The Peacocks made it nine Evo-Stik League games unbeaten with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Barnstaple Town at the Viridor Stadium yesterrday evening (5th December). It was a solid rather than spectacular performance from Town in an often scrappy and sometimes niggly affair. An early goal from Ollie Chamberlain after ten minutes was disallowed when the referee spotted an infringement but Town overcame that disappointment by grabbing the lead on 33 minutes, Matt Wright passing to Dan Sullivan who made space in the box before driving into the net past Grant Fisher. A second goal arived two minutes into added time at the end of the first half when Wright's header from close range was kept out by Fisher, Ryan Brett pouncing on the loose ball to slot home. The scoring was concluded four minutes into the second half after Chamberlain had been pulled down by Chris Ibbeson. Although Fisher saved Ben Adelsbury's penalty, the rebound was played back in by Wright for Matt Buse to convert. Lloyd Irish pulled off two excellent saves from Ibbeson to keep a clean sheet while Town came close to adding more via Brett's flicked header which hit the base of the post and Omar Simpson and Chamberlain who were both denied by Fisher. The victory extends the Peacocks' adavntage at the top of the West Division to seven points as they prepare to face promotion rivals Salisbury at the Viridor Stadium this Saturday. Match report can be viewed HERE and match highlights can be seen on Peacocks TV HERE while photos from Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE with more to follow.
Reaction - assistant manager Michael Meaker remarked:" I thought it was a professional performance and the boys played some attractive football at times but also kept a great shape when defending. We could have won the game by a lot more but with some strange decisions from the ref and great goalkeeping kept the scoreline down. However with a 3-0 win we are all pleased and the lads did superb yet again."
Reaction - goalkeeper Lloyd Irish said:" A good result and another important three points. It would have been easy to get frustrated with a few bizarre decisions from the referee in the first 30 minutes but we stuck at it and kept our heads. This is the kind of fixture we slipped up in last year but we have more experienced heads now and more energy across the pitch. Chambo and Busey were fantastic again and Dan Sullivan has been a great signing. We have a busy schedule until the new year and plenty of points to play for but we need to just take each game as it comes."
The Peacocks begin a run of six successive home games when they entertain Barnstaple Town in the Evo-Stik League tomorrow evening (5th December), kick-off 7.45pm. Five league fixtures plus the Buildbase FA Trophy 1st Round Proper tie against Bognor Regis gives Town the opportunity to further define the success of their season starting with the visit of the North Devon side tomorrow in a game which was originally scheduled for last month but had to be rearranged due to Town’s involvement in the FA Trophy. The two teams have already met this campaign, the Peacocks winning 4-2 at Mill Road in early November in a BigFreeBet.com Challenge Cup tie. Leaguewise Barum have not had the best of times so far this season, lying in 20th spot and without a win in their last seven games. They have won twice on the road though, at Bishops Cleeve and Cinderford, while they have picked up points in their last two matches. The Peacocks will have the same squad on duty from the weekend win at Larkhall Athletic with Ross Staley possibly having a fitness test after he missed Saturday's game. Manager Leigh Robinson will be absent though due to starting a new day job so Assistant Manager Michael Meaker and Coach Rob Dray will take the reins.
The Peacocks withstood a fightback from the home side to emerge 3-2 winners at Larkhall Athletic in the Evo-Stik League yesterday afternoon (2nd December). The result stretches Town's unbeaten league run to eight matches although what appeared to be heading for a straightforward victory after going 3-0 up turned into more of a battle after the Larks pulled two goals back. The Peacocks made an ideal start with Pierce Mitchell converting Ben Palmer's cross at the far post for the opening goal after nine minutes and although both sides had half chances during the remainder of the half there was no further scoring. Two goals within the first ten minutes of the second half then put Town well in control. Chris McGrath headed home from Ryan Brett's corner after 50 minutes before Dan Sullivan ran through to round keeper Shaun Semmens and net four minutes later. Joe Tumelty fed George King who reduced the arrears on 65 minutes with a shot inside Lloyd Irish's post and when Matt Britton's header from Tumelty's corner went in via a deflection off Matt Buse with seven minutes remaining, things became less comfortable. However Town saw the rest of the game out without too much trouble to maintain their four point advantage at the top. Match highlights can be seen on Peacocks TV HERE and match photos from Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE while match report can be viewed HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson said:" A good win to round off another really good week. FA Trophy first round and four away points from two tricky games is a very decent effort from the boys. We knew today wouldn't be pretty on a heavy pitch and that is how it turned out but we showed plenty of stomach for the fight, applied ourselves well and showed a clinical touch in front of goal. The last 15 minutes became a bit nervier than we would have liked as we dropped off a bit which we mustn't make a habit of but it was all about the result today and we're really happy with the points."
