Barnstaple Town fall to embarrassing 8-2 defeat in Devon derby with Willand Rovers

Barnstaple Town v Willand Rovers in the Southern League Division One South. Picture: Matt Smart

Barnstaple Town v Willand Rovers in the Southern League Division One South. Picture: Matt Smart - Credit: Matt Smart

Barnstaple Town were subjected to an embarrassing 8-2 defeat by Willand Rovers in the Southern League Division One South on Saturday.

Barum were outclassed by their Devon rivals throughout on a miserable day at Mill Road, shipping four goals in the final 10 minutes.

Saddam Bello had given Barnstaple a brief lead early in the first half before WIlland took charge, with Will Richards scoring either side of a Frank Rosenwald header to give the visitors a commanding lead at the break.

Jack Rice’s well-struck free kick early in the second half crushed any hopes of a Barum charge after the break and although Bello was able to head one back for Barnstaple with 15 minutes remaining, his efforts were quickly eclipsed by the visitors running riot.

Alfie Moulden and substitute Ben Griffith added to the hosts’ misery before Will Richards completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot and Mani Skett slid in for an eighth in stoppage time.

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It means Barnstaple remain second from bottom and are still searching for their first win of the Division One South this season.

Rice was among three former Barnstaple Town players to start for Willand, with Archie Reay and Alfie Moulden also in the Rovers line-up.

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Bello’s eighth-minute penalty was as good as it got for Barnstaple as he smashed his spot-kick past Mike Searle in the Willand goal to give the hosts the lead.

Willand quickly got themselves back on terms, equalising just two minutes later when Richards’ low shot from the left rocketed into the back of the net.

By the time the match was a quarter of an hour old the visitors had the lead, doing so with a well-worked move made all the more impressive by the conditions.

Former Barum players Reay and Moulden combined in the middle of the pitch before spraying the ball out to Josh Searle on the right, and the right-back sent in a tantalising cross for Rosenwald to glance a header past Adam Seedhouse-Evans.

Willand could easily have extended their lead further in the first half but for some good saves from the Barum keeper. While the visitors were able to string together fluid passing moves, the hosts were left looking disorganised and short of ideas much to the chagrin of manager Dean Edwards.

Richards struck his second and Willand’s third just before the break, meeting a deep corner to the edge of the box and hooking a left-footed shot through the crowd and inside Seedhouse-Evans’ post.

Any hopes of a second half comeback from Barnstaple were effectively ended when Rice curled in a free-kick from the edge of the penalty area, with Seedhouse-Evans only able to watch it fly into the top corner.

Although Bello was able to get his and Barnstaple’s second with 15 minutes remaining with a header from a corner, the consolation quickly turned to out and out embarrassment.

Moulden fired in a fifth for Willand in the 80th minute and within 60 seconds Griffith was on hand to add a sixth for the visitors.

Left-back Richards completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot following Vincent Wight-Harper Innis’s foul, and Skett slid in to add an eighth in stoppage time.

Barnstaple Town: Seedhouse-Evans; Levien, Clarke (Sloan 83), Northcott (Rochdy 51), Tomlinson, Roberts, Radford, Ofori, Bello, Chamberlain (Ndi 45), Wight-Harper-Innis. Subs not used: Larter.

Willand Rovers: M Searle, J Searle, Richards, Pike (Camilo 52), Guppy, Gould, Moulden, Reay (Eastwood 21), Rosenwald (Griffith 57), Rice, Skett. Subs not used: Kempster, Hill.

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