Town’s luck with home ties in the Buildbase FA Trophy continued when the draw for the 2nd Round Qualifying was made today. The Peacocks will host Beaconsfield Town from the East Division of the Evo-Stik League South on Saturday 11th November, kick-off 3.00pm. Beaconsfield currently lie in 7th position but have yet to lose a league fixture away from home this season so another challenging game looks to be on the cards after Town overcame Merthyr at the weekend. The scheduled league match at home to Barnstaple Town will now be rearranged.
The Peacocks continued their run in the Buildbase FA Trophy with a 2-1 victory over Southern Premier Merthyr Town in the 1st Round Qualifying at the Viridor Stadium yesterday afternoon (28th October). Town looked fairly comfortable for an hour during which time they built a two goal lead but after the higher ranked visitors pulled one back the hosts were forced to defend for long spells to ensure their progress. The Peacocks grabbed an early lead after ten minutes when Ben Adelsbury's free kick was parried by Oliver Davies but Dan Sullivan quickly collected the loose ball and his cross was headed home by Matt Wright. A number of half chances came Town's way during the rest of the first half, with Sullivan and Ryan Brett both coming close, but they had a let-off seconds before half time when Kerry Morgan's centre was planted against the bar by Stuart Fleetwood from close range. Adelsbury doubled the Peacocks lead on 54 minutes, converting a penalty after Morgan had handled Pierce Mitchell's cross. Wright missed a great opportunity to make it three a couple of minutes later when he got clear and lobbed over Davies but the wrong side of the post. Eliot Richards got Merthyr back in it with a volleyed finish ten minutes later after Town had not cleared their lines which saw the game became increasingly bad-tempered, visiting manager Gavin Williams being sent from the dug-out after barging over Brett. Lloyd Irish tipped Richards' free kick wide but despite Martyrs' pressure the Peacocks stood firm to net the £3,250 prize money and a place in the next round on 11th November. 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 also be seen on Peacocks TV HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson remarked:" A really good win against a good side and delighted to be in the next round whilst securing some prize money. It was very much a game of two halves as we were excellent in the first half with the wind but struggled to get out against the wind in the second half but defended with great desire in those difficult conditions. We had a golden chance to go 3-0 up and were pegged back to 2-1 shortly after but didn’t let this affect us and went on to secure a deserved win I thought. Ironically, the fracas and subsequent five minute stoppage just after their goal really helped us as it disrupted the game and gave us a chance to regroup. Today was a welcome break from league action and the rare opportunity to be underdogs which the lads enjoyed and we’ll look forward now to the draw on Monday."
Reaction - Man of the Match Ollie Chamberlain commented:" After a tough game on Wednesday night and not performing the way we would’ve wanted, we were going into the game looking to bounce back with a solid performance, and we certainly did that. I felt we started on the front foot and took a deserved lead with a great header from Wrighty. Throughout the half we kept the pressure on them and didn’t give them much to work with as I thought our energy was excellent all over the pitch. The only real threat they had in the first half was a chance just before half time but with that staying out and going into half time 1-0 up, it was a big boost for the team. Going into the second half we knew it would be harder as we were against the wind but getting that 2nd goal gave us a good lift. Merthyr reacted well to be fair and started putting some pressure on which made it difficult for us to get out. When they scored, it gave us an extra 10% because our heads didn’t drop and we kept on battling all over till the last minute. I thought the lads were excellent today against a strong Merthyr team and deserved our win. Now we look forward to the draw on Monday and hopefully another home game."
The Peacocks take a break from Evo-Stik League duty when they welcome Merthyr Town to the Viridor Stadium in the 1st Round Qualifying of the Buildbase FA Trophy tomorrow afternoon (28th October), kick-off 3.00pm. After their replay win in the previous round against AFC Totton, Town now face a testing encounter with the Martyrs from the Southern Premier where they sit in ninth spot with 25 points from 16 fixtures played. Their record on the road though is nothing extraordinary, having won two of their eight league games with victories at Dunstable and St Ives, so Town will hope to make home advantage count and extend their unbeaten run to nine games in all competitions. The sides have enjoyed several close battles over recent seasons, having met at the Preliminary Round stage of the competition three years ago which Merthyr won after a replay. There is £3,250 prize money on offer for the winners of tomorrow’s tie with the replay if necessary scheduled for Tuesday evening.
