As reported on our Twitter account earlier today, we are pleased to announce the loan signing of Olly Mehew from Forest Green Rovers. The 19 year old striker (right) has joined the Peacocks until 3rd January 2018 and goes straight into the squad for the Evo-Stik League trip to Shortwood United tomorrow (26th August), kick-off 3.00pm. Olly was on Blackburn Rovers’ books before joining Bristol Rovers where he went on to have loan spells at Mangotsfield United and Shortwood United. He signed for Forest Green Rovers in June 2016 and has since been out on loan at Mangotsfield twice, Salisbury and Cirencester before making his Forest Green debut as a substitute in their final league fixture of last season at York City. Manager Leigh Robinson commented:” It’s great to have Olly on board with us for a while. We’ve played against him a few times in the past and he’s always really impressed us with his pace and incisiveness so he’ll certainly give us a different dimension.”
As for tomorrow, the Peacocks will be aiming to maintain their 100% start to the season. Successive wins over Cirencester and Mangotsfield have got Town’s league campaign off to a good start which was followed by last Saturday’s victory against Larkhall Athletic in the Emirates FA Cup. Early season form would indicate Town have a chance of making it four from four tomorrow as their hosts have had a mixed start to the campaign, going down to a 4-2 home defeat to Winchester City on the opening day before recovering to gain a point from a 3-3 draw at Bristol Manor Farm. However they were then turfed out the Emirates FA Cup by South Midlands League side Colney Heath so will be anxious to get back on track against the Peacocks.
Manager Leigh Robinson again names an unchanged squad with the addition of Olly Mehew, with Ben Palmer and Chris McGrath still remaining on the injured list. The Town boss continued:” It’s notoriously a tricky place to go and hard to know what to expect this year as they have had such a turnover of players. We’re in good spirits though after the first fortnight and confidence is good so hopefully we can go and pick up a positive result to keep it going.”
Shortwood are issuing an online programme this season instead of a printed one. The link to the programme can be found HERE.
We are pleased to welcome two new Directors whose position on the club’s Board was ratified at last month’s AGM. Giuseppe Fraschini has joined as Marketing & Communications Director while Dominic Stead will become Community Director.
Fraschini (left), who is a Junior Cabinet Minister on Somerset County Council, will manage the development of the club’s marketing and social media platforms and has already rebranded and relocated the Club Shop at the Viridor Stadium. He commented:” I'm absolutely delighted and I want to thank the board and members for their trust they have placed in me. I've been coming down to watch the Peacocks since I was child and now to be part of the club and help it grow is a really exciting opportunity. We have a very special club, with big plans, great people and a bright future ahead.”
Stead (right) meanwhile who has a background in international property and client management will have the remit of forming and strengthening links with relevant parties in Taunton Deane to assist in moving the club forward. He remarked: “I am delighted and excited at the same time to be involved with Taunton Town FC as it begins its climb up the leagues. A key area will be growing the club in the community and beginning to look at how to improve the facilities and the ground to make sure the club is valued and needed. I am pleased to join the board to help Taunton Town achieve their long term plans.”
Chairman Kevin Sturmey added: “I’m delighted to welcome both Zeppi and Dominic to the Board who both have skill sets we will need moving forward. We have ambitions and plans for the future and need to make sure both the football side and business side of the club work in harmony. With the JPL teams starting as well, these are very exciting times at the Viridor Stadium on and off the pitch."
The Peacocks' run of ten successive home draws in the Emirates FA Cup finally came to an end today (21st August) when they were drawn away to Tavistock in the 1st Qualifying Round which will take place on Saturday 2nd September. It's a very tricky tie for Town as Tavistock are the current Peninsula League Premier Division champions and have started this season with a bang, scoring 18 goals in winning their opening two league fixtures plus progress over two games in the FA Cup including Saturday's 2-1 victory over Shaftesbury. Town have visited Langsford Park previously, winning 2-1 in a Preliminary Round tie seven years ago.
