Barnstaple Town’s wait for their first points of the Evo-Stik Division One South season goes on after a disappointing defeat to Slimbridge this afternoon (Saturday).
With the visitors to Mill Road three places above them and with one win to their name, Barum would have harboured hopes of kick-starting their season with a first draw or win, but despite looking a bit more threatening, it wasn’t to be.
Edjidja Mbunga gave Slimbridge the lead 10 minutes into the second half, and after Jack Rice-Lethaby looked to have sparked a comeback, substitute Ewan Dunbar dealt them a hammer blow with a finish from the edge of the box with 10 minutes remaining.
The result leaves Barnstaple at the foot of the table after seven games.
The visitors were the much happier side as they walked in at half-time with the deadlock yet to be broken.
Barnstaple had enjoyed more of the ball and had more sights at goal than their opponents, but were let down by their finishing.
Jack Langford should have got Barum off the mark after 35 minutes, but his close range effort in front of an open goal after following up from a saved Jordan Charran shot flew over the bar.
Minutes later Charran broke clear again. With goalkeeper Eric Edge coming out to meet him out wide in the penalty area, the striker tried to square the ball it eventually fell to Rice-Lethaby, who fired off target.
Charran had another opportunity before half-time down the right flank, but the effort failed to trouble Edge.
If Slimbridge were happy with the half-time score, they were ecstatic 10 minutes into the second half when Mbunga gave them the lead.
Substitute Yeshaya Lomotey slipped a ball through to Mbunga, who had beaten Barnstaple’s high line to leave himself clear with 25 yards to goal and after rounding Rob Holmes he side-footed into the empty net.
The hosts pressed forward and were rewarded on 70 minutes with an equaliser.
A well worked move saw Langford’s long ball to the edge of the penalty area nodded down into the path of an onrushing Rice-Lethaby by Charran. Edge got a hand to the youngster’s effort, but not enough to stop the ball settling in the corner.
The finish had Barnstaple’s tails up. Hopcroft saw a header from a Charran cross land wide, and George Nancekivell’s ball across goal forced an intervention from Edge.
Despite the pressure it was the visitors who retook the lead with 10 minutes remaining. A poor goal kick from Holmes did not come close to clearing the halfway line. Slimbridge capitalised, running at the Barnstaple defence it was substitute Dunbar, who had only been on the field three minutes, who blasted the ball in.
It almost got worse for Barnstaple in stoppage time. After misjudging a long ball, Holmes and Bloomfield were in a foot race to the ball. Holmes did enough to stop the initial threat but brought the striker down as he looked for a second opening to shoot.
The resulting spot kick saw Bloomfield step up to take it, and his low effort was saved by Holmes, who could count himself lucky to still be on the field.
Barnstaple Town: Holmes, Jones, Last, Spence, Dart, Nancekivell, Holland (Reed 85), Langford (Moulden 89), Hopcroft, Charran, Rice-Lethaby. Subs not used: Pinnick, Maric, Darragh.
Slimbridge: Edge, Payne, Harper-Emerson, Pring, Noakes, Hands, Turner, Hawes Lomotey (34), Bloomfield, King (Dunbar 77), Mbunga. Subs not used: Pulman, Byrnes.