As recently reported, manager Leigh Robinson has now achieved the fantastic milestone of 300 games in charge of the Peacocks. His first competitive match at the helm was the opening fixture of the 2012-13 season which resulted in a 3-2 defeat at Winchester City, with his 300th game being the 1-1 draw at Bristol Manor Farm last month. A presentation was made to Leigh by Chairman Kevin Sturmey and Club Secretary Andy Power before last Saturday's match with Salisbury when he received a special print and a commemorative bottle of champagne. To reflect on some highs and lows of the past five or so years, tauntontown.com caught up with the Town boss whose thoughts can be seen HERE
Two of the Peacocks’ successful current squad have been placed on contract. Goalkeeper Lloyd Irish and attacking midfielder Ollie Chamberlain have both penned a contract until the end of 2017-18 following a series of excellent displays over recent seasons. Irish has made nearly 250 appearances for Town during two spells at the club and has been ever present for this campaign plus the previous two seasons whilst Chamberlain, a former member of the club’s U18 team, has made just over 100 first team appearances.
Manager Leigh Robinson remarked:”We're thrilled to have secured two of our best players for the rest of what is a really important season. We think Ollie is a huge asset to the club and could easily play much higher in the future so we are firstly protecting our asset and also rewarding him for such outstanding performances over the last two years. With Lloyd, as a keeper, we're fully aware that he is literally irreplaceable as it'd be virtually impossible to replace him if it came to it. We think we have the best keeper in the league and arguably the league above too so we want to keep it that way whilst again rewarding Lloyd for outstanding service over the years. “
Chairman Kevin Sturmey added:”Ollie has deserved this due to his fantastic displays and has gone from strength to strength. We feel he is someone who can definitely play at a higher level and of course we hope it's for us. However, if an offer came in from a club much higher up the pyramid we would never stand in his way but would help him secure the right move if it was in his best interests. Of course personally, as I have seen him go from our youth team in to semi-pro football and back to us when he was ready, I would love to see him realise his and our dreams and ambitions at the Viridor Stadium. Lloyd has been a fantastic servant and has to be one of the best non-league goalkeepers in my opinion and while he has played a lot of games at Step 2 I really hope he can help us reach that level. He stays fit and, as Leigh has said, how would you replace him? He is a great all-round keeper and deserves to be playing at a higher level and again, as with Ollie, I really hope he is at Step 2 in the future but with us.”
The Peacocks made it 11 Evo-Stik League games unbeaten with a 1-0 victory over Cinderford Town at the Viridor Stadium yesterday evening (12th December). It was a well below par performance from Town who got off to a great start but never built on it against the Foresters who were the better side on the night but couldn't get past Lloyd Irish. An Ollie Chamberlain cross was parried by former Peacock Joe Perry to Matt Wright who tucked home after just 30 seconds to put Town ahead but from then on Irish was the busier of the two keepers, keeping out several shots from the visitors to maintain his side's lead at the break. Dan Sullivan hit the post in the early stages of the second half but generally Town's attacks fell short whilst Cinderford always threatened to draw level. Robbie Atkinson missed a golden opportunity to equalise but fired wide of the post and despite late Cinderford pressure the Peacocks held on to extend their lead at the top of the table to 13 points. Match report can be viewed HERE and match photos from club photographers Tim Norbury and Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE and HERE. Match highlights can be seen on Peacocks TV HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson said:" We certainly played our get out of jail free card tonight I reckon. We were well off our best and clearly struggled to replicate the energy and intensity that we showed on Saturday. I blame myself a bit for that as I felt that might be the case and I should make a few changes but of course it’s hard to change a winning team that has such confidence. Whilst not costing us any points, it was a good reminder last night of the levels we need to maintain and how any opposition can cause us problems."
Reaction - Dan Sullivan commented:" It was a tough game, especially after putting so much effort into Saturday's match so we had tired legs on a heavy pitch. We started well, taking the lead early on, but never seemed to take control of the game. Cinderford played well with a high tempo but fortunately for us we defended well and managed to hold on for the win. We've extended our lead at the top of the table and that's the aim, regardless of performances, as we need to keep getting the three points."
The Peacocks will hope to press home their advantage at the top of the table when they host Cinderford Town in the Evo-Stik League tomorrow evening (12th December), kick-off 7.45pm. Saturday’s win over Salisbury stretched Town’s lead to ten points and they can reinforce their position with another win tomorrow against a Cinderford side still adapting to life in the West Division after being relegated from the Premier last season. The Foresters currently lie in 15th spot, possessing identical home and away records with two wins, four draws and three defeats. They have remarkably drawn their last seven league matches but are without a win in nine, their last victory coming at Wimborne in mid-October. The Peacocks have had no such problems, being unbeaten in their last ten league outings including eight wins. Tomorrow's fixture was originally scheduled for last month but had to be rearranged due to Town playing Concord Rangers in the Buildbase FA Trophy.
