Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Ilfracombe town suffered a shock 6-0 defeat away to mid- table Gillingham Town.
The game was effectively over after 30 minutes as Gillingham rushed into a 5-0 lead with their first five shots.
Combe were in complete shock as, with every attack of theirs thwarted, it seemed Gillingham rushed down the other end and scored instantly.
It only took the hosts five minutes to get going.
Combe had started brightly, having a shot blocked from Stan Paxton. But when Gillingham lumped the ball forward down the hill their striker out paced the defence, rounded keeper Steve Oliver and gave them a 1-0 lead.
Just three minutes later an almost identical long ball forward resulted in the same outcome and a 2-0 lead.
Gillingham’s third came from a corner. The first header was won by an unmarked attacker and although the ball was blocked it dropped to the feet of a striker and was hooked into the net.
Playing up the slope in the first half, Combe were struggling to get out, but had created chances. Ryan Turner had tested the keeper with a long shot, Paxton had a strike fly past the near post and Turner elected to shoot when a square ball to either Shaun Copp or Lee Francis would have almost definitely resulted in a tap in.
Five down at break
Gillingham, however, wasted nothing. Two more long balls forward split the defence and resulted in two more simple goals. Half-time couldn’t come soon enough for Combe and they went in 5-0 down.
Early in the second half manager Ross Middleton replaced himself and Karl Baggeley for Kane Dryden and Jon Vooght as Combe looked to restore some pride.
Playing down the slope they looked to apply some pressure, with Paxton and Turner creating chances.
Gillingham, however, were not finished and after Oliver rushed off his line to clear the ball, a quick thinking attacker took the throw-in early, the ball was crossed in and scored at the far post as Oliver was still rushing back.
Billy Tucker replaced Gary Skinner and Combe finished the game positively. Tucker carved a number of chances for himself, Paxton had a far post header saved on the line and Turner couldn’t apply the finishing touch to a good move as he dragged his shot wide.
Manager Middleton said: “I take full responsibility for the result today. I picked the team and tactics and got it totally wrong. The pitch is badly sloped. I wanted us to play uphill in the first half, when I felt we’d have the energy to keep it tight and have a proper go at them down the hill in the second half, obviously it backfired horribly. I picked a very attack minded team and tried to rest a couple who I felt needed it and it was just all wrong. I can’t fault the lads’ effort. It was an embarrassing result, but they never gave up or let their heads drop. We haven’t got time to dwell on it and we’ll look put it right next week.”
They travel to Bristol Manor Farm on Saturday.