The Evo-Stik League game with Wimborne Town due to have been played at the Viridor Stadium this evening (19th December) was postponed this morning following a pitch inspection. Several areas of the pitch were deemed unfit for play due to a combination of recent rain, overnight frosts and the impact of the weekend game with Bognor Regis. The Wimborne fixture has now been rearranged for Tuesday 23rd January.
The Peacocks resume their Evo-Stik League campaign when Wimborne Town visit the Viridor Stadium tomorrow evening (19th December), kick-off 7.45pm. However the fixture is in serious doubt following the rains and frost of the past week and a pitch inspection will be held in the morning to determine whether the game can go ahead. Chairman and Head Groundsman Kevin Sturmey has provided the following update:"We have arranged a 9am inspection for Tuesday and I would rate the chances as no better than 50/50. We had to force nature last week and use Profile (drainage granules) and sand to soak up water to get Saturday's game on and the pitch has cut up really badly in the wetter areas. Ideally we needed 3 dry days after Saturday with no frost before we could attempt to get the tractor and quadraplay (repairs and tidies the pitch after every game) on it. Unfortunately, we had rain on Sunday and then a frost overnight again so we need to let the pitch dry naturally otherwise Saturday would also be in doubt with any rain. Six games in 16 days was always going to be tough and after the -4 frost last Monday and rain during the Cinderford game it couldn't have been a worse scenario. Without a verti-drain (10 inch spikes over the whole pitch) on Wednesday, Saturday would never have been played; as many people saw we couldn't mark the pitch until Saturday morning as it was still too wet on Friday. We managed to get it on just, but it now means we need more repair time than normal and weather in our favour for more than three days and can not force nature all the time."
Should the match survive, Town will welcome back Dan Sullivan who missed the FA Trophy clash with Bognor Regis on Saturday. Wimborne will provide stiff opposition as Town continue their pursuit of promotion, currently sitting in 5th spot and having won the Team of the Month award for November after four straight victories including an 8-1 romp at Slimbridge but they suffered defeat on Saturday to Didcot, their first reverse in seven league outings.
The Peacocks were denied a history-making 2nd Round Proper appearance in the Buildbase FA Trophy when they suffered a 4-1 defeat to Bognor Regis Town at the Viridor Stadium yesterday afternoon (16th December). The scoreline was harsh on Town who were well in the tie until the final ten minutes when the visitors scored three times. The game swung from end to end during the first half although clear opportunities were scarce. Lloyd Irish saved well from Calvin Davies while Dan Lincoln turned aside a Pierce Mitchell drive before the hosts took the lead seven minutes prior to the break, Matt Wright setting up Les Afful to run through and skilfully fire home. Afful and Omar Simpson came close as the Peacocks made a good start to the second half but after Irish had denied Ibra Sekajja in a one-on-one, the Rocks equalised after 57 minutes when Ben Swallow headed in at the near post from Jimmy Muitt’s cross. Both sides continued to have openings, Chad Field missing the best opportunity for the visitors when he shot wide of the target, before Bognor nosed in front nine minutes from time when Sekajja rifled past Irish from the right side of the box after a slick build-up. Ollie Chamberlain was deemed to have been the last man after a challenge on Sekajja and was sent off five minutes from time and Bognor capitalised. Swallow converted Sekajja’s cross on 86 minutes to make it 3-1 and Doug Tuck had acres of space to drill home a 25 yard shot a minute into stoppage time to seal Bognor's passage and leave Town to concentrate on their League campaign. Match highlights can be seen on Peacocks TV HERE and match report can be viewed HERE while match photos from club photographers Tim Norbury and Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE and HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson remarked;" We gave it a really good go today but unfortunately came up short. Probably the key part of the game was the first 15 minutes of the second half when we were on top, had a couple of good chances to go 2-0 up but didn’t take them. We then conceded a bad goal from our own corner and from there the game changed as it became extremely open. Being honest, we did gamble more at 1-1 than we normally would have in a cup tie as we were keen to avoid a replay due to further fixture congestion as well as some of the squad being unable to travel long distances midweek. This led to Bognor scoring a second and from there we were wide open on the counter attack whilst down to 10 men which they exploited well. I think 4-1 was a pretty unfair reflection of the game, we were better than that but there is no doubt Bognor were far more clinical on the day. Another great cup run for us though and thoroughly enjoyable for everyone at the club. We can, of course, now concentrate on trying to get promotion which was always priority number one this year."
History is in the offing at the Viridor Stadium when the Peacocks welcome Bognor Regis Town in the 1st Round Proper of the Buildbase FA Trophy tomorrow afternoon (16th December), kick-off 3.00pm. Taunton have reached this stage of the competition (the last 64) twice before in their history, firstly in 1981-82 when they bowed out 5-1 against Hendon and again in the 2003-04 campaign when they lost 3-0 at Worthing in a Third Round encounter in a season when there were no qualifying rounds. Therefore a win tomorrow over the National League South side would signal the furthest Town have ever advanced in the FA Trophy.
