The Peacocks went five points clear in second place after a 3-0 Evo-Stik League victory over Shortwood United at the Viridor Stadium yesterday evening (14th March). The win was fully deserved for Town who dominated the game although they had to wait until the final twenty minutes to make the breakthrough. A goalless first half saw Town untroubled but finding chances limited, with Pierce Mitchell and Jordan Rogers having the most noteworthy attempts on goal. It was a much different story after the break when a more vibrant Town began to create a host of opportunities. Mitchell's strike brushed the crossbar while Rogers and Craig Veal also came close before Brett Trowbridge was on hand to clear off the line from Hayden Turner following a Shortwood breakaway. Town's pressure paid off on 70 minutes when Rogers headed on Shane White's corner, Owen Irish forced the ball goalwards and Alex Hoyle got it over the line at the far post (as pictured) for the Peacocks' 100th League goal of the season. Veal added a second only a minute later, superbly controlling an Owen Irish cross to turn and blast a shot into the roof of the net from the left side of the box. Staley then wrapped up the scoring nine minutes from time, steering home a half volley from a Rogers cross, to conclude an impressive second half and secure another League double. 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 remarked:" A good win in the end and much improved second half performance. In the first half we didn't play with enough quality, tempo or urgency but to the players' credit they raised this straight after half time and built sustained pressure which told in the end. Tonight sees the end of our lengthy list of Tuesday night League fixtures which started way back on November 29th at Barnstaple. It's been a hectic schedule of Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, but we've only lost one out of 24 games during that time which is one hell of an effort from everyone, especially coming off the back of the cup runs. Hopefully we can keep pushing on until the end of the season."
Unless there are any further postponements, Town play their final Evo-Stik League night game of the season when they entertain Shortwood United at the Viridor Stadium tomorrow evening (14th March), kick-off 7.45pm. The fixture was originally planned for the end of November but had to be rescheduled due to the Peacocks’ involvement in the FA Trophy. Town will therefore be determined to ensure that they take full advantage of the game to increase the buffer between themselves and their play-off rivals, predominantly Tiverton and Salisbury who are well placed to capitalise on any slip-ups. Although the chances may be slim, Shortwood themselves are still mathematically capable of snaring a play-off place, lying in 12th spot but with a couple of games in hand. They will also be boosted by Saturday’s win over Tiverton, a result which enabled Town to leapfrog the Devonians into second position. That victory was Shortwood’s first League one at home since 25th October, their unremarkable record at Meadowbank where they have lost seven times in contrast to their much better away form which has seen them win ten out of 16 matches. The Peacocks will be chasing their sixth League double of 2016-17 after they were 3-0 winners in Gloucestershire on the opening day of the season although the points were unfortunately later deducted.
Manager Leigh Robinson said:” It’s an important game as it’s our last in hand so we need to try and make it count. Shortwood have ten away wins already this year so clearly have good performances in them on the road and we need to be aware of this.” Owen Irish returns after missing Saturday’s win over Bishops Cleeve due to a wedding but striker Matt Wright is again absent with a neck injury and he has been joined on the casualty list by centre half Matt Villis who left the action early at the weekend with a hamstring problem. Meanwhile striker Jordan Rogers who took over as top scorer with his two goals on Saturday plays his last game before a two match ban after accumulating ten bookings this season.
Following consultation, the Evo-Stik League match against leaders Hereford on Saturday 8th April has been made all-ticket and opposition supporters will be segregated. Full information will be made available during the coming week on www.tauntontown.com and on the club's social media outlets once final arrangements have been confirmed with the authorities.
The Peacocks are up to second place in the Evo-Stik League South and West Division after their 4-2 victory over Bishops Cleeve at the Viridor Stadium yesterday afternoon (11th March). It is the highest position Town have occupied in the table all season and came on the back of a dominant first half performance in which Town found themselves two up inside the opening quarter of an hour. Jordan Rogers gave the Peacocks an ideal start, latching on to a Pierce Mitchell through ball before rounding Matt Wieczorek to net from a narrow angle after just six minutes. A Ross Staley corner was then headed home by Ed Palmer (pictured being congratulated) on 14 minutes to put Town two goals to the good but after such a great start, the game quietened down although Staley and Rogers both came close to adding further to the score before half time. Town went off the boil after the break and Cleeve began to gain more possession and reduced the arrears on 61 minutes when Shane Bumphrey arrowed a fantastic 25 yard volley over Lloyd Irish into the corner. Regular interruptions by the whistle caused the game to become increasingly disjointed before another two goal burst settled nerves to kill the game off. After Wieczorek had parried a venomous drive from Shane White, Rogers collected the ball out on the right before powering in to drive a left foot shot past the Cleeve keeper on 79 minutes for his 27th goal of the campaign. The visitors were reduced to ten men two minutes later after Ollie Butler received a straight red card for bringing down Craig Veal who was away on goal before Josh Searle added a fourth five minutes from time, curling home a pearler from the edge of the box after being set up by Ollie Chamberlain. The only two real blemishes of the afternoon came as the game entered stoppage time, firstly when White's penalty was saved by Wieczorek after Jordan Stoddart had fouled Chamberlain and then some casual defending enabling Jacob Davidge to hook in at the right post after his initial effort had been saved. The points though were safely in the bag as Town secured another league double to extend their unbeaten run to ten games. Match report can be viewed HERE and match photos from club photographers Tim Norbury and Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE and HERE. Goal highlights can also be viewed on Peacocks TV HERE
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson remarked:" A good win to finish off a productive week. We were very comfortable in the first half as Cleeve sat very deep and allowed us lots of ball but after half time they played more positively and we stepped off the gas a bit, allowing them back into the game. Yet again though, we responded well and ran out comfortable winners. We've picked up a fair few knocks this week with Wrighty on Tuesday, Matt Villis today and Ross nursing his hamstring a wee bit but this week has also shown that the squad is strong and hopefully we can push on next week."
