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Four players sent off as Barnstaple Town beat Oldland Abbotonians

By NDJMark  |  Posted: January 11, 2014


Barnstaple Town celebrate the first goal from Aaron Harper-Penman

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Four players were sent off as Barnstaple Town beat Oldland Abbotonians 4-3 in the Toolstation Western League this afternoon.

Billy Tucker scored a stoppage-time penalty, giving Barnstaple the victory in a controversial finish to the match at Mill Road.

Oldland had already seen Tom Smallman sent off after they conceded the decisive penalty in the 91st minute.

And the game descended into farce when Town keeper Ryan Draper and Oldland's Josh Dempsey and Jordan Greenwood were shown red cards following a brawl just before the final whistle.

Barnstaple had appeared on course for a routine win when Aaron Harper-Penman put them ahead from a free kick by Jack Jenkins in the 25th minute.

Smallman curled the equaliser just before half time and the visitors, without a win in 12 games, punished some error-strewn Barnstaple defending in the second half.

Tom Shopland bundled them ahead at a corner only for Barnstaple to equalise with Tucker's first penalty of the afternoon following a trip on Ryan Turner.

Back came Oldland again, regaining the lead on 60 minutes when Harper-Penman could only poke the ball past his own goalkeeper.

On a heavy pitch against a stubborn defence, Town appeared to be running out of ideas.

It did not look like being their day when a lob from Shaun Copp, on his home debut after signing from Appledore, hit the underside of the bar and bounced out.

But they refused to give in and the equaliser came in the 83rd minutes when substitute Tom Rossiter hit the post and Jack Jenkins followed up to make it 3-3. 

A foul on sub Liam Gregory gave Tucker the opportunity to win the game and he calmly rolled the winning penalty into the corner past Ryan Perry.

The remaining minutes were marred by a melee in the middle of the pitch with players and officials from both sides getting involved, most, it must be said, attempting to act as peacemakers.

Referee Richard Lawrence dismissed Draper, Dempsey and Greenwood, who argued his red card was a case of mistaken identity.

The win keeps Barnstaple eighth in the First Division ahead of the trip to Almondsbury UWE next weekend.   

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