For tomorrow’s tie, Omar Simpson is unavailable as he is away at a funeral whilst centre half Chris McGrath is playing for Helston Athletic in the Peninsula League in order to regain match fitness. Matt Buse is named in the squad after his transfer from Gosport Borough during the week. The remainder of the squad remains unchanged from Wednesday’s visit to Slimbridge. Manager Leigh Robinson commented:” Everyone is looking forward to tomorrow. It should be a good cup tie in front of a decent crowd as Merthyr normally travel well. It’s a very rare occasion this year where we’ll be the underdogs so we’ll enjoy that tag for the day and go and give it our best shot knowing that the pressure isn’t really on us. However we know that if we play to our potential we have the ability to match anyone in the league above.”
A Pierce Mitchell header two minutes from time earnt the Peacocks a 2-2 Evo-Stik League draw at Slimbridge yesterday evening (25th October). Although not hitting the heights of recent performances, a point was the least Town deserved after battling back to equalise twice. A Dan Sullivan strike rattled the bar for Town inside the first two minutes which was the closest either side came to scoring in a goalless first half despite plenty of attempts from the visitors, Ryan Brett and Sullivan forcing Ollie Hall into saves while Adam Mace's free kick wasn't far off for the Swans. Hall denied Ben Palmer after the break before Slimbridge caught Town on the counter for Marley Thomas to cut inside and slot home at Lloyd Irish's near post for the opening goal on 71 minutes. Sub Omar Simpson drew the teams level seven minutes later when he latched onto Matt Wright's flick and outpaced the defender to poke past Hall. Slimbridge regained the lead only three minutes later when Thomas took advantage of some absent Town defending to run on and curl home a neat finish from just inside the box. However the Peacocks kept pressing and were rewarded with the equaliser on 88 minutes, Brett's free kick getting a flick to find Mitchell who headed past Hall from six yards, to extend their advantage at the top of the table to four 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:" Pretty mixed emotions after the game. On the positive side an away point in midweek is never a bad result anywhere at this level and we showed excellent never-say-die spirit to keep going and equalise twice late on but we’re also frustrated with the goals that we gave away which were very sloppy and left us chasing a game which we felt pretty comfortable in. We lacked a bit of cutting edge in front of goal on the night, missing numerous good half chances and not making the most of an awful lot of set pieces and crosses. However, that now puts October to bed as far as the league is concerned and it’s been another good month. The overall position is very good so we move onto November and try to keep accumulating points."
Reaction - Ryan Brett remarked:" "It was a point gained rather than two points dropped after coming from behind twice in the game. We did have some half chances in the first half which we unfortunately couldn't convert. We'll stay positive as a group and kick on again in the league throughout November. We've put in some great team performances of late and long may it continue."
We are pleased to announce the return of Matt Buse to the club. The 20 year old attacking midfielder who has been on the books at both Bristol City and Yeovil Town originally joined the Peacocks in the summer of 2016 after leaving Weymouth and went on to enjoy a successful season at the Viridor Stadium but due to continuing studies at Bournemouth University he switched to Southern Premier Gosport Borough over the summer. However with the Hampshire club enduring a tough campaign on and off the pitch, a transfer was agreed for Buse to resign for Town.
Although the paperwork has been processed, Buse is not available for tonight’s Evo-Stik League trip to Slimbridge but will be in the squad for Saturday’s Buildbase FA Trophy tie at home to Merthyr Town. Manager Leigh Robinson commented:” We’re delighted to welcome Busey back to the club. We were disappointed to lose him in the summer but understood his reasons for joining Gosport seeing as they are in a higher league and as he’s at university in Bournemouth. Whilst he’s played pretty much every game for Gosport, they’re having a difficult time and rebuilding somewhat so we were really pleased when he showed an interest in rejoining us. He’ll give us fantastic energy and dynamism which we’ve focused upon getting more of into the squad in the last month or so after looking pretty one paced at the beginning of the season. I’m sure the supporters will be happy to have him back and we look forward to getting him involved from Saturday onwards.”
