BARNSTAPLE Town’s 16-game unbeaten run came to an end tonight at Longwell Green Sports.
Not since February 2, at Street, had Town been beaten in a Toolstation Western League Premier Division game – a run which has subsequently lifted them to second and got them all but promoted to the Southern League.
But their promotion party was well and truly put on hold tonight as they went down 2-0 at Longwell Green.
Having equalled a 22-year club winning sequence when they beat Longwell by the same scoreline at the start of this month, Town would have been looking to make up ground on leaders Odd Down, who were in action against third-placed Bristol Manor Farm.
But they made a poor start as a free-kick conceded by Steve Oliver midway inside his own half after seven minutes was put into the box and turned home by Liam Oswin.
The home side fired wide four minutes after that but Barnstaple tried to get themselves level as Shaun Copp’s overhead kick almost found Ryan Turner and Will Nicholls’s shot was well saved.
Longwell had aided Barnstaple’s promotion push at the weekend when they stunned Buckland Athletic 2-0 and they showed they were no pushovers again as they doubled the lead after 62 minutes through Connor Davies.
James Mayne had to clear off his own line with nine minutes to go but the victory was already wrapped up to ease the home side’s relegation fears.
The result will come as an added disappointment for Barnstaple as they could have drawn level on points with league leaders Odd Down – who lost 1-0 at Manor Farm.