Reaction - captain Matt Wright commented:" A great result at a place that's very hard to go to in winter. We came unstuck there last year and I think that shows how far we have come as a team. We had to dig deep in the closing stages of the game to ensure we got a massive three points away from home. Fans were fantastic as always. See you all Tuesday. Up The Peacocks!"
After Tuesday’s draw at Bristol Manor Farm stretched Town’s unbeaten Evo-Stik League run to seven games, they will be aiming to restore the winning habit when they travel to Larkhall Athletic tomorrow (2nd December), kick-off 3.00pm. The Peacocks sit in a healthy position at the top of the West Division table with a four point advantage and games in hand over the rest of the teams in the top six so will be keen to maintain that gap with victory at Plain Ham, a ground where they have been far from their best in recent years with two 3-0 defeats in the past three seasons. The 13th placed Bath side have had a mixed campaign so far but have come into some form during November with three league wins out of four including victory at Salisbury and a 5-0 thrashing of North Leigh last Saturday. Town will therefore need to be mindful of the Larks’ threat at one end and hope to convert possession into goals at the other which ultimately proved the difference between a draw and win in midweek.
Town welcome back Brett Trowbridge who missed the Manor Farm match with a stiff back but Ross Staley is out with a knee injury picked up in the same game. Manager Leigh Robinson commented:” It’s an important game tomorrow. We got a decent point on Tuesday night but it will only be a good point if we pick up three tomorrow. Undoubtedly it will be a real scrap as Larkhall is never an easy place to play so we’ll need to roll our sleeves up and fully apply ourselves before we even think of getting a result.”
Town are on the road again in the BigFreeBet.com Challenge Cup following the draw for the 3rd Round which was released this evening (30th November). After winning at Bideford and Barnstaple Town in previous rounds, the Peacocks will travel to Premier Division side Frome Town, the tie to be played week commencing 8th January.
Town recovered from being behind at the break to draw 1-1 at Bristol Manor Farm in a top of the table Evo-Stik League clash yesterday evening (28th November). A match of few clearcut opportunities saw Jordan Metters fire the hosts in front after 18 minutes from Ben Bament's cross but despite having several half chances the Peacocks trailed at half time. A completely dominant second half performance eventually led to the Peacocks equalising after 68 minutes when Pierce Mitchell's drive was diverted into his own net by Farm defender Lloyd Mills. Town could not translate their supremacy into further goals though as Manor Farm hung on thanks to backs to the wall defending and their keeper Ashley Clark who made several saves, most importantly a superb reaction tip over to deny Pierce Mitchell's header. The point though extends Town's advantage at the top to four points and a minimum of two games in hand on their nearest rivals. Match report can be viewed HERE, match highlights can be seen on Peacocks TV HERE and match photos from Colin Andrews can be viewed HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson observed:" Pretty mixed feelings after the game really. On one hand and on paper it’s a decent point as we gave a lot on Saturday, and away to a side sitting in third on a cold Tuesday night is never a bad thing but the way the game actually went we were disappointed not to end up with three points, especially after such a dominant second half display. It took us a while to get going, Manor Farm play the sloping pitch at their place well and they came out guns blazing which we knew they would but other than the goal which was a bit of an unfortunate slip on our behalf they didn’t cause us a great deal of problems in the first half which we grew into as it went on. The second half was almost one way traffic and we threw everything at them but in fairness they defended their box pretty well and the keeper made a couple of excellent saves. On the whole a decent night's work. The desire and will to win was definitely still there from the players so no complaints from me. We just had a night where we weren’t our sharpest or most clinical in front of goal, nor did we get the breaks in the box, but we take our point and move on."