The Peacocks tackle another awkward test when they travel to Slimbridge in the Evo-Stik League tomorrow evening (25th October), kick-off 7.45pm. After finishing in 20th spot last season, Slimbridge have experienced a much improved campaign so far, currently lying in ninth position. Similar to Town, they remain undefeated away from home with four wins from their six fixtures but their record at Thornhill Park is less impressive with four losses and only one win from five games. However the solitary home victory was against Bristol Manor Farm who have been sticking close to Town in second place so the Swans cannot be underestimated, especially coming off the back of a conclusive 3-0 win at Barnstaple on Saturday. At the same time the Peacocks were soundly beating Winchester at the Viridor Stadium to maintain their three point advantage at the top.
Manager Leigh Robinson names an unchanged squad from the weekend for tomorrow’s game. The Town boss remarked:” It’s a tricky fixture tomorrow night. Slimbridge are having a decent season so far and will be highly motivated, and we’re aware of what a tricky place it can be to go to in midweek so we’ll have to make sure we apply ourselves and play with the same intensity as the last few weeks when we’ve been really good.”
The Peacocks made it seven games unbeaten when they gained a comfortable 4-1 Evo-Stik League victory over Winchester City at a windswept Viridor Stadium yesterday afternoon. Town were good value for the points against a City side which began the day in fourth spot but which soon found themselves trailing after Matt Wright was pulled to the floor inside the box and Ben Adelsbury sent Ryan Pryce the wrong way from the spot with just seven minutes played. Good work by Ross Staley then freed Pierce Mitchell and from his right wing centre Ollie Chamberlain controlled and slotted home to double the lead after 30 minutes. Winchester got themselves back in it seven minutes later when Oli Bailey's far post header went in off Adelsbury following a Dan Williamson cross. The testing conditions continued after the break but this did not deter Town from taking a 3-1 lead after 54 minutes, Ryan Brett's miscued cross-shot falling to Staley who had his first effort blocked by Pryce but netted the rebound. Staley was then denied by Pryce for a second time before the Peacocks wrapped up the scoring with twenty minutes to go when Mitchell's ball across goal was drilled home by Matt Wright. Dan Sullivan forced Pryce into another save as Town maintained their three point lead at the top. Match report can be viewed HERE while 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 remarked:" A good win and a good performance to go with it. In fairness both teams tried to play football and put on a decent show in pretty bad conditions. I thought we started excellently and showed real attacking intent to go into a 2-0 lead. Their goal knocked us a little bit against the run of play but we kept coming forward in the second half and Ross' goal settled us down again and we were able to enjoy the rest of the game. A job well done and we move on to two important games next week in two competitions."
Reaction - opening goalscorer Ben Adelsbury said:" It was a great result in difficult conditions, especially in the second half playing against the swirling wind. I thought we played some nice football at times, using our full backs to maximum effect to create our chances and goals. We now look forward to hopefully picking up another three points at Slimbridge on Wednesday evening."
Town will be seeking to maintain their three point cushion at the top of the Evo-Stik League table when they entertain Winchester City tomorrow afternoon (21st October), kick-off 3.00pm. Last Saturday’s win at Swindon Supermarine saw the Peacocks keep their league momentum going after securing eight victories from their opening ten fixtures and only one defeat. The visit of the Hampshire side to the Viridor Stadium tomorrow promises to be another tricky test, with Winchester lying in 4th position and having won four of their five away games in the league so far this season, their only loss coming at Cirencester last month. After ending September with two impressive wins on the road, the Citizens have gone four matches without a victory in all competitions, last weekend’s draw with Paulton halting a sequence of three successive defeats.
