Town will hope to get Saturday’s reversal at Salisbury out of their system when they host Wimborne Town in the Evo-Stik League tomorrow evening (22nd November), kick-off 7.45pm. Whether the match goes ahead though will depend on a pitch inspection planned for 11.30am tomorrow morning after prolonged heavy rain left the Viridor Stadium pitch under water today. Should the game survive the weather, the Peacocks will be looking to avenge the 2-1 defeat they suffered at the Cuthbury in August. Since then the Dorset club have experienced a mixed bag of results to lie in mid-table, their indifferent home form in contrast to their away record which has seen them suffer only one league defeat which came at Evesham United in August. Pierce Mitchell remains on the injured list but may possibly be back in the fold for Saturday’s FA Trophy trip to Chelmsford City while Ed Palmer is away on a course and Adam Kelly is suspended for one game after accumulating five bookings this season. Left back Callum Martindale has left the club and is likely to sign for Peninsula League side Bodmin Town. Manager Leigh Robinson commented:” Due to working in Salcombe, Callum was struggling with the travelling. We thank him for his efforts in his time at the club and wish him well in the future.”
The Peacocks returned to Evo-Stik League action with a thoroughly disappointing 5-2 defeat at Salisbury yesterday afternoon (19th November). The damage was done in a disastrous first half with Town 4-0 down at the break as a result of defensive lapses and despite having ample chances themselves. Ed Palmer had an early header cleared off the line before Justin Bennett headed in Lewis Benson's cross on 14 minutes to put the hosts 1-0 up. Benson took advantage of an error to slide the ball home on 26 minutes and when Bennett converted a Tommy Wright pass twelve minutes before half time Town were left with a mountain to climb. Ollie Chamberlain and Craig Duff both had opportunities to get on the scoresheet but it was Benson who did that again, his shot in first half stoppage time rolling over the line after Lloyd Irish was unable to hold. Palmer had a long range shot saved before Jordan Rogers reduced the deficit with a penalty 17 minutes from time and then blasted home a 30 yard strike to make it 4-2 on 87 minutes. Bennett rounded off the scoring from Wright's pass five minutes into stoppage time to claim his hat trick on a day when Town fell well below the standards they had set in recent weeks. Match report can be viewed HERE and match photos from club photographer Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson said:" A strange game to sum up as we had a decent amount of possession, an equal number of chances to Salisbury if not more but ended up gifting them ridiculous goals in the first half through individual errors. Perhaps today was a good day to play us, I'm sure it will be a very minor blip and a reminder of the levels we need to be at. These players have put loads into the last few weeks and maybe today caught up with us a little bit but we'll be fine."
Town resume their Evo-Stik League campaign after a fortnight of cup commitments when they travel to Salisbury tomorrow (19th November), kick-off 3.00pm. It will be the first visit to the Raymond McEnhill Stadium since September 2003 when Town lost an FA Cup tie 4-1 to Salisbury City, the predecessors of tomorrow’s opponents who folded due to financial problems in 2014. The fixture provides the Peacocks with their first opportunity for a league double this season following the 3-1 victory over the Wiltshire side back in August at the Viridor Stadium. Consequently Steve Claridge’s team will undoubtedly be focused on redressing the balance tomorrow especially after suffering their first home league defeat of the season last weekend to Tiverton Town. The Whites currently lie in ninth spot, mainly as a result of their solid home form backed by the second best average attendance in the South and West Division. It therefore promises to be a tough challenge for Town who sit in 15th place but have a minimum of four games in hand on all sides above them, giving them the potential to climb to the outskirts of the play-off zone. Craig Duff and Alex Hoyle are added to the squad that travelled to Barrow in midweek but Pierce Mitchell remains on the injured list while Ross Staley is unavailable. Manager Leigh Robinson commented:” It’s one of the stand-out fixtures of the league season and everyone is looking forward to it. We expended a lot of physical and mental energy at Barrow so we’ll be freshening up the side to compensate for this, much like we’ll be doing for the next three months no doubt with wall to wall matches.”
