A piece of history was created at the Viridor Stadium yesterday afternoon (31st March) when the Peacocks recorded a 3-2 Evo-Stik League victory over a useful Kidlington side.
With Wimborne losing 4-1 at Bristol Manor Farm, Town’s win confirmed promotion to the Southern Premier and the next level for the first time ever. It was a close run thing though with Town falling behind twice before battling back to get the job done in the final ten minutes. Despite the wet weather of yesterday, sterling work from the grounds team ensured the match went ahead but it wasn’t the start Town wanted after they found themselves trailing after six minutes when Declan Benjamin’s cross ran loose for Lewis Gabbidon to drive home a deflected shot past Lloyd Irish. The Peacocks keeper was then forced into action as the visitors threatened to add to their tally while Greens keeper Mark Warrell also produced an outstanding save to tip over Dan Sullivan’s header at the other end while Craig Veal had a goal disallowed just before the break as half time saw the leaders trailing.
Good work by Sullivan two minutes into the second half paved the way for the equaliser, robbing Eddie Odhiambo on the right and crossing for Matt Wright to convert at the far post. Kidlington then stunned the home crowd by retaking the lead after 57 minutes when Mark Bell’s corner was nodded on to James Organ whose header flew into the far corner before Town upped their game for a rousing finale. Ollie Chamberlain drove home the equaliser from the edge of the box nine minutes from time and the Peacock fans were in raptures when a corner from Nuno Felix found Wright whose effort was touched home by Veal five minutes later to ensure the Peacocks will be playing at Step 3 next season.
Reaction | Manager Leigh Robinson remarked: “Another topsy turvy game but of course we’re delighted to have secured promotion on our own patch. For us as a dressing room of course the title comes first but for the people who run the club it’s all about promotion and the title would be a bonus so I’m pleased that we’ve been able to reward their hard work over the years and even today in getting the pitch playable. It was nice to have a celebration moment with the fans but minds must now turn to hopefully having a bigger party in a few weeks if we can secure the title and finish the season as champions.”
Matchwinner Craig Veal said: “Buzzing for the boys after a tough couple of games. The never-say-die attitude and togetherness really shone through on Saturday. Being 2-1 down with ten minutes to go, the lads really pulled together and our efforts thoroughly deserved the three points that have seen us promoted. The fans were absolutely fantastic again, as they are week in, week out, and helped us get over the line! The only thing left to do is secure the title and go up as champions. The Peacocks are flying! Up The Town!”