Town are on the road again in the BigFreeBet.com Challenge Cup following the draw for the 3rd Round which was released this evening (30th November). After winning at Bideford and Barnstaple Town in previous rounds, the Peacocks will travel to Premier Division side Frome Town, the tie to be played week commencing 8th January.
Town recovered from being behind at the break to draw 1-1 at Bristol Manor Farm in a top of the table Evo-Stik League clash yesterday evening (28th November). A match of few clearcut opportunities saw Jordan Metters fire the hosts in front after 18 minutes from Ben Bament's cross but despite having several half chances the Peacocks trailed at half time. A completely dominant second half performance eventually led to the Peacocks equalising after 68 minutes when Pierce Mitchell's drive was diverted into his own net by Farm defender Lloyd Mills. Town could not translate their supremacy into further goals though as Manor Farm hung on thanks to backs to the wall defending and their keeper Ashley Clark who made several saves, most importantly a superb reaction tip over to deny Pierce Mitchell's header. The point though extends Town's advantage at the top to four points and a minimum of two games in hand on their nearest rivals. Match report can be viewed HERE, match highlights can be seen on Peacocks TV HERE and match photos from Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson observed:" Pretty mixed feelings after the game really. On one hand and on paper it’s a decent point as we gave a lot on Saturday, and away to a side sitting in third on a cold Tuesday night is never a bad thing but the way the game actually went we were disappointed not to end up with three points, especially after such a dominant second half display. It took us a while to get going, Manor Farm play the sloping pitch at their place well and they came out guns blazing which we knew they would but other than the goal which was a bit of an unfortunate slip on our behalf they didn’t cause us a great deal of problems in the first half which we grew into as it went on. The second half was almost one way traffic and we threw everything at them but in fairness they defended their box pretty well and the keeper made a couple of excellent saves. On the whole a decent night's work. The desire and will to win was definitely still there from the players so no complaints from me. We just had a night where we weren’t our sharpest or most clinical in front of goal, nor did we get the breaks in the box, but we take our point and move on."
Reaction - Chris McGrath said: " I thought it took us about 20 to 25 minutes to get going but once we figured out the way they were playing and settled down to the way we like to play we never looked back. We came out second half knowing what had to be put right and in those 45 minutes I felt we completely dominated. We got ourselves back in it and after that could only see one winner. I reckon that if there had been another five to ten minutes play we would have left with three points, not one."
The Peacocks’ six game unbeaten run in the Evo-Stik League will be put severely to the test when they travel to Bristol Manor Farm tomorrow evening (28th November), kick-off 7.45pm. With only one defeat in their last 16 matches in all competitions and that with a weakened team, Town are in a rich vein of form at present, highlighted by their Buildbase FA Trophy win over Concord Rangers on Saturday, a side from two divisions higher. Town hold a three point lead over second placed Bideford with two games in hand, with a further point and extra game advantage over Manor Farm who have enjoyed an impressive first season to date in the Evo-Stik League after winning the Western League title by a ten point margin last term. Since going down by the only goal at Swindon Supermarine at the beginning of the month, they have strung together a run of four unbeaten games including three draws, most recently gaining a noteworthy point at Salisbury at the weekend. They are also the West Division’s joint top scorers along with Salisbury, netting 42 times in their 17 fixtures.
Town have the same squad on duty as Saturday with the addition of Ryan Brett who returns after serving his one game suspension for five bookings. Manager Leigh Robinson said:” It’s an important game tomorrow night and a test that we’re looking forward to. Manor Farm have had a great start, a good result on Saturday and certainly haven’t struggled for goals in this division so we know what we’ll be up against. On the whole the league results on Saturday weren’t bad for us even though we didn’t play so hopefully we can capitalise on that this week.”
