Town will be attempting to reach their furthest point in the Emirates FA Cup for 17 years when they host Slimbridge in the 2nd Qualifying Round tomorrow afternoon (17th September), kick-off 3.00pm. The tie against their Evo-Stik League South and West Division rivals gives the Peacocks the chance to advance to the 3rd Qualifying Round for the first time since October 1999 when they lost 3-0 to Margate at the Viridor Stadium. Since then their record in the country’s premier cup competition has been less than impressive, having only reached the 2nd Qualifying Round three times in the past eleven seasons including last year’s two match contest with National League Truro City. After victories over Tiverton Town and Cinderford Town so far this season Town will hope to advance further tomorrow but they will find Slimbridge a difficult hurdle to overcome. The Swans have not been beaten yet in 2016-17, their run in the FA Cup being complemented by two wins and four draws from their first six league fixtures. They will also be seeking to equal their furthest progress in the competition, having reached the 3rd Qualifying stage once before in 2006. The scene is set then for an interesting afternoon with the winners earning £4500 in prize money. Manager Leigh Robinson commented:” It’s a really big game tomorrow and we know that we really need to turn up. Progressing through this round would obviously be a huge cash boost but also creates a bit of history as it would be the furthest the club have reached this century. “Callum Martindale returns to the squad after his holiday but centre half Charlie Hitchings has unfortunately decided to leave the club due to the travelling to Taunton on top of his work commitments. Charlie has signed for Yate Town and we would like to thank him for his contribution during his time at the club and wish him all the best for the future.
After comfortably leading at the break, the Peacocks were pegged back in the second half and were forced to settle for a 2-2 Evo-Stik League draw against North Leigh at the Viridor Stadium yesterday afternoon (10th September). It was a disappointing final outcome for Town who made an early breakthrough after eight minutes. Jordan Rogers, who had already hit the post, robbed a defender to thunder home a splendid left foot finish past North Leigh keeper Connor Thompson. Rogers was at it again on 24 minutes, lashing home another strike with his left foot after a defensive slip to put Town 2-0 up. The hosts were well on top for the first 45 minutes but despite several further attempts couldn't extend their tally. The second half though was a different story as Town sat back and never forced home their advantage. This allowed the Millers to press forward and gain the upper hand, duly reducing the arrears on 58 minutes when George Seacole netted from close range following a Morgan Williams' cross from the right. Williams himself powered home a header from a Jon Else cross after 77 minutes to grab the equaliser but the Peacocks still had openings late on to snatch victory, a trio of headers from Rogers, Ryan Batley and most notably a gilt-edged chance for Ollie Chamberlain all wide of the target. 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 observed:" At 3pm, 2-2 against North Leigh wouldn't have been a bad result but from 2-0 up and looking comfortable it's not a good result. The reason we haven't won is three-fold. Firstly we had chances to go 3-0 up which we didn't take and this has cost us, secondly we looked worryingly tired in the second half and didn't hit the same levels of intensity as the first half, and thirdly we dropped too deep, allowing North Leigh time and space to play which we know they enjoy. We have a bad habit at the moment of defending too deep at the Hamilton Park end of the ground and we must get over this to avoid having games of two halves at home all season."
Town will seek to maintain their place in the top ten of the Evo-Stik League South and West Division when they entertain North Leigh at the Viridor Stadium tomorrow afternoon (10th September), kick-off 3.00pm. It has been a mixed bag of results and performances so far for the Peacocks in the league but they know that they will need to be at their best for tomorrow’s game, the Oxfordshire side lying in fourth spot two points above Town. After starting the campaign with two wins and two defeats, North Leigh have since won their last four fixtures including two FA Cup victories so will prove a tough nut to crack as usual in what will be Town's fifth successive Saturday home match. Town have a full squad available with the exception of Callum Martindale who is on holiday. Manager Leigh Robinson said:” It’s a really tough game tomorrow as North Leigh are perennially a strong side in this league. They will undoubtedly be in competition for the top six so it’s a key game for us.”
Taunton Town FC have completed works on their floodlight improvement project thanks to a £2382 grant from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF), the largest funders of non-league football in the country. The funding has enabled the Peacocks to add another four floodlight lamps to existing pylons, one at each corner of the ground, which will vastly improve the brightness for evening games at the Viridor Stadium and gives the club a lux value which meets the requirement for National League South football.
