The Peacocks made it six Evo-Stik League wins on the bounce with a very comfortable 3-0 victory over Wantage Town at the Viridor Stadium yesterday evening (28th February). Town were in control from start to finish against their lowly visitors in a game completely spoilt by strong winds which made fluent football virtually impossible. Matt Wright headed an early chance wide before forcing Wantage keeper Ed Cavanagh to tip over his 20 yard strike. From the resultant Ross Staley corner Town grabbed the lead, the ball falling for Ben Palmer (pictured) to volley home from six yards after 18 minutes. Staley then crashed a shot off the crossbar and Cavanagh fumbled a Shane White corner onto the same piece of woodwork with Lloyd Irish a virtual spectator as the first half ended. The Peacocks deservedly extended their lead twelve minutes into the second period when Staley's corner from the right flashed across goal and was tucked home at the far post by Wright. Craig Veal fired wide after one of the best moves of the game before he created the final goal on 82 minutes, his shot being saved but retrieving the ball to square across to Staley who stretched out his leg to steer into an unguarded net. The win keeps Town in third spot and they will hope to continue their fine run when they visit Winchester City on Saturday. 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:" Unfortunately it was another game completely ruined as a spectacle by the very strong wind but we were comfortable enough and got the job done. We were far better against the wind which tells you how difficult it was to play with it as any ball forward was out of play in no time. It's been brilliant to have nearly 800 people in total through the gate on Saturday and tonight against two of the lower sides in the league, there are clubs in the leagues above that don't get that so we're really appreciative of the support at the moment but hopefully next time we're at home conditions will allow us to put on a better show and demonstrate what we're really capable of."
Town will strive to make full use of another Evo-Stik League game in hand when they entertain Wantage Town at the Viridor Stadium tomorrow evening (28th February), kick-off 7.45pm. The original fixture fell victim to a frozen pitch last month so tomorrow’s rearranged match gives the Peacocks an opportunity to put further daylight between themselves and the play-off pack whilst also closing the gap with 2nd placed Tiverton albeit possibly just for 24 hours as they visit Slimbridge on Wednesday evening. Town will be chasing another League double after securing their record Southern League away victory in December when they routed Wantage 9-0 at Alfredian Park courtesy of hat tricks from Owen Irish and Ross Staley plus a Craig Duff double and a Matt Wright header. Duff is still not ready to return to action following a hamstring injury while Ed Palmer sits out the second game of his three match ban tomorrow. Shane White though returns after serving his one game suspension for his dismissal at Slimbridge. Since suffering that defeat to the Peacocks, Wantage have continued to find it hard going, picking up just four points from ten matches to leave them one place off the bottom and facing relegation unless they can find an upturn in their fortunes so Town will need to ensure it doesn’t start at the Viridor tomorrow evening.
The Peacocks registered their fifth consecutive Evo-Stik League victory after they beat Yate Town 2-0 at a blustery Viridor Stadium yesterday afternoon (25th February). In a steady rather than spectacular performance, Jordan Rogers scored both goals before the break to seal the all-important three points and secure the league double over the opposition. A scrappy start saw Rogers and Matt Wright try their luck whilst a Matt Villis header forced a tip over save from Harvey Rivers before Town got the breakthrough they wanted after 24 minutes when a Matt Buse corner from the left was met by Rogers (pictured celebrating) at the near post and his header hit the net via a deflection off a defender's shoulder. Wright put his diving header from Ross Staley's cross over the bar and a number of half chances followed until Town added a second six minutes before the break, a powerful break from Ollie Chamberlain finding Pierce Mitchell out on the right and from his curling cross Rogers was on hand at the back post to convert. Town continued to boss the second half but the final touch proved elusive. Staley, Owen Irish and Rogers all came close before Yate had their best spell in the latter stages and Jack Camm lobbed against the bar. Town had done enough though and remain in third place ahead of another game at the Viridor on Tuesday evening when Wantage Town are the visitors. Match report can be viewed HERE while match photos from club photographer Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE and HERE and goal highlights can be viewed on Peacocks TV HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson commented:" The archetypal ugly win today. We never really got going and in fairness that's the worst we've played for a while. I don't think the conditions helped as strong wind often ruins games. We got the job done though which is all that matters in the current situation but we'll need to pick it up as of Tuesday as you can't play to the level we did today and keep winning. That said, I'm sure today was a bit of a one-off and I have every faith that the players will come out and perform better in our two remaining games this week as they were pretty gutted after the match which shows just how high their standards are."
