BIDEFORD 2 CINDERFORD TOWN 2
James Mayne’s late equaliser rescued an unlikely point for Bideford on Saturday against Cinderford Town.
An out of sorts Bideford trailed 0-2 with four minutes remaining but late goals from Sean Downing and James Mayne salvaged a point for The Robins in difficult conditions at the Sports Ground. A lot of rainfall prior to the match made for a heavy pitch and a really scrappy, stop-start affair which suited the visitors who were out to frustrate the home side.
Steve Oliver produced a super stop after just three minutes and Mayne had to be alert to clear the rebound off the goal line as Cindeford raced out of the blocks. Sammy Hicks then shot wide from a low Lewis Bamford cross before Matt McDonald somehow escaped a second yellow card after a reckless challenge on Matt Bye. Bideford’s sense of injustice was compounded on 22 minutes as a soft award of a free kick led to a scrappy opener for the visitors. Bideford did not deal with the ball into the box and Dan Clare forced the ball home via Craig Allan after Oliver had touched the ball onto the post.
Matt Bye fired over for the hosts from just outside the box but the golden chance to level things up fell to Ryan Turner five minutes before half time. A long throw into the box from Ben Wood fell at the feet of Turner who blazed over from six yards with the goal at his mercy. Dan Western then went close after being teed up by Billy Tucker but The Robins were then hit with a sucker punch in first half injury time. A more straight forward goal you are not likely to see as Hicks launched a free kick into the box and Clare rose unchallenged to head past Oliver and put Cinderford in full control.
There was very little flow to the second period as the referee’s whistle was being sounded all too often and the visitors made the most of every stoppage. Cameron Clarke produced a great fingertip save as Turner’s cross-cum-shot looked destined for the top corner but apart from that and a Tucker free kick that sailed harmlessly wide, Bideford struggled to make any inroads.
Things started to change with the introduction of Ben Seymour, Sean Downing and later Kevin Squire as Bideford began to put a bit of pressure on the Cinderford backline. A great block denied Squire in the penalty area and Seymour’s turn and shot flew just over before Bideford found a way through with four minutes remaining. Tucker’s corner was met by Downing who leapt magnificently to head the ball home at the back post. Bideford then piled on the pressure in the final few minutes as Clarke produced an excellent save to deny Seymour’s strike at the back post. Then from the resulting corner Mayne rose highest to head past Clarke and steal a point for The Robins in the second minute of injury time.
Bideford: Bideford: Oliver, Allan, Mayne, Harrison, Sampson (Squire 71), Wood, Bye, Western (Downing 52), Tucker, Duff, Turner (Seymour 52). Subs: Downing, Squire, Seymour, Roberts, Beattie.
Bideford: Downing 86, Mayne 90+2
Cinderford Town: Allan 22og, Clare 45+2