We are delighted to announce that Nandos have agreed to become sponsors of the Taunton Town Man of the Match award starting with tomorrow’s home game against Bishops Cleeve. The international restaurant chain which has its Taunton outlet in North Street and specialises in peri-peri chicken dishes will provide a Chicken Cheque for every Man of the Match winner both home and away which can be used in Nandos restaurants in Taunton and regionally to cater for the Peacock players who do not live locally. The first Nandos Man of the Match award will be made after tomorrow’s game at the Viridor Stadium, with the lucky winner also continuing to receive a bottle of champagne kindly sponsored by supporter Alan Poole. Chairman Kevin Sturmey remarked:” I am delighted to welcome Nandos as a new partner at Taunton Town and look forward to working with them. This week will see the first Nandos Man of the Match Award presented, complementing the bottle of champagne the player receives which has been sponsored by loyal supporter Alan Poole for a number of seasons. As a club and business we are ambitious and we are very keen to build partnerships with our sponsors and business partners. We look forward to working with Nandos for many seasons to come, with the Peacocks closely in harmony with Nandos Chicken.”
After picking up four points from two Evo-Stik League games on their travels in the past week, Town return to the Viridor Stadium tomorrow (11th March) and a meeting with Bishops Cleeve, kick-off 3.00pm. A hard-fought draw at Winchester last weekend was followed by a thrilling victory at Didcot on Tuesday evening and Town will hope to keep their foot on the pedal against the Gloucestershire side tomorrow to keep the momentum going towards securing a play-off spot. The Peacocks have already travelled to Bishops Cleeve twice this season and have come out on top on both occasions, an Owen Irish goal securing FA Trophy progress in November and then recording a 5-1 victory in a League encounter last month which started off Town’s current nine game unbeaten run. Cleeve occupy 13th spot and have lost their last three fixtures but have won away at top ten sides Swindon Supermarine and Winchester City this season so have the potential to upset the apple cart if Town aren’t on their game.
Manager Leigh Robinson commented:” It was a great win in midweek but we must now focus on Saturday as whilst we have beaten Bishops Cleeve twice this season, they did give us some problems on both occasions so it’s far from a foregone conclusion tomorrow. That said, if we use the momentum and confidence we gained from Tuesday in the right way, we’re very capable of finishing the week with the seven points that we would have wanted.” The Peacocks will be missing one if not two of their most regular performers tomorrow, with Owen Irish absent at a wedding and top scorer Matt Wright doubtful due to a neck injury he sustained at Didcot. We are pleased to welcome representatives from St Margaret’s Hospice to the game who will be making a ground collection during the afternoon and we also welcome Staplegrove Under 10’s football team who will be the Matchday Mascots.
The Peacocks fought back from going behind twice before netting a late winner to secure a vital 3-2 Evo-Stik League victory at Didcot Town yesterday evening (7th March). Victory extends Town's unbeaten run to nine games and followed an entertaining game which often swung from end to end. Town made a positive start and came close to breaking the deadlock but suddenly found themselves trailing after 17 minutes when George Reid set up Louis Joyce to fire home an angled shot. The equaliser wasn't long in coming though, Ollie Chamberlain putting Craig Veal in for a nicely taken finish six minutes later (as pictured). Veal and Josh Searle had further chances but the first half ended all square before Didcot restored their lead after 58 minutes somewhat against the run of play. Brett Trowbridge was penalised for a challenge on Reid and Ben Whitehead converted the spot kick. Town pressed to draw level and were rewarded after 74 minutes when Veal fed Chamberlain who tucked the ball home past Leigh Bedwell from close range. Town looked to have lost their chance of three points when Jordan Rogers had his penalty saved with eight minutes remaining after Sam Barder was adjudged to have fouled Pierce Mitchell but two minutes later another flurry in the box saw a Rogers strike blocked by Bedwell for the loose ball to fall to Owen Irish who lashed home the winner. The win closes the gap with 2nd placed Tiverton to just one point with a game in hand so the Peacocks will want to keep the momentum going this weekend when they take on Bishops Cleeve at the Viridor Stadium. Match report can be viewed HERE and match photos from club photographer Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE .
