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TAUNTON TOWN NEWS...

21/10/2016

FA CUP TIE PUT BACK 24 HOURS

Town's FA Cup 1st Round Proper meeting with National League Barrow has been rescheduled. The tie which was earmarked for Saturday 5th November has now been put back to Sunday 6th November, kick-off 2.00pm. This is to accommodate the BBC having live single camera footage from the game in the Sunday Final Score TV programme. Following consultation it has been decided that there will be no tickets for the tie, with entry via pay at the turnstiles on the day. Admission prices will be £15 Adults, £10 Concessions and £5 for Under 17's. Further information will be released during the coming days.  


21/10/2016

FIRST ROUND PROPER HERE WE COME!

It's official! The Peacocks will play in the 1st Round Proper of the FA Cup for the first time in 35 years! Town are finally there again after a gripping 1-0 win at Hemel Hempstead Town yesterday evening (18th October) in a 4th Round Qualifying replay. A solitary first half penalty from Jordan Rogers was sufficient for the Peacocks who were on top for the first half hour but increasingly found themselves under pressure from their National League South hosts as the match progressed, the closing minutes resembling something from the Alamo. However Town held on to record a famous victory and spark joyous celebrations from players, management and travelling fans alike. Pierce Mitchell forced Hemel keeper Jamie Butler to save before Town got the all important goal after 15 minutes, Matt Buse being tripped and Rogers firing home his 7th goal of the season. Matt Saunders hit the bar for Hemel as they came more into the game and a Jordan Parkes free kick also diverted onto the crossbar early in the second half. Rogers placed a shot wide in a rare Town attack as the hosts applied intense pressure, a combination of brave defending and poor finishing keeping an equaliser at bay as Town marched on to a meeting with Barrow in early November. Match report can be viewed HERE and photos from club photographer Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE.

Reactions - manager Leigh Robinson remarked:" Wow...just wow. An incredible night in the club's history and something that will live in the memory of everyone involved forever. We had to defend for our lives tonight, soak up an awful lot of pressure and hope for that bit of luck that you neeed in such a cup tie. A heroic effort from the players, not just tonight but throughout this cup run. I just remember everyone running on the pitch at the final whistle but I just stood in the dugout with my hands on my head trying to absorb what we had just done. I have never seen such joy on the faces of any set of football fans and we're delighted to have been able to provide such a moment for the Peacocks faithful".

Captain for the evening Matt Wright said:" An unbelievable night all round for the lads and me personally. It's a proud moment for us all to reach the First Round Proper of the FA Cup which is a fantastic achievement, one that not many can say they have done. It was a great experience for me to captain the lads in Brett's absence and what a result to match. The lads ran themselves into the ground for 90 minutes, I can't deny that we rode our luck at times but we dug deep and deserved to hang on. I thought the fans were outstanding from start to finish, they didn't stop singing all game which obviously helped us over the line. An amazing achievement from everyone at the club, roll on November 6th!"

Head Steward Rob Wenham said:" Killer Goal... Well Finished Jordan!
Incredible Effort.....
Incredible Teamwork...
Incredible Support ...
Incredible Bond
Incredible Scenes of Jubilation!
What a Family 😊
Incredible Pride!!
COYP

Chairman Kevin Sturmey commented:" Are there enough superlatives for Tuesday night. I have had some great moments in sport throughout my life but I think this just about tops everything. Fantastic first half performance when we unsettled their defence from solidity on Saturday to trembling on Tuesday. Incredible energy from all 11 who started and not forgetting the management who changed formation and personnel in the starting XI which put Hemel totally on the back foot from minute one. It takes a lot of guts to do what Leigh did but the whole management team should take huge praise for their planning and foresight. All players were heroes on the night and a performance like that should be treasured for their whole lives. I am so proud of Leigh, Meaks, Rob, Karl, Paul & Dave and special mention to my new Assistant Groundsman Simon Best who stepped in as kitman for the night as Karl could not get the night off!! The players can now go on to make history if they take us one step further and who knows what we can achieve as the FA Cup continues to astound people from all over the world with it's David v Goliath stories.It will be a huge task to beat a Barrow team but with the belief and unity in the squad you never know what will happen in cup football. Dare to dream Taunton (and beyond) people! Finally, I have to say the fans and that is every single one of you were outstanding to keep up the noise and singing and with great humour in there as well (Cedric Irish was even chanted and the crossbar!!!) This meant you really were the 12th man and it must have been a massive boost to the players to hear that all night and you have to take a lot of credit as part of the team. People made huge sacrifices to get there and I thank each and every one of you. I am so proud to be your Chairman. Standards and Sacrifices Sustain Success! Up the Peacocks and can't wait to see you all on Saturday!"


