Taunton Town F.C.

Coordinates: 51°01′00.21″N 3°05′06.37″W / 51.0167250°N 3.0851028°W / 51.0167250; -3.0851028
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Taunton Town
Official crest
Full nameTaunton Town Football Club
Nickname(s)The Peacocks
FoundedDecember 1947; 76 years ago (December 1947) (as Taunton F.C.)
GroundWordsworth Drive, Taunton
Capacity3,000
ChairmanKevin Sturmey
ManagerRob Dray
LeagueNational League South
2022–23National League South, 14th of 24
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Taunton Town Football Club are an English football club based in Taunton, Somerset. They compete in the National League South and play their home matches at Wordsworth Drive, which they moved into during the 1953 season. The club is affiliated to the Somerset County FA.

After being formed in 1947, they were admitted into the Western League in 1954. They struggled over the next ten years, and it was not until the 1970s that the club started to prosper. Having won the Western League in 1968–69, the club then finished as runners-up in the same league in four successive seasons from 1973. They gained promotion to the Southern League in 1977 and purchased their ground from the local council. In the early 1980s they dropped back down into the Western League for financial reasons, but did not enjoy further success until 1989–90. The following twelve seasons saw the club win the title on four more occasions (1995–96, 1998–99, 1999–2000 and 2000–01) and finish as runners-up four times (1993–94, 1996–97, 1997–98 and 2001–02).

In 2001 the club won the FA Vase, which it had narrowly missed out on seven years earlier. Following their string of good results, Taunton rejoined the Southern League for the 2002–03 season. The club are currently members of the National League South for the 2023-24 season, following their promotion from the Southern League Premier Division South at the end of the 2021-22 season.

History[edit]

The first Taunton Association Football Club was formed on 11 September 1889 at the George Hotel.[1]

In December 1947 a group of businessmen founded Taunton Football Club, and the club played its first match in Easter the following year. The club joined the Somerset Senior League, in which they played until 1953. During this year the club gained admission to the Western League for the first time. In the same year, the club also moved into their present ground on Wordsworth Drive, which they leased from Taunton Borough Council. During these early years of the club they battled financial problems and relied upon their Supporters Club.[2]

In 1968–69, the club enjoyed success for the first time, winning the Western League under the management of Doug Hillard. Over the following years Taunton Town continued to prosper on the pitch, finishing as Western League runners-up in four consecutive seasons from 1973 until 1976. During this time the club bought their Wordsworth Drive ground from the local council and installed floodlights. In 1977 they were promoted into the Southern League (Southern Section). Two years later, following the opening of the M5 motorway, they moved into the Midlands Section of the league.[2]

In 1981, the club became a limited company, and the club's board decided that competing in the Southern League was too much of a financial burden; resulting in a drop back into the Western League for the 1983–84 season. The club finished as league champions for the second time in 1989–90 and followed this win up with further success, winning the league again in 1995–96, 1998–99, 1999–2000 and 2000–01. They also finished as runners-up on four occasions; in 1993–94, 1996–97, 1997–98 and 2001–02. Following their runners-up position in 2001–02, and the improved financial position of the club compared to twenty years earlier, the club was successful in its application to re-enter the Southern League. The club have remained in this league ever since, and after the restructuring of the English football league system, the club were placed in the Southern Football League Division One South & West.[2]

The club reached the final of the FA Vase in 1994, where they lost in extra time to Diss Town. A second FA Vase finals appearance in 2001 resulted in greater success, Taunton Town beating Berkhamsted Town 2–1.[2] In 2016–17 they reached the first round proper of the FA Cup for only the second time in their history, where they faced Barrow and held them to a 2–2 draw but were beaten away in the replay 2–1.

In 2017–18, Taunton celebrated promotion from the Southern League South & West for the first time in their history, clinching the title after a home 3–2 win over Kidlington.

In 2018-19 Taunton narrowly missed out on promotion to the National League South after losing to Poole Town on penalties at the Viridor Stadium during their Southern League Premier playoff game.[3]

On 20 November 2019, Taunton Town equaled the record for the longest penalty shoot out in English footballing history beating Truro City 12-11 after 34 penalties in the Southern League challenge cup. Goalkeeper Lloyd Irish scored one and missed another whilst also saving three penalties with Truro missing the target another 3 times before Jack Rice finally scored the winning penalty after 34 minutes of drama.

On 23 April 2022, Taunton won the final match of the 2021-22 season against third-placed Farnborough, securing their place as champions at the top of the league and promotion to the National League South for the first time in the club’s history.

On 17 January 2024, Taunton were issued a winding-up petition from His Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC).[4] As a result of the ongoing dispute, the club was placed under a transfer embargo by the National League on 2 February.[5][6]

Stadium[edit]

Wordsworth Drive

Taunton Town play their home games at Wordsworth Drive. When they were formed, Taunton Town played at a variety of grounds in the Taunton area, including Mountfields, French Weir, Victoria Park and Huish Old Boys. They then moved to Denman's Park, Haines Hill where they remained until 1953. During that season the club moved to Wordsworth Drive in Taunton, where they have remained ever since. Initially they leased the ground from Taunton Borough Council, but in the 1970s the club purchased the ground from the council and installed floodlights.[2] The ground has covered stands on all four sides of the pitch.[7]

