Time to be counted
18:51 26 February 2013
NOW is the time for Barnstaple Town players to stand up and be counted, says manager Tom Bulley.
After their second defeat at the hands of Bitton on successive weekends, this time 2-0 away, the Barnstaple boss said that since their win against Radstock earlier in the month Town’s performances had been a bit flat.
“There needs to be some consistency,” he said.
“March will be a make or break month.It will decide where we will be next year.
“Our next three games are against the teams just above us at the bottom of the table, Winterbourne this Saturday, then Bridport and Wells in what will be a massive eight days.
“I need a reaction from the players, starting this weekend. they must stand up and be counted.
“We seem to be playing as if the weight of the world is on our shoulders. But there is no pressure. We always knew it was going to be an uphill struggle.
“We just need to go out and play our game and not to over complicate things. We need to do the basics. I feel that will be the most effective.
“We have 12 games or one-third of the season to go. With a few results we can still pull it off.”
Town had had a couple of early chances on Saturday and had they made the most of their opportunity to take the lead, things might have been different.
With 20 minutes gone Ollie Knowles had sent the ball wide to Jed Harper-Penman who took it on the run and cut inside, but with the keeper beaten, his shot curled just wide.
But Bitton were a tough team, with a solid defence and looked likely to be up near the top at the end of the season, he said.
Town’s downfall were two corners, the first was rewarded by a good turn and shot in the box by a Bitton player and the second by a headed goal.
Barnstaple came on strong in the final 10 minutes, but by then it was too late.
The visit by Winterbourne this Saturday will start Town’s big effort to avoid the drop.
Ilfracombe, meanwhile, saw their scheduled match at home to high-flying Cadbury Heath postponed by the weather.
They are due to visit Larkhall Athletic in the third round of the Les Phillips League Cup on Saturday.