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TAUNTON TOWN NEWS...

27/10/2016

IT'S ALL WRIGHT AND WHITE ON THE NIGHT

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."


25/10/2016

BARROW GAME WILL NOW BE ALL-TICKET

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.


24/10/2016

MORE LEAGUE POINTS THE GOAL FOR TOWN

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.


24/10/2016

LEAGUE DUTY RESUMES WITH THREE POINTS

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".


21/10/2016

BACK TO LEAGUE ACTION

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.”


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.


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