Two successive home games against sides in the bottom five present the Peacocks with an ideal opportunity to reinforce their Evo-Stik League play-off claims starting with the visit of Yate Town to the Viridor Stadium tomorrow afternoon (25th February), kick-off 3.00pm. Four wins on the spin have lifted Town up to third place and they will be focused on another maximum point return tomorrow against the Bluebells who they beat 5-1 at Lodge Road in October, coming back from a goal down thanks to braces from Shane White and Matt Wright and one from Craig Veal. Since that meeting Yate have accumulated just 10 points from 17 league matches, having not won in their last 13 outings since overcoming Didcot 3-2 at the beginning of December. This form has seen them slip down to 18th spot but they seem unlikely to be dragged into a relegation fight given the current predicament of the bottom two teams Wantage and Bridgwater. Manager Leigh Robinson is hoping for another successful Saturday at the Viridor, remarking:” Everyone is feeling good at the moment and we’re on another decent run so hopefully we can continue that tomorrow. A few lads had a rest during the week so energy levels should be high in front of what we hope will be another really good Saturday crowd which we’ve enjoyed since the FA Cup run.”
The Peacocks will be missing both Ed Palmer and Shane White tomorrow through suspension. Palmer begins a three game ban for amassing 15 bookings this season whilst White must sit out one game following his dismissal at Slimbridge last Saturday after a highly controversial second booking for taking a free kick too quickly. Unfortunately there is no right of appeal for yellow cards even if it results in a sending off but given the match referee’s discussion with manager Robinson and Chairman Kevin Sturmey after last weekend’s game it had been hoped that the ban might have been overturned. However a bad taste has been left in the mouth. The Town boss continued:” The referee admitted to me and our Chairman in the presence of witnesses that he had made a mistake in booking Shane a second time and that he would state this in his match report which may have helped get that booking rescinded. His report though mentioned nothing about this so we are obviously very disappointed to say the least.”
The Peacocks have been drawn away to Western League side Keynsham Town in the Semi-Final of the Somerset Premier Cup. The tie will be played on Tuesday 28th March, kick-off 7.45pm.
A much changed Town side progressed to the Semi-Final of the Somerset Premier Cup with a 3-1 victory over Clevedon Town at the Viridor Stadium yesterday evening (21st February). Six players who started Saturday's game at Slimbridge were rested, giving the opportunity for several youth players to step up into the squad. Nonetheless Town were on top in the opening 45 minutes, with Ed Palmer's close range header nearest to breaking the deadlock in the early stages. Both sides hit the woodwork within three minutes of each other, James Fisher's free kick hitting the outside of the post for the visitors before Josh Searle hammered a strike against the upright at the other end after Brett Trowbridge's shot had been parried by keeper Alex White. Town finally took the lead on 28 minutes when Michael Meaker scored his first ever Peacocks goal, nodding home from inside the six yard box (as pictured) after Ross Staley's corner had reached him. The score soon became 2-0 six minutes later thanks to great commitment from Owen Irish on the right who chased what seemed a lost cause to get a centre in and Craig Veal blocked off Owen Barry's clearance to see the ball ricochet into the net. Despite the deficit Clevedon remained lively after the interval and Searle had to head Barry's header off the line. The Peacocks also had chances before they were pegged back on 69 minutes when Tom Stone fouled Fisher and Isaac Reid fired home the penalty. Staley though restored Town's two goal advantage four minutes later, bending a brilliant free kick inside the post after Searle had been felled. The tie then began to peter out as Town won through where they will face either Brislington, Weston-super-Mare or Keynsham Town. Match report can be viewed HERE and match photos from club photographers Tim Norbury and Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE and HERE.
Reaction - coach Rob Dray commented:" We're pleased that we have progressed into a semi final of a cup competition this year, following on from our strong showing in other cups. The quarter finals in any competition have to be taken seriously especialy our county cup which holds a lot of kudos for us and the supporters. We had a good number of the first team squad available and it's a credit to several of the players who insisted on playing last night even though they had to travel! As in previous rounds we kept faith with several of our development squad and all showed well. Mixing them with the first team squad has given them great experience and we can see the difference game on game. Our attitude and work rate were first class against a good Clevedon side who made it difficult for 20 minutes. Final word goes to Meaks who scored one of his more simple goals in his career and has now scored for every club he has played for professionally and non-league - his attitude to playing is still second to none and rubs off on everybody in the changing room!"
The Peacocks take a break from League duty for the first time in nearly three months when they welcome Clevedon Town to the Viridor Stadium in the Quarter Finals of the Somerset Premier Cup tomorrow evening (21st February), kick-off 7.45pm. The two sides have met on many occasions over the years in both the Western League and Southern League, most recently in January 2015 when Town beat the Seasiders 3-1 at the Viridor. That season was Clevedon’s last in the Southern League, a failure to meet the floodlight criteria resulting in demotion back to the Western League where they currently sit in 15th spot. They have secured four league wins from 14 games on the road, most recently at the weekend when they beat Sherborne Town 2-1. Town meanwhile will hope to transfer their league form into the cup, four wins on the bounce elevating them to third, as they seek to win the trophy for the third time in four seasons.
