Barnstaple Town were on the wrong end of a 5-0 thrashing at the hands Cirencester Town in Evo-Stik Division One South this afternoon (Saturday).
Barum never really got out of second gear in tricky conditions at Mill Road as they fell to their heaviest defeat of the season.
Alan Griffin’s first half brace put the visitors in charge. League top scorer Ben Whitehead added a third for the visitors 10 minutes into the second half before substitutes Tommy Ouldridge and Will Christopher made it a rout in the final 10 minutes.
The result keeps Barnstaple at the foot of the Division One South table.
The Mill Road pitch was a heavy one, and while the footing wasn’t too firm, there were plenty of chances for both sides in the first half.
The visitors were off the mark inside four minutes. Griffin met a corner at the near post, with his touch beating Holmes and going in off the underside of the crossbar.
Barum had a chance to get back on terms when Harry Stevens got in behind the defence. Goalkeeper Luke Merchant was able to clear but it found its way to Jack Langford, who fired across goal but wide.
Griffin got his second of the game after 27 minutes, collecting the ball at the edge of the penalty area and riding a couple of challenges before finding the space to fire a low shot across Holmes and into the bottom corner.
Barnstaple’s best chance of the half came almost immediately after when Harry Stevens skipped through and rounded Merchant. The Barnstaple striker cut back onto his right foot but took too long to let go of his shot, which was cut out by the recovering Alex Albert.
Whitehead had a couple of chances to extend Cirencester’s lead, first drawing a good save from Holmes with a low shot, then, minutes later, rounding the goalkeeper only to miss the open goal.
George Nancekivell headed wide for Barnstaple from a Mike Humphreys free kick just before half time.
Whitehead caused more problems for Barum after the break, drawing an excellent save from Holmes before getting a deserved goal seven minutes later.
The striker cut in from the right and evaded a challenge from James Dart before firing a left-footed striker into the top corner.
The visitors continued to create chances, but Holmes produced a couple of good saves to first deny Aiden Bennett, then Griffin’s hat-trick attempt.
Substitute Tommy Ouldridge was the man to get Cirencester’s fourth though. Firing past Holmes from inside the area a couple of minutes after coming on as a substitute for Bennett.
Christopher added the visitors fifth five minutes before the whistle, with the substitute’s cross-cum-shot from 25 yards looping over Holmes and falling into the back of the net.
Barnstaple Town: Holmes, Jones, Humphreys, Dart, Reed (Reay 58), Rice-Lethaby, Mitchell (Slough 52), Jenkins, Stevens, Nancekivell, Langford (Paul 75). Subs not used: Radford, Middleton.
Cirencester Town: Merchant, Dunton, Spalding, Pook (Christopher 81), Albert, Jarra, Anderson, Freeman (Ouldridge 78), Griffin, Whitehead, Bennett (Morris 70). Subs not used: Connolly, Rose.