Two late goals meant Barum faced their third consecutive league defeat

Lloyd Gardner opened the scoring for Barnstaple Town. Picture: Matt SmartLloyd Gardner opened the scoring for Barnstaple Town. Picture: Matt Smart

Barnstaple Town manager Richard Pears has called for a little more patience after his side suffered their 10th league defeat of the season.

Barum had an Evo-Stik League South West point snatched from them in stoppage time on Saturday, going down 4-2 at Didcot Town for their fourth defeat in five games.

Alex Gray made it 2-2 with a minute of the 90 remaining, but goals in the first and third minutes of stoppage time from Sam Elkins and Felipe Barcelos gave the visitors all three points.

“We’ve lost four of the last five and we’re 19th in the table with a bit of a gap now, so we are well aware of the challenge ahead and I just need to ask supporters and followers of Barnstaple just to be a bit patient,” said Pears.

“We are not far off at all and I think we need to learn really fast and make sure we stick to game plans and stick to strategies and see out games. Then we can start climbing up the league.

“I can understand the frustrations and I’m well aware one or two are asking for Barry Yeo to come back, but I’m in this for the long haul.

“We just need that little bit of support and patience.”

After a goalless first half, it was Barnstaple who struck first, with Lloyd Gardner cutting inside from the right and firing a shot past Leigh Bedwell with his left foot.

The hosts drew level six minutes later through Barcelos, whose shot from the edge of the penalty area crept past Neal Osborn and into the net.

Didcot eventually went ahead after 73 minutes when Adam Learoyd headed home from Marlon Agywaka’s cross.

The visitors thought they had earned a point when Gray found the net, but as the game went into stoppage time another cross from Agywaka was this time met by Elkins to poke home.

Didcot wrapped things up two minutes later. Again Agywaka was the provider, finding Barcelos who turned the ball in.

Pears said: “We’re so close at the moment in terms of getting points to climb up the table but what’s killing us is individual, sloppy mistakes which are costing us goals.

“In the second half we had chances to kill the game off and then we give away poor goals.

“It was really difficult to give the lads a whipping, at 2-2 with four minutes to go, because we did so well and worked so hard and couldn’t ask for any more out of them. It’s just that decision making in key areas killing us.”

Next up for Barnstaple is a visit from eighth-placed Swindon Supermarine.

Their opponents’ game against Slimbridge was abandoned after 78 minutes with the score at 1-1 after an ambulance was called for an injury to Slimbridge’s Marley Thomas.

Barum follow up the visit of Supermarine with a trip to Shortwood United on Tuesday evening.