Following the club's success in the Emirates FA Cup and Buildbase FA Trophy, we have received a number of requests regarding the purchase of pro rata Season Tickets. With 15 home League games still to play, we are launching Part Season Tickets which can be purchased now and used from next week's game against Wimborne Town on Tuesday 22nd November. The prices are £96 for an Adult ticket, £72 for Concessions and £36 for Juniors (14 to 18 years). These tickets represent a 20% saving on League admissions for the rest of the season. Children under 14 years still gain free entry to League games. To purchase a Part Season Ticket please download the application form HERE.
After 88 days, nine games and 16 goals, the Peacocks outstanding Emirates FA Cup run is finally over after they lost 2-1 at Barrow in a 1st Round Proper replay yesterday evening (15th November). Town’s furthest ever midweek trip saw a brave effort on the night against the Bluebirds, three levels above them and unbeaten in 17 games since August. However both sides went into the break on level terms, the opening half presenting a limited number of opportunities, with Barrow coming the nearest via headers from Nick Anderton and Richard Bennett. The deadlock was broken three minutes into the second half when a poor clearance fell to Jordan Williams who cut inside and fired a terrific strike over Lloyd Irish into the far corner to hand Barrow the lead. Town withstood further pressure, Irish diverting another Williams’ shot just over, before they levelled on 73 minutes. Ed Palmer was pushed by Alex-Ray Harvey on the edge of the box and he got up to drill a fantastic free kick past the wall and England C goalkeeper Joel Dixon (as pictured) to the euphoria of the travelling support on the terraces. Town’s joy was short-lived though as Barrow retook the lead only two minutes later when Ryan Yates clipped a cross in from the right and Owen Irish got a touch off his leg to put the ball in his own net. The Peacocks were put under the cosh as Barrow pressed to make the game safe, substitute Ross Hannah having an effort disallowed for offside plus a number of other attempts either saved or miss the target. Despite several raids Town were unable to carve out another real chance as the Cumbrians won through to face a 2nd Round Proper tie at Bristol Rovers on Sunday 4th December. Match report can be viewed HERE and photos of the match and preceding build-up from club photographer Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE and HERE. Highlights from the game can be viewed on Barrow AFC's YouTube channel HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson commented:” Obviously we’re all disappointed that this magnificent journey and experience has come to an end. Honestly though, I wouldn’t change it for being 15 points clear at the top of our league as this cup run does miles more for the club than promotion ever could. We have given it everything again tonight and matched a really strong side on their own turf. Unfortunately for us we made a couple of defensive errors in the second half at key times (three minutes into the second half and soon after our equaliser) whilst the Barrow lads barely made a mistake across both matches. I’m really proud of the players though and what they have achieved. This long road trip and overnight stay has enhanced the team spirit and togetherness and hopefully we can take this into the next few months as we face a daunting fixture pile-up.”
Town face a lengthy trek in the 3rd Qualifying Round of the Buildbase FA Trophy following the draw made on Monday (14th November). They will travel to National League South side Chelmsford City on Saturday 26th November when another tough match will be on the cards, the Essex club currently occupying fourth place in the table and having remained undefeated at home all season. However Town will be buoyed by the fact they have already taken the scalps of two National League outfits this campaign during their superb FA Cup run. Coach travel details for supporters will be announced shortly.
Town are gearing up for a mammoth 300 mile trek north when they go to Barrow for their Emirates FA Cup 1st Round Proper replay tomorrow evening (15th November), kick-off 7.45pm. The 2-2 draw at the Viridor Stadium last weekend saw the Peacocks more than match their National League opponents but it will be an even harder proposition in Cumbria for Town who travel north this evening and stay in a Lancashire hotel, and then have a training session tomorrow morning before completing their journey to Holker Street. Barrow stretched their unbeaten run to 17 games following their 0-0 draw at Sutton United on Saturday whilst Town are undefeated in ten matches. However the Peacocks look likely to be without Pierce Mitchell who is very doubtful for the replay after suffering a hamstring injury at Bishops Cleeve on Saturday. Centre half Ed Palmer is available, some logistical planning enabling him to meet up with the squad after travelling from London, whilst Adam Kelly is also likely to return following work commitments in Canada. Manager Leigh Robinson remarked:” We know we have a huge task ahead of us but can take confidence from the first game and we literally cannot prepare more for a game than we are over the next two days. People will say it’s a nightmare trip considering the distance but we have a chance to be in the FA Cup Second Round which is quite astonishing so we have to keep that in mind and give it everything we’ve got, something we’ve done throughout the competition.” BBC Somerset reporter Jack Murley is travelling with the squad and there will be live radio commentary on the game tomorrow evening.