17/10/2016

TOUGH ASK AT HEMEL TO EARN BARROW REWARD

The Peacocks now know the identity of the opposition facing the winners of our FA Cup 4th Round Qualifying replay at Hemel Hempstead Town tomorrow evening (18th October), kick-off 7.45pm. The victors of the game at Vauxhall Road will host Barrow in the 1st Round Proper following the draw made live on BBC2 this evening, the tie scheduled for the weekend of 5th November. Barrow are going great guns in the Vanarama National League, currently occupying 4th spot, but Town can forget about planning for the visit of the Cumbrians unless they can upset the odds and pull off a cup shock at Hemel tomorrow. The Tudors had the better of the first meeting between the sides in the goalless draw at the Viridor Stadium on Saturday and gave an idea of their National League South pedigree whilst Town will know they will need to sharpen their attacking play to increase their chances of success but can still be confident that they are capable of causing a surprise. A team change will be necessary from the weekend as skipper Brett Trowbridge is unavailable, otherwise the same squad will be on duty. The tie will be settled by extra time and penalties if necessary to determine who scoops the £12,500 prize money and the prestige of that place in the 1st Round Proper. TV cameras from both BBC Points West and ITV were present in the Viridor Stadium clubhouse for tonight’s draw and photos of the evening from club photographer Colin Andrews should be available to view in the next couple of days.


17/10/2016

TOWN ALIVE AND KICKING IN FA CUP

The Peacocks face a lengthy trek to Hemel Hempstead Town for a replay on Tuesday evening after a 0-0 draw in the FA Cup 4th Round Qualifying yesterday afternoon (15th October). It was a solid display from Town against their National League visitors who enjoyed more of the play but couldn't find a way past the defence and keeper Lloyd Irish while Town, although nowhere near their best going forward, might have snatched something towards the end of each half. Irish denied Jordan Parkes from a free kick and then pushed James Kaloczi's shot onto a post as the Tudors bossed the first 30 minutes but Town came into it as the half ended, a spell of pressure nearly paying dividends. The Tudors regained the ascendancy as the second half got underway but failed to make any breakthrough and it was Town who nearly poached a late winner via an Ed Palmer 35 yarder while a free kick was deflected over (as pictured). The Peacocks now take their place in Monday evening's draw ahead of the replay in Hertfordshire where a possible tie against a League club may be the prize along with a guaranteed £12,500. Tomorrow's draw will be broadcast live on BBC2 and cameras from BBC Points West will be present at the Viridor Stadium, the bar opening at 6.30pm. Match report can be viewed HERE while match photos from club photographers Tim Norbury and Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE and HERE.

Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson said:" A decent day for us and great to be involved in the draw on Monday. The players did great to keep a clean sheet today against a good side and we could even have nicked it at the end. You could see the players were a bit nervy in the first half on such a big occasion and in front of a very big crowd which is understandable but we imposed ourselves more in the second half and grew into the game a little more. We've earned another crack at it on Tuesday and we need to go to Hemel and be positive as it's by no means impossible to progress still."