Funded with £5.2m each year from the Premier League, the FSIF is the country’s largest provider of grants towards projects that help improve the comfort and safety of lower league football grounds in both the professional and amateur game. These improvements range from new football stands and turnstiles to floodlighting and improved provision for disabled supporters.
Director and Safety Officer at the club Brian Rose who submitted the grant application commented: ”Having decided that we needed to improve our floodlights, it was easy to complete the application form once all quotes had been received. The process is straightforward provided you have all details in place. Having been given the go ahead, which came very quickly after sending the application, we were able to schedule the work and our floodlights now have a suitable lux reading to take us to a much higher level of football. All in all it has been a very successful outcome, with our grateful thanks to the Football Stadia Improvement Fund and the people who provide the money for them to carry out their valuable work.”
Peter McCormick OBE, Chairman of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, said: “It is a fundamental principle that clubs should be able to progress competitively and not be hindered because of unsatisfactory facilities, so naturally I am pleased to see that this grant will go towards the floodlight improvement at Taunton Town. The work of the FSIF is only possible because of the generous support of the Premier League and this investment is a further example of funding which will help to improve supporters’ experience of watching the game.”
The balance of the project costs were met by the club itself, with £1087 being contributed by the Supporters’ Club and the remaining £1763 via the Sponsor A Goal initiative which was introduced last season specifically to assist with funding ground improvements at the Viridor Stadium. The scheme encourages individuals to pledge an amount of money for each goal Taunton Town score in all competitions during a season, and after the success of 2015-16 the fundraiser will now operate each year to help finance future projects. Chairman Kevin Sturmey added:” Our mission is to keep building a football club and improve facilities for everyone, aiming to be ready for the levels of football we aspire to. The floodlight upgrade will make a huge difference to night matches and dismal winter Saturdays for players, officials and spectators alike.”
The Peacocks will face Evo-Stik League South and West Division rivals Slimbridge in the FA Cup 2nd Round Qualifying on Saturday week (17th September). The Gloucestershire side won their replay 1-0 this evening (7th September) against Fleet Town, earning them the visit to the Viridor Stadium which consequently means the league fixture between the two sides scheduled for the 1st October, the date of the 3rd Round Qualifying, will now have to be rearranged.
Make sure you buy a copy of the Somerset County Gazette this week to be in with a chance of winning some great Taunton Town prizes. In tomorrow's edition (8th September), there will be a feature on our new Joma kit suppliers Tony Pryce Sports and a competition to win some fantastic prizes including family tickets to a game and match sponsorship. The Tony Pryce Sports Taunton store on East Street now has both the Peacocks’ home and away kit on display in their shop window (as pictured) so please go in and enquire how to go about ordering your own shirt! Meanwhile for full details on the competition and your opportunity to enter, don't forget to buy your Somerset County Gazette tomorrow!
The Peacocks landed a home FA Cup tie for the sixth successive occasion when the draw for the 2nd Round Qualifying was made at lunchtime today (5th September). Town will host either Fleet Town or Slimbridge at the Viridor Stadium on Saturday 17th September, the winners to be decided by Wednesday's replay at Slimbridge after the two sides fought out a 1-1 draw at the weekend. Either side are not unfamiliar, with Slimbridge being fellow members of the South and West Division alongside the Peacocks whilst Fleet were also divisional rivals for two years until their switch to the Central Division for last season. The tie on Saturday week which is worth £4500 to the victors means that Town's scheduled trip to AFC Totton in the Evo-Stik League will have to be rearranged.
The Peacocks are in the hat for Monday's draw after beating Cinderford Town 2-0 in the Emirates FA Cup 1st Round Qualifying at a saturated Viridor Stadium yesterday afternoon (3rd September). The result constitutes something of a cup surprise with the visitors now plying their trade a level higher than Town in the Southern Premier after winning the South and West Division title last season. Jordan Rogers had already come close before Town took the lead on the quarter hour mark when Pierce Mitchell got free down the right before driving home an angled shot past Ben Fletcher into the far corner. Cinderford had a quick chance to restore parity when Ollie Chamberlain was penalised for a push on Jack Camm but Gethyn Hill's penalty crashed off the cross bar. This signalled a spell of pressure from the Foresters without unduly troubling Lloyd Irish but Town hit back when Jordan Rogers drilled a left footer against the post. The woodwork denied the hosts again in the second half when Chamberlain skimmed the bar, following up on a Rogers' effort which Fletcher had blocked. Town were nearly left to rue missed opportunities when Blaine Waugh rounded Lloyd Irish late on but Matt Villis came to the rescue with a goalline block to preserve the Peacocks' lead which they extended four minutes into stoppage time, Rogers firing home a penalty after a challenge on Matt Wright to secure their passage and £3000 prize money. Match report can be viewed HERE and match photos from club photographers Tim Norbury and Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE and HERE.