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson remarked:" A thrilling win in the circumstances and outstanding 'never say die' attitude from the players coming from a goal down twice, then ignoring the missed penalty to go on and get the winner. Winning a game in that fashion at this time of year is better than rocking up and winning easily and I'm sure we'll get more from it than just three points in terms of belief and spirit moving forwards when we go behind in games. Some really good individual performances tonight but Craig Veal was absolutely terrific and a real threat all night."
The Peacocks play a crucial rearranged Evo-Stik League fixture tomorrow evening (7th March) when they make the trip to Didcot Town, kick-off 7.45pm. With ten League games remaining for Taunton, every point will be precious in the quest to guarantee both a play-off place and home advantage, with the title already looking settled as leaders Hereford require just 13 points from their final nine matches to secure top spot. Tomorrow’s game is potentially awkward as Didcot will be keen to avenge the defeat they suffered at the Viridor Stadium last month when two goals from Matt Wright and another from Owen Irish saw Town home 3-0. The Railwaymen, who sit in 14th position, will also be desperate to see a turnaround in their fortunes, having not won in nine games since beating local rivals Wantage on Boxing Day and having lost four of their last five matches. With the Peacocks not having hit best form in their last three games, they will be looking for a more assured performance over the 90 minutes tomorrow evening and hopefully claim another three points to close the gap with second placed Tiverton to just one point with a game in hand. The squad is unchanged from Saturday’s match at Winchester with the addition of centre half Ed Palmer who has completed his three game suspension.
The Peacocks' six game winning run in the Evo-Stik League was halted after they were held to a 1-1 draw at Winchester City yesterday afternoon (4th March). A draw was about right given the complexion of the game in which Town were well below par in the first half and trailed at the interval but improved in the second half to equalise although still not being at their best. Chances were somewhat limited in the first half, Craig Veal striking a decent opportunity into the side netting for Town before Howard Neighbour found the same target at the other end. The hosts took the lead eight minutes before half time when a break saw Joe Briggs find Craig Feeney on the left side of the area and the Winchester striker's effort beat the dive of Lloyd Irish to find the net. With the wind behind them the Peacocks began to get on top and after an Owen Irish close range attempt was just kept out by Lewis Noice, they drew level ten minutes in when Veal curled the ball forward from the left and it evaded everyone to nestle in the corner (as pictured). Ben Palmer fired narrowly over as Town looked for the winner but Winchester hit back in the closing stages and Feeney missed a golden opportunity to score again ten minutes from time, lofting the ball over from inside the six yard box. The result means Town are now unbeaten in eight games but they will want to get back to winning ways when they travel to Didcot Town on Tuesday evening. Match report can be viewed HERE to follow while match photos from club photographer Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson commented:" It was an enjoyable and keenly contested game by two committed sides. On yet another windy day it was a game of two halves, Winchester much better than us in the first half and us much better in the second. We showed a lot of attacking intent in the second half but struggled to muster any clear opportunities on the worsening pitch and didn't take any of the half chances that came our way. Whilst we came to win, I'm not unhappy with a point as Winchester are a good team at home and put a lot into today. In our current situation it was far from a must win match so an away point is ok and we move on to two more games this week."
Two tricky away games await the Peacocks in the Evo-Stik League this coming week starting with the trip to Winchester City tomorrow afternoon (4th March), kick-off 3.00pm. Tuesday’s win over Wantage was Town’s sixth league success in a row, a run which has lifted them up to third spot, five points clear of Salisbury. With 2nd placed Tiverton on the end of a surprising 5-2 defeat at Slimbridge on Wednesday, Town are now very handily positioned only two points behind the Devon side with two games in hand so another three points tomorrow would be more than useful as the battle for play-off qualification begins to hot up. However the clash at the Denplan City Ground will prove a difficult test against a Winchester team that has lost only one of its last eight home league fixtures, winning six including a convincing victory over high flying Evesham United a fortnight ago. Ninth placed City are currently nine points off a play-off place and still in with a slim chance of being involved, and they also have the incentive of avoiding conceding the double to the Peacocks who triumphed 3-1 at the Viridor Stadium in October courtesy of goals from Jordan Rogers, Owen Irish and Alex Hoyle.
Manager Leigh Robinson observed:” We know we’re in for a tough game tomorrow. Winchester have taken points off top six teams in the last few weeks and may well still have play-off hopes of their own so it’ll be a test and one that we’re going to need something from if we’re to keep up our push to finish as high as possible.” Ed Palmer serves the final game of his three match suspension while the only injury doubt apart from longer term absentee Craig Duff is Ross Staley who will have a fitness test on a slight hamstring strain.