Ilfracombe Town celebrated a historic night at Marlborough Park by beating a young Plymouth Argyle side under the proud glow of brand new floodlights.
The lights switched on by legendary football manager Neil Warnock is the culmination of hard work, dedication and passion for the club as the Bluebirds continue their progress as an established Western League club.
Ahead of the match, chairman Matthew Hayne paid tribute to the club’s sponsors, volunteers, supporters, players, coaches and local tradespeople who have all played an important role in taking Ilfracombe to a new level.
After turning on the floodlights in triumph, the Bluebirds embarked on a mission to try and book the North Devon derby with Bideford in the next round and Toby Johnson’s brilliant early save thwarted the lively young Pilgrims.
John Downing made a decent save from the away keeper before an Argyle goal was ruled out for offside. The Bluebirds were denied a strong penalty claim and an entertaining encounter then went down the other end, Laurence McCormick making the best save for Ilfracombe.
The defining moment of the first period came three minutes before the break when Harry Stevens pounced on a loose ball and tapped home an easy finish.
Stevens had another attempt to get off the line on the hour mark but the talented Pilgrims were a constant threat and won a penalty in the 66th minute. However, McCormick correctly guessed that the free kick would win the game.
A jubilant Ilfracombe Town summed up their delight after the final whistle: “We don’t have pots of money at this club, but we have heart and soul.”
The Bluebirds are back in Western League action today and travel to Shepton Mallet.