Town will again face National League South opposition in the 1st Round Proper of the Buildbase FA Trophy following the draw made earlier today (27th November). After beating Concord Rangers from that division on Saturday, the Peacocks will host either Hemel Hempstead Town or Bognor Regis Town on Saturday 16th December. The two sides fought out a 1-1 draw at the weekend, with the replay taking place tomorrow evening to determine who will travel to the Viridor Stadium a fortnight on Saturday. Town have of course met both sides in recent seasons. Hemel, who currently lie in 8th spot, were memorably beaten 1-0 in an Emirates FA Cup replay last year after a 0-0 draw at the Viridor, securing Town’s progress to the 1st Round Proper. Bognor meanwhile sit in 21st position but were convincing winners two seasons ago with a 4-1 victory in another FA Trophy tie. The prize fund for the winners in the next round is £6,000.
The Peacocks are through to the 1st Round Proper of the Buildbase FA Trophy after a terrific 3-2 victory over Concord Rangers at the Viridor Stadium yesterday afternoon (25th November). A breathtaking tie seesawed between the two teams but ultimately it proved a tale of two keepers to determine who progressed to the next round on 16th December. Facing a side from two leagues higher, Town made a wonderful start with the opening goal after just five minutes. Early pressure saw Pierce Mitchell's shot not held by Concord keeper Louis Wells and when Ross Staley laid the ball back across, Matt Wright was there to steer into an open goal. Concord hit back, with Femi Akinwande driving a shot against the post and then being brought down by Ben Palmer for a penalty. Lloyd Irish pulled off a great save though to deny Steve Cawley from the spot. Cawley made amends when he pulled the visitors level on 29 minutes, converting Ben Greenhalgh's cross from the left at the back post. The woodwork then denied Town after Wright saw his header cannon off the post following a Dan Sullivan cross minutes before the break. The pacy Concord side began to get on top after the break and went ahead on 62 minutes with a cracking Harry Lee strike from 25 yards. However Town responded and equalised after 74 minutes. Wells made a brilliant save to keep out Ollie Chamberlain's header but when the ensuing corner wasn't properly cleared Ross Staley collected to rifle home a fine strike from the edge of the box. Town then grabbed the winning goal two minutes later when Wells let a Matt Buse shot escape from his grasp to roll over the line to send the home crowd delirious. Irish made a couple more excellent saves to keep Concord at bay and leave the Peacocks looking forward to Monday's draw for the next round. Match report can be viewed HERE and match photos from Tim Norbury can be viewed HERE. Match highlights can be seen on Peacocks TV HERE while post-match interviews with manager Leigh Robinson and Man of the Match Lloyd Irish can be seen HERE and HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson commented:" Another brilliant cup day at the Viridor and a fantastic achievement to reach the first round of the FA Trophy after last year's FA Cup success. So proud of the players and really happy for the people who run the club as together we have achieved so much over the last 18 months, creating wonderful memories and really making people sit up and take notice of Taunton Town. It was a hell of a cup tie and a great spectacle for the crowd. The best thing that happened to us was their second goal as it kicked us into life and it became a bit ‘all or nothing’. A great example today of the spirit and character that we have in the dressing room. Of course we had a bit of luck with the winning goal but that’s cup football and fortune favours the brave as they say. Let’s hope for a good draw in the next round and enjoy another good occasion."
Reaction - match winner Matt Buse remarked:" We started the game really well, pressing with good intensity and playing some nice football when we created a couple of good chances and deservedly took the lead. However when they went ahead in the second half we had to dig in and we showed great character to come back and get the win. Lloyd was outstanding but every player put in a great shift, which we knew would be required against a good side and sometimes you earn a bit of luck which came with the last goal. As players we are delighted for everyone involved, it brings prize money in and rewards the club for their great support. Once again we would like to thank the supporters who were fantastic. We will now look forward to the draw."
The Peacocks continue their Buildbase FA Trophy campaign when they welcome National League South side Concord Rangers to the Viridor Stadium for a 3rd Round Qualifying tie tomorrow afternoon (25th November), kick-off 3.00pm. Town have already played five games in the competition to reach this stage, with replay victories necessary over AFC Totton and Beaconsfield Town sandwiching an upset against Southern Premier Merthyr Town. It would be an even bigger shock should Town manage to overcome tomorrow’s opponents who sit two levels higher in the non-league system. Concord were only formed 40 years ago from a boys’ team who originally played on a pitch close to Concord Beach on Canvey Island in Essex. Since then they have enjoyed a climb up through various Essex leagues and then the Isthmian before gaining promotion to the National League South for the 2013-14 season. They are currently quite far down the table in 18th spot and have yet to win a league game away from home this term but are unbeaten in their last eight fixtures, seven consecutive draws coming to an end with a 4-2 win over Chippenham Town last Saturday.
