Town ended the only remaining unbeaten record in the West Division of the Evo-Stik League South with a fine 3-2 victory at Swindon Supermarine yesterday afternoon (14th October). It followed a superb first half performance by the Peacocks who built up a two goal lead and were unlucky not to score more. Shane White saw his header hit the post with Ross Staley's follow-up cleared off the line, and then Matt Wright's finish was ruled out for offside. New signing Dan Sullivan then rifled a great strike off the crossbar before Town's dominance paid dividends after 28 minutes when Wright headed home White's corner at the near post. Supermarine then had a goal of their own chalked off before Town added a second a minute before the break when Ollie Chamberlain latched onto a Ben Adelsbury pass to loft the ball over Marine keeper Josh Hill from a tight angle and run in to nod into the unguarded net. Supermarine came out on the offensive and were back on level terms after an hour. Brad Hooper converted a penalty four minutes into the second half after White brought down Joe Selman and then TJ Bohane scored from close range after a miscued shot had fallen to him. However Town showed true character to hit back straightaway and after Adelsbury's free kick had smacked off the post, a lovely move ended with Sullivan netting from Pierce Mitchell's cross to give the visitors a 3-2 lead after 65 minutes. Wright found the net again but the flag was raised, however Town deservedly saw out the rest of the game to claim another three points to stay at the summit of the table. Match report can be viewed HERE and match photos from club photographer Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE while match highlights on Peacocks TV can be seen HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson remarked:" A really good win to top off a fantastic week. In the first half I thought we really looked the part and played fantastically well with plenty of energy and incisiveness. We had a mad ten minutes after half time when we gave away a bad penalty and then their second goal which was a bit fortunate but the reaction from the team was fantastic and arguably more pleasing than the first half performance. I'm delighted with the character, desire and application of the players this week in two tricky away fixtures and hopefully we can now replicate this at home in the next fortnight."
Reaction - Pierce Mitchell who set up Dan Sullivan's winner commented:" I thought the first half of the game was probably our best half of football we have played this season. The shape was the best it's been and we had total control of the game. Conceding the penalty so soon after half time of course gave them momentum. After they drew level I thought we showed great team spirit and all the boys dug in and didn't panic. It was great to see Sully get the winner after a good team goal. Overall a good performance and the boys are all ready for the next game."
Reactions - you can watch post-match reflections on Peacocks TV from assistant manager Michael Meaker HERE and Man of the Match Dan Sullivan HERE.
The Peacocks potentially face their most difficult game of the campaign so far when they travel to Swindon Supermarine in the Evo-Stik League tomorrow afternoon (14th October), kick-off 3.00pm. Supermarine are the only side in the West Division remaining unbeaten in the League and will be sure to provide a tough test of Towns’ table topping credentials. After drawing their opening two fixtures of the season, the Swindon outfit went on to win their next eight games including victory at fancied Salisbury and a run to the Third Qualifying Round of the Emirates FA Cup where they bowed out to Paulton Rovers. They also maintain their interest in the Buildbase FA Trophy after last weekend’s win over Barnstaple.
After Tuesday’s battling win at AFC Totton in an FA Trophy replay, manager Leigh Robinson thankfully has no new injury problems for tomorrow’s game and will include the returning Mark Preece and Chris McGrath in the squad although both are unlikely to start. Owen Irish and Ben Palmer will not be involved but are likely to play in Tuesday’s Somerset Premier Cup tie against Ashton and Backwell United at the Viridor Stadium. Arran Pugh, Matt Villis and Joe Charles though all remain on the injured list. The Town boss commented:” We’re expecting a really tough game tomorrow as Swindon are always a decent side and especially at home. Our confidence levels are good though after Tuesday so we’ll be confident of picking up a result if we can replicate our midweek performance.”
A Ross Staley goal in extra time saw the Peacocks progress in the Buildbase FA Trophy with a 2-1 victory at AFC Totton in a Preliminary Round replay yesterday evening (10th October). Pierce Mitchell fired home from the edge of the box to give Town the lead after 33 minutes but the Stags hit back to equalise on 52 minutes with a strike from Charlie Gunson. Neither side could find the net again in normal time and it was left to Staley to score the deciding goal at the end of the first period of extra time. Match report can be viewed HERE and match photos from club photographer Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE. Highlights from the game can also be viewed on Peacocks TV HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson remarked:" A really gutsy win in the circumstances and full credit to the players. With so many centre backs unavailable, we really had to patch the defence up but Brett Trowbridge was brilliant in there alongside Shane and Ben. Dan Sullivan got off a plane at 6am and grafted through 120 minutes on his debut which again shows the character we called upon last night from everyone. Three games in a row against Totton we’ve been 1-0 up and in complete control and each time they’ve scored out of nowhere to equalise, but delighted on this occasion that we were able to respond and can now look forward to a home tie against Merthyr which should draw a decent crowd."