13/10/2016

THE MAGIC OF THE CUP

Are you ready?!! The Peacocks play their most important FA Cup tie in nearly 20 years when they entertain National League South side Hemel Hempstead Town in the 4th Round Qualifying at the Viridor Stadium on Saturday afternoon (15th October), kick-off 3.00pm.  Not since November 1998 have Town been so close to achieving the ultimate prize for non-league clubs, namely a place in the FA Cup 1st Round Proper and the chance of meeting a Football League team.  Many Town fans will remember that evening 18 years ago when their side, still in the Western League, travelled to take on the might of Conference leaders Cheltenham Town, fighting back from a two goal deficit to draw level before a goalkeeping error took the soon to be Conference champions narrowly through 3-2 and a home tie with Lincoln City in the 1st Round Proper. Town have actually reached the 4th Qualifying stage of the country’s premier knockout competition on six occasions since they were formed as Taunton FC in 1947 but have never negotiated that final obstacle apart from one memorable season. The 1981-82 campaign saw wins over Saltash United, Bridgwater Town after a replay and Liskeard Athletic to set up a clash with now defunct fellow Southern League outfit Addlestone and Weybridge, the Peacocks eventually prevailing after three games to earn a place in the 1st Round Proper for the only time in their history. A home tie with then Third Division Swindon Town was the reward and although the tie was switched to the County Ground, Town put up a brave fight before going down 2-1.

Previous history and results though will ultimately count for nothing this weekend in what will be Town’s eighth successive home draw in the FA Cup and their 170th match in the competition (including replays) since their initial appearance in 1948. They have met Hemel Hempstead on four previous occasions, the first being back in 1997 when they won an FA Vase tie 3-2 at Vauxhall Road. A further 3-1 away success followed in the FA Trophy seven years later before the sides became Southern League rivals in 2005-06, Taunton winning the home fixture 3-0 but suffering a 4-2 defeat on the road. Hemel actually won the play-offs that season and spent eight years in the Southern Premier until further promotion to the National League South in 2014 where they have firmly established themselves with 9th and 6th placed finishes. This season sees them currently lying in 15th spot but despite having only won once away from home in the league they will undeniably be the favourites on Saturday afternoon, having only just seen a nine game unbeaten run in all competitions ended last weekend by Margate. However the Peacocks have already eliminated two teams from a higher level this season in Cinderford Town and the Tudors’ divisional rivals Hampton & Richmond Borough so will approach the tie with a degree of confidence. Manager Leigh Robinson isn’t feeling any undue pressure, remarking:” The mood at the moment amongst the players is one of excitement really. I don't sense any nerves which is a good thing as occasions like tomorrow should be looked forward to rather than with apprehension. It's a completely different feeling to building up to the play-offs for example as the pressure is really on then whereas that isn't really the case on Saturday. We know it's a tough challenge to win another game against higher opposition but if we work harder than ever, take our chances and don't make any mistakes then we give ourselves every chance.”  Apart from recent signing Alex Hoyle who is cup tied, Town will have a full squad available for the game.

This weekend’s game at the Viridor marks Town’s ninth home Saturday fixture in the past ten weeks, a remarkable sequence which is set to continue for at least the next fortnight. The tie is certain to attract the highest Peacock attendance of the season to date and possibly break the four figure barrier for the first time since 2002 when a crowd of over 1300 watched an FA Cup replay against Tiverton Town. Chairman Kevin Sturmey believes the game provides a fantastic opportunity for the population of Taunton and the surrounding area to support their local club and view the progress made in recent years. He commented:” We’re really looking forward to Saturday as we have worked so hard over the last six years to have such a day and we have put a lot of preparation in to make sure we can provide a great day for everyone. Extra staff have been drafted in for catering, bar and stewarding in the hope that the crowd can exceed four figures for the first time in over 14 years.Days like Saturday come around occasionally so I know we won't leave anything to chance on and off the pitch and will do everything we can to be in the hat at 5pm. I want it to be an enjoyable occasion for every single Taunton supporter as it's a day to show the wider Taunton public what we have to offer on and off the pitch and that we are ambitious to take the club higher than we have ever achieved before. The fans and a noisy crowd with a great atmosphere can really make the difference and be our 12th man on the day, hopefully helping us to make the 1st round proper for the first time in 35 years. We are the underdogs and as in the last round we have to beat a team from two levels higher so we have to be at our best and hope they have an off day. I urge the Taunton public, even if they have never been to the Viridor Stadium before, to come and see what we are building here and cheer us on to victory and be part of history. Your football club needs you -  Up the Peacocks! “

The turnstiles open at 1.00pm when the bar and kitchen outlet will also be open for business. Overspill parking is available along Lisieux Way at Blackbrook Surgery and at Moorfields opposite the YMCA. However please note that parking at the Moorfields facility will be closed from 2.50pm and will not reopen for cars to exit until after the game at around 4.50pm. Town’s official kit and leisurewear suppliers Tony Pryce Sports will also have a pop-up shop on site when they will be selling club clothing.


