BIDEFORD 2 PAULTON ROVERS 1
SQUIRE GIVES ROBINS VITAL THREE POINTS
Bideford kept their playoff hopes alive with a 2-1 win over Paulton Rovers on Saturday afternoon.
Despite dominating the first half, The Robins found themselves a goal down at the break before Craig Allan and Kevin Squire’s second half strikes gave Bideford a vital three points.
Bideford had a whole host of chances early in the game, the first falling to Squire inside two minutes. Squire capitalised on a poor back header but shot just wide as George Burton raced out of his goal. Ben Seymour then burst into the box a minute later only to shoot wide also before Dan Western crossed for Ryan Turner whose header was saved by Butler, all before five minutes had been played.
Butler then produced a terrific save as Matt Bye’s corner was powerfully headed towards goal by James Mayne. Josh Key was then denied by Butler after he was played in by Squire’s flick on. The busy Paulton goalkeeper was then called into action again as a deflected Will Hancox cross looked destined for the top corner but Butler was able to claw it away superbly.
You got the feeling that Bideford would be made to pay for not converting any of their chances and that’s exactly what happened five minutes before the break. Paulton won a free kick 25 yards from goal and Mitch Tippins drove a shot low into the bottom left corner just out of Steve Oliver’s reach. It was harsh on The Robins but it could’ve been even worse had Jack Ball not sliced wide three minutes later!
There were fewer chances in the second period but Bideford were level just five minutes into the half. Bye’s free kick into the box was finished well at the back post by Allan with a controlled volley and seven minutes later The Robins were deservedly ahead. Turner linked up well with Seymour with the latter playing a good return ball that allowed Turner to cut the ball back for Squire to head home from close range. It was a well worked Bideford goal.
After going ahead, The Robins were able to keep Paulton at arms length with the visitors mostly restricted to wayward efforts from distance including one from Liam Monelle. Allan came closest to extending Bideford’s lead with a header from a Bye free kick that was well saved by Butler. The win keeps Bideford in the playoff mix but with six games left to play in just thirteen days it will take a huge effort from the players to finish in the top six places.
Bideford: Oliver, Key, Allan, Mayne, Hancox, Sampson, Bye, Western (Carter 60), Turner, Squire, Seymour (Wood 86). Subs: Reed, Wood, Harrison, Carter.
Bideford: Allan 50, Squire 57
Paulton Rovers: Tippins 40