Barum lost 3-0 in their first home game of the new Evo-Stil League South West season

Barnstaple Town v Larkhall Athletic. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Larkhall Athletic. Picture: Matt Smart

A second half onslaught from Larkhall Athletic consigned Barnstaple Town to defeat in their first home game of the Evo-Stik League South West season.

A header from Jay Adams and two quick-fire goals from Matt Groves sent Barnstpale to a 3-0 defeat at Mill Road on Tuesday evening.

The three goals came within a 15-minute period early in the second half, disappointing for Barnstaple not least because they matched their opponents throughout the first half.

Both teams had their best chances of the first half in the first three minutes of the game.

Barnstaple Town v Larkhall Athletic. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Larkhall Athletic. Picture: Matt Smart

There was barely 30 seconds on the clock when Cory Simpson cut into the penalty area from the right channel before curling a left-footed shot onto the crossbar.

Two minutes later Jordan Charran forced a good save from Shaun Semmens.

Austen Booth - who with Fletcher Williams made their first appearances since joining from Truro City on loan - sent a long ball forward for Charran to latch on to.

The forward managed to get a shot away from a tight angle but Semmens saved well.

Barnstaple Town v Larkhall Athletic. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Larkhall Athletic. Picture: Matt Smart

The deadlock was broken six minutes into the second half. Teigan Rosenquest half-cleared a free-kick, but the ball only went as far as Geraint Bater on the edge of the penalty area.

His ball back into the box was met by Adams and with the Barnstaple defence clearing the box, he was able to get a free header past Robbie Powell and into the net.

The goal sent both teams in different directions. Barnstaple were rocking and Larkhall pushed on.

Groves struck twice in the space of three minutes just after the hour, first finishing off a flowing counter-attack, then firing a low shot under Powell three minutes later for his second.

Barnstaple Town v Larkhall Athletic. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Larkhall Athletic. Picture: Matt Smart

Groves nearly got his hat-trick when Josh Egan cushioned a free-kick into his path, but his shot across goal deflected wide.

Shaun Copp, Nathan Cooper and Joe Barker came on for Barum, but Richard Pears' side weren't able to find any consolation before referee Lee Roberts blew up for full-time.

Speaking after the game, manager Richard Pears said: "Goals change games, that's what we're learning at the moment.

"It was a slight improvement to Saturday, I thought we started well, we played in fits and starts in the first half.

Barnstaple Town v Larkhall Athletic. Picture: Matt SmartBarnstaple Town v Larkhall Athletic. Picture: Matt Smart

"I brought four new lads in today so it was a bit disjointed in the first half, but I was pleased.

"We had a base there, but same old story from Saturday. We're conceding goals early in the second half, and then we end up chasing the game and our game plan has gone out of the window."

Barnstaple Town: Powell, Patchett, Walton (Copp, 67), Denny (Cooper, 67), Ibbesson, Williams, Rosenquest, Rickard (Barker, 77), Charran, Heeney (c).

Larkhall Athletic: Semmens, Winter, Lyons, Adams, Guy (c), Britton, Egan (Lambert, 65), Bater (Resstorick, 75), King (Tumelty, 65), Groves, Simpson.

Attendance: 145