Town will hope to negotiate the Preliminary Round of the Buildbase FA Trophy at the second time of asking when they travel to AFC Totton for the replay tomorrow evening (10th October), kick-off 7.45pm. After Ben Adelsbury had given the Peacocks a first half lead in Saturday's first meeting, Totton equalised after the break to necessitate tomorrow's game to determine who will scoop the £3,000 prize money and the right to host Merthyr Town in the next round. Town will be boosted by the return of skipper Matt Wright after his one game suspension while new signing Dan Sullivan from Tavistock is in the squad for the first time after being away for two weeks on holiday. However Chris McGrath is unavailable and Matt Villis and Mark Preece are both on the injured list along with Owen Irish, Ben Palmer, Arran Pugh and Joe Charles.
The Peacocks face a replay after being held to a 1-1 draw by AFC Totton in the Buildbase FA Trophy Preliminary Round this afternoon (7th October). After Ryan Brett and Ben Adelsbury had come close, Town made the breakthrough after 26 minutes when Adelsbury netted with a free kick from just outside the box to hand his side a deserved lead at the break. Lloyd Irish made a fine stop to deny Craig Feeney who then drew the sides level on 57 minutes with a simple finish after Irish had failed to hold a long ball downfield. Feeney fired against the bar as Totton had their best spell before Town hit back, with Ross Staley shooting over and Mark Preece having a goalbound drive blocked. Irish then made another telling save in the dying stages from Charlie Gunson to earn the Peacocks another bite of the cherry on Tuesday evening. 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:" Although obviously a bit frustrated, I’m far from disappointed today as I thought we played well. The only criticism would be that we didn’t put the game to bed when we were in complete control and their goal came a bit out of nowhere. Neither team created loads of chances but we had a great chance late on and a few good half chances that we didn’t quite take. The lads were very disappointed in the referee as they were adamant that we should have had two penalties particularly in the second half where Ross had the ball in the box when he was fouled so quite how we ended up with a free kick outside the box is a bit of a mystery but we’re in the tie and happy to have another crack on Tuesday."
The Peacocks continue with the cup theme when they entertain divisional rivals AFC Totton in the Preliminary Round of the Buildbase FA Trophy tomorrow afternoon (7th October), kick-off 3.00pm. Town will be chasing their second victory over the Stags in the space of three weeks after coming out on top by a 2-1 margin in the recent Evo-Stik League game at the Viridor Stadium. After that meeting Totton, who currently lie in 7th, went on to lose their next match on penalties in the Hampshire Senior Cup but have since been unbeaten in their last four games, with League wins over Larkhall and North Leigh and a draw with Wimborne plus a convincing success at Winchester in the midweek BigFreeBet.com Challenge Cup. Town meanwhile have won three of their four games played in the same time period with only the blip against Yate blemishing their record so far this season. The scene is therefore set for another keenly contested encounter tomorrow with £3000 prize money on offer for the victors.
After Tuesday’s win at Bideford with a threadbare squad, Town will be boosted by the return of several players tomorrow although still not up to full numbers. Shane White and Brett Trowbridge are back after being suspended for midweek while Omar Simpson is available after receiving a knock last Saturday. There will be fitness checks for Pierce Mitchell and Mark Preece along with Matt Villis and Chris McGrath who both returned after lengthy absences on Tuesday. Ben Palmer, Owen Irish and Joe Charles are all definitely absent due to injury while Arran Pugh is ruled out for a month with a back complaint. Captain Matt Wright is suspended for one game after reaching five bookings in last weekend’s game with North Leigh and new signing Dan Sullivan is still on holiday but will be available for the Peacocks’ midweek fixture. Manager Leigh Robinson remarked:” It’s an important day tomorrow. Again we have plenty of injury doubts but Yate game aside, we’ve grafted through this tricky period pretty well and hopefully we can do the same tomorrow and secure some decent prize money.”
Town were handed another trip to North Devon when the draw for the 2nd Round of the BigFreeBet.com Challenge Cup was released today. After the Peacocks win over Bideford on Tuesday, they will now travel to Barnstaple Town in the next round with the tie likely to be scheduled for Tuesday 7th November.
