Ilfracombe Town put four past Torridgeside in South West Peninsula League

Ilfracombe Town v Torridgeside.
Ilfracombe Town v Torridgeside.

Bluebirds come out on top in North Devon derby in Division One East on Saturday

A second-half hat-trick from Simon Townsend helped Ilfracombe Town to a derby win over Torridgeside in the Carlsberg South West Peninsula League on Saturday.

The Bluebirds struck four unanswered goals in the second half for a 4-1 win in Division One East.

Marc Bettiss gave the visitors the lead inside five minutes, capitalising on some good fortune to slot the ball past Rob Holmes in the Ilfracombe goal.

Opener aside, neither side created any clear cut chances in the first half, although it was the Bluebirds who had the lion’s share of the ball.

Ilfracombe levelled things up a few minutes after the break. Townsend was quickest to react to a loose ball before firing past Adam Williams for his first goal.

A free-flowing counter-attack saw Ilfracombe take the lead on 70 minutes. Will Berry, Townsend and debutant Brian Levien combined to carve open the Torridgeside defence, with Berry providing the final finish.

The game opened up after the goal. Torridgeside went close to equalising when Neil Bettiss got on the end of a Rory Paine free kick, but the centre-back’s header was over the bar.

With two minutes of the 90 remaining, Combe sealed the three points, capitalising on a miscued clearance, Levien laid it off for Townsend for his second.

Then with what was almost the last kick of the game, Townsend completed his hat-trick. Josh Phillips’ clearance went straight to the stiker, who bore down on goal before firing in.

Bluebirds coach Clem Bennellick said he was ‘delighted’ with the result, as well as the performance from his side in the second half.

“I wasn’t sure who the conditions would suit more, but in the end it did suit us and I’m delighted,” he said.

“We had a game plan to press them higher in the second half and put them under pressure and it really played into our hands.

“Credit to the ground staff who did a fantastic job to get the game on.”

Ilfracombe travel to Axminster Town on Saturday, while Torridgeside host leaders Newton Abbot Spurs.

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