Reaction - Team Captain Brett Trowbridge said:" A great shift from the boys yet again today after a tough couple of weeks of successful results in the local derbies. It is a great feeling to be in the hat for the next round and we're all buzzing to see who we draw. Whoever it is we will give it our all to try and progress to the next round. Up the Peacocks!"
Manager Leigh Robinson remarked:" The aim was to be in the hat for Monday and that’s exactly what we’ve done.It probably wasn’t the best performance today, in what was a scrappy game with the conditions, but cup games are just about winning so we’re really pleased.They’ve missed two really good chances and these games are often decided on these moments.You’ve got to take your luck and we had a little bit of that today – but that’s cup football."
It’s FA Cup day at the Viridor Stadium when the Peacocks entertain Cinderford Town in the 1st Round Qualifying tomorrow afternoon (3rd September), kick-off 3.00pm. After the victory over Tiverton Town in the previous round, Town will face another hard task against the Gloucestershire side who won the South and West Division title last season. Their refusal of promotion to the Premier on financial grounds and the subsequent decision by the FA to enforce the move upwards has been well documented, and has seen the Forest of Dean club have to rebuild their side after many of their championship-winning squad and management team moved on over the summer. Although Cinderford have lost four of their opening six fixtures at the higher level, their two wins include a 3-2 success against Merthyr Town on Bank Holiday Monday so the Peacocks will have to be at their best to advance tomorrow and pocket the £3000 prize money on offer. Manager Leigh Robinson names an unchanged squad from Monday’s game at Tiverton. Assistant manager Michael Meaker remarked:" We're all looking forward to tomorrow's game with Cinderford and are pleased with the start to the season, hoping we can get another good cup run like last year and push on in the league as well. We're still only 80% up to how we know we can play and the lads are getting better and better every week, getting to know the shape of the team and each other's games. It's been quick but decent progress in a handful of games. Again the support has been great so far and I hope the fans stay positive and are patient after what we achieved last season."
A Pierce Mitchell goal twelve minutes from time earned the Peacocks a 1-1 Evo-Stik League draw at Tiverton Town this afternoon (29th August). The equaliser was no more than Town deserved on the balance of play after they had fallen behind to a penalty earlier in the second half. Town were well on top for the opening half hour, enjoying good spells of pressure as Matt Wright headed wide from a Matt Buse corner and a Matt Villis header was hacked clear by Jamie Short before Joe Perry spilled a 25 yard free kick from Ed Palmer at the expense of a corner. Tiverton emerged in the latter stages of the half, with Levi Landricombe screwing a shot wide and a Ben Mammola header being cleared off the line. Jamie Price then fired wide of the woodwork following a diagonal run but it remained goalless at the break. Town continued to look relatively untroubled until 64 minutes when the hosts went 1-0 up, Lloyd Irish being penalised for pushing over Mammola and Levi Landricombe confidently steering the spot kick home. However Town were back on level terms on 78 minutes, a Brett Trowbridge pass released Josh Searle on the right and from his cross, Mitchell buried a fine header back across Perry and into the far corner. The game might have gone either way at that stage but despite a few half chances, it was even stevens at 90 minutes. Match report can be viewed HERE and photos from club photographer Tim Norbury can be viewed HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson commented:" We played well today and a draw was the very least we deserved I thought. On a seriously hot day for football our fitness stood up to the test which was pleasing as these Saturday/Monday games can be hard to handle physically. A tricky one to sum up as we may have accepted a point before the game but can't help but be a bit frustrated that we didn't win in the way the game went. We can put August to bed now though and say it's been a success. There have been ups and downs admittedly but with league points on the board plus FA Cup progress with such a new team and with numerous unavailabilities we have to be pretty satisfied."