A makeshift Town side negotiated the first round of the BigFreebet.com League Cup after winning a penalty shoot-out at Bideford on Tuesday evening (3rd October). Craig Veal gave the hosts the lead on eight minutes but Shaun Anthony equalised after 19 minutes. Ben Seymour restored Bideford's lead ten minutes later before Ross Staley levelled matters again on 69 minutes with a superb strike. With the scores level at 90 minutes, the tie was decided by spot kicks and it was the Peacocks who prevailed 5-4. Match report can be viewed HERE and goal highlights can be viewed on Peacock TV HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson commented: “It was a good night's work and a really good win under the circumstances of missing so many players and asking people to fill in. Being honest, we turned up with low expectations, hoping to use the game as an exercise to get people fit and prioritise no injuries before Saturday but what we got was a really spirited performance with plenty of quality. It was good for (Matt) Villis and Macca (Chris McGrath) to get through 90 minutes unscathed and of course for Shaun (Anthony) to roll back the years, scoring in open play as well as the winning penalty which he enjoyed. The youngsters (Tom Stone and Matt Trump) also did incredibly well considering they were chucked in somewhat. Special mention must go to Ross Staley who endured a 4 hour journey to Bideford on his own due to the M5 closure. It would have been so easy to give up and turn around especially when he knew that was arriving 5 minutes before kick off but he showed great commitment in persevering and was rewarded with an excellent goal”.
The Peacocks travel to Bideford tomorrow night in the newly named BigFreeBet Cup.
The injured list shows no sign of easing with Omar Simpson, Arran Pugh, Owen Irish , Joe Charles, Mark Preece, Ben Palmer and Pierce Mitchell all unavailable. In addition Shane White and Brett Trowbridge are both serving one match bans following recent bookings and skipper Matt Wright and assistant manager Michael Meaker are both away due to work commitments and new signing Dan Sullivan is on holiday.
Matt Villis and Chris McGrath are both set to play a part after injury and Matt Trump, Tom Stone and Shaun Anthony will all play subject to registration formalities being completed in time.
Peacocks manager Leigh Robinson is not impressed with the scheduling of this fixture: “ To be perfectly honest this game comes at the worst possible time for both clubs with the FA Trophy on Saturday but we have to get on with it. We will be without numerous players but it gives other people a chance to come in and show what they can do and also boost the match fitness of some of our players who have either been on the sidelines or generally need the minutes to get up to speed. Of course we'd like to progress in the competition but the priority tomorrow night will be coming home with no injuries ahead of Saturday.”
Town bounced back from their midweek setback to record a 1-0 Evo-Stik League victory over North Leigh at the Viridor Stadium yesterday afternoon (30th September). It was a far more solid performance from the Peacocks as they withstood yet more defensive injuries to come out on top in a game of few chances. The only goal of the match came on 14 minutes following a fine save from North Leigh keeper Manny Agboola to deny Matt Wright's header. Two more corners followed and from the second Wright was pushed over in the box and Ben Adelsbury drilled home the penalty convincingly into the top corner. Les Afful then had a second goal disallowed for offside while Lloyd Irish was out quickly at the opposite end to block George Seacole as the half ended in Town's favour. Ryan Brett was unlucky not to extend the lead after the break when his header from Ross Staley's cross hit the underside of the bar but the visitors also threatened when Harlie Price's header was cleared off the line by Afful. The Peacocks could have settled the nerves of the 430 crowd, the highest attendance so far this season, five minutes from time when they were awarded a second penalty after Omar Simpson had been brought down by Agboola. However Adelsbury ballooned the spot kick high over the bar but Town had done enough to claim the points and return to the top of the table following Bristol Manor Farm's defeat to Evesham. Match report can be viewed HERE and photos from club photographers Tim Norbury and Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE and HERE. Match highlights can also be viewed on Peacocks TV HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson commented:" Fair play to the players for putting together a really good win in difficult circumstances. We were under pressure after midweek, lost another centre back within 15 minutes, had Mark Preece playing through the pain barrier and generally had lots of square pegs in round holes so we're delighted to get the win. People were very quick to jump on our backs after one bad result which happens to all teams at all levels of sport but we showed plenty of character today to respond and we now need to patch up some injuries, put the league to bed for a fortnight and try to win a tough FA Trophy tie next weekend against a good Totton side who narrowly lost here two weeks ago."
Reaction - Ross Staley said:" I think it was an excellent win and thoroughly deserved. The lads all put a lot of effort in to make sure we got a good result after Tuesday's game and as a bonus we are now top of the table again. I know we still have more to come as a team and hopefully we can now push on and reach our full potential!"