11/10/2016

PEACOCKS IN SOUND AND VISION

With excitement building ahead of our FA Cup 4th Round Qualifying tie at home to Hemel Hempstead Town this Saturday (15th October), media exposure for the club has certainly increased since the great victory over Hampton & Richmond Borough in the previous round. Assistant manager Michael Meaker along with Jordan Rogers and Pierce Mitchell appeared on BBC Points West on the Monday after the Hampton success while longstanding Town supporters John Quick and Dennis Hill were interviewed earlier in the day on BBC Somerset radio. Breakfast Show presenter on BBC Somerset Claire Carter will be visiting the Viridor Stadium tomorrow morning to record more interviews whilst ITV Westcountry's Seth Conway was at the ground this evening (11th October) to speak to chairman Kevin Sturmey and manager Leigh Robinson on their thoughts about Saturday and the FA Cup run this season (as pictured). The interviews will be broadcast on ITV local early Evening News on Friday. The club's Twitter feed has also been very active including a fans' poll on popular Twitter account FA Cup Factfile to decide which one of four matches to attend on Saturday. The Taunton v Hemel Hempstead tie came out on top, polling 38% of the votes cast, so we look forward to welcoming FA Cup Factfile to the Viridor this Saturday. Keep your eyes and ears open for more Town publicity in the coming days we hope!


09/10/2016

GOALS GALORE AT THE VIRIDOR

Town advanced to the next stage of the Buildbase FA Trophy after a resounding 6-2 victory over Larkhall Athletic in the Preliminary Round yesterday afternoon (8th October). Despite the visitors taking the lead after 12 minutes when Dean Griffiths headed in a Jamie Adams' cross, Town always looked the likely victors in an action-packed tie, their performance characterised by some impressive attacking play. Matt Wright brought the sides level on 17 minutes with a header from Callum Martindale's cross before Craig Veal saw his effort cleared off the line. Shane White opened his account for the club with a penalty after 27 minutes to put Town 2-1 up after Adam Kelly had been fouled, with two further strikes on 37 and 38 minutes putting clear daylight between the sides courtesy of Veal's close range header from Pierce Mitchell's head down and then Veal again, robbing the ball from Larkhall keeper Ben John to score in an open goal. Veal missed a penalty in the second half after he himself had been brought down before the Larks' Tom Knighton was sent off. Griffiths ran clear to pull one back with just over twenty minutes left on the clock but Town replied with two more quickfire goals. Owen Irish headed in an Adam Kelly corner on 76 minutes and a minute later Kelly got in on the act to head home (as pictured) after Veal had won the battle with John for a high ball. Town came very close to adding more against a Larkhall side which was reduced to nine men in the closing stages when Griffiths saw red for a challenge on Matt Buse. The win now sees Town entertain Swindon Supermarine in the 1st Round Qualifying on Saturday 29th October. 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:" A good day at the office and some more vital prize money secured. Other than two slips in concentration for their goals I thought we were pretty good today, created numerous chances and looked a big threat throughout the 90 minutes. Big bonuses today were no injuries, Jordan rested up and no midweek game now this coming week so we can prepare for next Saturday's FA Cup tie a little better."


