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PEACOCKS AND PRIZE MONEY

On Friday night we see the newly promoted National League side Taunton Town at the hill and our Club Historian Steve Jupp has been busy finding out more about our history with the Peacocks…


Taunton Town last graced Badgers Hill just over three years ago when, in fact, they visited twice in the same month. It was March 2019 and Frome were mired in a relegation fight while the Peacocks, promoted the previous season, were going great guns in second spot but the form book was turned on its head that afternoon.

Troy Simpson fired Frome into a first minute lead and with barely eight minutes on the clock, seventeen-year-old Tom Mehew, creator of the first goal, cracked home a 35-yard free kick.

The Robins were rocked on the stroke of half time when Ricky Scott was controversially red carded, but a resolute rear-guard action led by skipper Sam Teale kept the visitors in check and the 2-0 lead intact.


Taunton were back again ten days later in the semi final of the Somerset Premier Cup and although Northern Ireland international Johnny Gorman scored for Frome, revenge was gained with a 2-1 triumph although they would go on to lose to Weston-super-Mare in the final.


The two sides first locked horns in the Western League some seven decades ago and one of those stand out seasons of yesteryear occurred in 1974-75, a time of great change and innovation for the world of non-league football.


There was sponsorship from tobacco giants Rothmans with prize money aplenty. The league champions, for instance, would receive £1,000 (equivalent to roughly £8,000 today allowing for inflation) and cash for clubs with good disciplinary records and for those who scored the most.


Three goal wins would earn £40, something which Taunton themselves took full advantage of, winning more than half of their league fixtures by three goals or more but not in the two encounters with Frome which ended 1-1 at Wordsworth Drive (Pym Bailey on target for the Robins) and a narrow 1-0 victory for the visitors at Badgers Hill.

Seven years ahead of the professional game, three points for a win was introduced and Rothmans also gave each club a stylish blue and white scoreboard, something which adorned a corner of the newly built Club House.


Frome had a decent season, finishing sixth and beaten finalists in the League Cup but Taunton were on a different level, going head-to-head with Falmouth for the title, equal on points and, quite incredibly, both unbeaten going into the last game where they would meet at Wordsworth Drive.


Home advantage, however, counted for nothing for the Somerset side who conceded four times in the opening half hour as Falmouth went on to win 4-1 and the first of their four Western League titles in a row.


 

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Scott Fitzgibbon
Scott Fitzgibbon
Jul 20, 2022

Loving these Steve!

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