Reaction - Chris McGrath said: " I thought it took us about 20 to 25 minutes to get going but once we figured out the way they were playing and settled down to the way we like to play we never looked back. We came out second half knowing what had to be put right and in those 45 minutes I felt we completely dominated. We got ourselves back in it and after that could only see one winner. I reckon that if there had been another five to ten minutes play we would have left with three points, not one."
The Peacocks’ six game unbeaten run in the Evo-Stik League will be put severely to the test when they travel to Bristol Manor Farm tomorrow evening (28th November), kick-off 7.45pm. With only one defeat in their last 16 matches in all competitions and that with a weakened team, Town are in a rich vein of form at present, highlighted by their Buildbase FA Trophy win over Concord Rangers on Saturday, a side from two divisions higher. Town hold a three point lead over second placed Bideford with two games in hand, with a further point and extra game advantage over Manor Farm who have enjoyed an impressive first season to date in the Evo-Stik League after winning the Western League title by a ten point margin last term. Since going down by the only goal at Swindon Supermarine at the beginning of the month, they have strung together a run of four unbeaten games including three draws, most recently gaining a noteworthy point at Salisbury at the weekend. They are also the West Division’s joint top scorers along with Salisbury, netting 42 times in their 17 fixtures.
Town have the same squad on duty as Saturday with the addition of Ryan Brett who returns after serving his one game suspension for five bookings. Manager Leigh Robinson said:” It’s an important game tomorrow night and a test that we’re looking forward to. Manor Farm have had a great start, a good result on Saturday and certainly haven’t struggled for goals in this division so we know what we’ll be up against. On the whole the league results on Saturday weren’t bad for us even though we didn’t play so hopefully we can capitalise on that this week.”
Town will again face National League South opposition in the 1st Round Proper of the Buildbase FA Trophy following the draw made earlier today (27th November). After beating Concord Rangers from that division on Saturday, the Peacocks will host either Hemel Hempstead Town or Bognor Regis Town on Saturday 16th December. The two sides fought out a 1-1 draw at the weekend, with the replay taking place tomorrow evening to determine who will travel to the Viridor Stadium a fortnight on Saturday. Town have of course met both sides in recent seasons. Hemel, who currently lie in 8th spot, were memorably beaten 1-0 in an Emirates FA Cup replay last year after a 0-0 draw at the Viridor, securing Town’s progress to the 1st Round Proper. Bognor meanwhile sit in 21st position but were convincing winners two seasons ago with a 4-1 victory in another FA Trophy tie. The prize fund for the winners in the next round is £6,000.
The Peacocks are through to the 1st Round Proper of the Buildbase FA Trophy after a terrific 3-2 victory over Concord Rangers at the Viridor Stadium yesterday afternoon (25th November). A breathtaking tie seesawed between the two teams but ultimately it proved a tale of two keepers to determine who progressed to the next round on 16th December. Facing a side from two leagues higher, Town made a wonderful start with the opening goal after just five minutes. Early pressure saw Pierce Mitchell's shot not held by Concord keeper Louis Wells and when Ross Staley laid the ball back across, Matt Wright was there to steer into an open goal. Concord hit back, with Femi Akinwande driving a shot against the post and then being brought down by Ben Palmer for a penalty. Lloyd Irish pulled off a great save though to deny Steve Cawley from the spot. Cawley made amends when he pulled the visitors level on 29 minutes, converting Ben Greenhalgh's cross from the left at the back post. The woodwork then denied Town after Wright saw his header cannon off the post following a Dan Sullivan cross minutes before the break. The pacy Concord side began to get on top after the break and went ahead on 62 minutes with a cracking Harry Lee strike from 25 yards. However Town responded and equalised after 74 minutes. Wells made a brilliant save to keep out Ollie Chamberlain's header but when the ensuing corner wasn't properly cleared Ross Staley collected to rifle home a fine strike from the edge of the box. Town then grabbed the winning goal two minutes later when Wells let a Matt Buse shot escape from his grasp to roll over the line to send the home crowd delirious. Irish made a couple more excellent saves to keep Concord at bay and leave the Peacocks looking forward to Monday's draw for the next round. Match report can be viewed HERE and match photos from Tim Norbury can be viewed HERE. Match highlights can be seen on Peacocks TV HERE while post-match interviews with manager Leigh Robinson and Man of the Match Lloyd Irish can be seen HERE and HERE.