Town however will take a great deal of confidence from their recent form, a 14 game unbeaten sequence coming to an end in midweek after the vast majority of the first team squad were rested for the Somerset Premier Cup reverse to Weston-super-Mare. The Peacocks were in superb shape last weekend when winning at Evesham in the Evo-Stik League and will hope for a similar kind of performance tomorrow to give themselves a chance to progress and earn £5,000 in the process. Apart from the prize money, there is the incentive of a place in the 1st Round Proper for tomorrow’s winners, one round further than Town managed last season when they conceded in the last minute to suffer a narrow defeat at another National League South side Chelmsford City.
Manager Leigh Robinson will have the same squad available as last Saturday with the exception of Ryan Brett who serves a one game suspension after accruing five bookings. The Town boss remarked:” It’s a good tie tomorrow and an occasion we are all looking forward to. After reaching the FA Cup First Round Proper last year, if we were to make the FA Trophy 1st Round the season after this would be a hell of an achievement. Of course we’ll be the underdogs but we had success last year at home against sides from a similar level so it can be done but we have to be completely at our best from 1 to 11 in order to give ourselves a chance.”
A radically changed and extremely youthful Town side were beaten 3-0 by Weston-super-Mare in the 2nd Round of the Somerset Premier Cup at the Viridor Stadium yesterday evening (21st November). Fielding four debutants and only three recognised first teamers, the Peacocks put up a spirited showing against their more experienced visitors and were still in the game at the break after a goalless first half in which Weston missed several opportunities, most notably when Jake Reid directed over from close range. Ben Palmer forced Liam Kingston to turn his shot aside when play resumed before the visitors scored three in six minutes to seal their passage. Jason Pope opened the scoring on 52 minutes when his shot from a narrow angle was deflected in and Jake Reid then set up Irnti Rapai to slot home a second three minutes later. Jarrad Welch converted Pope's cross on 58 minutes to add another and despite further attacks from Weston there were no more goals. Match report can be viewed HERE and match photos from club photographers Tim Norbury and Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE and HERE. Unfortunately we are unable to provide match highlights on Peacocks TV for this game.
Reaction - Man of the Match Ben Palmer commented:" Despite the result there were positives to take from the game. It was an opportunity to give several youngsters the chance to make their debuts in a side that included seven players under 20. There were limited chances for either team in the first half, we worked hard and competed with Weston, deservedly going in level at the break. However their experience showed in the second half and as we tired, opportunities arose and were clinically taken."
Town continue their defence of the Somerset Premier Cup when they entertain Weston-super-Mare in a 2nd Round tie tomorrow evening (21st November), kick-off 7.45pm. The game is the first of two against National League South opposition in the space of a week with Concord Rangers coming to the Viridor Stadium this coming Saturday for a Buildbase FA Trophy meeting. Weston currently lie in 11th spot in the South Division and are on a good run of form lately, winning their last four league fixtures including a victory at leaders Braintree on Saturday.
Tomorrow’s match is a repeat of last season’s final which Town won comfortably 4-2 but regardless of the strength of the team Weston play, the Peacocks will be hard pressed to achieve a similar result in light of the fact the vast majority of the first team squad are being rested. Only goalkeeper Lloyd Irish, Ben Palmer and Chris McGrath are involved tomorrow with fringe and youth players making up the remainder of the team. In come Shaun Anthony, Tom Stone and Matt Trump who all featured in the previous round against Ashton & Backwell United while Paul Grant, Kyle Winter and Kyle Lazowski, a trio of players from our football development and education partner Bridgwater and Taunton College, will also feature. Rhys Ford who was a member of the squad for last season’s triumphant Somerset Premier Cup campaign is also included along with Callum McGrath (son of Chris) who both attend Richard Huish College along with Stone. Manager Leigh Robinson remarked: ” With the FA Trophy tie on Saturday and a packed schedule from now until New Year, we have no choice but to rest the first team squad tomorrow and have a look at some young players. It will of course be tough against a National League South side but the result isn’t important as we’re just looking for some young lads to show that they’ve got what we want for the future.”
