Welton Rovers 2-1 Barnstaple Town

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Barnstaple Town came up just short in their battle with promotion hopefuls Welton Rovers.

Town also had to battle the elements after a heroic effort from Welton’s groundsman to get the game on in Somerset, and found themselves behind just past the quarter hour mark.

Barnstaple’s stand-in ‘keeper James Thorne made an excellent save to keep out a Welton free-kick, only to see his good work undone immediately when he mishandled from the resulting corner and the loose ball was smashed home by Byron Lismore.

And the home side’s second goal was also one Barnstaple won’t want to see again anytime soon as a misjudged back-pass was held up in the wind, allowing Paul Banks to double Welton’s advantage.

To their credit, Barnstaple continued to play good football and began to apply pressure of their own in the second half, and they got their reward when Lee Francis turned in a corner to give Town a fighting chance of earning a point.

But an equaliser never materialised as Welton held on to reduce the gap to table-toppers Bradford Town to 11 points.

The defeat sees Barnstaple drop to ninth in the Toolstation Western League First division, but this was only their second match since December to go ahead and they have up to seven games in hand on the teams above them.

Barnstaple were set to go to Wincanton Town on Tuesday night, after the North Devon Gazette had gone to press, and are back at home on Saturday for the visit of Shepton Mallet.

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