Manager Leigh Robinson is able to name an unchanged squad which so impressively dismissed Salisbury on at the weekend. The Town boss commented:” We enter a big week with points to play for as well as the FA Trophy 1st Round Proper on Saturday for the first time since 1981. There will be no taking liberties and resting players as the league comes first and we need to try and follow up Saturday’s excellent win with another three points if possible.”
Given the local forecast there are no plans for a pitch inspection but should the situation change then news will posted here and on our social media channels.
A superb Town performance saw them brush aside Evo-Stik League promotion rivals Salisbury with a 4-1 victory at the Viridor Stadium yesterday afternoon (9th December). The win was founded on a sublime first half from the Peacocks which saw them return to the dressing room with a 3-0 lead. A quiet start to the game was enlivened by Town's opening goal after 11 minutes, Ollie Chamberlain breaking to feed Dan Sullivan who slotted clinically past Whites keeper Charlie Searle. More good work from Sullivan created the second score seven minutes later, laying the ball across for Matt Buse to prod home before Town added a third ten minutes before the break, Matt Wright setting up Buse to score his second of the afternoon with a left footed finish. Matt Wright headed in Shane White's corner three minutes into the second half to make it 4-0 and leave no way back for the visitors who got a consolation penalty on 58 minutes from Owen Howe after Stuart Green had been brought down by Chris McGrath. The Peacocks had long since got the job done though to put them ten points clear at the top of the table. Match highlights on Peacocks TV can be seen HERE, 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 fantastic win and another good performance to go with it. We wanted to start fast and ask questions of them, knowing that Salisbury were a few defensive players missing and that’s exactly what we did. Our tempo, energy and quality in the first half was fantastic and meant that we essentially had the game won shortly after half time. We were happy in the last half an hour to sit in and try and counter and saw the game out fairly comfortably. A really good day but now is not a time to start believing the hype or take our foot of the gas as we have another test against Cinderford on Tuesday followed by the FA Trophy on Saturday."
Reaction - Pierce Mitchell said:" Going in to the game we knew that in terms of the league this was the biggest one of the season so far. We were all confident we could get the win but probably even took ourselves by surprise a little bit when we were 3-0 up after 30 odd minutes. The whole team did their part on the day but the legs and intensity of Dan Sullivan, Matt Buse and Ollie Chamberlain caused them huge problems. A great result for everyone at the club and all the boys are raring to go again on Tuesday!"
It’s a big afternoon at the Viridor Stadium tomorrow (9th December) with the Peacocks taking on Evo-Stik League promotion rivals Salisbury and manager Leigh Robinson at the helm for his 302nd game in charge of the team. The eagerly anticipated clash with Salisbury is the game of the day in the West Division, with Town seeking to keep up their momentum at the top of the table where they hold a seven point advantage over second placed Bristol Manor Farm with two games in hand and a ten point lead over tomorrow’s visitors with both teams completing 17 fixtures. Divisional top scorers Salisbury come into the match fresh from their 6-1 trouncing of Kidlington on Tuesday, their first win in four league outings, although they were leading 3-0 in the game with Bideford last Saturday before proceedings were abandoned. The Wiltshire side have only lost once on the road leaguewise this season and in four of their six victories have scored five goals or more including an 8-0 win at Shortwood and recovering from 3-0 down to scrape through 5-4 at third placed Winchester. With the Peacocks on a nine game unbeaten league run themselves the scene is set for an intriguing contest with hopefully a large crowd in attendance.
Town name an unchanged squad from Tuesday’s win over Barnstaple. Manager Robinson who missed that match due to work commitments is back for tomorrow’s game when home fans will have their first opportunity to recognise his fantastic achievement. Commenting on tomorrow’s meeting he said:” It’s one of the biggest games of the season. We’re in a great position and would have snatched anyone’s hand off to be where we are now if offered it in the summer but undoubtedly Salisbury, who I think it’s fair to say are our biggest rivals, have found some form recently and have scored loads of goals so we need to be fully on our game tomorrow.”
The Peacocks made it nine Evo-Stik League games unbeaten with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Barnstaple Town at the Viridor Stadium yesterrday evening (5th December). It was a solid rather than spectacular performance from Town in an often scrappy and sometimes niggly affair. An early goal from Ollie Chamberlain after ten minutes was disallowed when the referee spotted an infringement but Town overcame that disappointment by grabbing the lead on 33 minutes, Matt Wright passing to Dan Sullivan who made space in the box before driving into the net past Grant Fisher. A second goal arived two minutes into added time at the end of the first half when Wright's header from close range was kept out by Fisher, Ryan Brett pouncing on the loose ball to slot home. The scoring was concluded four minutes into the second half after Chamberlain had been pulled down by Chris Ibbeson. Although Fisher saved Ben Adelsbury's penalty, the rebound was played back in by Wright for Matt Buse to convert. Lloyd Irish pulled off two excellent saves from Ibbeson to keep a clean sheet while Town came close to adding more via Brett's flicked header which hit the base of the post and Omar Simpson and Chamberlain who were both denied by Fisher. The victory extends the Peacocks' adavntage at the top of the West Division to seven points as they prepare to face promotion rivals Salisbury at the Viridor Stadium this Saturday. Match report can be viewed HERE and match highlights can be seen on Peacocks TV HERE while photos from Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE with more to follow.
