BARNSTAPLE Town manager Barry Yeo went under the radar to pick up February’s Toolstation Western League First Division manager of the month award.
Yeo was due his prize after Town claimed 10 points from a possible 12 and kept clean sheets in all four games.
Captain Aaron Harper-Penman was oblivious to his manager’s award but, with a grin, said Yeo was far too modest.
“Barry has never been a self-promoter and didn’t tell us about the award,” said Harper-Penman.
“The way the team has been playing reflects what a good manager he is.
“His commitment and spirit lifts the players before each game and everyone wants to go out there and get three points for the club.
“Barry’s a great motivator and speaks well, which has helped turn around the club.
“There has to be credit to (assistant) Karl Baggaley as well because they make the perfect duo.
“They bounce off each other and are brilliant in different departments. They definitely deserve a lot of recognition.”
Yeo’s men kept a sixth consecutive clean sheet as they moved to the top of the table with a 4-0 win against Portishead Town on Tuesday night.
It was Barnstaple’s solidity at the back that most pleased Yeo as they won 3-0 at Chippenham Park on Saturday with goals from Will Nicholls, Ryan Turner and Jack Jenkins.
“We changed from 3-5-2 to a flat back four and it’s great to see the team looking solid no matter what formation we go with,” said Yeo.
“As long as we stayed solid in defence we knew the goals would come and it was a case of being patient.”
Barnstaple sparked into life on the hour with Jenkins chipping a neat ball into the path of Aaron Harper-Penman who nodded into the box for Nicholls to make it 1-0.
Jenkins was then subject to a lunging challenge which saw the Chippenham player sent off.
Substitute Dave Pearse slotted in Turner to score from close range, then Jed Harper-Penman flew down the wing and found Jenkins to seal the win.