There are again plenty of sponsorship opportunities available with Taunton Town this season, ranging from match and ball sponsorship for specific games to advertising boards around the pitch perimeter to individual player sponsorship, the first being summer signing Adam Kelly who is pictured being welcomed by his sponsor Ashley Spurway from Cotford Car Sales. To view further details on the range of sponsorship on offer, please click HERE.
The Peacocks went down to a 2-1 defeat to Bodmin Town at the Viridor Stadium in their latest pre-season friendly yesterday evening (29th July). It proved a testing workout for Town who were not at their best against the robust and well-organised Peninsula League champions who grabbed an early lead after 7 minutes courtesy of a great strike from Lee Doel who found the top corner of Lloyd Irish's net from 20 yards. Doel bundled a golden opportunity wide soon after but the visitors doubled their lead on the half hour when Dan Sullivan's corner was helped forward by Sam Hillson to Steve Bowker who hooked home from close range. Town got back in it on 36 minutes when Adam Kelly was felled and he got to his feet to plant a fine free kick past Kyle Moore. The second half saw a number of chances for both sides. Irish pulled off saves from Sullivan and Nick Milton whilst Doel capitalised on a defensive slip to run clear but his shot hit the post. Craig Veal and Ollie Chamberlain meanwhile missed the target when well placed for Town and Moore preserved the scoreline when touching a Jordan Rogers' shot wide in the dying stages. Match report can be viewed HERE and photos from club photographer Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson remarked:" We were under par tonight and looked a bit leggy after Tuesday. I certainly think our forward play lacked a lot tonight in terms of the final ball which was often rushed. Defensively with so many players out, a makeshift centre back and Matt coming back from injury we were always going to be a bit open. With all this in mind I can't say I am concerned with the result as we did chop and change personnel and the system, but hopefully we'll get everyone back available next week and see the results of two good workouts this week."
Town continue their pre-season campaign with the visit of Bodmin Town to the Viridor Stadium tomorrow evening (29th July), kick-off 7.45pm. After the tough test against League Two Exeter City on Tuesday, tomorrow’s encounter will also ask questions of the Peacocks’ new look squad. The Cornish side are the reigning Peninsula League champions, securing the title by seven points last season from St Austell, and have a number of experienced players in their ranks including former Truro City stalwart Jake Ash, striker Adam Carter and former Peacocks keeper Kyle Moore. We last met Bodmin in an FA Cup tie back in 2009 when Owen Irish scored a dramatic late winner but the defender will be missing tomorrow evening as Town face something of a selection problem at centre half. Charlie Hitchings is unavailable due to work commitments and new recruit Ed Palmer is struggling with a foot injury. Trialist Ryan Batley is again likely to deputise whilst Matt Villis is set to return but will not feature for the whole match. Another trialist Matt Buse who played the second half of the Exeter game will also be involved.
There has been another friendly added to the schedule ahead of the season’s opener on Saturday 6th August. A Town side will make the trip to Western League club Shepton Mallet on Monday 1st August, kick-off 7.30pm.
An entertaining friendly went the way of Exeter City who narrowly beat Town 2-1 at the Viridor Stadium yesterday evening (26th July). It was an encouraging display by the Peacocks against the League Two side who could have found themselves behind early on when Jordan Rogers latched onto a poor defensive header but after rounding Exeter keeper Christy Pym, couldn't get the shot in. Liam McAlinden's header was just over for the visitors whilst Adam Kelly came close for Town on a couple of occasions as both sides enjoyed several goal attempts but it was City who broke the deadlock on the stroke of half time when keeper Lloyd Irish parried a driven cross from Pierce Sweeney only as far as David Wheeler who slotted home. Connor Riley-Lowe headed home at the back post from a Matt Jay cross on 60 minutes to hand the Grecians a 2-0 lead before Pym pulled off an excellent save to deny Kelly. Brett Trowbridge's reaction header was frustratingly diverted inches over an open goal but Town deservedly got on the scoresheet on 76 minutes when Kelly's attempted prod past Pym deflected to Craig Veal who fired home the loose ball. City nearly added further goals in the final minutes with Jay crashing a shot off the crossbar and Archie Collins slotting wide of the target from the left after rounding Irish. Match summary can be viewed HERE and match photos from club photographer Tim Norbury can be viewed HERE whilst goal footage can be viewed HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson commented:" It was a good night for us and we were really pleased with the performance and effort that the players put in. Obviously Exeter have extra quality, fitness and movement but for a team like us we have to look to stay as close to them as we can for 90 minutes, get a good workout in and try to get a positive in the form of a goal or excellent individual performances which we did. It was great to see a crowd of 500+ for a friendly and we thank Exeter supporters for making the trip. Hopefully our own supporters saw positive signs for the season ahead."
