FA Cup: Barnstaple Town 2 Willand Rovers 0


BARNSTAPLE Town beat Willand Rovers 2-0 in the extra preliminary round of the Emirates FA Cup.

Town were unusually tame in the opening half with Jed Harper-Penman missing their best chance from the spot 43 minutes in.

However, following some stern words from manager Barry Yeo, Town burst into life in the second period with goals from Will Nicholls and Ryan Turner while Chris Abbott was sent off for the visitors.

Jed Harper-Penman looked the most likely to unlock Willand’s defence in the opening spell as his pin-point free-kick was headed inches above the bar after three minutes while he also lifted a good chance high and wide after being played through by Jack Jenkins.

Willand’s goalkeeper, Kurtis Parkin, spilled one of Jed Harper-Penman’s many deep crosses and as Nicholls slid in to poke the ball over the line it was blocked at the last minute by Joe Curtis.

Following a dominant 20 minute spell from the home side their tempo began to fall flat and Aaron Harper-Penman was needed to dive into several key blocks at the other end before Tom Bath had an effort cleared off the line by James Mayne.

As the half time whistle approached a surging run from Liam Gregory caused havoc in the box with the ball falling to Steve Holland, who was needlessly chopped down. Jed Harper-Penman couldn’t convert from the spot as Parkin saved to his left and it looked like it could have been a long day for Town.

However, the half time turn around breathed new life into the home side and with the introduction of Turner and Lee Francis on 54 minutes Barnstaple began to find their stride.

Nicholls powered into the box and added a neat finish to his run 62 minutes in as Yeo’s men were let loose.

Four minutes later and Turner made it 2-0 with another well taken goal. This time, the striker pounced onto a bobbling ball and stroked it into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

Over a mad 15 minutes Willand lost Abbott to a second yellow card and the game fell beyond their reach.

Liam Gregory proved a menace all game as he tore down the left and pulled a shot wide while Francis was stopped by the legs of Parkin at close range towards the end of 90 minutes.

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