Town kicked off their Emirates FA Cup campaign with a 3-0 Preliminary Round victory over Larkhall Athletic at the Viridor Stadium yesterday afternoon (19th August). Although the scoreline was convincing, the Peacocks' performance was not against their Evo-Stik League rivals. A scrappy opening saw Ryan Brett fire wide for Town before a decent move down the right saw Matt Wright head home from a Shane White cross after 17 minutes for the opening goal. Larkhall had Josh Egan sent off for a challenge on Wright minutes later but Town struggled to stamp any authority against the ten men. The game went flat for long spells until Pierce Mitchell made it 2-0 on 69 minutes when he connected with White's drive into the box to tuck past Shaun Semmens. The visitors rarely looked likely to mount a comeback and Ben Adelsbury rounded off a poor quality game by curling home a free kick two minutes from time from just outside the box. The win secures Town £1,925 prize money and puts them into the draw for the 1st Round Qualifying which will be available from around 1pm on Monday 21st August. 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:" Through to the next round and prize money in the bank which is the main thing but we were all very disappointed in our display today on the ball. We gave it away far too often, wanted far too much time on it and generally executed badly. In hindsight the sending off probably didn't help us as we looked better against eleven men and perhaps took our foot off the gas against ten which wasn't good to see. On the positive side we defended our box well and Lloyd didn't have a save to make. We've won two home games this week without playing well but winiing is a habit and being able to win whilst not playing well is a good sign moving forwards."
Reaction - Man of the Match and final goalscorer Ben Adelsbury commented:" A win in the FA Cup is always sweet as it keeps the dream alive for another round. The game today wasn't easy, especially when they went down to ten men as they worked hard, and at times we found it difficult to use our extra man advantage. However to score three goals and keep a clean sheet was a great result for us and keeps our winning momentum rolling into next week's league game."
It’s home advantage again for the Peacocks who are in Emirates FA Cup action against divisional rivals Larkhall Athletic at the Viridor Stadium tomorrow afternoon (19th August), kick-off 3.00pm. Town were last drawn away in the FA Cup in September 2014 when they lost at Paulton Rovers and since then they have enjoyed nine successive home ties including six in their fantastic run to the First Round Proper last season. Tomorrow’s Preliminary Round game will make it ten as they look to embark on another run in the famous competition but it is shaping up to be a difficult afternoon with Larkhall unbeaten in their opening two league fixtures. They were two goals up on Evesham United in their opening game last weekend before being pegged back to a 2-2 draw and then registered a convincing 3-0 victory at Barnstaple Town on Tuesday night whilst Town were grinding out a win over Mangotsfield United. The Larks will also have an added incentive to banish the memories from their visits to the Viridor last season when they shipped 16 goals, losing 6-2 in an FA Trophy tie and then 10-2 in the League game. The winners of tomorrow's tie will earn £1,925 in prize money.
The Peacocks will take confidence after winning both their opening matches, especially on Tuesday when they were far from their best, and again name an unchanged squad from midweek. Manager Leigh Robinson remarked:” It’s FA cup day and this will undoubtedly generate increased excitement after last year’s exploits. Tomorrow will be tough though as Larkhall have started the season well and will be confident so we need to be fully prepared for a battle against a side with plenty of experience at our level.”
One player not featuring tomorrow is Craig Duff who has left the club and signed for Bideford. We thank Craig for his efforts whilst with us and wish him good luck. Robinson continued:”Craig wants to play every single game and we can't promise this whereas Bideford did so we were happy to waive the 7 days, allowing him to go there early. People might say it leaves us light up front but firstly Craig is not a really a striker, more of a forward, and in the summer we made the decision initially to go with Wrighty and Lewis as our out-and-out strikers, knowing that we have a number of players who can play off a striker should one be unavailable such as Ollie, Les, Joe and Ryan Brett. We are looking for another striker to complement Wrighty and Lewis but there are certain attributes in a striker that we are looking for which we couldn’t find in the summer. We won’t go out and sign a player for the sake of it and be left with a player that we don’t want so I prefer to stay patient knowing that we still have many good attacking options at the club already.”
