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FOOTBALL: Washouts hit Taunton Town hard
Updated 9:46am Friday 31st January 2014 in Sport
TAUNTON are suffering on all fronts as the postponement of last Saturday’s Calor League game at Swindon Supermarine capped off an inactive January.
They managed to fulfil only one fixture in the entire month due to the persistent rain causing a spate of postponements.
The Peacocks lost five of their six scheduled games to waterlogged pitches in the month so are hoping for a turnaround in the weather ahead of this Saturday’s encounter with Guildford City at the Viridor Stadium, kick-off 3pm.
Despite dominating possession, Taunton contrived to lose the corresponding away fixture 2-1 back in September after conceding a goal five minutes into stoppage time.
Since then Town have cemented themselves in mid-table, unlike Guildford who remain in difficulty one place off the bottom of the table, having lost ten of their 11 games on the road this season.
Town boss Leigh Robinson is itching for his side to get back to action.
He said: “Everyone is hoping and praying that this Saturday’s game will be on.
“We’ve had six out of our last seven games called off now which is hugely frustrating and will leave us with a serious backlog of matches pretty soon if the weather doesn’t start to play ball.”
With Jamie Short back from holiday, Taunton should have a full squad available for selection apart from long-term injury absentee Rodney Marsh.
With most of their postponements having now been rearranged, the Peacocks face midweek games at least up until the middle of March beginning with a trip to Shortwood United on Tuesday evening, kick-off 7.45pm.
Apart from the wet weather hampering any continuity on the playing front, the postponement of home fixtures has also posed a financial challenge for the club, with lost income through the turnstiles and bar, and wasted outlay on items such as matchday programmes.
Chairman Kevin Sturmey said: “January has certainly been a testing month for all of us at The Viridor Stadium as the weather has put a strain on the cash flow of the business.
“The revenue lost from Saturday football is never recouped as on a Tuesday we will usually only take about half the bar and turnstile income we would on a Saturday.
“January is often a difficult month financially as people tighten the belts after Christmas and the New Year but clubs at our level rely on Saturday football and need that regular income stream as the bills still come whatever the weather.”
“We have only had one game here in January (a ladies game on the 12th) with all others postponed due to waterlogging.
“There has been no respite with the whole pitch saturated for most of the month. “I really hope there is some let-up from the rain this week as we are desperate to play and we will be pulling out all the stops to get the Guildford game on, although until the rain stops there is very little we can do. “When it does I have a feeling there will be a lot of sand spreading involved.”
Taunton Under 18s have endured a similarly frustrating season, having not played since December 9.
Their game with Tiverton Town on Monday was unsurprisingly called off but they hope to resume their campaign when they entertain Ashton & Backwell in the Somerset Floodlight Youth League at the Viridor Stadium on Monday evening, kick-off 7.45pm.
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