Ilfracombe Town take heart from Torquay United cup tie
ILFRACOMBE TOWN took pride from their performance in a 4-1 defeat at Torquay United on Tuesday night.
They claimed a shock lead through Stan Paxton at Plainmoor before bowing out in the Devon St Luke's Cup second round.
For much of the game, Ilfracombe competed well against a Torquay team featuring several players with first-team experience.
"It's a huge confidence boost to the lads," said Ross Middleton, the player-manager. "You want to play in these games but you know how hard it's going to be. I couldn't be prouder of them."
A Gift Voucher for a 2 hour SUP lesson on any of our programmed dates between April and September 2014. £19.50 for 1 person or £33 for 2 people with this voucher
Terms: Voucher must be present at point of sale. Standard MBC T's & C's apply please see our website for details
Contact: 01752 404567
Valid until: Tuesday, December 24 2013
With Ilfracombe keeping their shape and discipline, Torquay were restricted to shots from distance during a goalless first half.
Kurtis Parkin, the goalkeeper, had an excellent game in the slippery conditions and was well protected by the back four of Ian Cockwill, Gary Skinner, Lewis Ovey and Josh Heafield.
Early in the second half, Jamie Bright won possession and played the ball to Paxton who finished well for his sixth cup goal of the season.
"We made the mistake of scoring against them and we rattled their cage," said Middleton.
Within 90 seconds Damon Lathrope had curled the equaliser from the edge of the area and Daniel Sullivan drilled Torquay ahead.
Ilfracombe regained their composure and defended well until Torquay made the game safe with two clinical finishes from Sullivan and Courtney Cameron.
The visitors were denied a late consolation when a shot from Bright struck the post.
On Saturday, Middleton was encouraged to see his team secure "a well-deserved point" at Cadbury Heath.
Cadbury, with five wins from their first seven games in Toolstation Western League Premier Division, went ahead early in the second half through Matt Huxley.
Without centre backs James Mayne and Craig Allan, Combe defended well with Skinner and Ovey paired together.
And Skinner marked a man-of-the-match display by going forward to head a late equaliser from a corner by Liam Craze.
Cadbury's Chris Astley was sent off in the closing stages for a late challenge on Steve Holland.
Ilfracombe are on the road again on Saturday – their fifth consecutive away game – with a trip to Bridport.