Tom is lord of the Manor

Joseph Bulmer

On form Rossiter scores two as Ilfracombe go on the goal rampage against Bristol Manor Farm

IT was raining goals at Marlborough Park on Saturday as Ilfracombe Town found form with a 5-3 win against Bristol Manor Farm.

Striker Tom Rossiter had his most dominant afternoon in a ‘Combe shirt, scoring twice in very wet and slippery conditions as his side banished the memory of Tuesday night’s 2-1 defeat at Toolstation Western League leaders Willand Rovers.

Rossiter started with intent and had a one-on-one saved within the first few minutes of the match.

He turned provider on eight minutes when his deft touch put through strike partner Shaun Lewis for the opening goal

Manor Farm responded almost instantly, winger Danny May taking advantage of a flat-footed rear guard to level on 11 minutes.

The hosts sought retribution with Lewis and Rossiter always looking dangerous, especially so when the latter attempted a Rooney-esq bicycle kick that flew just inches past the post.

Rossiter wasn’t to be denied on the half-hour mark though. Josh Heafield whipped in a left foot corner which was dispatched perfectly with a near post header.

With the rain abating just long enough for the half-time break, the floodgates re-opened at the start of the second – in more ways than one.

Mark Clunie made it 3-1 with a deflected shot from just inside the box within four minutes of the re-start as a confident looking ‘Combe took total control of the game.

It was only a matter of time before they got the fourth and that arrived on 60 minutes, again from a corner.

This time Lee Francis provided the delivery while Rossiter once again dispatched the near post header with authority.

Not to be denied his share of the lime light, Mark Clunie then went and scored the goal of the game on 68 minutes. After great tracking down by Rossiter, the visitors slipped up and gave the ball to Lewis, who squared to Clunie, who drilled home the fifth from outside the box without breaking a stride.

The game looked over and Barry Yeo made two changes, bringing off Scott Huxtable for Steve Holland who has just returned from holiday, and also giving Jon Vooght a rest, replacing him with Darren Parish.

Manor Farm made a triple substitution of their own and suddenly the re-shuffles caused confusion within the ‘Combe ranks. The visitors pulled one back through Ben McKenna and with their new found belief also managed to squeeze in a third, Dan Dunt finishing from an audacious angle.

With 14 minutes left on the clock it was looking like a nervy end to the game for the home side but they managed to re-organise and keep hold of all three points.

Manager Yeo will be delighted with his team’s attacking performance but will be looking to tighten up at the back.

After boasting the meanest defence in the league last year, the Bluebirds have already shipped eight goals in four league games.

They’ll have to improve on that when the current league champions Larkhall Town visit Marlborough Park this Saturday.

At Mill Road, Jamie Skinner was on target as Barnstaple Town crashed out of this season’s FA Cup competition at the preliminary round stage with a 2-1 defeat against Bodmin Town on Saturday.

The hosts took a first half lead against the Carlsberg South West Peninsula Premier Division side but were beaten by second half goals by Adam Carter and Olly Brokenshire.

This Saturday Barum travel to Peninsula Division One East side Budleigh Salterton for the first qualifying round of the FA Vase.