The Peacocks welcome back Matt Wright, Ben Adelsbury, Shane White and Dan Sullivan to the squad after all were rested for the midweek Somerset Premier Cup tie against Ashton & Backwell. Brett Trowbridge is also fit to return but Mark Preece, Matt Villis, Joe Charles and Arran Pugh remain on the injured list. Coach Rob Dray commented:” It’s another big test for us tomorrow. Winchester were a good side last year and strengthened well in the close season. After our performance last week which was our best of the season so far, we haven't let ourselves get carried away this week and the message to the lads is as it has been all year, which is head down, do the fundamentals well and take care of our own business. As we have seen in this division there have been a number of so called surprise results on a weekly basis so our focus is on what we do. The squad as it usually does has evolved over the last six weeks and as a management team we never stand still in trying to raise the bar and keep the competition within the group as high as possible. At the same time we have a good group now and won't get players in just for the sake of it so it's a fine balancing act”. Tomorrow’s game will be the first opportunity for home fans to see recent signing Sullivan in action and Dray continued:”He's been a breath of fresh air with his unselfish style and work rate. We’re lucky to have him here and look forward to working with him. Tuesdays game gave some much needed time to several of our longer term injured including Macca, Ben and Owen who all came through unscathed and will give us some more depth than we have had in recent weeks.”
A solitary goal from Shaun Anthony just before the break was enough for the Peacocks to beat Ashton and Backwell United 1-0 in the Somerset Premier Cup 1st Round yesterday evening (17th October). A much changed Town side had a frustrating evening at times against the Stags who were indebted to their keeper Lewis Coombes for keeping the score down. Michael Meaker blasted a good chance over and Coombes denied both Ryan Brett's free kick and Les Afful's shot before Town grabbed the breakthrough five minutes before half time, good work by Matt Trump and Afful ending with Anthony tucking home. Further chances came and went for the hosts when play resumed, Coombes foiling Meaker and Ross Staley with fine saves while a cross from Meaker hit the crossbar. Lloyd Irish had a quiet night in comparison, a good stop from Callum Biggins in the first half being his main contribution. The Peacocks now face Weston-super-Mare in the 2nd Round. 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 also be seen on Peacocks TV HERE.
Reaction - coach Rob Dray said:" Pleased with the outcome of the game, it ticked a lot of boxes in that we progressed to the next round of the cup as holders and importantly we didn't get injuries to add to the list!! We played at a pleasing tempo,and credit to Ashton & Backwell, they never gave in and pushed us for 90 minutes. Tom Stone and Trumpy excelled and these games are a great platform for these players. Other plusses were Macca, Ben and Owen coming through 90 minutes with no complications while Shaun and Meaks showed superb desire and attitude and they put in a great shift between them. In all a good night."
Reaction - centre half Owen Irish who made a return to action for the first time in over five weeks commented:" Many positives to take from the game last night. Lots of players getting much needed minutes under their belts, further first team experience for young, talented local lads and progressing through the next round of a cup which is valued by the club and fans. Although the score line would potentially suggest a tight game, I think that if it wasn't for their keeper, who was in fine form, we could have easily scored five or six. I believe all the lads involved came through the game unscathed and an exciting fixture awaits us in the next round."
The Peacocks begin their defence of the Somerset Premier Cup when they play Ashton and Backwell United at the Viridor Stadium tomorrow evening (17th October), kick-off 7.45pm. The first round tie was originally scheduled for last Tuesday but had to be rearranged due to Town’s FA Trophy replay at AFC Totton. Tomorrow’s visitors currently lie in 19th spot in the Toolstation Western League First Division with three wins from their 12 fixtures to date including a 2-1 victory in their most recent game against Bishop Sutton.
Manager Leigh Robinson takes the opportunity to make changes following Saturday’s win at Swindon Supermarine. Matt Wright, Shane White, Ben Adelsbury and Dan Sullivan are all rested while Brett Trowbridge and Mark Preece both have injuries along with longer term absentees Arran Pugh, Matt Villis and Joe Charles. Owen Irish and Ben Palmer return to the line-up after a spell out injured while Tom Stone, Matt Trump and Shaun Anthony who all played in the Southern League Cup win at Bideford will start the game along with evergreen assistant manager Michael Meaker. Ross Staley and Ollie Chamberlain are in the squad but will be on the bench. Following the draw made this evening, the winners of tomorrow’s tie will host National League South side Weston-super-Mare in the 2nd Round in week commencing 6th November. The Peacocks beat Weston in last season’s final to win the trophy for the third time in four years.