Braintree Town vs Taunton Town


Date Time League Season Match Day Full Time
April 9, 2024 7:45 pm National League South 2023/24 09/04/2024 90'


Braintree Town0
Taunton Town0



The Peacocks made the long, Tuesday night journey to Essex seeking the all-important three points in their “Great Escape” from the Vanarama National League South relegation zone.

The Peacocks made just the one change from their 1-1 draw with Hampton & Richmond at the weekend, Marcus Day making his return to the starting eleven after a good run of form off the bench. And indeed it was Day who looked to impart the first blow on confirmed play-off contenders Braintree, escaping his man in the third minute and trying to play a ball through to Ollie Chamberlain on the overlap, but unfortunately the ball ran out of play.

The home side also looked to start brightly through former Ipswich bagsman Freddie Sears who in the 8th minute tried an audacious lob over the head of Dan Lavercombe whose punch behind gave Braintree the first corner of the evening. Cam Evans cleared the corner, and a lob was played to Nat Jarvis who took the ball into the box and was fouled by the Braintree keeper Jack Sims, the referee pointed to the spot and handed Taunton a major lifeline in their survival hopes! Ross Stearn stepped up to take the penalty, but Sims made up for his mistake and dived the right way to deny the visitors an early opener.

Braintree were very nearly stung early by the dogged Claret and Blues but, as you would expect from a team whose participation in the play-offs was already confirmed, they fought back into the game with ferocious long balls and vicious crosses from the onset as Taunton shrank away after the failed penalty conversion.

A block off the line by Lloyd James from Sears’ shot in the 17th minute, a tame effort from range caught by Lavercombe in the 18th minute, a Callum Dolman clearance in the 32nd minute and an absolutely sublime fingertip save from Lavercombe from Aaron Blair three minutes before half time denied Braintree the first half opener they were searching for. Taunton meanwhile found chances difficult to come across in the first half and with Braintree unable to convert the chances they had created, the sides went into the break level.

Braintree were the team who came out of the gates the quickest, the hosts enjoying several chances in the first ten minutes of the second stanza which they failed to convert. The Man of the Match from the game against Hampton & Richmond Lavercombe, was looking sure to win the award two games in a row with an incredible save in the 52nd minute to foil Charlie Wakefield.

It took Taunton until past the hour mark to have their first real chance of the second half, Rabby Tabu-Minzamba and Day linking up several times between the 60th and 70th minutes to create a number of chances, all of which the Peacocks ultimately failed to convert. The best chance of the second half fell in the 65th minute, as Chamberlain’s short corner was directed to Day, a quick turn of the feet and a corker of a curling effort that had Sims beaten, but ultimately nestled itself just wide of the post.

The Peacocks felt that a goal was incoming and made an attacking substitution to try and aid their hunt for an all important goal, as Jay Murray entered the field of play for the superb Day. Taunton went close several times in the last 20 minutes of the game with Stearn triggering a press on a loose touch by a Braintree defender in the 80th minute, but unfortunately he was let down by a dastardly combination of a heavy touch and a bobble from the pitch. In the 85th minute Murray turned his man and looked to find Jarvis in the box while Sims raced out and off his line to meet the oncoming cross; Jarvis felt that there was a foul in the passage of play, preventing him from netting his 4th goal of the season, but was instead booked for dissent.

The final five minutes summed the game up perfectly, a cagey battle with both sides launching long balls up the flank, hoping for a knock-on or a mistake in the backline, but neither of those were to come. All in all, this should be considered a fantastic point against a side that already have play-offs confirmed, but if the early penalty had been converted, the 440 mile round trip could have ultimately gone down in history as the long Tuesday Night that aided the Peacocks in their survival.


Taunton: Dan Lavercombe, Zac Bell, Dan Ball, Ollie Chamberlain, Lloyd James (captain), Nat Jarvis, Rabby Tabu Minzamba, Ross Stearn, Cameron Evans, Marcus Day (Jay Murray 72), Callum Dolman. Unused subs: Seb Bolton, Jaden Brown, Evander Grubb

Braintree: Jack Sims, Leon Davies (Lewis Miccio 45), Baris Altintop (captain), Joe Grimwood, Tom Blackwell (Jayden Davis 77), Alfie Payne, Aaron Blair, Freddie Sears (Shaq Coulthirst 63), Charlie Wakefield, Trent Rendall, Dominic Odusanya. Unused subs: Michael Brothers, Reggie Lambe


Referee: Harry Wager (Royal Tunbridge Wells)
Referee’s Assistant 1: Andrew Tregoning (Cheshunt)
Referee’s Assistant 2: Steve Goldup (Maidstone)




” Some of our younger players have learnt today how to make a game very ugly and to get a good away point in a midweek…….” watch Rob Dray’s match reaction on Peacocks TV HERE


Match highlights can be seen courtesy of Braintree Town FC HERE


Match photos from club photographer Debbie Gould can be viewed HERE

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance MOM

Lloyd James receives the Taunton Town Man Of The Match award from Peacocks’ analyst Jordan Barrow