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Hard work pays off for Middleton's Ilfracombe

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: January 19, 2013

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Ilfracombe Town manager Ross Middleton has praised his players for their work ethic in the midweek 4-2 Toolstation Western League win over Barnstaple Town.

Ilfracombe fought back from a goal down to win the Premier Division derby at Mill Road on Tuesday. Middleton said: "We do seem to love doing it the hard way.

"It was exactly what I said it would be, a horrible battle on an awful pitch. We weren't near our best by any stretch of the imagination, but we just ground it out. Our work-rate got us through.

"At this time of year, in our league, you can't worry too much about football," Middleton added. "Sometimes you've just got to grind it out."

Ilfracombe found the going tough to begin with against their struggling neighbours. "We didn't start at all well," Middleton admitted. "We were too far off them and we weren't hitting the areas we needed to be hitting."

Ilfracombe will be without a fixture today because their scheduled Premier Division home game against Willand Rovers was postponed yesterday, due to the state of the Marlborough Park pitch.

Willand went down 5-4 on penalties at home to Exeter City on Tuesday in the Devon St Luke's Challenge Cup, having drawn 1-1 after 90 minutes. Rovers manager Clive Jones knows that wins in the league, when action on the pitch resumes, are the priority for his team as they look to climb the table. "We need the points, we are at the wrong end of the table," he said.

Barnstaple, who are adrift at the bottom of the Premier Division, know what they need to do when they return to action. Manager Tom Bulley said: "Defensively, we are weak," Bulley admitted, "and I'm looking to strengthen there.

"I'm working on some experience, a couple more older heads in there. I want this club to push forward. A win is just around the corner." They will not be able to pick up any points today, however, as their away game at Longwell Green Sports has been postponed.

Buckland Athletic are due to have a home game this afternoon against Cadbury Heath, who inflicted the Bucks' heaviest defeat to date this term back in September.

A hat-trick from Matt Huxley alongside single goals from Nick Dyer, Sacha Tong and Joe Chandler gave them a comfortable three points. Liam Moseley scored a consolation goal for Buckland to end the scoring at 6-1. Since then, the Bristol side have collected 22 from a possible 33 points, and currently sit in second place in the Premier Division.

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