07/10/2016

TROPHY TRAIL BEGINS

The cup theme continues for the Peacocks when they host Larkhall Athletic in the Preliminary Round of the FA Trophy tomorrow afternoon (8th October), kick-off 3.00pm. After their exploits in the FA Cup, Town will be seeking to replicate this success in the Trophy in which they reached the 2nd Round Qualifying last season. Tomorrow’s opponents Larkhall are fellow members of the South and West Division of course, having made a respectable start to the campaign and with only one defeat on the road so far in any competition which came at Street in the FA Cup back in August. Larks’ manager for the past six years Wayne Thorne stood down from the post last weekend so tomorrow’s clash at the Viridor Stadium will only be the second game in charge for newly appointed boss Geraint Bater, who had a brief spell with the Peacocks in 2005-06. Town meanwhile will be focused on maintaining their superb form in FA knockouts this season which has seen them reach the 4th Round Qualifying of the FA Cup, and with another home tie for tomorrow’s winners in the next round against either Slimbridge or Swindon Supermarine plus £2500 in prize money, there is plenty of incentive to progress. Town will be missing the injured Matt Villis and James Regan who is away. Leading scorer Jordan Rogers is also likely to be rested with next Saturday in mind as he has a slight hamstring niggle. Recent centre half signing Alex Hoyle features in the squad for the first time following his arrival from Slimbridge while home fans also get a chance to have their first look at Shane White who made his bow at Bideford in the League Cup on Monday evening. Manager Leigh Robinson observed:” It’s another big match with prize money to play for. We need to approach the game in the right way mentally as we can’t have anyone hanging back with next week in mind, particularly as we know Larkhall will pose plenty of threat to us. This competition can be equally as lucrative as the FA Cup so we have to go into it with the same intensity as any other cup tie.”


05/10/2016

IT'S HEMEL AT THE VIRIDOR

Town now know who they will face in the 4th Round Qualifying of the FA Cup on Saturday week (15th October). Hemel Hempstead Town will visit the Viridor Stadium following their 2-0 victory over Gloucester City in last night's 3rd Round Qualifying replay, with the incentive of a place in the 1st Round Proper and a possible tie against a Football League club for the winners plus the added bonus of £12,500 prize money. The Peacocks have crossed paths with Hemel Hempstead on several occasions previously, the most recent being in 2005, but since then the Hertfordshire side have seen a successful rise to the National League South where they currently reside in mid-table. Manager Leigh Robinson remarked:" We're happy with the draw as we wanted a home tie against a bigger side. With respect, a draw against a similar level side could have been a bit of an anti-climax so at least this way we have a great occasion on our hands. Obviously it will be very tough again against another National League South team but if we play to our maximum as in the last round and the people of Taunton pack the Viridor and really get behind us, it could be another great cup tie." Town's Evo-Stik League game at Didcot Town which was originally scheduled for the 15th October will now be rearranged and a new date announced soon.


05/10/2016

EARLY EXIT FROM LEAGUE CUP

A completely revamped Town side departed from the Southern League Challenge Cup at the first hurdle when they went down 4-0 at Bideford yesterday evening (3rd October). The Peacocks carried the greather threat in a goalless first half but failed to get their noses in front from a number of openings. Under 18 player Billy Greene, Craig Veal, James Regan and Adam Kelly all had chances and it was Bideford who broke the deadlock on 51 minutes when Dan Western tucked in a Sam Stephens' cross. Billy Tucker fired home on 53 minutes after nipping in from the right flank and he scored his second of the night on 60 minutes with a header from Matt Bye's corner. Kye Toogood planted the ball over an inviting target for Town, with the scoring concluded eleven minutes from time via a looping header from Nick Barker. Match report can be viewed HERE and match photos from one of our club photographers Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE.

Reaction - coach Karl Lindsay who took joint charge of the side for the evening alongside Rob Dray, with manager Leigh Robinson watching from the stands,commented:" Monday is a crazy night to play football at this level and with that in mind we took six youth team players with us to gain valubale experience and development plus two further debuts and only three starters from Saturday's team. The scoreline didn't reflect how well the team played, in fact at half time we should have been 2-0 in front such was our dominance with Billy Greene, Tom Stone and Charlie Melvin-Sparks not looking out of place at all. The second half saw Bideford win on the fitness side and experience, capitalising on each mistake to score. We had our opportunities with Dave Richardson and Kye Toogood both going close. The subs Rhys Ford, Toogood and Owen Lindsay all looked good when coming into play. A big plus was captain for the night Shane White who led by example and dragged the side along, not forgetting Adam Kelly and Owen and Lloyd Irish who all played again only 48 hours after Saturday, putting in great shifts with the youngsters. Man of the match for me was Josh Searle who was magnificent throughout and guided the younger players. We got what we needed out of the game - valuable experience for the youth players and a good run out for those who hadn't had much game time recently."  


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