Barnstaple Towns unbeaten start to their Toolstation Western League First division season came screeching to a halt this week with back-to-back defeats to Chard and Portishead. Town were looking to bounce back on Saturday after losing at home to Chard on Saturday, and looked like doing so in a hugely one-sided first half at Portishead. Time and time again, Barnstaple created openings but could not find a way past Portisheads keeper as the sides went in 0-0 at half-time. And things got worse for the visitors early in the second half, when a long ball up field was turned in to give Portishead a surprise lead. That lead was doubled soon after, when Barnstaple keeper Ryan Draper was rounded to make it 2-0. Jed Harper-Penman managed to pull one back from the penalty spot to set up a grand-stand finish, but despite Towns best efforts to salvage something from the game the clock was against them and they were resigned to their second defeat in a week. It was a similar story four days earlier at Mill Road, with Barnstaple succumbing to a surprise defeat at the hands of mid-table Chard Town. The home sides nine-game unbeaten run was put in serious jeopardy early on, as they went 2-0 down inside of 20 minutes. Again, Town continued to huff and puff and again it was a Jed Harper-Penman penalty which got them right back into the game. Barnstaple created a string of good chances late in the game but came away empty handed for the first time this season. They had the chance to bounce back last night, after the North Devon Gazette had gone to print, when they travelled to Somerset to face Wells City. They then go to Almondsbury in the FA Vase first round on Saturday.