Barnstaple Town have ‘perfect reaction’ to first defeat of the season


BARNSTAPLE Town manager Barry Yeo said the 2-0 win at Shepton Mallet was a perfect reaction to their first defeat.

Town were beaten 1-0 at Buckland Athletic in the Toolstation Western League Premier Division last Wednesday but swiftly bounced back with a boisterous performance on Saturday as Dave Pearse and Jed Harper-Penman notched goals.

“We were fantastic from the outset and it was full credit to the lads,” said Yeo.

“I’m delighted with the result and the performance, we played very well.

“It was the perfect reaction from Buckland and three points against another side who will be up there.”

Holiday traffic meant Barnstaple were stuck on a hot coach for longer than expected – the journey took four hours – but their approach on the pitch was cool and calm.

Pearse had a header tipped over the bar in the opening spell and Harper-Penman’s swerving shot was well saved by the Shepton goalkeeper.

“We looked in control during the first half and had some good chances,” said Yeo.

“The defence had to make some good blocks on the edge of the box but Oli (Steve Oliver) was never really tested in goal.

“We knew if we were patient it would happen in the second half.”

Barnstaple had to sit back and absorb a lot of pressure in the second half with the home team desperate to up the tempo.

“They battered us over that 10-minute spell and Oli made a couple of routine saves,” said Yeo.

Having ridden the storm, Town delivered a couple blows of their own with Pearse providing the finish from Lee Francis’s clever touch.

Only one team was going to win after Harper-Penman let rip with a thunderous 30-yard effort.

Barnstaple host Bridgwater Town, of Evo-Stik League Southern Division One South and West, in the Emirates FA Cup preliminary round on Saturday.

“We are buzzing for the game and can’t wait,” said Yeo.

“It’s a free hit because no one is expecting us to win.

“Hopefully a lot of supporters will come down and we will give it a good go because on our day we can turn over anyone.”

Barnstaple lost 2-1 to Bridgwater in a home pre-season friendly earlier this month.

Saturday’s winners will be away to Southern Premier side Poole Town in first round qualifying on September 12.


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