On 3 November 2023, Chairman Kevin Sturmey announced a stadium sponsorship deal with a local business for Wordsworth Drive to be known as the Somerset Campervan Co Stadium through the end of the 2023-24 season, along with an option to extend. The agreement includes a two-year sponsorship of the home side Town End.[8][9] Previous naming rights deals were reached in 2014 with Viridor, a waste management company, and Cygnet Health Care in 2019.[10]

As of January 2024, the stadium has a capacity of 3,000 with 422 seats. The record attendance was set at 3,284 against Tiverton Town in the 1998/1999 FA Vase Semi-Final.[11][12]

An announcement on 7 February 2024 confirmed that Taunton Town entered into a groundsharing agreement with Truro City, a fellow National League South club.[13] The arrangement will see the Cornish side move their 12 remaining 2023-24 fixtures from Bolitho Park to Wordsworth Drive following a recent spate of pitch problems at the former.[13][14]

Current squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK England ENG Dan Lavercombe
2 DF Wales WAL Zac Bell (on loan from Bristol City)
4 DF England ENG Nick Grimes (team-captain)
5 DF England ENG Dan Ball
7 MF England ENG Ollie Chamberlain
8 MF Wales WAL Lloyd James (vice-captain)
9 FW Antigua and Barbuda ATG Nathaniel Jarvis
12 MF Republic of Ireland IRL Rabby Minzamba
13 FW England ENG Ross Stearn
No. Pos. Nation Player
15 MF England ENG Phil Mendonca
16 MF England ENG Zac Smith
17 DF Wales WAL Cameron Evans
18 MF England ENG Marcus Day
19 DF England ENG Callum Dolman
21 GK England ENG Lloyd Irish (club-captain)
22 MF Wales WAL Marley Rose (on loan from Bristol City)
23 DF England ENG Louie Slough
32 FW England ENG Evander Grubb

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
3 DF Wales WAL Jay Foulston (at Yeovil Town)

Management[edit]

Position Name
Head Of Football: Rob Dray
Assistant Manager: Matt Villis
Coach: Michael Meaker
Goalkeeping Coach: Connor Sidley-Adams
Physio: Anthony Cornish
Sports Masseur: Paul Edwards

Honours[edit]

  • Southern League
  • Western League
    • Champions 1968–69, 1989–90, 1995–96, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01
    • Alan Young Cup winners 1973–74, 1975–76 (shared with Falmouth Town)[15]
    • Combination Challenge Cup winners 1990–91, 1993–94, 1994–95[15]
    • Combination Subsidiary League Cup winners 1991–92, 1992–93, 1993–94[15]
  • FA Vase
    • Winners 2000–01
  • Somerset Senior Cup
    • Winners 1969–70[16]
  • Somerset Premier Cup
    • Winners 2002–03, 2005–06, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2016–17

Taunton Town Ladies[edit]

Taunton Town had a ladies football team; Taunton Town Ladies Football Club, who played in the South West Women's Football League Premier Division.[17] They first played league football in 1986.[18] In 1990–91, the ladies won the Division Two Cup of the newly formed South West Regional Women's Football League.[19] The club ceased to exist at the end of the 2014–15 season.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

General
Specific
  1. ^ https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000348/18890918/056/0004 – via British Newspaper Archive. {{cite news}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ a b c d e "CLUB HISTORY (The Peacocks)". Taunton Town Football Club. Retrieved 26 October 2010.
  3. ^ "Taunton Town v PooleTown - Taunton Town Football Club". tauntontown.com. Archived from the original on 15 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Taunton Town FC issued winding-up petition by HMRC". 18 January 2024. Retrieved 19 January 2024.
  5. ^ "The Vanarama National League". www.thenationalleague.org.uk. Retrieved 14 February 2024.
  6. ^ "Transfer embargo placed on Taunton Town FC for non-compliance". Somerset County Gazette. 7 February 2024. Retrieved 14 February 2024.
  7. ^ "Taunton Town FC". Pyramid Passion. Retrieved 26 October 2010.
  8. ^ "Taunton Town Football Club has a new name for home ground". Somerset County Gazette. 5 November 2023. Retrieved 14 February 2024.
  9. ^ "Welcome To The Somerset Campervan Co Stadium!". Taunton Town Football Club. 3 November 2023. Retrieved 14 February 2024.
  10. ^ "REVEALED: Peacocks' stadium renamed". Somerset County Gazette. 5 July 2019. Retrieved 14 February 2024.
  11. ^ "Match Report: Taunton Town v Wimborne Town on Saturday, 15 Jan 2022 - The Southern League". southern-football-league.co.uk. Retrieved 10 January 2024.
  12. ^ "Taunton Town FC". Gloverscast. Retrieved 10 January 2024.
  13. ^ a b "Temporary Groundshare Agreed". Taunton Town Football Club. 7 February 2024. Retrieved 14 February 2024.
  14. ^ "CLUB STATEMENT: HOME FIXTURES". www.trurocityfc.net. Retrieved 14 February 2024.
  15. ^ a b c "Award Winners". Toolstation Western League. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
  16. ^ "Senior Cup". SomersetFA. 19 April 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  17. ^ "Fixtures and Results". South West Women's Football League. Retrieved 26 October 2010.
  18. ^ "History of the League Part 1". South West Women's Football League. Retrieved 26 October 2010.
  19. ^ "History of the League Part 2". South West Women's Football League. Retrieved 26 October 2010.

External links[edit]

51°01′00.21″N 3°05′06.37″W / 51.0167250°N 3.0851028°W / 51.0167250; -3.0851028