BARNSTAPLE Town bowed out of the FA Vase as their seven game winning run came to an end at the hands of lower-league Hengrove Athletic.
Barry Yeo’s men were looking to reach the third round of the competition against the Toolstation Western League Division One outfit, but came unstuck as goals from Matt Durbin and Mark Fear consigned Barum to defeat.
Jed Harper-Penman had given Barnstaple, who were missing star striker Ryan Turner, a first half lead with a fine strike before the hosts hit back.
Windy conditions made for a difficult start to the encounter and after James Dunn and Fear had both hit the woodwork, Harper-Penman took range after 22 minutes and opened the scoring.
Town started to show their class after the opener as Dave Pearse’s effort had to be cleared off the line before the break and then James Mayne’s header in the second period hit the bar.
But back came Hengrove, who have won seven of their last eight, and Luke Crewe’s long free-kick into the box caused goalkeeper Steven Oliver to hesitate and Durbin nipped in to score his first goal for the club.
The goal seemed to spark Barnstaple in to life again as Niall Heeney drilled an effort from distance which had to be kept out by Tom Kington.
Just as the game seemed to be heading for a draw, Athletic struck with eight minutes to go as another long free-kick wasn’t dealt with by the visiting defence and Fear struck to send Hengrove into the third round for the first time in their history.
Manager Yeo said: “We are really disappointed to be out of the competition as it was a game we felt we could win.
“We didn’t play well first half, we went 1-0 up but then there were two long balls into the box from the half-way line that we didn’t deal with, unfortunately that’s football.”