Winchester City blow Barnstaple Town away as wait for win continues
- Credit: Matt Smart
Barnstaple Town’s wait for a win under new manager Dean Edwards continues after a 6-1 defeat to Winchester City in BetVictor Division One South on Saturday.
Simba Mlambo scored a hat-trick for Winchester as they cruised to victory over a much-changed Barum side at Mill Road.
Edwards brought in four new faces for the match. Midfielders Aaron Spear and Javan Wright, and centre-back Jeremiah Gyebi had been playing football in Iceland and Sweden before Saturday, and another midfielder, Vincent Wright-Harper Innis was also brought into the starting line-up.
Wright was one of the few bright spots for Barnstaple, who slumped to a 3-0 lead at half-time after two goals from Mlambo and another from IK Hill put the visitors in the box seat.
Mlambo completed his hat-trick after the break and Jamie Barron added a fifth on the hour. Saddam Bello spared some blushes for the hosts with a consolation goal from the penalty spot, but Winchester wrapped up a comfortable victory three minutes from time through substitute Robert Carr.
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The defeat means Barnstaple remain at the bottom of Division One South.
The visitors were on the front foot on the off. Barron forced Steve Oliver into an early save with a free kick the Barum goalkeeper had to tip over the crossbar.
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Barron had another shot go wide before the visitors opened the scoring after 20 minutes.
Liam Gilbert's shot from the edge of the box was parried by the Barnstaple keeper, and Mlambo was in the right place at the right time to put the ball into the back of the net.
Mlambo had his second 11 minutes later in similar fashion. An almighty goalmouth scramble which saw Neil Bettiss and Gyebi both block shots on goal saw the Winchester striker battle for the ball and find a gap to poke the ball in.
Barnstaple had not spent much time in the attacking third, but almost pulled one back with their first real attack at the Winchester goal five minutes before the half. Jordan Charran fired across goal where Wright was running in at the back post, but his effort was saved by Ryan Pryce.
What could have been 2-1 quickly became 3-0 before the break when Hill cut in from the right flank before finding room for a right-footed shot that went in off the post.
Mlambo completed his hat-trick for the visitors 11 minutes into the second half when he got in behind the Barnstaple defence and sent a left-footed shot past Oliver and in off the far post.
It quickly became five for the visitors. Barron got his goal on the hour after darting into the penalty area and firing into the back of the net.
Bello was able to get a consolation goal from the penalty spot for the visitors six minutes from time after a handball, but it was the visitors who made sure they had the last laugh when Carr took advantage of some slack defending to convert from close range three minutes later.
A dismal day for Barnstaple ended with Charran getting sent off for the hosts seconds before the final whistle.
Barnstaple Town: Oliver, Humphreys, Jewell, Spear (Levien 57), Bettiss, Gyebi, Wright, Wright-Harper Innis, Langford, Charran, Bello.
Subs not used: Short, Holland, Coats, Maric.
Winchester City: Pryce, Hayward, King, Gilbert, Emmerson, Flooks (Douglas 72), Balmer, Barron (Carr 63), Mlambo, Smith, Hill (Williamson 63). Subs not used: Davis, Griggs.