Match Preview: Weymouth v Taunton Town – Monday 26th December 2022 – 15:00
It’s a Boxing Day special this afternoon at the Bob Lucas Stadium, as Weymouth take on Taunton Town!
Manager Bobby Wilkinson spoke to us ahead of today’s game:
On preparation and recovery from Tuesday: “Prep has been really good. I’ve been impressed with the boys’ first class attitude this week after Tuesday. We need to have a high work rate and energy for this game. We can’t win them all, but we also can’t lose them all! It’s been a fantastic 6-7 weeks with the boys so we want to keep that belief high among us.”
On having a Boxing Day game at home: “We need to turn up, put on a good performance and get the win if we can. If we can’t then we need to make sure that there is hard work, determination on the pitch and the boys play for the badge. I said in a previous interview, we want to make it a fortress, so we’re looking forward to it. Hopefully we can continue to put smiles on faces and continue our great journey.”
On Taunton: “They’re a fantastic side, very strong defensively, they defend for their lives. They also have great strikers, one of them Nat Jarvis, is an ex player of mine so know him well. But it’s Boxing Day, these games are usually very competitive, so hopefully we can overcome the challenge.”
On team news: “We have Cam back, he’s sharp, fresh and a great trainer. He’s gone out and played well on loan. His experience is key around the group. No David [Sesay], he’s out for this game. He may be able to play on Friday, as he’s only meant to be out for the week, but that’s very 50/50 at this stage. Tom [Bearwish] will be available, he can serve his suspension next game.”
@TerraStatman’s Facts of the Match
Our record against our festive visitors is exceedingly good but we do have to add a large pinch of salt to our figgy pudding here as it reflects how the Terras have been at a much higher position than The Peacocks in the footballing pyramid until the last couple of seasons. Overall we have played the current Taunton Town team 21 times and recorded 12 wins, 6 draws and just the 3 losses over that time.
However only two of those matches have been in the league, both in our 2018/19 Southern League title winning season. The first fixture between the teams of that campaign was just our second game of the term and our first at home. On that balmy evening, Goodship and Baggie secured a 2-1 win although those bare facts do not adequately tell the tale, as we were second best for much of that game after we conceded a fourth minute goal. We restored parity just before the hour and then finally the dramatic injury time winner. But as it turned out that was just the smoked salmon before the turkey dinner with all the trimmings of a 3-3 feast served up in Somerset on 29th December that year. Once again Taunton struck first, (this time a shade earlier after 3 minutes) but we responded quicker this time with goals on 12 and then 19 minutes through Yemi Odubade and Ben Thomson respectively. But before anyone could take a breath the next course had been served within seconds as the hosts equalized for 2-2 through current Terra Matt Buse. Then just after half time, the Peacocks took the lead again only for Odubade to complete his brace with a cooly-taken penalty moments before the hour-mark to end the scoring that day.
Sandwiched in-between those last two encounters was an FA Trophy first qualifying round tie that The Terras won in Somerset by three goals to one. The previous season we played the similarly-liveried team in a pre-season friendly and we were again the victors, Charlie Davis with the only goal. Before that time and, apart from another two friendlies, our other encounters are limited to a variety of cup competitions. We faced our visitors five times in the FA Cup qualifying rounds and progressed on each occasion (although twice we were taken to a replay) and this series included our first ever meeting in any form in 1973/74, a 2-1 win thanks to a Carly Adams brace. There was also one other FA Trophy win in 1978/79 to go along with the far more recent tie and a Southern League Cup game success in 2003/04. Our final six meetings are all in the much-maligned Western Counties Floodlit League and Cup in the 1980s. Designed as a way to encourage use of floodlights and get fringe and youth players game time, it was rarely taken seriously and our three losses against Taunton feature here. Finally I will add there were 14 fixtures against a “Taunton” team in the 1920’s in the Western League although that does seem to be a former incarnation and not related to the current club.
The stellar list of selected players who have featured for both teams is…Matt Buse, Jack Bycroft, Jordan Copp, Toby Down, Craig Duff, Ben Gerring, Adam Kelly, Jimmy McCafferty, Ed Palmer, Peter Rogers, Jake Wannell.
Obviously a couple of very familiar names in there, including no less than THREE that could feature in match-day squads! For the Terras Matt Buse is currently enjoying what is technically his third spell at the club following four loan appearances in 2015/16, last season when he briefly returned and now again in this campaign. Current Peacocks loan keeper Jack Bycroft in goal played 15 times for the Terras in the 2020/21 National League season whereas Jake Wannell amassed 111 appearances for us over three seasons from 2014/15 to 2016/17 scoring 7 times from his defensive role.