Head Groundsman and Chairman Kevin Sturmey travelled to St George’s Park along with Assistant Groundsman Simon Best for the Groundsman of the Year Awards yesterday (16th August) but despite not winning, he was awarded a very creditable third place in the Evo-Stik League South. It is the fourth successive year that Kevin has been nominated in the awards, having won the overall accolade for the Southern League in 2014 and 2015 as well as winning the national award for Steps 3 and 4 in 2014 and finishing runner-up a year later. Last year he was highly commended (which he also received in 2012) but finished in the top three this time around, the Southern League award being won by Mark Savage of Salisbury with Hereford’s Ben Bowen in second place. Sturmey commented:” To achieve 3rd place has to be seen as a success behind two huge clubs with much more resources and of course pitches laid to Football League standard whereas ours is built on a rubbish tip! All I have ever tried to do is produce the best surface possible based on the weather conditions and while awards are nice, the best prize for me is to see the team win and the club to keep improving on and off the pitch. This award would not have been achieved without the help and support of my assistant Simon Best who has the same high standards I try to achieve and we will both keep trying to produce the best pitch we can for every match."
The Peacocks maintained their winning start to the campaign with a hard-earned 2-1 Evo-Stik League victory over Mangotsfield United at the Viridor Stadium yesterday evening (15th August). Town merited the points on the balance of play, getting off to a positive start with Ryan Brett and Lewis Powell both coming close to opening the scoring. The scoreboard clicked into action after 19 minutes when Shane White's corner from the left was glanced home by skipper Matt Wright to give Town the advantage. However some less than convincing defending led to the visitors' equaliser seven minutes later, Lewis Ellington getting free inside the area to fire a deflected shot past Lloyd Irish. Town lost their flow up to the break following the leveller but after some half chances had not been taken in the second half, Wright flicked the ball past Steve Phillips from White's cross on 71 minutes to notch his brace and the winner. Town stood firm against some Mangotsfield pressure whilst Wright had another goal disallowed and Powell saw a header touched wide at the death as the Peacocks secured victory in their opening home game. 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: "Very much a case of grinding out a win last night as we were a long way from our best. To be honest I blame myself a bit as I've seen it before so early in the season where you have a good win on the Saturday but physically can't replicate the same intensity on the Tuesday night so I should have made changes but of course it's a hell of a brave man who does that after a 2-0 away win. We were looking good in the first 30 minutes or so and fully in control but then gave away a disgracefully bad goal which swung the momentum and it was hard to wrestle it back. Credit to Mangotsfield though who defended well and made things difficult for us, something which I think we'll see a lot of in home games this year, but we stayed patient, took the chance when it came along and got over the line despite being nowhere near our best."
Reaction - captain and two goal match winner Matt Wright said: "Over the moon with the win last night although we did make it hard for ourselves. Last year we would have dropped points so it shows how far we've come to grind out the win. I'm glad to get off the mark with two important goals and now looking forward to the FA Cup game on Saturday"
The Peacocks will be aiming to build on their fine opening day win when they host Mangotsfield United in their first Evo-Stik League home game of the season tomorrow evening (15th August), kick-off 7.45pm. Town’s 2-0 success at Cirencester on Saturday was the result of an excellent team performance and home fans will be looking for more of the same at the Viridor Stadium tomorrow. Whilst Town were securing the points at the Corinium Stadium at the weekend, Mangotsfield had an opening day to forget as they crashed 5-0 at home to Salisbury. Last season’s games both went the Peacocks’ way, a 4-0 win at Cossham Street followed by a 6-1 victory in the return. Goalscorer for the Field that day was Lewis Powell who has now rejoined the Peacocks and marked his return with both goals at Cirencester.
Manager Leigh Robinson names an unchanged squad from Saturday, with Chris McGrath and Ben Palmer still not fit for selection. The Town boss remarked:” It was a good win on Saturday but it now becomes important to follow that up tomorrow night. Everyone has been looking forward to the first home league game so hopefully we’ll get a decent turn out and we can put on a good performance.”
