First half onslaught secures second round qualifying tie

LEWIS Coombes and James Skinner scored first half doubles for Barnstaple Town as this season’s challenge for FA Carlsberg Vase silverware got underway on Saturday.

Barum made light work of Carlsberg South West Peninsula Division One (East) side Budleigh Salterton with a 4-1 win in the First Round Qualifying tie at Mill Road.

Budleigh, who play their football two levels below their opponents, pulled a goal back through Jack Greenslade but it is Barnstaple who will face Peninsula premier side St Blazey in the Second Round Qualifying home tie on Saturday, September 24.

In the Toolstation Western League, Ilfracombe Town slipped to 13th in the table with 3-0 defeat at home to champions Larkhall Athletic.

The Bluebirds would have been hoping for a similar performance that earned them a 6-0 win in last year’s fixture but the visitors had very different ideas.

While ‘Combe fluffed their lines all over the pitch, the Larks looked sharper, quicker and more precise from the off and it took only seven minutes for them to take a deserved lead through Nat Auckland.

The hosts continued to struggle with the movement of the visitors and mid-way through the first half another swift move ended in Josh Heafield bringing down James Crew in the penalty area. Tyler Sibbick made it 2-0 from the penalty spot.

Manager Barry Yeo had some stern words at the break and Ilfracombe responded by applying pressure of their own. Scott Huxtable rattled the crossbar after a good pull back by Shaun Lewis.

‘Combe edged the second half but despite a deluge of corners and free kicks they were denied the rub of the green and the right moment.

Auckland settled the match with a third three minutes from time.

Yeo has two fresh injury worries ahead of the trip to Westbury in the Les Philips Cup on Saturday with Lee Francis and Mark Clunie both on the casualty list.

On the positive side, Robert Gough made a return from his recent calf injury to play the last 20 minutes of Saturday’s game and Ross Middleton played his first 30 minutes of the season after an Achilles injury. Both will be looking to get some more minutes under their belt at the weekend.

Barnstaple are away to Radstock Town in the league on Saturday.