AFTER the worst possible start, Barnstaple Town came out fighting to pick up their fourth win from five in the Toolstation Western League Premier Division on Saturday. Things didn t look good when defender Kevin Darch put the ball into his own net inside
AFTER the worst possible start, Barnstaple Town came out fighting to pick up their fourth win from five in the Toolstation Western League Premier Division on Saturday.
Things didn't look good when defender Kevin Darch put the ball into his own net inside 20 seconds. Barum's Paul Quinn lost posession from the kick-off and when Wellington's Luke Desave fired the ball across the box, Darch could only put the ball past keeper Jamie Pow.
While the groans from the 120-strong crowd were audible, there was more of a buzz around Mill Road 20 minutes later when ex-North Molton youngster Ryan Turner levelled the scores.
Wellington are still without a point this season but the bottom side looked intent on changing the situation and took the lead again through another piece of unfortunate defending by Darch. This time, Desave's ball in cannoned off Darch and past the powerless Pow.
Five minutes before the break, the hosts were back on level terms when Andrew Rogers set up Billy Hopcroft, who calmly knocked the ball in past keeper Ryan Lewis.
With all three points in the balance, Ricky Marinaro earned his side the victory with a 78th minute spot-kick after George Swain was fouled in the box.
The win means Barnstaple top the table on 12 points with Bitton, who are in front on goal difference.
On Saturday, Owen Pickard will be hoping to strengthen his side's position when they entertain Odd Down at home.
Ilfracombe Town were also involved in late goal action when they struggled to a 2-2 draw at Sherborne Town.
The Bluebirds looked to be heading towards their first defeat of the season after conceding two goals to the Dorset side who were without a point until Saturday's encounter.
Rico Wilson opened the scoring at Raleigh Grove after eight minutes and Phil Ormrod doubled the lead 10 minutes into the second half.
The scores stayed that way until the 84th minute when Mark Clunie won and scored a penalty for the visitors to set up a dramatic finish.
With seconds ticking on the clock, defender James Mayne fired through a crowded penalty area to rescue a point for the grateful visitors.
Third-placed Ilfracombe travel to fourth-placed Corsham on Saturday. Last season's strugglers have made a good start to the new campaign but a win would help 'Combe to stick with a break-away group of teams at the top of the table.