December 19 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Buckland Athletic 1-2 Ilfracombe Town
After the disappointment of losing 6-0 to Gillingham on Saturday Ilfracombe bounced back and moved clear of the Toolstation Western League Premier division dropzone with their second win of the season at Buckland Athletic on Wednesday.
The 2-1 win was a much needed boost for the squad who have spent the last couple of months mainly on the road.
The team looked to have re-found the work rate and bite that has made them so hard to play against in the past. The defence were solid, the midfield tireless and the strikers always looked dangerous in a great team performance.
Although the Bluebirds had started well they had to fear the worst when Buckland midfielder Dan Griffiths’ strike took a deflection off Craig Allan and found the net with only 10 minutes played.
Combe composed themselves, though, and got back to basics. Allan and Lewis Ovey were constantly looking to play from the back and Gary Skinner and Ian Cockwill were flying down the flanks at every opportunity.
And it was Cockwill who found the telling pass midway through the half. After another purposeful run down the right he found the perfect cross for Frank Paxton to finish at the near post for his third of the season. It was no less than Combe deserved.
Both teams started the second half at a high tempo as the game opened up into an end to end contest. Buckland edged the possession but Ilfracombe looked comfortable at the back and looked a real threat on the break.
Stan Paxton picked the ball up inside the Buckland half and caused panic with his direct run and quick feet, and the defenders brought him crashing down to give the visitors a free kick 25 yards out.
Up stepped Mark Clunie in only his second game since returning to the club to smash the ball straight into the top corner with a strike worthy of winning any game.
Buckland didn’t give up and continued to press for the equaliser, clipping the post with one long-range effort.
But the Combe defence held firm as they held on for a well-earned and much needed win.
James Mayne even had time to make his first appearance since damaging ankle ligaments on the opening day of the season, another timely boost for the Bluebirds.
Ilfracombe manager Ross Middleton was pleased with his side’s display.
“We asked the lads a few frank questions after Saturday’s result and they reacted brilliantly,” he said.
“The work rate and belief was back in abundance, it was a pleasure to play in but now we need to reproduce that week after week. The quality’s always there but you have to match that with determination & desire every single game.”
Indeed, Ilfracombe’s all-round play looked far more confident and work man like, traits which they will hope to maintain when they travel to third-placed Street on Saturday.