Ilfracombe sit proudly top of the South West Peninsula League Premier East table after a 4-1 home win over Axminster Town.

Goals from Kevin Squire, Aaron Harper-Penman, Sam Stephens and Sam Phillips, saw the Bluebirds to an 11th success in 15 outings.

After taking a first half lead, Ilfracombe proceeded to miss a number of gilt-edged chance and they paid the price for that as the East Devon side restored parity.

However, a half-time chat led by manager Clem Bennellick drew the desired response for Ilfracombe were dominant throughout the second half to deservedly claim the points.

A delighted Bennellick said: "There was no panic at the break. Yes, we had missed enough chances to win a couple of games before they [Axminster] levelled but at half-time we spoke about the need to not panic and just keep doing what we were doing and, to a man, the lads did their jobs so well."

He continued: "They were reduced to 10 men on the hour, but the tide had turned before then and we were worthy winners come full time."

On his side hitting top spot, the Bluebirds boss says: "If someone had told me back in August that we'd play out final game in November sitting top I'd have wanted to check their sanity. We came into this league very much on a journey into the unknown so, to be where we are is testament to the hard work being done on, and off, the pitch."

Looking ahead to Saturday's third visit of the season to Plymouth Marjons, Bennellick says: "We won there 7-0 in a Devon Bowl tie then lost a League Cup meeting in extra-time. They [Marjons] are in a false league position and we will need to be at our best to get the result we want down there. They play their home pitch very well and it is arguably the truest surface you can play on. The positive thing for us is that we have played there twice already this season so there's nothing for us to fear."

He added: "Now we are top we become a target, but we have experienced similar already this season.During our winning run earlier in the campaign we saw opposition teams raise their game to become the first to end the run, so we know what to expect taking on teams as the table-toppers."

The Bluebirds boss then turned his attention to the general mood in the camp saying: "There's a terrific atmosphere in and around the team just now. The arrival of Kev [Kevin Squire] as player-coach has been such an uplifting thing. I am a young manager and am very keen to learn about the game and the job and Kev has such a wealth of experience and general football knowledge and it's a real pleasure to have him with us."

He continued: "WE have got a great mix of youth and experience and everyone seems to be enjoying the journey as it stands."