Middleton in the mix

Joseph Bulmer

ROSS Middleton spared Ilfracombe s blushes with a late headed goal against struggling Hallen on Saturday. The Bristol-based visitors looked to be heading towards their sixth point in 10 games with the minutes ticking away at Marlborough Park. But Middleto

ROSS Middleton spared Ilfracombe's blushes with a late headed goal against struggling Hallen on Saturday.

The Bristol-based visitors looked to be heading towards their sixth point in 10 games with the minutes ticking away at Marlborough Park.

But Middleton ghosted onto a searching Mark Clunie free-kick to power home a header at the far stick to grab a 1-0 win for the injury-ravaged side.

'Combe added Robbie Gough to a long list of casualties during Wednesday night's 1-0 defeat at Willand Rovers. Without Leon Taswell, Darren Parrish, the unavailable Neil and Marc Bettiss and the suspended Steve Holland, manager Barry Yeo was forced to start himself up front alongside Shaun Lewis.

Ironically, Yeo was injured himself just 10 minutes into the match, to be replaced by Jon Vooght, who had been sidelined in recent weeks himself.

Despite the forced changes, Ilfracombe enjoyed lots of possession but lacked the quality in the final third and came short of creating any real chances on goal.

Vooght spooned a rare chance to score with his favoured left but then rifled a superb right-foot shot inches wide of the upright as the Bluebirds looked to break the deadlock.

Middleton's goal brought relief to the Marlborough Park faithful but the 80-something crowd were given a nervous ride in the final 10 minutes as Hallen chucked everything forward in search of an equaliser.

Ilfracombe are at home to leaders Larkhall Athletic on Saturday, while Barnstaple, beaten 4-0 at Bishop Sutton on Saturday, travel to table-neighbours Street.

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