Barnstaple Town were narrowly defeated 1-0 to promotion chasing Melksham Town as they lost more ground in their relegation battle.

Jonathan Davies scored the only goal of the game in the 29th minute for the visitors who are now just six points away from the play-offs.

Barnstaple manager Aaron Harper-Penman said: “We let the first 45 minutes pass us by really which was a little bit frustrating. We didn’t get to grips with how we wanted to play.

“They scored a scrappy goal to make it 1-0 after half an hour, second half we had a change at half time and got to grips with how we wanted to play and we were a lot more with it second half.

“We didn’t create enough, chances wise. It was one of those games that passed by really.

“It wasn’t a pretty spectacle to watch but Melksham did the ugly stuff better than us to be fair.”

“I wouldn’t have said they were massively better than us at all. It wasn’t as if we were played off the park.”

“I can’t take anything away from the boys, they put in everything they’ve got.”

The result means Barnstaple remain at the foot of the Evo-Stik Southern Division One South table and with just eight games to go, are facing the very real prospect of relegation.

Next up for Barnstaple is a relegation six-pointer as they face Fleet Town on Saturday, who are also languishing in the lower depths of the league.

Aaron said:“We want to make our home advantage count in these games, we’d like to have some momentum going into this Saturday as it is such a big game.”

“It’s a must win for us if we’re going to have any chance of getting out of the situation. Fleet will be saying the same. It’s going to be a scrap.

“It will be a tough battle but we need to find a way of coming out on top.”

Fleet Town are just place above Barnstaple in 19th but both are on 16 points and the same goal difference.

If Barnstaple are to survive, they really need a win in the Fleet Town game considering their remaining March fixtures see them play 10th placed AFC Totton and 2nd place Yate Town.

Barnstaple play Fleet Town at 3pm on Saturday at Mill Lane.