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Jones feels Barnstaple can reach safe zone

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: November 22, 2012

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Caretaker manager Chris Jones believes Barnstaple Town can win their battle against relegation from the Toolstation Western League Premier Division.

Jones took charge for the 6-1 home defeat to Buckland Athletic on Tuesday, following the resignation of Dave Griffiths last weekend. The North Devon club's former reserve-team coach is expected to be in the dug-out for the next two Western League games, both at home, against Wells City on Saturday and Radstock Town on December 1.

Barnstaple are three points adrift at the bottom and have not won for 12 games, but Jones is adamant they can turn it around. "I don't see it as doom and gloom," he said.

"I think the club is in a great position. Obviously, we are bottom of the league but the only way is up.

"We've got a good chairman, financially things are becoming more stable, and we've got players who want to play for the club."

Last season, Jones worked with Barnstaple's reserves alongside Terry Chapple, who has stepped down as the first team's assistant manager. Applications for the first-team manager's role must be in by November 30 and Jones would like to be considered.

For a brief while at Mill Road, it looked as though Barnstaple's makeshift team could cause a shock in the only Premier Division game to beat the bad weather on Tuesday.

Fremington players Jamie Pow and Kriss Boreham, and Torrington striker Danny Jenkins were in the home club's starting line-up. Jenkins produced a sublime finish, whipping the ball beyond Kenny Griffiths to put Town ahead after three minutes.

It was not until a red card for home defender Liam Dart on the hour that Buckland were really able to have things their own way. With the extra man, they suddenly had time on the ball and they exploited a tiring defence to score three times in the last 13 minutes.

Buckland striker Chris Wright, who had scored twice in the first half, completed his hat-trick in second-half stoppage time. Gavin Hammon and player-manager Anthony Lynch, with two goals, were the Newton Abbot team's other marksmen.

Jones was encouraged despite the heavy margin of defeat. "Every single player put in 100 per cent," he added. "They kept their discipline, they kept working hard and they looked dangerous. There is some good talent here. I would put money on the fact we will stay in the league."

While Barnstaple will be entertaining Wells on Saturday, Buckland will be taking on Odd Down at their Homers Heath base.

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