After four trips on the road, the Peacocks finally play their first friendly at the Viridor Stadium when they welcome League Two side Exeter City tomorrow evening (26th July), kick-off 7.45pm. The match will undoubtedly prove to be Town's most difficult pre-season test, with Exeter having won all five of their friendlies to date against Weymouth, Bristol Rovers, Bodmin Town, Truro City and Burton Albion. Town meanwhile remain undefeated so far in pre-season although all their games have been against Western League opposition so it will be a different proposition facing the Grecians tomorrow. The game provides the first opportunity for non-travelling supporters to cast their eye over Leigh Robinson's summer signings including striker Matt Wright who has notched four goals already and the most recent recruits Ed Palmer and Christian Boateng. The only absentee for Town is Owen Irish who is away on honeymoon until after the Evo-Stik League home game with Barnstaple Town whilst there is a chance Matt Villlis who has only featured in two of the warm-up games to date due to injury may be involved.
Season tickets will be on sale in the club office tomorrow evening which will entitle the buyer to free entry to the match, along with Friday's meeting with Bodmin Town. Apart from guaranteeing free entry to all home league games for the 1st team and all U18 home games in the Somerset Floodlight Youth League, season ticket holders also benefit from a monthly draw for a voucher to spend at the club as well as the end of season draw which offers a 50% discount for next season's ticket. A season ticket form can be downloaded HERE.
With the first league game of the new campaign less than a fortnight away, three more players have committed to Town including two new signings. In addition to long serving centre half Owen Irish, striker Christian Boateng and defender Ed Palmer have both put pen to paper for the Peacocks. The 22 year old Boateng (pictured right) has featured as a trialist in all four of Town’s pre-season games to date, having recently moved to Bristol and having had previous Southern League experience with Bishops Cleeve. Manager Leigh Robinson remarked:” We’ve taken Christian on after a decent trial period. He is very much a work in progress and needs a bit of coaching but he is certainly a threat with his power and pace and will get better and better.”
Palmer, 24 (pictured left), meanwhile who can fulfil a centre half or holding midfielder role began his career with Torquay United before going on to join Weymouth in 2012. He then helped Tiverton Town to the play-offs in 2013-14 and after a brief return to Weymouth he signed for Truro City in October 2014 where he was a vital member of their play-off winning side. After leaving Truro early in 2015-16 he had spells at Bideford and Bodmin Town. Robinson continued:” Ed was brilliant in this league with Tiverton and then with Truro in the league above, helping them win the play-offs two years ago. He had a hard time last year after leaving Truro and lost his fitness a bit so we are working hard with him to get that right but as soon as we do, he’ll be a great asset.”
Jake Cox who had agreed terms with the club over the summer has now opted to join Western League side Bristol Manor Farm instead which will allow him to play more locally following the recent pregnancy of his partner.
