The Toolstation Western Football League
Published 3rd March 2012
The goalkeeper has signed for Bridgwater Town of Evo-Stik League Southern Division One South & West.
He made his debut last Saturday in a 3-0 defeat to Sholing.
The purse strings have been tightened at Barnstaple since chairman Steve James stepped down in January and the first-team squad is now largely made up of North Devon players.
South Devon-based Purnell joined Barnstaple from Dawlish Town in 2010.
He made more than fifty appearances for the club and was appointed captain at the beginning of this season.
Key first-team players Jamie Skinner, the midfielder, and Lewis Coombes, the fourteen-goal top scorer, have also left Barnstaple since the turn of the year.
Skinner has joined Western League rivals Willand Rovers, while Coombes has gone to St Blazey of the Carlsberg South West Peninsula League.
Darren Rose, the reserve team goalkeeper, stepped up to take Purnell's place in last Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Larkhall Athletic.
That ended a run of three successive wins for Barnstaple. And they lost again on Tuesday night, going down 2-0 away to Bristol Manor Farm.
Larkhall, who are chasing the Toolstation Western League title, took a two-goal lead in the first half.
Luke Scott's 4th minute cross went in off team-mate Sam Allison, then Allison crossed for Jamie Lyons to score.
Barnstaple gave a good account of themselves in the second half with a hard-working display.
A fine build-up led to Ricky Marinaro beating goalkeeper Chris Snoddy.
Rose kept Barum in contention with a superb save and they twice went close to equalising when Snoddy denied Connor Clifford and Danny Jenkins lobbed just over.
Barnstaple are fourth from bottom of the premier division but seven points clear of the relegation zone.
They return to Mill Road today for a home game against fifth-placed Merthyr Town who are on an eleven-game unbeaten run.