Barnstaple Town’s struggles in BetVictor Division One South hit a new low on Saturday with a crushing defeat at the hands of Paulton Rovers.
Dave O'Hare scored a hat-trick for Paulton as they cantered to a 6-0 win at Mill Road, with Barnstaple, who finished the game with nine men, putting in an abject display.
The match was effectively over as a contest midway through the first half for Barnstaple, who lost Ethan Phillps to a straight red card after 21 minutes and watched Ben Bament smash in the resulting penalty to give Paulton a 2-0 lead.
O'Hare had got Rovers on their way with a deflected header after 15 minutes and added their third eight minutes before the break. Charlie Day followed up with a finish minutes later to give Paulton a 4-0 lead at half-time.
O'Hare completed his hat-trick 11 minutes into the second half with a superb strike before Barnstaple captain Liam Gregory was sent off to reduce the visitors to nine men before Day added his second and Paulton's sixth inside the last 10 minutes.
The defeat and Basingstoke Town's win over Mangotsfield United means Barnstaple go back to the bottom of the table.
Barnstaple had put some early pressure on the Paulton defence in the early exchanges, but it was O'Hare who had the game's first real chance. In a bizarre passage of play, the striker gave up on his run as he looked to be in behind the Barum defence and Kai FIsher was able to clear.
O'Hare's decision did not matter much as he headed Paulton into the lead from the resulting corner, meeting the ball at the near post and nodding it in via a Barnstaple deflection.
The real turning point came six minutes later. Ben Bament's shot from the edge of the box was saved by Phillips on its way through to goal, leaving referee Devon Campbell little choice but to send him off.
Bament stepped up to take the spot-kick and put it to Steve Oliver's right as the Barum keeper dived the other way.
It went from bad to worse from Barnstaple who folded before the break, conceding two goals in the space of three first-half minutes.
O'Hare was on target first, given a simple finish from close-range after Day squared the ball to him from the left.
Day added the fourth in equally simple fashion, smashing into an empty net after Oliver parried a shot from Bament.
Paulton were not keen to sit on their lead in the second half and continued to press for more goals.
O'Hare completed his hat-trick in spectacular style 11 minutes after the break, firing a strike from the edge of the penalty area which cannoned in off the crossbar.
It became a case of damage limitation for Barnstaple, who looked to switch to back five with the addition of Kieran Jewell, but those plans changed almost immediately when Gregory was shown a second yellow card for a challenge on David Sims-Burgess, reducing the hosts to nine men.
Day got his second of the game inside the last 10 minutes at the end of the move which saw Paulton move the ball from right to left, with the winger putting a low finish beyond Oliver.
Barnstaple Town: Oliver, Williams, Gregory, Wright-Harper Innis, Baxter, Fisher, Wright (Phillips 75), Thomas, Bowker (Paul 89), Phillips, Moseley (Jewell 57). Subs not used: Darch.
Paulton Rovers: Sainsbury, Hillard, Felix (Sloggett 70), Hitchings, Allan, Abraham, Day, Symes (Dempsey 58), Sims-Burgess, O'Hare, Bament. Subs not used: Butcher, Mountford, Benden.