The Peacocks maintained their unbeaten record in pre-season with a 1-1 draw at Western League side Street on Friday evening (22nd July). The game proved another good test for Town against a Street side who made a bright start, former Peacock Craig Herrod forcing Lloyd Irish to tip past the post early on. Adam Kelly volleyed just wide for the visitors who found themselves trailing after 41 minutes when another ex-Town player Josh Wadham broke free down the right before squaring to Herrod who picked his spot. Town came mightily close to equalising immediately after when a venomous strike from Brett Trowbridge crashed off the crossbar, with Owen Irish also striking the bar with the follow-up. Last season’s top scorer Jordan Rogers entered the fray for the second half and soon saw a shot saved before Steve Murray slotted wide from a good position for the hosts. Town drew level on the hour when Matt Wright notched his fourth goal of pre-season when he headed home a cross from Josh Searle. Despite further pressure Town couldn’t muster another goal and Lewis Tasker came close to snatching a winner for Street when his free kick whistled just past the post. Match summary can be viewed HERE and photos from assistant club photographer Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE.
Friday’s draw followed three victories for Town from their pre-season schedule so far. They began with a 2-0 win at Willand Rovers on Tuesday 12th July, with Matt Wright opening the scoring on 51 minutes and Jordan Rogers firing home a 30 yarder to add a second on 62 minutes. Match summary can be viewed HERE. The Peacocks then secured a 2-1 win at Cheddar on Friday 15th July after going behind to an Adam Jones goal on 38 minutes. Wright headed home the leveller on 74 minutes and another Wright header secured victory with nine minutes remaining. Match summary can be viewed HERE and photos from assistant club photographer Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE. The Peacocks repeated this scoreline when they travelled to Cribbs on Tuesday 19th July. Josh Searle put Town ahead on 15 minutes and Callum Mooney quickly added a second two minutes later before Jake Hodgson got Cribbs on the scoresheet on the half hour. Match summary can be viewed HERE and photos from club photographer Tim Norbury can be viewed HERE.
Thanks to Martin Dongworth and Neil White for maintaining website content during the past two weeks.
The Southern League fixtures were published on Friday 15th July. The opening game sees us travel to Shortwood United on Saturday 6 August, the earliest ever start to competitive fixtures at this level – this is followed with home matches against new teams Barnstaple Town and Salisbury and a trip to Wimborne Town.
The FA Cup campaign actually commences with the Extra Preliminary Round on 6 August but we join in the Preliminary Round a fortnight later with a home tie against rivals Tiverton Town – we also have a home tie in the FA Trophy against Larkhall Athletic in October. The League Cup see us travel to Bideford, also in October but we have a bye in the First Round of the Somerset Premier Cup so we will be playing a Second Round tie in November.
Back to the League fixtures and the August Bank Holiday weekend sees us entertain Bridgwater Town on Saturday 27 August with a short trip to Tiverton the following Monday. The return fixture against Tiverton Town is on Boxing Day with Bideford providing our opposition the following Monday in North Devon – there are no fixtures on New Year’s Eve. Finally the Easter games are away to Bridgwater on the Saturday and home to Bideford on Easter Monday – we wind up the following Saturday with one of our longest trips, to Oxfordshire side North Leigh.
All fixtures have now been added to the site or alternativlely to download the fixture list click HERE
On Friday night (22 July) we travel to Street, kick off 7:30pm. This will be the fourth match running against teams in the Toolstation League and none of the other games have been easy.
Street finished seventh in the Premier Division last season and also reached the semi final of the Somerset Premier Cup where they lost 2-1 at home to Larkhall Athletic.
On Tuesday night (19 July) we make our first ever visit to Cribbs, kick off 7:45pm.
The Bristol outfit played in the Gloucestershire County League as Cribbs Friends Life but shortened their name when they were promoted to the Toolstation Western League in 2013. They are about to begin their second season in the Premier Division and made such an impression on the League that they were invited to stage the Les Phillips Cup Final two years ago, an unusual accolade for such a new club.
Cribbs are now managed by Tony Beecham, who had a short spell with the Peacocks a few seasons ago which included a spectacular goal at Bishops Cleeve in the Southern League Cup. Cribbs have made some impressive signings so we are in for a tough match.
Craig Veal returns to the squad after missing Friday’s match at Cheddar due to graduation but skipper Brett Trowbridge is to holiday and defender Matt Villis is doubtful due to a niggle picked up at Cheddar. There will also be a few triallists playing in the game.