Both clubs kicked off their pre-season on Friday evening.

North Devon’s Southern League clubs both played their first pre-season matches on Friday evening.

Barnstaple Town beat Torpoint Athletic 1-0 at Mill Road, while a late goal from Sean Downing gave Bideford a 2-1 win at Exmouth.

Barnstaple start with a win

A smooth second half performance helped Barnstaple Town seal victory.

The only goal of the match came just before the hour, when Dave Pearse’s strike appeared to go in off Torpoint defender Tom Payne.

There were first outings for new signings Craig Allan and James Blake, with Blake coming on with Pearse after 55 minutes.

Barnstaple manager Barry Yeo said the performance wasn’t the main thing in the friendly.

He said: “It was never about performance. It’s nice to get out and playing again and that’s what these games are all about.

“The longer the game went on the better we became and we looked a little fitter towards the end which was good.

“I think the longer and the deeper we get into pre-season we’ll be looking more at our shape and our starting 11.”

Barnstaple host Launceston tomorrow (Tuesday) with kick off at 7.45pm.

Bideford win at Exmouth

Summer signings James Richards, Tom Moody and Paul Hider all started at Exmouth, with Ben Watson on the bench.

Billy Tucker opened the scoring with a free kick in the first half, before Exmouth equalised late in the second half.

Downing, who was playing in his first game since December, struck with virtually the last kick of the game to ensure victory for the Robins.

Manager Sean Joyce was pleased with the result.

He said: “I’m pleased with it really - we had five or six boys missing.

“A lot of the new lads have been with me before, but Ben Watson and Will Richards from Exeter both did really well, as did Sam Stevens.

“I’ll change it around on Thursday against Galmpton - I’m just looking for the squad to each get five games.