Ilfracombe end winless run with vital three points

PUBLISHED: 13:55 12 March 2014 | UPDATED: 13:55 12 March 2014

Ilfracombe 'keeper Kurtis Parkin kept a clean sheet for the first time in nine games as his side finally picked up a league win

Ilfracombe 'keeper Kurtis Parkin kept a clean sheet for the first time in nine games as his side finally picked up a league win

Archant

Ilfracombe Town 2-0 Willand Rovers

Ilfracombe Town finally ended their Toolstation Western league Premier losing streak with a 2-0 victory over Willand Rovers on Tuesday evening.

The Bluebirds moved out of the bottom two by ending their run of eight matches without a point against a team in Willand with promotion hopes this term.

Willand started the brighter of the two teams putting Combe under a lot of pressure for the first 20 minutes, but the visitors failed to manufacture any guilt-edged opportunities.

After riding out the initial pressure, Combe started to find their feet with Mark Clunie, Kane Dryden and home debutant Matt Melhuish seeing more of the ball in midfield.

Edd Yeo put in a man of the match performance on Saturday and was continuing to look dangerous in this game when he controlled the ball and turned inside the Willand half before gliding past two defenders and laying the ball into the path of the onrushing Mark Clunie, who rifled the ball home from a tight angle for Ilfracombe’s first goal in more than three hours of football.

10 minutes later Yeo was at it again, and after the initial shot from Steve Holland was blocked he outmuscled a defender to re-gain possession and lay the ball back to Clunie, who smashed home from the edge of the 18 yard box for his seventh of the season.

Willand started to go long more frequently, and just before half time the tactic almost came off when a shot was fluffed wide from 12 yards.

The second half became scrappy as the referee started going to his pocket more often, which always seemed likely to end in someone being sent off.

In the end it was a Willand player who lost his cool. His first challenge was clumsy at best and the second wasn’t much better as Combe’s task was made a little easier midway through the half.

In that time Combe had fashioned a few chances. Yeo would have expected to do better with an attempted lob and Melhuish was unlucky when a cross from Holland was just a couple of inches out of his reach.

Willand still posed a threat themselves, though, and Combe had their excellent ‘keeper Kurtis Parkin to thank on more than one occasion for maintaining their clean sheet.

The one time he was beaten, Clunie managed to get himself back to clear off his own goal line and keep Willand out.

“A win’s been coming,” said Ilfracombe manager Ross Middelton. “I’m delighted for the lads because they deserve it. We’ve been playing really well but not getting the results and that can be disheartening for players, but everyone has stuck together and kept believing in what we’re doing.

“It’s crucial we now continue to perform like we have. We’ve made ourselves a lot harder to beat and with the quality we have breaking forward we’ll get goals.”

Middleton was also keen to praise the impact of new arrivals Murrell and Melhuish.

“Louis and Matt have been the boost the squad needed,” he said. “Their attitude has been spot on and they’ve made it clear they’ve joined to help the rest of the squad push up the league.

“We’ve got a lot of games to get through so it’s great that they’ve hit the ground running.”

0 comments

Other Sport Stories

Wed, 15:11

Bideford manager Sean Joyce has been busy recruiting players as the Southern League off-season develops

Read more
Tue, 16:00

The visitors were beaten by 171 runs in the Tolchards Devon Cricket League.

Read more
Tue, 15:40

There were mixed fortunes for North Devon’s Tolchards Devon Cricket League B Division teams on Saturday

Read more
Tue, 15:19

North Devon were bowled out for 113 in an innings interrupted by rain in the Tolchards Devon Premier on Saturday

Read more
Tue, 15:10

The six free sessions are available to children in school years four-to-six and their parents.

Read more
Tue, 11:29

See the competitors off from Ilfracombe at 8am on Saturday (May 27) and welcome them home at 3pm

Read more
Mon, 16:16

The 27-year-old finished the 3000m steeplechase in 8:42.89 at the Paula Radcliffe Stadium

Read more
Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The NR F1 Podcast takes to the airwaves to bring you its 2017 Spanish Formula 1 Grand Prix review.

Read more
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Barnstaple Town’s Craig Allan has been named players’ player and manager’s play of the season.

Read more
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sporting Barum shrugged off defeat to Boca Seniors in the Westward Ho! Cup final with an emphatic 8-0 win against Ilfracombe Town Reserves in the Braunton Cup on Sunday.

Read more

Most Read Sport

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 15°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications