BARNSTAPLE Town came back from two down to beat Chard Town 3-2 after extra time in the Les Phillips Cup.
Chard were on course for a place in the second round of the Toolstation Western League’s knockout competition after Edward Butcher scored twice in the first half.
But second-half goals by James Mayne and Dave Pearse made it all square after 90 minutes. Then Pearse scored again five minutes into extra time to get the win for Barnstaple.
The teams have already met twice in the league this season, with Chard proving one of Barnstaple’s toughest opponents. The North Devon side won 4-3 at home in September and drew 0-0 away 10 days ago.
It proved the case again this afternoon, although Barum did not help themselves in the first half with some poor defending and a lack of quality in the final third.
From a Chard counter-attack on 11 minutes, Liam Gregory lost out to Butcher who shot inside the near post.
Jack Jenkins and Lee Francis went close for Barnstaple before Butcher struck again on 30 minutes. Taking a pull-back from Sam Clark on the right, he again scored at the near post, lashing his shot high into the net.
Barnstaple briefly thought they had made an instant response when Chard keeper Jason Hutchings punched a Shaun Copp corner into his own net but the referee blew for a foul.
Home keeper Jimmy Thorne denied Chard a third just before half time when he saved well from Clark.
There was a scrappy start to the second half but Barnstaple were on the front foot and they pulled a goal back in the 55th minute when centre-back Mayne beat Hutchings to a Copp corner and headed in.
The equaliser came in the 69th minute from another Copp delivery. This time, from open play, the winger crossed from the right wing to the back post where Pearse rose to head in.
Both teams had chances to win the game in normal time but could not beat the keepers.
Butcher met a long ball with a good volley on 81 minutes, only for Thorne to respond with an even better save.
And in the sixth minute of stoppage time a run and shot by Gregory ended with Hutchings beating the ball away.
Just a minute into extra time, Pearse had a golden opportunity to give Barnstaple the lead but put the ball wide from point-blank range.
The striker made no mistake four minutes later, however, when from a similar range he headed in a rebound off the bar for his 14th goal of the season.
Chard played the last five minutes with 10 men after centre-back Leigh Bailey was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Billy Tucker and it was Barnstaple who looked more likely to score in the closing stages.
Ryan Turner had an effort saved by Hutchings and shot over at the second attempt, then the Chard keeper denied Pearse a hat-trick.
Top of the Western League First Division and through to the second round of the Les Phillips Cup, Barnstaple continue to battle on three fronts. They will host Bideford in the quarter-finals of the Edenvale Turf Devon St Luke’s Cup on Tuesday (7.45pm).
Barnstaple Town (4-4-2): Jimmy Thorne; Ross Jones (Scott Huxtable 74), Josh Phillips, James Mayne, Liam Gregory; Steve Holland (Billy Tucker 61), Jack Jenkins, Lee Francis, Shaun Copp (Jed Harper-Penman 78); Ryan Turner, Dave Pearse. Subs not used: Karl Baggaley, Ryan Draper.
Chard Town (4-4-2): Jason Hutchings; Craig Mawford (Jamie Barfoot 95), Scott Holland, Leigh Bailey, Ben Haines; George Chlopecki (Braeden Symes 103), Louis Gillman, Andrew Martin (Nathan Warren 99), Oscar Latas; Sam Clark, Edward Butcher. Sub not used: Adam Fricker.