We were delighted to be able to welcome nine players from the squad that represented Town on the last occasion they reached the First Round Proper of the FA Cup in 1981 to our game with Barrow last weekend. The former Peacocks took to the pitch to be introduced to the crowd prior to kick-off before walking around the perimeter and catching up with supporters, many of whom still fondly recall that epic run 35 years ago when we bowed out at Swindon Town. Among the players present were Town’s record appearance holder Tony Payne and goalscorer from the Swindon game Kevin Hains. The players are pictured below:
L to R – Terry Edwards, Kevin Hains, Norman Stevens, Tony Payne, Brian Ashton, Rob Lowe, Paul Adams, Jamie Salt (injured for the Swindon game), Graham Smith
The Peacocks kept the fires burning in both FA competitions with a 1-0 win at Bishops Cleeve in the 2nd Qualifying Round of the Buildbase FA Trophy yesterday afternoon (12th November). It was far from a vintage Town performance but they still got the job done to extend their unbeaten run to ten games. The first half witnessed a limited number of opportunities, Jack Horrell coming closest for the home side with a free kick saved by Lloyd Irish while Craig Veal and Pierce Mitchell tested Matt Wieczorek. Mitchell worryingly went off injured before Owen Irish scored the only goal of the tie two minutes into stoppage time when he headed in a Ryan Batley cross. Batley was close with a shot as the second half kicked off but it took a great Irish save to preserve Town's lead when he palmed wide a long distance Aaron Drake shot. Town missed out on doubling their tally when Jordan Rogers saw his penalty in injury time at the end of the game saved by Wieczorek after Ollie Chamberlain had been brought down. Thankfully though Town were not made to pay for this as they ensured progress to the next round on 26th November and in doing so achieved their best Trophy run since the 2003-04 campaign. Match report can be viewed HERE and match photos from club photographer Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson commented:" It was a good win in difficult conditions and excellent to progress in the competition. It's fair to say it was a physical and keenly contested game of few chances. The refereeing was pretty poor for both sides - Cleeve will probably feel aggrieved that Shane wasn't sent off but they could easily have picked up a red card or two for some over zealous tackles that the referee never really got to grips with. A game that will not live long in the memory but we're happy to be through. Unfortunately it looks like we have lost Pierce for Tuesday with a hamstring injury but it's good that we've kept the momentum going before such a big tie."
Town play their first Saturday away game in seven weeks when they travel to Bishops Cleeve in the 2nd Qualifying Round of the FA Trophy tomorrow afternoon (12th November), kick-off 3.00pm. The first weekend road trip since 24th September gives the Peacocks a chance to maintain their terrific form in FA competitions this season where they are still involved in both Cup and Trophy. Town have banged in eleven goals in their two FA Trophy games so far this campaign in disposing of Larkhall Athletic and Swindon Supermarine, and will hope to keep their run going at Kayte Lane tomorrow when £3,250 will be up for grabs for the winners. Cleeve sit one place below Town in the table but have won their last three games which includes a win at Southern Premier Banbury United in the last round of the FA Trophy and another success over higher ranked opposition on Tuesday when they beat Cinderford Town in the Southern League Cup. Town will therefore need to be fully focused tomorrow, a fact which manager Leigh Robinson recognises. “It’s a tricky tie”, he said. “Many people said that it looks like a good draw for us but Cleeve beat Banbury in this competition and can be a dangerous side, especially on their own patch. Thoughts will inevitably turn to Tuesday but we have to remember that this is still a £3k game with the potential to play a National League side later on in this competition so tomorrow’s game needs our full attention.” Town will be missing Adam Kelly and Ed Palmer who are both away but the remainder of the squad who were rested for Tuesday’s match at Odd Down all return along with Craig Duff who made his first start in midweek.