It’s the start of another challenging Vanarama National League South season for the Peacocks tomorrow (5th August) when they welcome Braintree Town to Wordsworth Drive, ko 3.00pm.

The next nine months or so are sure to provide plenty of highs and lows as Town embark on their second season at National League level beginning with the visit of the Essex side to Somerset in what is sure to be a tough curtain raiser. The Iron finished in 7th spot last time out, meaning they qualified for the final place in the Play-Offs but were eliminated in the Quarter Final with a 2-1 defeat at Worthing. Pre-season has gone relatively well for Braintree with victories over Clacton Town, Ipswich Wanderers, Holland, AFC Sudbury and Canvey Island, a draw at Hornchurch and single goal defeats to Needham Market and an Ipswich Town XI. Several of last term’s squad have departed including strikers Lamar Reynolds, Alfie Pavey and Alfie Matthews and mainstay defender Baris Altintop but manager Angelo Harrop has been busy replenishing with a number of new faces such as frontman Will Davies who scored 29 goals for Southern League Premier Leiston last season and a trio of players from AFC Sudbury including experienced former Ipswich, Carlisle and Cambridge United midfielder Reggie Lambe and prolific forward Nnamdi Nwachuku who bagged 49 goals from 44 games for Sudbury last season and has already broken the pre-season scoring record for the Iron in the past month by netting 10 times.

The Peacocks meanwhile have been relatively stable in their playing ranks, with only loanee goalkeeper Jack Bycroft having returned to Southampton and defender Jake Wannell moving to Yeovil Town. Coming through the door are new centre half Austen Booth from Plymouth Parkway, keeper Dan Lavercombe from FC United of Manchester and striker Malachi Linton on a season-long loan deal from Yeovil while trialists Callum Dolman, Phil Mendonca, Marcus Day and Rabby Tabu have also come on board, with the squad otherwise unchanged from last season when they finished in a very creditable 14th position. Pre-season has also generally been positive for Town with four wins and two defeats from seven matches but that is now irrelevant when points are up for grabs tomorrow. Head of Football Rob Dray commented:” It promises to be another tough season with absolutely no respite in any of the 46 games we play starting tomorrow. The squad is in good spirits though and I was pleased with a lot of things I saw in pre-season but tomorrow is the real thing and I know there are certain aspects that can be improved upon. Braintree are an established National League club and reached the play-offs last season, so we know the challenge we face but with the experience we gained after our first year and with our fans getting behind us I am looking for us to get off to a positive start.”

Town will be missing Lee Lucas who is away while Dan Ball and Jay Foulston continue their recovery from injury.

Matchday Information

Turnstiles, Bars, Club Shop and Refreshment Outlets open at 1.00pm

Matchday tickets are available to purchase in advance online HERE

Admission is also payable by card or cash at the turnstile, priced at £14 for Adults, £11 for Concessions (state pensioners & Students with ID), £5 for Youth (13-18 years), £2 for Juniors (6-12 years). Children aged under 6 are free with paying adult.

Printed Match Programmes will be available to purchase tomorrow from the Club Shop.

The programme is also available to read online HERE

Match commentary will be available on Peacocks Radio HERE

We welcome our Matchday Mascots tomorrow Tone Youth Hornets Under 12’s

Last meeting: the Peacocks secured an impressive win on the road back in March with a 2-0 win at Cressing Road thanks to first half goals from Zac Smith and Ollie Chamberlain. Unfortunately no match highlights are available. Earlier in the campaign it finished goalless in the first ever meeting between the sides. Relive the match highlights HERE