They go into the tie on a wave of confidence after a run of eleven league games without defeat and victory over another National League South outfit Concord Rangers in the previous round. However the Peacocks know they will again have to pull out the stops to cause another shock against their higher ranked opponents to secure the £6,000 prize money on offer. Bognor were promoted to the National League for this season after winning the Isthmian Premier Play-Off but have not enjoyed the best of fortunes so far, currently lying one place off the bottom of the table. They have gained just a solitary league win away from home this term, a 2-1 success at St Albans in mid-November which has been followed by two draws and a defeat. However these stats will count for nothing tomorrow when Town know they will have to raise their game significantly from the midweek display against Cinderford to have any chance of progressing. The Rocks of course were fairly recent visitors to the Viridor, coming west two seasons ago for another FA Trophy clash. Despite an early Josh Klein-Davies goal, the Peacocks finished up being well beaten by a 4-1 margin, the start of a run which saw Bognor reach the semi-finals of the competition.
Striker Dan Sullivan is unfortunately missing tomorrow as he is attending a wedding, otherwise the squad remains unchanged from Tuesday. Manager Leigh Robinson commented:” Everyone is looking forward to tomorrow and the chance to create another bit of history by reaching the second round of this competition. Over the last year and a bit we’ve done really well in these fixtures as the underdog and hopefully that can continue tomorrow whilst understanding that we’re up against another really good side.”
As recently reported, manager Leigh Robinson has now achieved the fantastic milestone of 300 games in charge of the Peacocks. His first competitive match at the helm was the opening fixture of the 2012-13 season which resulted in a 3-2 defeat at Winchester City, with his 300th game being the 1-1 draw at Bristol Manor Farm last month. A presentation was made to Leigh by Chairman Kevin Sturmey and Club Secretary Andy Power before last Saturday's match with Salisbury when he received a special print and a commemorative bottle of champagne. To reflect on some highs and lows of the past five or so years, tauntontown.com caught up with the Town boss whose thoughts can be seen HERE
Two of the Peacocks’ successful current squad have been placed on contract. Goalkeeper Lloyd Irish and attacking midfielder Ollie Chamberlain have both penned a contract until the end of 2017-18 following a series of excellent displays over recent seasons. Irish has made nearly 250 appearances for Town during two spells at the club and has been ever present for this campaign plus the previous two seasons whilst Chamberlain, a former member of the club’s U18 team, has made just over 100 first team appearances.
Manager Leigh Robinson remarked:”We're thrilled to have secured two of our best players for the rest of what is a really important season. We think Ollie is a huge asset to the club and could easily play much higher in the future so we are firstly protecting our asset and also rewarding him for such outstanding performances over the last two years. With Lloyd, as a keeper, we're fully aware that he is literally irreplaceable as it'd be virtually impossible to replace him if it came to it. We think we have the best keeper in the league and arguably the league above too so we want to keep it that way whilst again rewarding Lloyd for outstanding service over the years. “
Chairman Kevin Sturmey added:”Ollie has deserved this due to his fantastic displays and has gone from strength to strength. We feel he is someone who can definitely play at a higher level and of course we hope it's for us. However, if an offer came in from a club much higher up the pyramid we would never stand in his way but would help him secure the right move if it was in his best interests. Of course personally, as I have seen him go from our youth team in to semi-pro football and back to us when he was ready, I would love to see him realise his and our dreams and ambitions at the Viridor Stadium. Lloyd has been a fantastic servant and has to be one of the best non-league goalkeepers in my opinion and while he has played a lot of games at Step 2 I really hope he can help us reach that level. He stays fit and, as Leigh has said, how would you replace him? He is a great all-round keeper and deserves to be playing at a higher level and again, as with Ollie, I really hope he is at Step 2 in the future but with us.”
The Peacocks made it 11 Evo-Stik League games unbeaten with a 1-0 victory over Cinderford Town at the Viridor Stadium yesterday evening (12th December). It was a well below par performance from Town who got off to a great start but never built on it against the Foresters who were the better side on the night but couldn't get past Lloyd Irish. An Ollie Chamberlain cross was parried by former Peacock Joe Perry to Matt Wright who tucked home after just 30 seconds to put Town ahead but from then on Irish was the busier of the two keepers, keeping out several shots from the visitors to maintain his side's lead at the break. Dan Sullivan hit the post in the early stages of the second half but generally Town's attacks fell short whilst Cinderford always threatened to draw level. Robbie Atkinson missed a golden opportunity to equalise but fired wide of the post and despite late Cinderford pressure the Peacocks held on to extend their lead at the top of the table to 13 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:" We certainly played our get out of jail free card tonight I reckon. We were well off our best and clearly struggled to replicate the energy and intensity that we showed on Saturday. I blame myself a bit for that as I felt that might be the case and I should make a few changes but of course it’s hard to change a winning team that has such confidence. Whilst not costing us any points, it was a good reminder last night of the levels we need to maintain and how any opposition can cause us problems."
