Mud bath of a match at Ilfracombe

Joseph Bulmer

A strong wind and a heavy pitch made for a poor game of football at Malborough Park on Saturday as Ilfracombe and Corsham Town battled out a goalless Western League Premier Division draw.

Neither team could produce enough quality to find the back of the net, although both came close.

To their credit, Combe tried to play the ball on the ground in the first half and passed it around well, but as the pitch deteriorated so did the quality of football. Both teams then looked for the long ball forward, but with the wind coming straight across the pitch, the ball spent more time in the next field than in play!

In the one moment of quality in the first half Combe should have taken the lead. After some neat passing, Shaun Lewis broke down the right and put in the perfect cross for his strike partner Tom Rossiter, who rose unmarked in the box, but planted his header against the foot of the post.

Mike Heddon followed up, but his shot was kept out with a combination of keeper and post and in one final attempt to get the ball over the line Rossiter again struck the post from a tight angle and the ball went out for a goal kick.

The second half was much of the same, with the ball spending little time in either team’s possession, but both teams did hit the woodwork.

With Corsham looking happy to take a point back to Wiltshire Mid way through the half they almost won it with a 30 yard super strike. Their central midfielder latched on to a loose ball and let rip with a first time strike. Steve Oliver in goal was left with no chance and could only watch as the ball crashed against the bar and spun over.

Combe hit the post for a fourth time in the final minutes when substitute Leon Taswell found space inside the box, but only to hit the foot of the post. From the resulting corner he did get the ball over the line, but the referee had already blown for alleged pushing in the box.

Next up for Combe is a trip to Longwell Green on Saturday before a run of three home games in February.

Barnstaple slipped to their fifth successive Western League Premier Division defeat 3-0 away to Odd Down.

They fell behind in the first 20 minutes and were 2-0 behind at the break.

Town rallied in the second half, but were unable to break through the home defence and two minutes from the home side netted again with a long-range drive.

Sport