Reaction - assistant manager Michael Meaker remarked:" I thought it was a professional performance and the boys played some attractive football at times but also kept a great shape when defending. We could have won the game by a lot more but with some strange decisions from the ref and great goalkeeping kept the scoreline down. However with a 3-0 win we are all pleased and the lads did superb yet again."
Reaction - goalkeeper Lloyd Irish said:" A good result and another important three points. It would have been easy to get frustrated with a few bizarre decisions from the referee in the first 30 minutes but we stuck at it and kept our heads. This is the kind of fixture we slipped up in last year but we have more experienced heads now and more energy across the pitch. Chambo and Busey were fantastic again and Dan Sullivan has been a great signing. We have a busy schedule until the new year and plenty of points to play for but we need to just take each game as it comes."
The Peacocks begin a run of six successive home games when they entertain Barnstaple Town in the Evo-Stik League tomorrow evening (5th December), kick-off 7.45pm. Five league fixtures plus the Buildbase FA Trophy 1st Round Proper tie against Bognor Regis gives Town the opportunity to further define the success of their season starting with the visit of the North Devon side tomorrow in a game which was originally scheduled for last month but had to be rearranged due to Town’s involvement in the FA Trophy. The two teams have already met this campaign, the Peacocks winning 4-2 at Mill Road in early November in a BigFreeBet.com Challenge Cup tie. Leaguewise Barum have not had the best of times so far this season, lying in 20th spot and without a win in their last seven games. They have won twice on the road though, at Bishops Cleeve and Cinderford, while they have picked up points in their last two matches. The Peacocks will have the same squad on duty from the weekend win at Larkhall Athletic with Ross Staley possibly having a fitness test after he missed Saturday's game. Manager Leigh Robinson will be absent though due to starting a new day job so Assistant Manager Michael Meaker and Coach Rob Dray will take the reins.
The Peacocks withstood a fightback from the home side to emerge 3-2 winners at Larkhall Athletic in the Evo-Stik League yesterday afternoon (2nd December). The result stretches Town's unbeaten league run to eight matches although what appeared to be heading for a straightforward victory after going 3-0 up turned into more of a battle after the Larks pulled two goals back. The Peacocks made an ideal start with Pierce Mitchell converting Ben Palmer's cross at the far post for the opening goal after nine minutes and although both sides had half chances during the remainder of the half there was no further scoring. Two goals within the first ten minutes of the second half then put Town well in control. Chris McGrath headed home from Ryan Brett's corner after 50 minutes before Dan Sullivan ran through to round keeper Shaun Semmens and net four minutes later. Joe Tumelty fed George King who reduced the arrears on 65 minutes with a shot inside Lloyd Irish's post and when Matt Britton's header from Tumelty's corner went in via a deflection off Matt Buse with seven minutes remaining, things became less comfortable. However Town saw the rest of the game out without too much trouble to maintain their four point advantage at the top. Match highlights can be seen on Peacocks TV HERE and match photos from Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE while match report can be viewed HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson said:" A good win to round off another really good week. FA Trophy first round and four away points from two tricky games is a very decent effort from the boys. We knew today wouldn't be pretty on a heavy pitch and that is how it turned out but we showed plenty of stomach for the fight, applied ourselves well and showed a clinical touch in front of goal. The last 15 minutes became a bit nervier than we would have liked as we dropped off a bit which we mustn't make a habit of but it was all about the result today and we're really happy with the points."
Reaction - captain Matt Wright commented:" A great result at a place that's very hard to go to in winter. We came unstuck there last year and I think that shows how far we have come as a team. We had to dig deep in the closing stages of the game to ensure we got a massive three points away from home. Fans were fantastic as always. See you all Tuesday. Up The Peacocks!"
After Tuesday’s draw at Bristol Manor Farm stretched Town’s unbeaten Evo-Stik League run to seven games, they will be aiming to restore the winning habit when they travel to Larkhall Athletic tomorrow (2nd December), kick-off 3.00pm. The Peacocks sit in a healthy position at the top of the West Division table with a four point advantage and games in hand over the rest of the teams in the top six so will be keen to maintain that gap with victory at Plain Ham, a ground where they have been far from their best in recent years with two 3-0 defeats in the past three seasons. The 13th placed Bath side have had a mixed campaign so far but have come into some form during November with three league wins out of four including victory at Salisbury and a 5-0 thrashing of North Leigh last Saturday. Town will therefore need to be mindful of the Larks’ threat at one end and hope to convert possession into goals at the other which ultimately proved the difference between a draw and win in midweek.
Town welcome back Brett Trowbridge who missed the Manor Farm match with a stiff back but Ross Staley is out with a knee injury picked up in the same game. Manager Leigh Robinson commented:” It’s an important game tomorrow. We got a decent point on Tuesday night but it will only be a good point if we pick up three tomorrow. Undoubtedly it will be a real scrap as Larkhall is never an easy place to play so we’ll need to roll our sleeves up and fully apply ourselves before we even think of getting a result.”