A DAVE Pearse goal and a 10th consecutive clean sheet put Barnstaple Town five points clear at the top of the Toolstation Western League First Division last night.
Pearse’s header, late in the first half, gave Barum a 1-0 win away to Warminster Town.
They are now unbeaten in 33 league matches and will be confident of extending their lead when second-placed Welton Rovers visit Mill Road on Saturday.
Warminster, who had a man sent off in the first half, went close to becoming the first side to score against Barnstaple since Cribbs in a Les Phillips Cup tie on February 7 but an injury-time free-kick struck the bar.
Barnstaple had another 1-0 away win on Saturday when a Will Nicholls goal beat Devizes Town who also played with 10 men for more than half the game.
The clash was far from a classic but for Barnstaple manager Barry Yeo it was a case of getting the result.
“We looked anxious in the second half once Devizes had a player sent off,” said Yeo.
“It wasn’t a great performance but sometimes it’s not about that and I’m happy to grind out another important result.
“We had Ryan Turner missing through injury and he sometimes provides that bit of magic when you need it most.
“But Will Nicholls stepped up and his goal was a great finish. It was a case of another job done.”
Barnstaple looked comfortable in the opening 20 minutes, almost breaking the deadlock through Pearse and Jack Jenkins.
It was a foul on Pearse that led to the red card as the striker was chopped down in a goalscoring position.
Despite the man advantage, Barnstaple were frustrated in the second half until Nicholls fired home a brilliant half-volley from the edge of the box with 25 minutes to play – his 16th goal in all competitions.