Third win on the bounce for Barry Yeo’s side
ILFRACOMBE Town won for the third time in 12 days with an assured performance against Radstock Town in the Toolstation Western League Premier Division on Saturday.
The Bluebirds travelled to Somerset full of confidence after two great 1-0 home wins and they started this game on the front foot.
Manager Barry Yeo made a couple of changes, bringing in Ryan Turner and Leon Taswell and giving Josh Heafield and Shaun Lewis a much-needed rest.
‘Combe started positively and zipped the ball around well before a clumsy challenge brought an abrupt stop to James Mayne’s quick one-two with Darren Parish on 15 minutes
The lunging challenge by the home full-back sparked a small ruckus which ended in Radstock’s Stewart Bryant being shown a red card.
The sending off actually sparked the hosts into life, while ‘Combe lost their rhythm and shape as the passing went to pot.
They soon settled with the game’s opening goal, Tom Rossiter smashing an 18-yard scissor kick into the net after Ross Middleton’s free-kick was cleared by the Radstock defence.
Ilfracombe kept creating the chances, with Ryan Turner looking particularly dangerous on the left wing.
They continued to press in the second half, but when Yeo made a double substitution to take the steam out of Radstock’s challenge, the fresh legs of Josh Heafield and Shaun Lewis soon paid dividends.
First Lewis broke free on the half-way line, knocking the ball past the last defender and out-pacing everyone to finish well.
He then combined with his fellow sub, whipping in the left wing cross for Heafield to coolly head home his first goal for the club.
To their credit, Radstock kept battling and got a late consolation through Liam Watson with five minutes to play.
Manager Yeo will be not only be happy with the score line but also the chance he had to rotate and rest a few players before Friday night’s trip to Bristol Manor Farm, a luxury he has rarely had this season.
Barnstaple Town suffered their worst defeat of the season – a 7-2 thrashing against Merthyr Town.
Ryan Prosser opened the scoring with a header in the third minute as Barum started to unravel against last season’s promoted Welsh side.
Prosser and Ian Traylor (2) inflicted more damage as the hosts went in 4-0 up at the half-time break.
Prosser completed his hat-trick five minutes into the second half before Ricky Marinaro made it 5-1 from the penalty spot after Stan Paxton was fouled in the box.
Alun Griffiths and Marcus Griffiths put Merthyr 7-1 up with 20 minutes to go and by that stage, there was little celebrating when Barnstaple scored their second with a lobbed effort by Mark Turner.
It could have been worse still for the visitors, but Merthyr could spare the luxury of Traylor’s missed penalty with 10 minutes to play.
Barnstaple will be hoping for better things when they face Corsham Town in the Les Phillips Cup at Mill Road on Saturday.