Townsend started his career at Wolverhampton Wanderers as a youth team player where he signed a three-year scholarship.He impressed in the youth teams and was quickly promoted to the reserve side where he established himself as a regular for two seasons.Having not made the breakthrough into the first team Townsend was released by manager Dave Jones at the end of the 2003–04 season.
Townsend then joined Cheltenham Town on a free transfer in January 2005. He became a regular in the Cheltenham team the following season, he appeared 35 times in his first season in defence.
It was a successful season which saw Cheltenham promoted into League One, Townsend went on to make 70 appearances for Cheltenham at this level scoring twice.
Following a lengthy period of injury Townsend returned to regain his place in the Cheltenham side alongside Shane Duff, and helping Cheltenham to avoid relegation. As of August 2009, Townsend has made 140 appearances for Cheltenham Town.
He joined Barnet on a months loan in October 2008, the loan was then extended after a few good performances.
Townsend turned down the chance of rejoining Barnet on loan in early 2009 and vowed to fight for a place in the Cheltenham Town team. Shortly afterwards Cheltenham Town manager Martin Allen commented that some players at the club would rather sit on the bench and waste their careers than go out to another club and play football. However, through a mixture of attitude, hard work and determination, he had re-established himself as a key member of the Cheltenham Town defence by September 2009 following several man of the match performances at the end of the 2008–09 and the start of the 2009–10 seasons, including three goals.
He was released by the club along with seven other players in May 2010.
On 15 July 2010, he signed a two-year deal with Hereford United. On 25 January 2012, Townsend then signed an extension to his contract to keep him at Edgar Street after several strong performances, he scooped the 'Players Player' of the year award and made more appearances than any other player for the second consecutıve year.
Townsend was released by Hereford United at the end of the 2012–13 season after making only seven league appearances due to injury.
After rehab from injury Townsend joined Conference National side Tamworth on 9 January 2014 as Dale Belford looked to bolster his defensive options. His first game was against Rugby Town in the Birmingham Senior Cup, a match that Tamworth won 1–0.
Townsend went on to make six league appearances for Tamworth during the 2013–14 season, before fracturing a vertebrae in the 2–1 defeat at home to Forest Green Rovers on 15 March 2014. This injury ruled him out for the remainder of the season, a season in which Tamworth were relegated to the Conference North.
Townsend was the first player to commit to Tamworth for the 2014–15 Conference North season. Shortly before the start of the Conference North season, manager Dale Belford unveiled Townsend as the club captain.
Townsend moved to Dales Lane after deciding to leave Tamworth to link up with former coach Richard Sneekes. Sneekes admitted to admiring Townsend after working closely with him at Hereford United in League 2 and quickly installed him in the middle of his defence and has also used him in a central midfield. A local lad, Townsend reviled in the press that Rushall was his very first club as a boy and is enjoying his football back at 'home'.As of match played 22 May 2014.