Barnstaple Town suffered a setback in BetVictor Division One South on Saturday, falling to a 3-1 defeat against fellow strugglers Melksham Town.

Barnstaple Town v Melksham Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Melksham Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt Smart

Two second half goals from Luke Ballinger ensured the visitors left Barnstaple with all three points.

The Melksham striker struck in the 70th and 75th minutes to take the game away from Barnstaple.

The two sides were all square at the break. Joseph Romanski gave Melksham the lead after 13 minutes with a well-struck shot from inside the penalty area.

Manny Omrore levelled things up for Barnstaple after half an hour, converting a retaken penalty.

Barnstaple Town v Melksham Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Melksham Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt Smart

The result makes it 12 consecutive league defeats - seven under Dean Edwards - in the league for Barnstaple, who remain on the bottom of Division One South.

Basingstoke's 3-2 win over Bideford and a 1-1 draw for AFC Totton means Barnstaple are six points from safety.

Barnstaple started well and put some early pressure on the Melksham goal. Vincent Wright-Harper Innis forced a good save from Jamie Bartlett with a curling shot towards the top corner.

Such was the pressure that it was against the run of play when the visitors took the lead. Although it didn't immediately look like they had.

Barnstaple Town v Melksham Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Melksham Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt Smart

Romanski lashed the ball into the back of the net at the back post from a corner, but as he wheeled away in celebration the linesman's flag went up. After a discussion with his linesman, referee Rowan Clarke awarded the goal.

Barnstaple levelled things up after half an hour with a goal that came after another intervention form the assistant referee's flag.

Referee Clarke pointed to the penalty spot when Omrore was brought down by David Thompson, only for Saddam Bello to see his effort saved by Bartlett to the keeper's left.

Bartlett was deemed to have strayed off his line for the save and the penalty was taken again. This time it was Omrore who stepped up, who put the ball in the same place and hit the back of the net.

Barnstaple Town v Melksham Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Melksham Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt Smart

Barum came a few inches from taking the lead 10 minutes into the second half. Bello's drilled ball across goal was met at the back post by a sliding Jack Langford, who saw his effort rattle back off the crossbar and back into play.

Steve Oliver pulled off an incredible save to stop Melksham from taking the lead a minute later, palming away a vicious free kick from Ballinger after diving to his left.

There wasn't much he could do about Ballinger's next free kick 20 minutes from time. This time the striker swang the ball across goal and out of reach of the diving Oliver to put the ball in the bottom left corner.

Barnstaple would no doubt feel aggrieved about the goal that all but sealed the three points for the visitors. A free kick inside the penalty area for a backpass had the hosts reeling, and although Ballinger's effort was blocked by the Barnstaple wall, the ball back into the box was there for the striker to dink over Oliver and into the back of the net.

Barnstaple Town v Melksham Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Melksham Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt Smart

Barnstaple Town: Oliver, Kuazeni, Gregory, Gale, Aghiste, David, Omrore, Wright (Humphreys 78), Bello, Rutty-Smith, Wright-Harper Innis (Langford 28). Subs not used: Gardener, Darch.

Melksham Town: Bartlett, Ibrahim, Romanski, Thompson, Ford, Monelle, Chainey, Christopher, Ballinger, Pryce (Ball 75), Hopkins (Rutty 84). Subs not used: Hurley, Rudge, Evans.

Barnstaple Town v Melksham Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Melksham Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt Smart

Barnstaple Town v Melksham Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Melksham Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt Smart

Barnstaple Town v Melksham Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Melksham Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt Smart

Barnstaple Town v Melksham Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Melksham Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt Smart

Barnstaple Town v Melksham Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Melksham Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt Smart

Barnstaple Town v Melksham Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Melksham Town in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt Smart