Barnstaple Town 1-0 Hallen: Five things we learnt from Barum’s last-gasp win


1. Persistence pays off

Barnstaple may have started the game slowly but they grew into the contest as it went on and, by the time the clock struck 90, they had thrown absolutely all they had at Hallen.

Liam Gregory hit a post, Scott Sharp missed a one-on-one, Dave Pearse was denied twice from close range – it seemed as though it would just be “one of those afternoons” for Barum.

But their endeavour finally paid dividends when Sharp fired home in stoppage-time to secure the three points.

2. Super-sub Sharp

Local lad Scott Sharp was given a spot on the Barnstaple bench as cover for injured striker Ryan Turner – a chance he grasped with both hands.

Sharp played for Barum when manager Barry Yeo first arrived, but when he came off the bench with 12 minutes to go and missed a gilt-edged one-on-one 60 seconds later, it appeared it wasn’t going to be his day.

But the forward kept going and when the ball fell to his feet at the back post as the clock ticked over 90, he showed class and composure to take a touch and drill a fine effort into the far corner.

3. Hallen a tough nut to crack

The visitors may be 15th and with only two wins on the road all season, but they frustrated their high-flying hosts for large periods of this game.

They had conceded five in their last away game but showed a resolute nature defensively, with wingers Adam Snook and Joe Walters often tucking in to create two solid banks of four.

Centre-backs Matt Davies and Dave Hill scrapped for everything in several goalmouth scrambles – before ultimately switching off and being undone.

4. Nothing sweeter than a last-minute goal

As manager Barry Yeo said after, if he could win every game like that with that feeling then he would.

Frustration turned to sheer jubilation when Sharp fired home in stoppage-time – Yeo’s celebrations took him on the pitch and the fans’ cheers were on a par with any volume of noise at Mill Road so far this season.

Unfortunately, not every game can be won in those circumstances.

5. Hitting form at the right time

Although Yeo won’t use promotion and Barnstaple Town in the same sentence, if ever there was a time to hit form it is now.

An indifferent start to 2016 saw Town pick up just one win throughout January and February and be dumped out of the Les Phillips Cup by lower-league opposition.

However, they have won their last five games, conceding just once to climb back up to fifth place and put themselves just three points off second, with at least two games in hand on teams above them.

Easter Monday’s clash with promotion rivals Buckland Athletic could be crucial.

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