Last 15 minutes cost Barnstaple dear in defeat to title hunters Melksham

Dave Pearse scored Barnstaple's equaliser - but they were eventually beaten 4-1. Pic: Jay Smith

Dave Pearse scored Barnstaple's equaliser - but they were eventually beaten 4-1. Pic: Jay Smith - Credit: Archant

Barnstaple Town will have good reason to feel hard done by after losing their first match of 2016 by four goals to one to visiting Melksham Town.

Town knew they faced a tough task against the current Toolstation Western League Premier Division leaders - but for 70 minutes they held them and may well have gone ahead on another day.

Barnstaple started brightly, but found themselves behind after 10 minutes when a looping header beat ‘keeper Steve Oliver.

Niall Heeney won a penalty for Town on the stroke of half-time - but was unable to convert it as a good save denied him.

Dave Pearse and Jack Jenkins were introduced in the second half - and just after the hour mark they combined for the equaliser.


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Jenkins swung a ball into the box, to which Pearse applied the finishing touch.

Things quickly went downhill from there, though. Town conceded twice in as many minutes with 15 to go and the game was over.

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Melksham added a fourth with five minutes left to rub salt into Town’s wounds.

Barnstaple travel to Cadbury Heath on Saturday.

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