The Peacocks lock horns with Tiverton Town for the third time in ten days when they travel to Devon for an Evo-Stik League game this afternoon (29th August), kick-off 3.00pm. Town of course were at Ladysmead as recently as last Tuesday when they successfully battled through an FA Cup replay following the 4-4 draw at the Viridor Stadium the previous Saturday. Tiverton’s cup defeat was their first in a competitive match this season but they responded with a convincing 4-0 victory at Winchester City at the weekend whilst Town crawled over the line against Bridgwater, leaving only a two point gap currently separating the teams. The Peacocks name the same squad from Saturday with the addition of Callum Martindale who was rested for the weekend game.
Town returned to winning ways in the Evo-Stik League as they scraped a 1-0 victory over Bridgwater Town at the Viridor Stadium yesterday afternoon (27th August). It was a lacklustre display from the Peacocks who can thank Ollie Chamberlain (pictured) for nicking a last minute goal to finally overcome their visitors. Bridgwater had the clearer opportunities during a dire first half, George Sinnott firing a free kick just wide and George Kellow weaving in from the right but shooting straight at Lloyd Irish. Town meanwhile barely mustered an effort apart from a Pierce Mitchell shot. The Peacocks picked up to a degree after the break, with a Jordan Rogers header and an Adam Kelly shot both forcing Robins’ keeper Josh Hayward into saves. With both teams creating little though, it seemed as if the game would dwindle out to a stalemate. However with time up, Owen Irish headed a Ryan Batley cross back into the box for Chamberlain to tuck the ball past Hayward from eight yards to claim the three points. 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 remarked:" We were well under par today but managed to win ugly. The players did well to keep going and show persistence when it looked like it wasn't going to be our day. Bridgwater defended really well and made it hard for us along with some very questionable refereeing for both teams. I knew after Tuesday that we hadn't cracked it and today would be a very different challenge and whilst I'm happy with the way the week has gone we clearly still have a lot of work to do."
Following the past week’s excitement in the FA Cup, Taunton return to Evo-Stik League duty when they welcome Bridgwater Town to the Viridor Stadium tomorrow afternoon (27th August), kick-off 3.00pm. The Peacocks will be eager to pick up maximum points from the local derby after losing their last game at Wimborne Town, a mixed bag of two wins and two defeats from their opening four fixtures seeing them lying eighth in the early table. Bridgwater however have endured a difficult start to their campaign, their haul of one point from the quartet of matches putting them bottom of the pile. New manager Craig Laird has also seen his side concede 16 goals in their last three outings, heavy league defeats to Hereford and Bideford followed last weekend by a 6-0 FA Cup exit at home to Plymouth Parkway. Town will have the luxury for the first time this season of virtually being able to name a full strength squad. Adam Kelly and Craig Veal are both back after missing the midweek replay at Tiverton whilst summer signing from Aberystwyth Town Ryan Batley is also involved after being away on holiday for the opening two weeks of the season. The only doubt is full back Callum Martindale who may be rested for Monday’s league game at Tiverton as he is still carrying a slight hip injury sustained in last weekend’s FA Cup tie.
The Peacocks advanced to a meeting with Cinderford Town on Saturday week with a terrific 2-0 victory at Tiverton Town yesterday evening (23rd August). It was an accomplished performance from Town as they safely negotiated their Preliminary Round replay, having the first opportunity when Pierce Mitchell's shot was blocked before taking the lead on 19 minutes when Ollie Chamberlain got the better of his man on the left side of the box and saw his goalward shot take a deflection off the back of Steve Kingdon to beat Joe Perry at his near post. Town continued to boss the first 45 minutes without adding to their lead but weren't far off at the start of the second half when Matt Wright's audacious lob from the touchline was caught by the backpedalling Perry. Tiverton came more into the game and enjoyed a decent spell, with Owen Howe and Jamie Price coming close but it was the Peacocks who wrapped the tie up on 86 minutes when Ed Palmer broke from his own area on a great run to find Josh Searle who calmly fired home past Perry. Owen Irish then made a goalline clearance to preserve the clean sheet in stoppage time as Town now prepare to renew acquaintances with last season's South and West Division champions. Match report can be viewed HERE and photos from club photographers Tim Norbury and Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE and HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson said:" A really good result and in many ways a classic away performance, nicking a goal in the first half, defending resolutely and scoring on the counter attack late on to seal the tie. We knew that a lot of people had written us off after Saturday and thought our chance to win had gone and we used this as motivation. Massive credit to the players as they showed fantastic resolve tonight and we can now look forward to the next round."
After Saturday’s epic 4-4 draw, the Peacocks have another chance to make FA Cup progress when they travel to Tiverton Town for the Preliminary Round replay tomorrow evening (23rd August), kick-off 7.30pm. The first game was one of the most eventful seen at the Viridor Stadium in recent years, Town surrendering the lead three times before the ten man visitors earned a replay with a stunning strike twenty minutes from time. However the Peacocks are minus several players for the trip to Ladysmead. In addition to the continued absence of Ryan Batley and Christian Boateng, both Adam Kelly and Craig Veal are away whilst Callum Martindale is suspended for one game following his dismissal at Wimborne Town last week. Centre half Matt Villis though is available again after serving his three game suspension and James Regan also returns to the squad. The tie will be settled by extra time and penalties if required, with the winners hosting Cinderford Town in the 1st Qualifying Round on Saturday 3rd September.