The Peacocks extended their unbeaten run to 14 games with a highly impressive 3-0 victory at promotion rivals Evesham United yesterday afternoon (18th November). The meeting with the 3rd placed Robins was envisaged to be a hard test for Town but they made light of the challenge with an excellent display which saw them two goals up inside the opening quarter of an hour. Dan Sullivan received a Ross Staley cross from the left to control and fire home past Kevin Sawyer after just eight minutes and then Matt Wright set up Pierce Mitchell to drive a shot inside the post to double Town's lead after 13 minutes before Sawyer kept his side in the game just before half time with saves from Sullivan and Staley to restrict Town to a two goal advantage at the interval. Evesham pressed in the second half but had no change from a terrific Town defence while the visitors continued to threaten and secured the points six minutes from time when Staley was gifted the ball and his pass saw Sullivan convert with ease for a 3-0 win which sees the Peacocks stretch their lead at the top of the table to five points following results elsewhere. Match report can be viewed HERE, match highlights can be seen on Peacocks TV HERE and match photos from club photographer Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson said:" A great win and brilliant performance to go with it which caps a hell of a good week. We came out of the blocks fast and got two early goals which basically enabled us to dictate the rest of the game relatively untroubled. Dan Sullivan was brilliant again with his work rate and finishing but this was a really good all round team performance and you can see the spirit and chemistry is fantastic at the moment. I know I have mentioned this a lot recently but again the support today was magnificent. I swear there was a period before half time when the fans chanted for 20 minutes non-stop and the players fed off this. We can now have a rest this week, hardly any of the first team will play in midweek against Weston as we of course have to prioritise the FA Trophy game and after this we have a packed schedule."
Reaction - Shane White commented:" We obviously started very well and getting two early goals was massive for us. Sully took both his goals superbly, he's added that extra bit of quality in the box and Pierce has been flying in the past few weeks. I think it puts out a statement to the rest of the division and keeps us on a fantastic run which I'm sure if we keep playing like we have been can go on for a very long time. It was also nice to get back to back clean sheets in the league."
Town return to their pursuit of promotion in the Evo-Stik League when they make the journey to Evesham United tomorrow afternoon (18th November), kick-off 3.00pm. The Peacocks are in a healthy position at the top of the West Division table following a run of five league games unbeaten and 13 in all competitions, lying three points clear of second placed Bristol Manor Farm with two games in hand. Evesham, who sit one place lower in third, are again among one of the sides touted to be there or thereabouts come the end of the season but have enjoyed more success on the road than at home so far with five wins and only one defeat from eight fixtures including impressive victories at Bideford, Bristol Manor Farm (by a 5-1 margin) and most recently at Slimbridge on Wednesday evening. Their record at the Spiers and Hartwell Jubilee Stadium is more moderate with three wins and three defeats from eight matches.
The Peacocks welcome back the four regulars who missed Monday’s thrilling win at Beaconsfield in the Buildbase FA Trophy replay. Ben Adelsbury and Ben Palmer had to miss the trip due to work commitments whilst Pierce Mitchell (dead leg) and Dan Sullivan (knee) were not fit to travel but all return for the trip up the M5. Sullivan may require a fitness test although he is likely to play. Young centre half Tom Stone who performed impressively after coming on as a substitute at Beaconsfield remains in the squad but assistant manager Michael Meaker is attending a wedding. Manager Leigh Robinson commented:” It is undoubtedly one of our hardest fixtures of the season tomorrow. Evesham have had a bit of a mixed bag of results so far but will definitely be fully motivated against us. Spirit is great though after Monday and we’ve had a good rest so fingers crossed for a good performance and result.”