Barnstaple Town’s fight for Southern League football next season has been given a huge boost.
Somerset club Street, 10th in Division One South, announced they were resigning from the league on Tuesday, citing a lack of volunteers to carry out vital roles at the club.
Barum are sitting second-from-bottom in Division One South, five points adrift of 18th-place Mangotsfield United with five games left to play.
Two teams are set to go down at the end of the season, and with Street pulling out of the league, a 19th place finish might now be enough for Barnstaple to secure Southern League football.
In a statement from the club, Street chairman James Court said: “The committee believe that by taking a step back we are securing the future of the club.
“Whilst there has been some inevitable reaction and I fully appreciate some people feel let down and disappointed we feel this extremely tough decision is in the club’s best long term interests.
“There was no concern with budgets or the ground grading but the search for new volunteers to step up to vital roles hasn’t materialised and as a result we were not in a position to cope with the demands of Southern League football.”
Barum were handed a similar reprieve last year, with Shortwood United resigning from the league at the end of the 2017/18 season. It meant Barnstaple, 21st in the league with 29 points, would stay in the division.
Barnstaple Town will play Street at Mill Road on Easter Monday (April 22), which the club has made a community day.
The club is offering free entry for the game, but will be asking for an optional donation to the charity Everything Ellie.
Barnstaple will also be welcoming The Goal Getters to Mill Road. The youngsters will be mascots for the day, as will be showing off their skills at half-time.
Barnstaple Town’s final five fixtures
April 6: Evesham United v Barnstaple Town.
April 13: Barnstaple Town v Cinderford Town.
April 20: Highworth Town v Barnstaple Town.
Monday, April 22: Barnstaple Town v Street.
April 27: Blackfield and Langley v Barnstaple Town.