Town will have to do it all again with Tiverton Town after the sides battled to a 4-4 draw in the FA Cup Preliminary Round at the Viridor Stadium yesterday afternoon (20th August). The Peacocks were pegged back on three occasions in an astonishing game, going ahead as early as the fifth minute when Jordan Rogers converted a penalty following a Steve Kingdon handball but conceding an equaliser to Levi Landricombe who clipped home a Nick Hurst cross seven minutes later. Owen Irish headed the hosts back in front (as pictured) on 24 minutes from a peach of a cross from new signing Pierce Mitchell and things looked rosy for Town when former player Ben Mammola headed into his own net from Matt Wright's centre three minutes later to make it 3-1. However Landricombe appeared to handle as he ran free to pull one back on 36 minutes but no disputing his hat trick strike on 42 minutes, a well-crafted free kick to bring the teams level. Adam Kelly then fired the Peacocks back in front two minutes into first half stoppage time after latching onto an Ollie Chamberlain pass before Tiverton's Rob Norrish was sent off for bringing Kelly down just on the half time whistle, concluding a breathtaking 45 minutes. Town had a few chances to put the tie beyond Tiverton's reach after the break, the best opportunity falling to Wright who blasted over an inviting target, before Hurst rifled home a superb long distance leveller in off the post with twenty minutes remaining. Tiverton might even have snatched a late winner when Tom Bath's shot cannoned off the crossbar but it ended all square and a replay at Ladysmead 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.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson commented:" A pretty incredible game. I can't remember either keeper making a save and it ends up 4-4. First half we played well but gave bad goals away although fair play to the lad for a great hat trick. Being a goal up and a man up in the second half we should have done better but against the wind we struggled to get out and tired a bit. They scored the most brilliant goal out of nowhere to equalise and from there on it petered out somewhat. We had a couple of moments to put the game to bed at the start of the second half but failed to do so and in cup ties you are always open to something extraordinary like their equaliser. We're frustrated more than disappointed though. We have another crack at it on Tuesday but we have to stop giving soft goals away which has been one of the negatives of the season so far."
The Peacocks have signed Pierce Mitchell from Frome Town ahead of their FA Cup Preliminary Round derby with Tiverton Town at the Viridor Stadium tomorrow (20th August), kick-off 3.00pm. The 20 year old right back or right sided central defender is eligible for the game tomorrow against the Devonians and has ample experience of playing at a higher level. After completing a two year scholarship with Bristol City he went on to join Bristol Rovers for 2014-15, during which time he had loan spells at Bath City and Weston-super-Mare. Mitchell (pictured) then went on to join Truro City last season and played in both FA Cup matches against Town in September before he signed for Frome in the summer but only made one substitute appearance whilst there. Manager Leigh Robinson said:” It’s great to have Pierce on board. He had a good season in the National League South last year in a team that had a great winning mentality so we’re hoping he’ll bring that to us. The squad has been stretched since the start of the season with quite a few unavailabilities so we’re delighted to strengthen the squad and also with a player of good pedigree.”
Although the FA Cup encounter tomorrow hardly scores points for adding variety to either side’s fixture list, the tie is sure to be keenly contested for the chance to scoop the tidy sum of £1,925 prize money and to host Cinderford Town in the 1st Qualifying Round on 3rd September. Apart from those considerations, there are also the added ingredients from a fan’s perspective of the historic local rivalry between the clubs and the volume of players involved tomorrow who have featured for both teams. Tiverton have a number of ex-Peacock players in their side, seven of whom were in the starting line-up for the midweek game at home to Yate Town, whilst Town also include several former Tivvy players in their squad for the game which, in the event of a draw, will be settled by a replay at Ladysmead on Tuesday evening. The Peacocks will be missing Matt Villis who completes his three game suspension while summer signings Ryan Batley and Christian Boateng are still away and James Regan is unavailable due to cricketing commitments.
