Town will be aiming to take advantage of one of their games in hand in the Evo-Stik League when they entertain Larkhall Athletic in a rearranged fixture tomorrow evening (17th January), kick-off 7.45pm. Maximum points from the game, which was moved from November due to our FA Trophy involvement, would see the Peacocks climb up two places into fifth, with scope to rise even further given the extra rescheduled matches they still have to play. However it is one game at a time and Town will be all out to extend their record number of successive Southern League victories tomorrow which currently stands at ten following Saturday’s terrific win at leaders Hereford. Although the sides have not yet crossed paths in the League this season, they did meet back in October at the Viridor Stadium in the Preliminary Round of the FA Trophy, with Town emerging comfortable winners by a 6-2 margin. Larkhall, who appointed the experienced Phil Bater as their new manager last week, lie in 15th spot in the South and West Division but have gone eight games without a win since their 5-0 away drubbing of Shortwood United in mid- November so will be desperate to break the trend tomorrow. The only change for Town from the weekend sees Matt Buse return to the squad but Matt Wright is away so misses the game.
The Peacocks ended Hereford's unbeaten Evo-Stik League season with a fantastic 2-1 victory at Edgar Street yesterday afternoon (14th January). Town had already come close on a couple of occasions before Matt Wright fired home from Jordan Rogers' assist to give them the lead after 17 minutes and Pierce Mitchell (pictured celebrating) volleyed home a brilliant second goal from Ollie Chamberlain's cross three minutes later as the Peacocks enjoyed an impressive first half. The hosts piled on the pressure after the break, reducing arrears on 54 minutes with a close range John Mills finish, but heroic defending saw Town stand firm to secure their 10th win on the spin. Match report can be viewed HERE and match photos from club photographer Tim Norbury can be viewed HERE. The goals from the game can be viewed on Hereford FC's YouTube Channel HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson commented:"Naturally we're pleased to win and it was a good fixture at a good time as we're in such good form. Whilst we can enjoy the day, we have to remember that it is only one day and we've only got three points. We have to go back to work on Tuesday night at home in a fixture where we'll be favourites and the pressure will be on us which arguably it wasn't today. So, no time to pat ourselves on the back and plenty more challenges to come. Great support from our fans today which is much appreciated by the management and players. See you Tuesday night."
The Peacocks face their most difficult Evo-Stik League challenge of the campaign when they travel to Hereford tomorrow (14th January), kick-off 3.00pm.
The scene is set for a fascinating encounter between the division’s most consistent side and the current form team, all played out in front of a crowd likely to number several thousand. The Bulls, reformed from the ashes of former Football League club Hereford United after they were wound up in 2014, look to be romping away with the South and West Division title in their first season in the Southern League, sitting fifteen points clear at the top of the table and being unbeaten leaguewise all season. In fact they have only failed to win three of their 26 fixtures, namely away draws at North Leigh and Tiverton Town with Didcot Town the only side to escape Edgar Street with a point. Hereford have won their last six matches, and with home support averaging 2,739 and their prolific striker John Mills again among the goals this season, lying second in the scoring charts, it will take a massive effort for Town to dent Hereford’s impressive record.
However, the Peacocks are in fine shape themselves. Since their FA Trophy defeat at Chelmsford City in late November, they have reeled off nine league victories on the bounce which has propelled them up to seventh in the standings, and with the confidence such a vein of form brings plus games in hand to overhaul most of the sides above them, they couldn’t approach the task in a better frame of mind. Town will also have the bonus of a full strength squad to select from, with Pierce Mitchell and Craig Duff both back in the frame following hamstring problems. Manager Leigh Robinson commented:” Everyone is looking forward to the game. It has to be the most highly anticipated league fixture of the season and ideal for us to be coming into it in such good form. Something is going to give tomorrow, either our winning run or Hereford’s unbeaten run so it’s all set up to be an exciting afternoon in front of a big crowd we hope.”
To celebrate the Peacocks' fantastic achievement in reaching the 1st Round Proper of this season's Emirates FA Cup plus a good run in the FA Trophy, we are holding a Charity Dinner at the Cooper Associates County Ground, the home of Somerset County Cricket Club, on Monday 30th January. The evening will be hosted by BBC Somerset's Claire Carter and Jack Murley and promises to be a really enjoyable evening as we look back on our national Cup campaigns of 2016-17 whilst also raising plenty of funds for local charities. For more information on how to book your place please click HERE.
The Peacocks secured their first Evo-Stik League double of the campaign with a resounding 5-0 win over AFC Totton at the Viridor Stadium yesterday afternoon (7th January). The job was done within the hour as Town remained well on course for a promotion challenge. After coming near on several occasions, Ross Staley broke the deadlock on 23 minutes when he drilled home a super free kick from 25 yards before a destructive spell either side of half time put paid to Totton hopes of getting anything from the game. Craig Veal skilfully worked space to curl a fine finish past Charlie Searle on 39 minutes and Matt Wright headed in his 18th goal of the campaign from Ollie Chamberlain’s cross a minute before the break. As the second half got underway, Staley notched his second and Town’s fourth of the afternoon when he nodded in from Josh Searle’s cross while Veal also secured his brace after 55 minutes with a close range header (as pictured) after Wright had headed on a Shane White corner. Curtis Young's cross-shot hit the bar as Totton kept on the offensive but Town saw the game out for their ninth consecutive win. Match report can be viewed HERE and match photos from club photographers Tim Norbury and Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE and HERE.
