DEFENSIVE problems haunted Barnstaple Town again with a 6-1 defeat to Odd Down in the Toolstation Western League premier division.
Barnstaple trailed 5-0 after only 23 minutes in a bizarre game at Mill Road this afternoon.
As both teams struggled in the heavy conditions, the referee awarded five penalties – three of which were missed.
Despite including Stephen Reed, the Weymouth midfielder, in their starting line-up, Barnstaple were well off the pace.
Kristian Miller beat Adam Fuller with a shot from the edge of the box to put the visitors ahead after eight minutes.
Kye Simpson added the second and Miller made it 3-0 after 16 minutes with the home defence in disarray.
A trip by Ian Wheatley gave Twaine Plummer the chance to score the fourth but he blasted the resulting penalty over the crossbar.
Plummer soon made amends by converting his second penalty after he was brought down by goalkeeper Fuller who was shown the yellow card.
Miller completed his hat-trick to effectively wrap up the victory midway through the first half.
Jed Harper-Penman at least gave Barnstaple something to cheer, scoring from the spot before half time after he was fouled by Adrian Harvey.
But Harper-Penman wasted the opportunity to score another penalty in the second half when his effort was easily saved by Lewis Pierce.
To add to Barum's woes, Odd Down counter-attacked instantly for Simpson to score his second.
The striker then fluffed the opportunity to complete his hat-trick, smashing a penalty against the bar after another foul by Fuller.
Defeat leaves Barnstaple nine points adrift of safety at the bottom of the premier division with hope of avoiding relegation fading fast.
Ilfracombe Town were beaten 3-1 at Winterbourne United and have slipped to 13th in the table. Ryan Turner got the Ilfracombe goal, making it 1-1 just before the hour mark.
Bideford's match at Redditch United in the Evo-Stik League Southern premier division was postponed. The Robins return to action on Tuesday with a home game against Bedworth United.