Second time lucky for Hevingham

Joseph Bulmer

Striker leaves it late as Barum win in Bridport

RICHARD Hevingham scored a late winner as Barnstaple Town beat Toolstation Western League premier division newcomers Bridport on Saturday.

Barum rode their luck at times in Dorset, especially during an opening 20 minute spell that saw the Bees go on the offensive.

Barnstaple goalkeeper Luke Purnell was called into action as early as the first minute, saving bravely to spare the blushes as the visitors attempted a poor back-pass.

Both sides were guilty of missing chances as the match progressed, Stan Paxton and Billy Hopcroft going close for Town.

Former Appledore player Hevingham found the net on 70 minutes only for his effort to be ruled offside. But there was nothing wrong with 12-yard strike 10 minutes from time that moved Barnstaple three places up the table to ninth.

Barnstaple were set to travel to second-placed Willand Rovers last night (Tuesday). On Saturday, they are at home to Sherborne Town and face Street at home on Tuesday.

************************************

Ilfracombe Town slipped to their fifth defeat of the season after once again failing to keep a clean sheet in the league.

The Bluebirds were beaten 1-0 by Street in a disappointing match at Marlborough Park.

The visitors arrived on the back of three straight defeats but were on the attack within the first three minutes and narrowly missed a good opening.

They did however take the lead on 12 minutes when Neil Bettiss lost his footing inside his own box to allow his opponent to deliver a great cross to the far post.

Street dominated the rest of the half as ‘Combe struggled to create any clear openings or keep possession.

The hosts stepped up the pressure in the second half but failed to find the net despite a succession of searching balls.

James Mayne had a good shout for a penalty waved away and soon after, the skipper had a goal disallowed for an apparent off the ball incident.

Street held on for the victory in what was a poor game that neither team really deserved to win.

A worrying statistic for manager Barry Yeo is that ‘Combe have only managed to keep one clean sheet all season and that was against lower league side Westbury in the Les Phillips Cup.

It’s true that injuries are taking there toll on a team lacking confidence but it’s hard to believe a team so proud of clean sheets in previous seasons is struggling to find one at present.

While it’s true that injuries are taking their toll, a clean sheet would do wonders for the confidence of a team so proud of its solid defensive record in previous seasons.

Josh Heafield made a return from injury in the first half but had to be withdrawn at half time, to be replaced by Jon Vooght who himself was not fully fit.

The good news for Town is that Tom Rossiter and Michael Heddon both returned and featured in the latter stages of the game.

Lee Francis and Mark Clunie will both be looking at a return in the next few weeks from ankle and knee injuries to give Yeo some fresh options on match days.

Ilfracombe Travel to Bridport on Saturday and will host Willand Rovers on Tuesday night.

Sport