Reaction - striker Matt Wright who was among the goals commented:" Another great win yesterday in front of a good home crowd. That's nine consecutive wins now and as you can imagine the confidence in the team is as high as ever. It's Hereford away next week which is going to be a great day for the fans and obviously we hope to be the first team to beat them this season to make it even better! The support has been fantastic as always this season so let's keep the run going."
The Viridor Stadium stages its first game of the New Year when Town host AFC Totton in the Evo-Stik League tomorrow afternoon (7th January), kick-off 3.00pm. It will be the second meeting between the sides in the space of four weeks after the Peacocks returned from Hampshire with a 3-1 victory last month and hopes will be high that the league double can be achieved tomorrow and in the process register Town’s ninth successive win, their best run of form since the end of the 2013-14 season when they won their final nine fixtures. Totton have found it hard going this season, currently sitting in 20th spot but despite their lowly position have won at North Leigh, their sole success on the road so far, and taken a point at promotion challengers Evesham United so there will be no room for complacency from Town tomorrow as they seek to maintain their play-off chase. Manager Leigh Robinson remarked:” We had a good win at Totton a few weeks ago but they had a couple of decent players missing that night and have signed a few since then so they are likely to be improved from the team that we faced last month. We’re in good shape though and as well as wanting to carry on our winning run, the players will all want to play for a place in the side at Hereford next week in front of a big crowd.” Craig Duff is again absent tomorrow due to a hamstring injury while Pierce Mitchell will also not be involved due to the same type of complaint although his omission is more of a precaution and he should be ready for next weekend’s big game at Edgar Street.
Town secured a fantastic eighth successive Evo-Stik League victory after a 4-2 win at Bideford yesterday afternoon (2nd January). It was far from the most convincing Peacocks' performance of the season but they ultimately got the job done against the North Devon side to remain well placed for a play-off push. Town couldn't have asked for a better opening, Matt Wright nodding on Alex Hoyle's long ball to Jordan Rogers who calmly slotted home past keeper Grant Fisher inside the first minute (as pictured). Rogers latched onto a flicked goal kick to drill home a second goal from 18 yards with only three minutes gone, with Fisher then going on to deny Rogers twice and an Ed Palmer free kick. Bideford reduced the arrears when James Richards fired home a 25 yard free kick on 35 minutes but Town hit back immediately, Owen Irish heading in a Shane White corner to make it 3-1 two minutes later. After Town had withstood some increased Bideford pressure after the break, Ross Staley expertly swept home Town's fourth of the afternoon on 66 minutes after Ollie Chamberlain had laid the ball back to him. However Bideford continued to ask questions of Town who conceded another goal six minutes from time when Richards netted his second free kick of the match. The Peacocks though deterred a late home surge to claim victory and remain in seventh spot. 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 said:" It wasn't the prettiest of games on a sticky pitch but a well earned three points at a difficult place to win. We knew Bideford had a weakness in goal today with their usual keeper missing so the plan was to try and get shots away early in the game and this worked well getting two goals. Overall we weren't physically at our best today, you could see the Christmas period had affected the players' rhythm a little bit as we've become used to playing more games but hopefully today has helped us get over that and we'll be sharper on Saturday."
Town will hope to carry on where they left off when they open 2017 with an Evo-Stik League game at Bideford tomorrow afternoon (2nd January), kick-off 3.00pm. Seven wins on the bounce have put the Peacocks within touching distance of the play-off zone and with games in hand are well positioned to make a concerted challenge in the second half of the season. The trip to North Devon will not be easy though with ninth placed Bideford among a host of clubs who can also stake a claim for a play-off berth come April. Town have already visited the Sports Ground this season, an experimental side consisting of Under 18’s and fringe players going down to a 4-0 defeat in the Southern League Challenge Cup in October, and with the Robins buoyed by their victory in the derby game at Barnstaple on Boxing Day, Town will need to be in the groove to get something from the match. The only injury doubt for the Peacocks is Craig Duff who left the action early against Tiverton on Boxing Day with a hamstring tweak, otherwise manager Leigh Robinson has a full squad to select from. He commented:” It will be an interesting game as both sets of players know each other well. Bideford have an experienced side and plenty of talent, and play their home pitch well so we need to be at our best to keep our excellent winning run going.”
We are delighted to report that we have won the Division One South & West Team of the Month award for December, the second time this season that we have won the accolade. It follows a perfect month in which the Peacocks won all six of their Evo-Stik League fixtures, scoring 24 goals in the process and conceding only three. The club will receive a cut glass trophy along with a 4.5 litre bottle of Bell's Whisky which will be presented before a home game in January. The award comes hot on the heels of our Team of the Month success for October which was presented before the home game with Evesham United earlier this month by our Director Brian Rose in his capacity as a Southern League Director (as pictured left) to manager Leigh Robinson and Chairman Kevin Sturmey. Town won both their League fixtures during October along with four Cup matches including the notable scalps of National League South sides Hampton & Richmond Borough and Hemel Hempstead Town in the FA Cup. Here's to some more awards in 2017!
Supporters who attended our FA Cup 1st Round Proper tie at home to Barrow were invited to hand in their match tickets at the recent home games with Evesham United and Paulton Rovers earlier this month in order to be entered into a prize draw. The draw took place before Boxing Day's encounter with Tiverton Town and the three prize winners can be announced as follows:
Replica Shirt - Adam Kent
Family Ticket to a home Evo-Stik League game - Morgan Kmita
FA Cup commemorative bottle of champagne - Derek Norman
Congratulations to all prizewinners who can email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange collection of their prizes from the club office.