Barnstaple Town take heart as Dan Hart goal earns long-awaited win
BARNSTAPLE TOWN manager Tom Bulley has asked his players to build on a morale-boosting win.
A miserable run in the Toolstation Western League ended with a 1-0 victory at Radstock Town on Saturday.
After 19 winless games and 11 consecutive defeats in the premier division, a goal from Dan Hart had Barnstaple smiling again.
Bulley said: "It has been a long time coming and the lads and the supporters deserve it.
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"It was a great performance. We stuck to our game plan, we worked as a unit and everyone did their jobs.
"The win has been coming and it's important that we kick on now. There's a long way to go yet."
The team dedicated the result to Brian Perks, the former Barnstaple manager who died last month.
After a goalless first half, Hart cut on to his left foot to fire in a low shot.
Luke Evans had a chance to claim his first goal for the club but was off target with a lob.
Kieran Jewell, the 17-year-old, showed his promise with a strong performance alongside Jordan Pearce in central defence.
And when he was called upon, goalkeeper Adam Fuller made two smart saves to secure his first clean sheet.
Bulley took charge in December and, after five defeats, it was his first win as a manager.
Barnstaple remain six points adrift at the bottom and still have it all to do if they are to avoid relegation.
Mid-table Bitton provide the opposition for home and away fixtures on the next two Saturdays.
"We are all aware of our circumstances but I don't care where the opposition are in the league," said Bulley. "It's a matter of worrying about ourselves and doing a job."
The result at Radstock topped a good week for Bulley who spent three days observing coaching at Manchester United, including seeing Rene Meulensteen take a session with the first team.
"As a young manager and coach, it was great for me and hopefully I have taken away a couple of things that can benefit Barnstaple Town," said Bulley.
Ilfracombe Town will hope to finally get their season going again with a trip to Melksham Town on Saturday. Thirteen of their last 19 fixtures have been postponed, including Tuesday's scheduled home game against Bridport.