A new season and a new era began for Barnstaple Town with an emphatic 5-0 win over Bitton to open their Toolstation Western League campaign.
Barum nearly pulled off a remarkable escape from the Southern League slump last year, and the good form has continued under manager Craig Laird.
After a frenetic start to the game, Barnstaple put their nose in front with a goal from Tor Swann and that was quickly followed by a superb strike from Billy Tucker.
Ryan Turner effectively sealed the points with a third after the break and Swann added his second of the afternoon. Callum Davey landed a late fifth to send the 181 fans home with high hopes for a good season ahead.
Laird said after the match: “Once we got past the first 25 minutes there was only one team that was going to win. Everyone played their part, from the starting XI to the substitutes.
“The team is very healthy, quite a few guys haven’t made it to sixteen but will be heavily involved in the coming weeks. A good start but lots of hard work, trials and tribulations ahead of us.
Barnstaple traveled to Bridgwater United on Tuesday night and will return home this weekend to face Cornish side Mousehole in the FA Cup.
Ilfracombe Town also have an FA Cup draw on Saturday, when they travel to Sherborne Town, and the Bluebirds will feel satisfied after a hard-earned point in the 1-1 draw at Welton Rovers to open their Premier League account. the West.
“A good away point on the first day of the season,” said Ilfracombe manager Clem Bennellick. “We had to show different sides of our game. We know every point is invaluable in the WHL and we all have to fight for them, so we came away reasonably satisfied.
The South West Peninsula League also kicks off on Saturday. Torrington opens with a trip to Axminster Town and Torridgeside is away from Elmore. Holsworthy is also on the road and a tough test at Dartmouth.