Brislington 0-2 Ilfracombe Town

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Ilfracombe Town produced one of their best performances of the season so far to beat Brislington 2-0 on Saturday.

After having their home game against Radstock postponed last weekend as the league allowed them time to re-group, Combe looked to have done some re-grouping of their own, beating a Brislington side who were undefeated at home this season and lying seventh in the league.

The Bluebirds had James Mayne, Josh Heafield and Steve Holland back in the starting line up but Lewis Ovey missed out with a suspected broken bone in his foot.

Both teams had a few half chances before Combe broke free with a move full of pace and accuracy. Stan Paxton controlled a high ball brilliantly into the path of Steve Holland who burst past two defenders with his first touch and set up Frank Paxton, who coolly slotted the ball past the onrushing keeper. It was a great team move with all three strikers involved.

Brislington continued to press, putting a number of balls into the box but Gary Skinner and James Mayne won everything that came their way.

Full backs Ian Cockwill and Josh Heafield broke forward throughout the first half and it was Heafield who provided the cross for the second goal. Mark Clunie arrived in the box right on queue to smash home his fourth of the season via a deflection to send Combe in two goals to the good at half time.

Brislington pushed hard to get one back early in the second half, putting a succession of corners and free kicks into the box but failing to really test Kurtis Parkin in goal.

Ilfracombe looked a constant threat in attack and Stan Paxton thought he’d sealed the win with a close range finish but the linesman’s flag was raised as Steve Holland was adjudged to be offside.

“We deserved that,” said player/manager Ross Middleton. “Bris haven’t lost a league game here all season but they can’t argue with the result today, we deserved it.

“I’m incredibly proud of the lads. It’s been a tough couple of weeks but we’ve talked about showing belief and confidence individually and as a team and it was there in abundance today, it was a huge team effort.

“The front three with Clunie joining were superb, they set the tone and we all followed. With other results the win was important but nothing’s done yet, we have a lot of work to do. We have to push on and keep building from today.”

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