Reaction - manager Leigh Robinson commented:" Another brilliant cup day at the Viridor and a fantastic achievement to reach the first round of the FA Trophy after last year's FA Cup success. So proud of the players and really happy for the people who run the club as together we have achieved so much over the last 18 months, creating wonderful memories and really making people sit up and take notice of Taunton Town. It was a hell of a cup tie and a great spectacle for the crowd. The best thing that happened to us was their second goal as it kicked us into life and it became a bit ‘all or nothing’. A great example today of the spirit and character that we have in the dressing room. Of course we had a bit of luck with the winning goal but that’s cup football and fortune favours the brave as they say. Let’s hope for a good draw in the next round and enjoy another good occasion."
Reaction - match winner Matt Buse remarked:" We started the game really well, pressing with good intensity and playing some nice football when we created a couple of good chances and deservedly took the lead. However when they went ahead in the second half we had to dig in and we showed great character to come back and get the win. Lloyd was outstanding but every player put in a great shift, which we knew would be required against a good side and sometimes you earn a bit of luck which came with the last goal. As players we are delighted for everyone involved, it brings prize money in and rewards the club for their great support. Once again we would like to thank the supporters who were fantastic. We will now look forward to the draw."
The Peacocks continue their Buildbase FA Trophy campaign when they welcome National League South side Concord Rangers to the Viridor Stadium for a 3rd Round Qualifying tie tomorrow afternoon (25th November), kick-off 3.00pm. Town have already played five games in the competition to reach this stage, with replay victories necessary over AFC Totton and Beaconsfield Town sandwiching an upset against Southern Premier Merthyr Town. It would be an even bigger shock should Town manage to overcome tomorrow’s opponents who sit two levels higher in the non-league system. Concord were only formed 40 years ago from a boys’ team who originally played on a pitch close to Concord Beach on Canvey Island in Essex. Since then they have enjoyed a climb up through various Essex leagues and then the Isthmian before gaining promotion to the National League South for the 2013-14 season. They are currently quite far down the table in 18th spot and have yet to win a league game away from home this term but are unbeaten in their last eight fixtures, seven consecutive draws coming to an end with a 4-2 win over Chippenham Town last Saturday.
Town however will take a great deal of confidence from their recent form, a 14 game unbeaten sequence coming to an end in midweek after the vast majority of the first team squad were rested for the Somerset Premier Cup reverse to Weston-super-Mare. The Peacocks were in superb shape last weekend when winning at Evesham in the Evo-Stik League and will hope for a similar kind of performance tomorrow to give themselves a chance to progress and earn £5,000 in the process. Apart from the prize money, there is the incentive of a place in the 1st Round Proper for tomorrow’s winners, one round further than Town managed last season when they conceded in the last minute to suffer a narrow defeat at another National League South side Chelmsford City.
Manager Leigh Robinson will have the same squad available as last Saturday with the exception of Ryan Brett who serves a one game suspension after accruing five bookings. The Town boss remarked:” It’s a good tie tomorrow and an occasion we are all looking forward to. After reaching the FA Cup First Round Proper last year, if we were to make the FA Trophy 1st Round the season after this would be a hell of an achievement. Of course we’ll be the underdogs but we had success last year at home against sides from a similar level so it can be done but we have to be completely at our best from 1 to 11 in order to give ourselves a chance.”