Barnstaple Town stay top in Western League after another clean sheet

NDJ

BARNSTAPLE Town remain two points clear at the top of the Toolstation Western League First Division after a 0-0 draw with second-placed Welton Rovers.

Both teams went into Tuesday night’s game in tremendous form with Welton unbeaten in 21 league outings and Barnstaple without defeat in 30.

Rather than cancelling each other out in a dull affair, it was an end-to-end encounter which finished goalless.

Barnstaple dominated the first half before Welton came out with all guns blazing in the second period, but the visitors held on to record an eighth consecutive clean sheet in league and cup matches.

Barnstaple manager Barry Yeo said: “If you had asked me before the game whether I would have taken a point I would have said no, but it was a fair result on reflection.

“Welton threw the kitchen sink at it in the second half and really gave it a go, so to keep another clean sheet was brilliant.

“Ryan Draper was away through illness so Jimmy Thorne came along in goal and he was superb. He made a fantastic save towards the end.

“Jed Harper-Penman came across from Wales to play so I can’t fault any of the lads’ effort.”

It was only the fourth time in the league this season that Barnstaple have been unable to score but it wasn’t for the want of trying in the opening 45 minutes.

Chances went begging for Ryan Turner and a corner was almost bundled in. Barnstaple were in full control and might have been expected to run away with the win in the second half.

But Welton switched gear and, knowing a win would take them top of the division, frantically pressed forward.

Anthony Conradi missed one of several chances and Thorne was at the top of his game when called upon to make an acrobatic save from Michael Jones in the dying minutes.

Barnstaple will hope to stretch their lead when they play away to Devizes Town on Saturday before visiting Warminster Town on Wednesday.

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