Clevedon have beaten Yeovil Town and Chard Town to reach this stage while the Peacocks have only played one game to get there. A bye in the first round was followed by an eventful passage at Western League Odd Down, Town eventually prevailing 5-4 on penalties after a 4-4 draw at the end of extra time. That tie saw the involvement of Kye Toogood, Billy Greene, Rhys Ford, Tom Stone and Charlie Melvin-Sparks who were all part of the club’s former Under 18 side and they will again be in the squad for tomorrow’s game. Several players are rested, namely Matt Wright, Ollie Chamberlain, Alex Hoyle, Jordan Rogers, Shane White, Matt Villis and Matt Buse while Craig Duff whose comeback from his hamstring injury was earmarked for this match is still not fit to return. Admission for the game has been reduced to £5 for adults, £3 concessions and £1 for Under 19’s, with Under 14’s free as normal.
Town are up to third in the Evo-Stik League South and West Division after their 7-0 rout of Slimbridge at Thornhill Park this afternoon (18th February). There were seven different scorers including two own goals for a dominant Peacocks side which frighteningly didn't even get near to hitting top gear. Ross Staley was close to giving Town the lead with a header before Jordan Rogers broke the ice on 15 minutes, firing home from close range (as pictured) after Matt Wright's header from an Ed Palmer free kick had come back off the bar. The lead was doubled five minutes later when Wright rose to nod in a Palmer throw into the box and a replica virtually sealed the points on 34 minutes when Palmer launched another long throw and Swans centre half Rich Thwaite notched an own goal after heading past Pete Davies. Town kept up the pressure with Rogers not far off on a couple of occasions before another Slimbridge assist made it 4-0 after 57 minutes, a driven Pierce Mitchell centre being run into his own net by Sam Turl. The last quarter of the game was overshadowed by a farcical decision which resulted in the Peacocks' Shane White being sent off on 68 minutes after receiving a second yellow card for taking a free kick too quickly. Slimbridge were then reduced to ten men themselves eleven minutes later when Dean Turner got a straight red for elbowing Wright and Ed Palmer took the honours when he steered home the penalty. Matt Buse scored his third goal in four games to make it 6-0 on 83 minutes, curling in a 20 yarder after his corner had been cleared back out to him and sub Craig Veal scored the pick of the goals to round off the scoring a minute from time, latching on to an Owen Irish clearance to lob Davies from 25 yards. The handsome win now means Town are the division's leading scorers with an impressive 86 goals but cup action is next on the agenda with the visit of Clevedon Town to the Viridor Stadium on Tuesday evening in the Quarter Finals of the Somerset Premier Cup. 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:" It was a good performance on a heavy pitch and nice to get seven goals on the board too. The application was very good and finishing fairly clinical all afternoon. I guess the only minor setback was Shane's red card but the referee has put his hand up and admitted he made a mistake which I've got a lot of time for as more often than not they try to justify themselves. We can only hope common sense prevails and he doesn't have to serve a ban. It's been a decent week, three wins and two clean sheets is a good return so we just need to keep plugging away."
The Peacocks continue their Evo-Stik League play-off pursuit when they make the trip to Slimbridge tomorrow (18th February), kick-off 3.00pm. Town have bounced back with three successive wins since their defeat at Paulton two weeks ago and now sit in fourth spot with games in hand on the sides above them. With leaders Hereford 19 points clear of 2nd placed Tiverton and odds-on to win the title, the race is hotting up to finish as high in the play-offs as possible to guarantee home advantage so Town will be eyeing another three points towards that objective in Gloucestershire tomorrow. However they will need to be more lethal in front of goal than they were in the corresponding fixture in early November when the Swans escaped with a point from a 0-0 draw in one of the most one-sided games seen at the Viridor Stadium in a long time, Town missing a penalty and hitting the woodwork on six occasions. After that fortunate draw, Slimbridge went on to win two of their next three fixtures but have since hit a real downturn and failed to win in their last dozen League matches including defeats in their last six to leave them sitting in 19th position. The clubs have also met in this season’s FA Cup, Town winning through in the 2nd Qualifying Round by a 2-0 margin at the Viridor which was Alex Hoyle’s penultimate game for the Swans before joining Town. Ross Staley returns to tomorrow’s squad after missing the midweek game with Wimborne due to a family funeral while there is better news regarding skipper Brett Trowbridge who was named unexpectedly as a substitute on Tuesday after being given the all clear by a specialist following a heel injury. Craig Duff though is still not fit to be included. Manager Leigh Robinson remarked:” We’ve had a typically great reaction after losing at Paulton a fortnight ago and hopefully we can carry this on tomorrow. I’m told we’re taking an excellent away support which has been great since the FA Cup run so all being well we can give them something to shout about.”
Admission prices for next Tuesday's Somerset Premier Cup Quarter Final with Clevedon Town at the Viridor Stadium have been reduced. Adult prices will be £5 rather than the usual £8 while concessions have been reduced from £6 to £3 and U19's from £3 to just £1. Under 14's will be admitted for free as normal. Spread the word and hope to see a big crowd!