Barnstaple Town battled back to earn a valuable point in Evo-Stik Division One South on Saturday.

Barum were 2-0 down at 17th-place Slimbridge after 50 minutes in a game they simply couldn’t afford to lose in their quest for survival.

William Hawes had struck either side of half time to give the hosts their lead. He opened the scoring two minutes before the break, turning and firing off a shot that went in off the post.

Five minutes into the second half Hawes followed up to put the ball in the net after his initial shot was saved by Steve Oliver.

From there Barnstaple responded quickly. Jack Jenkins pulled one back for the visitors six minutes later after finding space in the penalty area.

Substitute Jack Rice-Lethaby scored the equaliser 18 minutes from time after breaking free and firing a shot across goal and into the bottom corner.

Barnstaple manager Aaron Harper-Penman was pleased with how his side reacted after falling two goals behind.

“Credit to the boys, they could have folded,” he said.

“Going 2-0 down, teams can do that, but they kept the ball down, played it well and got back into it and in the end we were unlucky not to win the game.

“On another day we could have had all three points and maybe we should have but going 2-0 down made it a bit of a mountain to climb.

“We were pushing forward at the end but we couldn’t quite get it and we ran out of time.

“The first goal was a great strike and we showed a little bit of inexperience for the second, but everything else the boys did really well. I can’t knock them.”

Barnstaple go straight into another battle against a relegation-threatened side this Saturday, with 18th-place Mangotsfield the visitors to Mill Road.

Harper-Penman hopes one point last Saturday will become three this time out.

“Mangotsfield are down towards us but I think they have got some extra players now,” he said.

“It’s not going to be an easy game at all.

“We gained a point on everyone else at the weekend but we want the three points now.”