Barnstaple Town 1 - 0 Clevedon Town
Saturday 19th August 2017Missed chances came back to haunt Clevedon on Saturday as they went out of the FA Cup at Mill Road and missed out on a fine chance to make the qualifying rounds, writes Kerry Miller.
In a game full of efforts on goal which were saved or high and wide it was ironic that Barum’s winner from Jordan Charran was nodded in from almost on the goalline to clinch the game midway through the second half. Clevedon had scraped past Bitton in extra-time of a replay in the last round and with Barum shipping six goals in their first two league games, there was real hope for Mickey Bell’s squad on this blustery day.
Charran proved to be the difference between the sides which were very even and the result could have gone either way, right to the end as Town wasted far too many chances and in truth only had themselves to blame as they returned back down the link road empty handed.
Charran curled his first chance just wide after a quick break and was busy all game, finding room to cross for Fletcher Williams to have a chance blocked by the visiting defence, marshalled well by skipper Ollie Barnes. Very early in the tie it was apparent that the wind would pose a problem and both sides wasted crosses before there were penalty shouts at both ends, neither interesting referee Sean Rothwell who was never far from the action.
Barnes connected with a snap shot from 30 yards which just climbed a yard over the bar but after more wasted corners from the home side which frustrated the crowd , Clevedon should have taken the lead when Daine O’Connor robbed a defender and bore in on goal but shot straight at keeper Robbie Powell’s legs. With Barum discussing how it happened, O’Connor was in again and once more it was missed as the shot blazed over from close range.
After the break Clevedon enjoyed a good spell and Kane Ingham set up Connor O’Sullivan with a pin point cross but once again it was missed and three gilt edged chances had gone and sadly Town were left to rue them later. Williams volleyed wide then Charran and Mike Humphreys combined well but they were unlucky which led to some predicting a 0-0 draw and a visit to Clevedon on Wednesday. Both sides went for the win but with too many final passes or crosses going astray it was going to take a single goal to win it and so it proved.
Shaun Copp then crossed for Jed Harper-Penman to have a header comfortably saved by Damien Freeman in the Town goal and from the next attack Town should have taken the lead. The home defence were dozing as Town took a quick free-kick and substitute Isaac Reid strode into the area but again the shot was blazed over and with it went the Cup run.
Barnstaple moved forward again and Copp was in enough room to lob the advancing Freeman on 67 minutes and as the ball bounced towards the open goal Charran won a foot race and nodded it in from on the line to give his side a hard earned lead on 67 minutes.
Town did not concede defeat and skipper Barnes had a free-kick held by Powell then giant defender Clayton Fortune gave away a free-kick just outside the area and Charran was inches away from wrapping up the match. Town’s last chance arrived when Powell fumbled a Barnes free-kick over the bar but, as did every other corner, it came to nothing and Barum pocketed the £1,925.
Mill Road in Barnstaple looks on first glance to be a standard residential road leading to some industrial units, some of which have seen better days, but it hides a wealth of sporting venues which appear to have almost been welded together.
Barnstaple Town’s game with Clevedon went ahead in the central position with the town’s rugby ground immediately behind it looking very lively and with a large crowd which were enjoying a pre season match with Brixham which kicked off at 2.30pm. Running alongside the covered section and directly to the left, BOCA Seniors were staging a game on their ground with the town bowls club behind the ground and sharing the car park. Barum And Clevedon’s share of the sporting public was 119, down on Wednesday’s total against Larkhall but shows how, surprisingly and sadly, the FA Cup now plays second fiddle to league games as many who buy season tickets, decide not to pay out again for cup games.