Barnstaple climb to sixth in the table following the clubâ€™s best run since August
BARNSTAPLE Town grabbed their third straight win to plant a serious foothold in the top half of the Toolstation table on Saturday.
The 1-0 win against Brislington equalled Barumâ€™s best run of results since the beginning of the season and came courtesy of a bundled Stan Paxton goal 10 minutes after half-time.
The victory propelled Owen Pickardâ€™s side into sixth position, just four points behind Ilfracombe Town who they entertain under the floodlights at Mill Road next Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, Ilfracombe left it late to rescue a deserved point against the dayâ€™s leaders Bishop Sutton.
Playing on an awful pitch that fluctuated between hard and soft depending on where you stood, â€˜Combe struggled to make any early headway.
Aaron Robbins capitalised on a comedy of errors to open the scoring for the hosts at the end of a scrappy first half.
Ilfracombe began to get a stranglehold on possession after the re-start but despite working their way into good spaces, could only hit the car park.
Leon Taswell put strike partner Shaun Lewis through one-on-one but the normally dependable frontman lost control of the ball at the vital moment.
Downing had a good chance to level the scores with 10 minutes to go but could only hit the defender between him and the open goal. And frustrations grew further when Neil Bettiss hit the cross bar late on.
But the central defender had one last part to play as the match entered the 93rd minute. Ross Middleton flicked on substitute Karl Baggaleyâ€™s free-kick from the half-way line and when James Mayne flapped at the bobble, Bettiss somehow tucked away the equaliser to spark wild celebrations in front of the home dugout.
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