Ilfracombe get back to basics

Joseph Bulmer

ILFRACOMBE moved up to fourth in the Toolstation Western League Premier Division with a 3-0 win at home to Brislington on Saturday. Confidence and control made a welcome return to Marlborough Park as Combe brushed off the challenge from their Bristol-bas

ILFRACOMBE moved up to fourth in the Toolstation Western League Premier Division with a 3-0 win at home to Brislington on Saturday.

Confidence and control made a welcome return to Marlborough Park as 'Combe brushed off the challenge from their Bristol-based opponents to record their first home league win - and first clean sheet - since August.

With manager Barry Yeo switching from a 4-4-2 to a 4-3-3 to accommodate for the injured Leon Taswell, the hosts looked dominant from the off.

Mark Clunie was in at left back for the unavailable Karl Baggaley and it was he and flank partner Lee Francis who caused the problems for the visitors in the first 25 minutes of the match.

Francis saw his cross fly into the net off a defender for the opening goal and the left-winger added a second himself 10 minutes later when he nipped in and lobbed the keeper after being put through by Ross Middleton.

Striker Shaun Lewis had a chance to make it 3-0 after being put through before the break but the normally efficient front-man's left-foot effort found solace in the graveyard across the road rather than in the back of the Brislington net.

Goalkeeper Steve Oliver had been a spectator for much of the half and things stayed that way after the re-start, especially after Robbie Gough bagged 'Combe's third not long after the re-start.

Ilfracombe will travel to Willand Rovers tonight (Wednesday) before hosting Hallen on Saturday. On Tuesday, they're at home to Bovey Tracey in round two of the Devon St Luke's Bowl.

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Barnstaple put in a woeful performance as they were well and truly beaten by Radstock Town.

Things started badly for Barum as early as the 10th minute when last man Tim Watson was shown a straight red card for bringing down a goal-bound Radstock forward in the penalty box.

Jamie Pow saved the initial spot-kick but the referee re-awarded the kick after spotting Pow encroach from his line before the kick was taken.

As the second effort found the net, the game started to unravel for the 10-men hosts who were unable to handle front-man Twaine Plummer and found themselves 3-0 down at the break.

Kirk Latham made it 4-0 seconds after the re-start before the persistent Ryan Turner latched onto Pow's kick and hooked the ball past the Radstock keeper before tapping the ball home.

Plummer scored two more to make it 6-1 and Stan Paxton added an injury-time consolation as Barum slipped to their fourth league defeat this season.

Barnstaple are away to Wellington tonight (Wednesday) and Bishop Sutton on Saturday before a home Devon St Luke's Bowl tie against Royal Marines on Tuesday night.

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