adelsbury netted with a free kick from just outside the box to hand his side a deserved lead at the break. Lloyd Irish made a fine stop to deny Craig Feeney who then drew the sides level on 57 minutes with a simple finish after Irish had failed to hold a long ball downfield. Feeney fired against the bar as Totton had their best spell before Town hit back, with Ross Staley shooting over and Mark Preece having a goalbound drive blocked. Irish then made another telling save in the dying stages from Charlie Gunson to earn the Peacocks another bite of the cherry on Tuesday evening. Match report can be viewed HERE and match photos from club photographers Tim Norbury and Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE and HERE. Goal highlights can also be viewed on Peacocks TV HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson remarked:" Although obviously a bit frustrated, I’m far from disappointed today as I thought we played well. The only criticism would be that we didn’t put the game to bed when we were in complete control and their goal came a bit out of nowhere. Neither team created loads of chances but we had a great chance late on and a few good half chances that we didn’t quite take. The lads were very disappointed in the referee as they were adamant that we should have had two penalties particularly in the second half where Ross had the ball in the box when he was fouled so quite how we ended up with a free kick outside the box is a bit of a mystery but we’re in the tie and happy to have another crack on Tuesday."
The Peacocks continue with the cup theme when they entertain divisional rivals AFC Totton in the Preliminary Round of the Buildbase FA Trophy tomorrow afternoon (7th October), kick-off 3.00pm. Town will be chasing their second victory over the Stags in the space of three weeks after coming out on top by a 2-1 margin in the recent Evo-Stik League game at the Viridor Stadium. After that meeting Totton, who currently lie in 7th, went on to lose their next match on penalties in the Hampshire Senior Cup but have since been unbeaten in their last four games, with League wins over Larkhall and North Leigh and a draw with Wimborne plus a convincing success at Winchester in the midweek BigFreeBet.com Challenge Cup. Town meanwhile have won three of their four games played in the same time period with only the blip against Yate blemishing their record so far this season. The scene is therefore set for another keenly contested encounter tomorrow with £3000 prize money on offer for the victors.
After Tuesday’s win at Bideford with a threadbare squad, Town will be boosted by the return of several players tomorrow although still not up to full numbers. Shane White and Brett Trowbridge are back after being suspended for midweek while Omar Simpson is available after receiving a knock last Saturday. There will be fitness checks for Pierce Mitchell and Mark Preece along with Matt Villis and Chris McGrath who both returned after lengthy absences on Tuesday. Ben Palmer, Owen Irish and Joe Charles are all definitely absent due to injury while Arran Pugh is ruled out for a month with a back complaint. Captain Matt Wright is suspended for one game after reaching five bookings in last weekend’s game with North Leigh and new signing Dan Sullivan is still on holiday but will be available for the Peacocks’ midweek fixture. Manager Leigh Robinson remarked:” It’s an important day tomorrow. Again we have plenty of injury doubts but Yate game aside, we’ve grafted through this tricky period pretty well and hopefully we can do the same tomorrow and secure some decent prize money.”