Town got their Evo-Stik League season off to a great start with a 2-0 victory at Cirencester Town yesterday afternoon (12th August). It was an impressive performance by a Peacocks team fielding three debutants in their starting line-up plus Lewis Powell back for a second stint at the club. Early play saw the visitors apply pressure which yielded the opening goal after 12 minutes, Shane White's pass putting Powell through who did well to steeer the bouncing ball past Mateusz Wieczorek. Further opportunities came Town's way but they had to settle for the single goal advantage at the break. Pierce Mitchell was inches away from adding to the tally in the second half but Cirencester were coming more into the game on the 3G pitch and Lloyd Irish kept the lead intact with a superb close range save from Ben Whitehead. The Peacocks finally got their second goal on 76 minutes, Mitchell's blocked shot reaching Powell who turned in the box to fire home via a deflection off Jordan Stoddart who couldn't keep it out. Matt Wright wasn't far off from making it three with a header before the hosts were reduced to ten men seven minutes from time when Aidan Bennett was red carded for a challenge on Ollie Chamberlain, leaving Town to comfortably see out the rest of the game and seal a well deserved 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 commented:" It was a really good start and pretty much all we could wish for from the first day with a clean sheet, a couple of goals and three away points at a tough place to go. I was really pleased with our intensity and how we coped with the slightly alien pitch. Whilst it was a very solid team performance, Lewis obviously will get all the plaudits for the two goals and rightly so. He did what he does best, two real poachers' goals at important times, but in addition to that I thought he offered us so much on top of that in his overall game which was great to see. No time to dwell on wins though and we need to prepare and focus on Tuesday now.
Reaction - two goal striker Lewis Powell said:" I'm really pleased to have made my second debut for the club and good to get a couple of goals in my first game back. The lads were superb from 1 to 11 on a difficult surface as Cirencester will be one of the stronger teams this year so a great start for us all and we move on to the next."
The wait is over!
The Peacocks will begin their 16th season in the Evo-Stik Southern League tomorrow (12th August) when they travel to Cirencester Town, kick-off 3.00pm. The league has seen a number of different sponsors since Town rejoined in 2002 but one thing has remained constant and that is Taunton’s occupancy of the same division, making them the current longest serving members of what is now the Evo-Stik League South, West. The desire to finally break through into the Premier will therefore be stronger than ever this season, especially after missing out in the Play-Offs for the past three years.
Tomorrow’s opponents Cirencester were relegated from the Premier after finishing in 22nd place last season, bringing to an end their three year tenure at that level after winning the South and West Division title in 2014. Manager Charlie Griffin has secured the services of a number of familiar Southern League performers in an attempt to bounce straight back. A new 3G artificial pitch has also been laid at the Corinium Stadium over the summer, meaning the Peacocks will be the first team to play on it competitively. The last meeting between the sides came in Cirencester’s title-winning season when Owen Irish scored a late goal in March 2014 to secure a 1-0 win at the Viridor but six months earlier the Peacocks had gone down 3-1 in Gloucestershire.
Pre-season has been mixed for the Peacocks who have won two and lost four of their seven friendlies but results count for nothing during this period when getting match fit and gelling in new players are far more important requisites. Town have seven new faces on board for 2017-18 and all bar one will be involved in the game tomorrow. Striker Lewis Powell has rejoined from Mangotsfield United while Ben Adelsbury, Les Afful, Ryan Brett and Arran Pugh have all signed from Truro City. Joe Charles has joined as he makes his way back into the game following an injury he suffered whilst with Exeter City and centre half Chris McGrath is another familiar face who has returned for a second spell at the Viridor Stadium. McGrath however will miss the opener due to injury which also keeps Ben Palmer out the squad. Owen Irish and Ollie Chamberlain may also need fitness tests after having niggles during pre-season.
Manager Leigh Robinson said:” The start of a new season and everyone is raring to go. Quite often there comes a point in pre-season when everyone just wants the real games to start and personally I’m pleased to be at that point. It will be a tough opening game tomorrow against a side which has come down from the division above and eager to impress especially on their new 3G surface but we’d much rather be facing that challenge now than in February for example when Ciren will be fully used to the surface. I don’t think either team therefore will have an advantage on the artificial pitch but certainly there will be two good teams going head to head.”