Bristol Manor Farm claimed their first three points of the season on Tuesday night, defeating North Devonshire side Barnstaple Town 3-1 at The Creek. Covering the action, Matchday Reporter Jack Davies joined the 129 attendees to witness the Farm’s first competitive home victory in over nine months.
Similarly to Manor Farm, Barnstaple had also lost its opening match of the season. The Barum were brushed aside by Southern League Division One South new boys Lymington Town 3-1 on Saturday, and from the offset, it was clear that Dean Edwards’ side wanted to bounce back with a victory.
Saddam Bello had the Barum’s first opportunity of the fixture, latching onto a defensive mistake and shooting straight into the arms of Harry Thomas-Barker in the Farm goal.
Unlike Barnstaple, the Farm made the most of their first clear-cut chance. Kyle Tooze’s slightly heavy touch bounced perfectly for Owen Howe, who crashed home on the half volley for his third of the season.
Another half-chance came and went for Howe before the visitors snuck an equaliser. A long ball evaded Aron Robbins and Zayd Muhammed smashed the ball across Thomas-Barker and into the Farm net.
Unlike Saturday’s performance against Cirencester, Lee Lashenko’s side wouldn’t let the goal dishearten them and continued to ask questions of the Barum defence. Jamie Short and Jamie Bird combined well before the former’s low shot was smartly saved by Adam Seedhouse Evans. Short was next to miss a gilt edge chance, collecting neatly from Tooze before lifting his shot over from close range. Evans would then make two further saves in his attempts to preserve parity.
As good as those saves were, Evans was powerless to stop Farm from going back in front. Mason Winter’s superb cross was thundered home from the imposing Howe who scored his second brace in just four days.
Just before the break, a flag would deny the Farm breathing space. Bird’s whipped free-kick was tapped home by Tooze but was judged to have gone a fraction early.
Lashenko’s Manor Farm started the second period in a similar fashion to the first. The buoyant Tooze was once again involved, but could only head Winter’s cross over from close range. Moments later, Tooze was denied what looked like a stonewall penalty just before the hour. Weaving in front of a Barum defender, the forward was clattered from behind. Despite the initial contact, Tooze stayed on his feet but perhaps his honesty was his undoing.
Those claims were quickly quietened when Manor Farm finally got their two-goal buffer. Bird’s corner was headed back across by Josh Ford and captain Aron Robbins tapped home like a seasoned striker.
The visitors would attempt to find a way back into the match, but Lashenko’s side held firm to claim their first home victory of the season courtesy of goals from Howe and Robbins. You can head over to our official YouTube channel, Official BMF TV, and watch Manager Lashenko and Club Captain Robbins’ reaction HERE.