Reaction - Dan Sullivan commented:" It was a tough game, especially after putting so much effort into Saturday's match so we had tired legs on a heavy pitch. We started well, taking the lead early on, but never seemed to take control of the game. Cinderford played well with a high tempo but fortunately for us we defended well and managed to hold on for the win. We've extended our lead at the top of the table and that's the aim, regardless of performances, as we need to keep getting the three points."
The Peacocks will hope to press home their advantage at the top of the table when they host Cinderford Town in the Evo-Stik League tomorrow evening (12th December), kick-off 7.45pm. Saturday’s win over Salisbury stretched Town’s lead to ten points and they can reinforce their position with another win tomorrow against a Cinderford side still adapting to life in the West Division after being relegated from the Premier last season. The Foresters currently lie in 15th spot, possessing identical home and away records with two wins, four draws and three defeats. They have remarkably drawn their last seven league matches but are without a win in nine, their last victory coming at Wimborne in mid-October. The Peacocks have had no such problems, being unbeaten in their last ten league outings including eight wins. Tomorrow's fixture was originally scheduled for last month but had to be rearranged due to Town playing Concord Rangers in the Buildbase FA Trophy.
Manager Leigh Robinson is able to name an unchanged squad which so impressively dismissed Salisbury on at the weekend. The Town boss commented:” We enter a big week with points to play for as well as the FA Trophy 1st Round Proper on Saturday for the first time since 1981. There will be no taking liberties and resting players as the league comes first and we need to try and follow up Saturday’s excellent win with another three points if possible.”
Given the local forecast there are no plans for a pitch inspection but should the situation change then news will posted here and on our social media channels.
A superb Town performance saw them brush aside Evo-Stik League promotion rivals Salisbury with a 4-1 victory at the Viridor Stadium yesterday afternoon (9th December). The win was founded on a sublime first half from the Peacocks which saw them return to the dressing room with a 3-0 lead. A quiet start to the game was enlivened by Town's opening goal after 11 minutes, Ollie Chamberlain breaking to feed Dan Sullivan who slotted clinically past Whites keeper Charlie Searle. More good work from Sullivan created the second score seven minutes later, laying the ball across for Matt Buse to prod home before Town added a third ten minutes before the break, Matt Wright setting up Buse to score his second of the afternoon with a left footed finish. Matt Wright headed in Shane White's corner three minutes into the second half to make it 4-0 and leave no way back for the visitors who got a consolation penalty on 58 minutes from Owen Howe after Stuart Green had been brought down by Chris McGrath. The Peacocks had long since got the job done though to put them ten points clear at the top of the table. Match highlights on Peacocks TV can be seen HERE, 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 commented": A fantastic win and another good performance to go with it. We wanted to start fast and ask questions of them, knowing that Salisbury were a few defensive players missing and that’s exactly what we did. Our tempo, energy and quality in the first half was fantastic and meant that we essentially had the game won shortly after half time. We were happy in the last half an hour to sit in and try and counter and saw the game out fairly comfortably. A really good day but now is not a time to start believing the hype or take our foot of the gas as we have another test against Cinderford on Tuesday followed by the FA Trophy on Saturday."
Reaction - Pierce Mitchell said:" Going in to the game we knew that in terms of the league this was the biggest one of the season so far. We were all confident we could get the win but probably even took ourselves by surprise a little bit when we were 3-0 up after 30 odd minutes. The whole team did their part on the day but the legs and intensity of Dan Sullivan, Matt Buse and Ollie Chamberlain caused them huge problems. A great result for everyone at the club and all the boys are raring to go again on Tuesday!"
It’s a big afternoon at the Viridor Stadium tomorrow (9th December) with the Peacocks taking on Evo-Stik League promotion rivals Salisbury and manager Leigh Robinson at the helm for his 302nd game in charge of the team. The eagerly anticipated clash with Salisbury is the game of the day in the West Division, with Town seeking to keep up their momentum at the top of the table where they hold a seven point advantage over second placed Bristol Manor Farm with two games in hand and a ten point lead over tomorrow’s visitors with both teams completing 17 fixtures. Divisional top scorers Salisbury come into the match fresh from their 6-1 trouncing of Kidlington on Tuesday, their first win in four league outings, although they were leading 3-0 in the game with Bideford last Saturday before proceedings were abandoned. The Wiltshire side have only lost once on the road leaguewise this season and in four of their six victories have scored five goals or more including an 8-0 win at Shortwood and recovering from 3-0 down to scrape through 5-4 at third placed Winchester. With the Peacocks on a nine game unbeaten league run themselves the scene is set for an intriguing contest with hopefully a large crowd in attendance.
Town name an unchanged squad from Tuesday’s win over Barnstaple. Manager Robinson who missed that match due to work commitments is back for tomorrow’s game when home fans will have their first opportunity to recognise his fantastic achievement. Commenting on tomorrow’s meeting he said:” It’s one of the biggest games of the season. We’re in a great position and would have snatched anyone’s hand off to be where we are now if offered it in the summer but undoubtedly Salisbury, who I think it’s fair to say are our biggest rivals, have found some form recently and have scored loads of goals so we need to be fully on our game tomorrow.”