The Peacocks' up and down start to their Evo-Stik League season continued when they were beaten 2-1 at Wimborne Town yesterday evening (16th August). Both teams enjoyed early attempts at goal via Luke Holmes and Jordan Rogers, with Paddy Hester's free kick then being well saved by Lloyd Irish. Wimborne made the breakthrough on 21 minutes, Toby Holmes sprinting free onto his sibling's through ball to find the corner of Irish's net before Wimborne keeper Pat O'Flaherty parried Josh Searle's shot to prevent a quick Town response. The end to end play continued for the rest of the half but frustratingly Town could not make the most of their openings to draw level. The Peacocks suffered a major setback on 63 minutes when Callum Martindale was shown his second yellow card of the night in controversial circumstances and the sense of injustice deepened two minutes later when Toby Holmes added his and Wimborne's second goal of the evening after firing home from a Luke Holmes pass. Matt Wright (pictured) scored his fourth goal in four games to give Town hope after 82 minutes but disappontingly time ran out and left the Peacocks to focus on this Saturday's FA Cup meeting with Tiverton Town at the Viridor Stadium. Match report can be viewed HERE but unfortunately neither of our club photographers were able to attend the game so no match photos currently available.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson remarked:" We've come away really frustrated as it seemed to be a night where nothing went our way. In an even first half we created more chances but went in at 1-0 down as we weren't clinical enough in the box and gave away a bad goal. In the second half we were just starting to build some momentum when the crazy red card happened which has effectively decided the game. We're losing the game and therefore desperate to get it restarted from their free kick...two balls came onto the pitch three times in a row. Three times our lads have kicked them back off but Callum was deemed to have kicked his off 'too hard' and got a second yellow. Ed Palmer and Lloyd Irish did the same thing after the red card but nothing was done which was my massive complaint. They scored as we were trying to reorganise with ten men but from there I thought we showed great character in dragging ourselves back into the game and on another night could have pinched an equaliser. Things didn't go our way tonight but I saw enough in our team to suggest we'll be more than ok."
It’s the first Evo-Stik League midweek away trip of the season for the Peacocks tomorrow evening (16th August) when they travel to Wimborne Town, kick-off 7.45pm. Town will be aiming to build on their 3-1 victory over Salisbury on Saturday which gave them two wins from their opening three fixtures and leave them in fourth spot. The Dorset outfit have also amassed six points from their first three outings, recording a 4-1 win over Bishops Cleeve and then a 1-0 success at Paulton Rovers. However their unbeaten start was ended on Saturday with a 2-0 defeat at Evesham United so they will be keen to make amends tomorrow against Town who fought out a 2-2 draw at the Cuthbury last season, fighting back from a two goal deficit to salvage a point. The Peacocks squad remains unchanged from the weekend bar the addition of James Regan to the travelling party and the absence of assistant manager Michael Meaker on jury duty. Matt Villis sits out the second of his three game suspension whilst Ryan Batley and Christian Boateng are still away.
After tomorrow’s match, Town will focus on this weekend’s FA Cup Preliminary round tie with Tiverton Town at the Viridor Stadium. In the draw for the 1st Qualifying Round released today, the winners of this tie will host Southern Premier Cinderford Town on Saturday 3rd September.
Town responded to their midweek setback by storming to a 3-1 win over Salisbury at a very warm Viridor Stadium yesterday afternoon (13th August). It was a well-earned victory for the Peacocks over the division's newcomers and one of the predicted promotion favourites in front of a crowd just shy of 400. Playing against his former club, Adam Kelly proved a thorn in Salisbury's side, coming close with two attempts in the opening stages. Ollie Chamberlain then released Kelly down the right but from his low cross Jordan Rogers blazed over with the goal beckoning. Town finally made the breakthrough after 31 minutes when Matt Wright scored his third goal of the campaign, heading a long clearance from Owen Irish over the advancing Britt. Into the second half, Chamberlain drifted an effort narrowly over and Kelly rifled into the side netting before the visitors drew level on 56 minutes through Tommy Wright who headed home Lewis Benson's corner from close range. Lloyd Irish then pouched a shot from Wright following a thrilling run from the Whites striker before Town regained the lead on 67 minutes when a cross from Rogers was flicked on to Kelly who planted a composed finish past Britt. Salisbury pressure caused some nervy moments for Town as Brandon Mundy and Justin Bennett weren't far off before Mundy blasted well over when well placed. After home frontman Wright had seen a goal disallowed, Craig Veal rounded off the scoring six minutes into stoppage time, chipping over Britt (as pictured) who had seen his goal kick returned by Callum Martindale. Match report can be viewed HERE and photos from club photographers Tim Norbury and Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE and HERE.
Reaction - coach Rob Dray commented:" In all, apart from a last minute goal and a needless red card, we've had a good first week. Things change quickly at this time of the year and yesterday was a quick and good reaction from Tuesday. We showed strong character to beat a side with good resources who will no doubt be in the shakedown, new lads are starting to gel and we did the basics better than they did. Defensively the lads put their bodies on the line which is very important as I believe we will score goals with the options we have in the last third, so in all a good day but it counts for nothing if we can't be professional at Wimborne on Tuesday night and follow up yesterday with another solid performance."
Manager Leigh Robinson said:" “It was a great result, especially after such a disappointment on Tuesday. I thought that, other than maybe a short spell at the start of the second half, we definitely deserved to win the game and created an awful lot of good chances. We should perhaps have finished those chances better, but it was a very welcome three points and now we move on to a hard game on Tuesday night at Wimborne. We had so many chances leading up to their equaliser which was a blow as I think it was one of their first efforts on goal. But the lads responded well at that point and their heads didn’t go down. We asked for a big response after Tuesday and that’s what we got.”