Lacklustre Boro’ lose unbeaten Home record

Barnstaple Town made the long trip from North Devon clearly boosted by a midweek victory in the Southern League Challenge Cup over high flying Tiverton Town.

With the teams locked at 1-1 after 90 minutes Barnstaple Town went on to win the Penalty shoot-out with some comfort.

Boro’ were still without the injured Dennis Oli and the nasty injury to Eddie Smith incurred on Tuesday, at Fleet Town, forced unwanted changes to the starting eleven.

The Home side got the game under way at 3:02pm and within a couple of minutes we witnessed the first of some poor decisions.

John Oyenuga progressed down the right and his cross clearly appeared to have been put out for a corner – but, a goal kick was given and the tone was set.

It got worse after three minutes when Bufton was shown a straight red for allegedly handling the ball outside his area. Opinions were split and the replay I saw after the match was inconclusive.

However, I am convinced that play should have been stopped when the initial ball through on the right flank found the Barnstaple Town forward in a clear off-side position.

Lewis Hayden made way for Joel Driscoll and Boro’ faced a long 87 minutes with ten men.

After the delay for changes, Liam Gregory took the free kick on the edge opf the area and his low, accurate shot went into the corner to Driscoll’s right on 5 minutes. Farnborough 0-1 Barnstaple Town.

Driscoll was in no way to blame and within minutes made a good diving save to his left to prevent further damage.

Boro’ were struggling to find any rhythm and conceded again after fourteen minutes. Emmerson, who appeared to have plenty of time to clear, then made weak attempt to head the ball back to Driscoll. This resulted in Steven Holland being left with a simple side foot shot to double the visitor’s lead. Farnborough 0-2 Barnstaple Town.

Ryan Turner was booked for Barnstaple Town.

Boro’ had a couple of efforts blocked and on one occasion Oliver was fortunate to get a second chance after a partial save.

Things were soon to get even worse and following some more indecisive defending Shaun Copp was able to steer home the third Barnstaple Town goal after 18 minutes. Farnborough 0-3 Barnstaple Town.

Following a foul on Oyenuga, Nic Ciardini’s free kick was well taken by Oliver.

Driscoll punched a cross out for a corner and when the kick came in he took the ball cleanly and cleared to put Boro’ away on the right.

Coles weaved his way into the area and took the ball round Oliver but a defender managed to clear before he could finish it off.

Almost immediately Coles had a shot on target, but it went straight to Oliver.

John Oyenuga slipped a pass to Sam Shaban and his cross from the right somehow eluded Coles and Ciardini and went harmlessly through the area.

Driscoll gatherd a free kick from Jenkins and Barnstaple made their first change replacing Scott Sharp (injured?) with Dave Pearse on 35 minutes.

The remainder of the half and two added minutes were fairly uneventful, but Driscoll did tip a shot from Shaun Copp round for a corner.

HALF TIME: Farnborough 0-3 Barnstaple Town

A disastrous opening 45 minutes for Boro’ with controversy reducing them to ten men before a silly error and more sloppy defending saw them concede three times without response.

The second period started at 4:03pm with Boro’ pushing forward to try and reduce the arrears.

Coles had a shot on target, but James Mayne made a timely block.

Barnstaple Town replaced Ryan Turner with Jed Harper-Penman on 50 minutes.

The sub, Jed Harper-Penman, was quickly in action and drew a good save from Driscoll, but soon had another chance and made no mistake in putting his side four ahead on 54 minutes. Farnborough 0-4 Barnstaple Town.

Finally, Boro’ reaped some reward for their efforts when Coles was first to react in the box and his shot found the net via a heavy deflection after 57 minutes. Farnborough 1-4 Barnstaple Town.

Curtis Osano was booked for a foul on Shaun Copp and almost immediately made way for Ethan Allen on 62 minutes.

Sam Shaban had two decent efforts for Boro’ the first was well saved by Oliver and the second flew just wide of the post.

Barnstaple Town made another change, Lee Francis replacing Niall Heeney on 73 minutes.

Boro’s final change saw Jamal Batchilly replace John Oyenuga who had as usual been the target of several fouls on 81 minutes.

The remaining time with four added minutes saw both sides pushing forward and Driscoll did well to keep out a vicious ricochet when an attempted clearance rebounded of CJ and seemed bound for the net.

Finally, deep into stoppage time, Barnstaple Town were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area (for a nothing challenge) and Gregory’s kick hit someone on the shoulder and looped over a helpless Driscoll into the net to seal a comprehensive victory for the visitors. Farnborough 0-5 Barnstaple Town.

FULL TIME: Farnborough 1-5 Barnstaple Town

For Boro’ the game started badly and got steadily worse. Yes, there were elements of bad luck, but the overall display was poor.

Barnstaple Town were quicker on the ball, more accurate in both passing and finishing and certainly more determined in their quest to win the game.

Obviously, the players will be disappointed, but as we now have just the League to concentrate on a way must be found to recapture the form which has taken us to the top of the Table.

With no game now until next Saturday away to Aylesbury, a solution must be found or this will not be the last drubbing we will endure.

Come on you Yelloowsaa!!

Match Report by Tony Duff.

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