But Bluebirds lose Copp and Baggaley in North Devon derby
ILFRACOMBE Town new boy Jake Crush was on target as the Bluebirds extended their winning run in the Toolstation Western League to eight games on Saturday.
Crush, who has made the switch from South West Peninsula side Witheridge, came on as a second-half substitute to wrap up a comfortable 3-1 home win against Longwell Green Sports.
Despite the gale blowing in from the Bristol Channel, the hosts had very little huffing and puffing to do of their own against a mediocre Longwell side, who have won only one of their last 15 games.
â€˜Combe embraced the conditions mid-way through the first half when Shaun Copp took advantage of a swirling wind to fire a remarkable 40-yard top corner effort â€“ all the way from the touchline in front of the Marlborough Park clubhouse.
To their credit, Ilfracombe tried to keep the ball on the deck and their tactics nearly paid dividends before the break when Copp back-heeled an effort across goal and off the upright. The ball rebounded to Shaun Lewis whose shot was well saved by the visiting goalkeeper.
Manager Barry Yeo criticised his sideâ€™s work-rate during the half-time break but a second goal eventually came through substitute Leon Taswell, who danced the ball past the oncoming keeper with the quickest of feet.
Longwell hit back with a goal of their own when the hosts failed to close down a clearance from their own box. The result was an unstoppable shot from 25 yards that pulled the scores back to 2-1.
But debutant Crush restored the two-goal cushion when he combined with Taswell to slot home the third soon after.
Ilfracombe, who are undeafeated in the league since October last year, drew 0-0 with Barnstaple in last nightâ€™s North Devon derby at Mill Road. The visitors had Karl Baggaley sent off for a two-footed lunge just 5 minutes into the match and suffered a further set-back when Shaun Copp was stretchered off with a suspected broken ankle.
â€˜Combe are away to Westbury United in round two of the Les Philips League Cup on Saturday.
Barnstaple Town are at home to Corsham Town in the league.
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