AFC TOTTON 2 BIDEFORD 3
Bideford came back from Hampshire with an excellent 3-2 win at play-off rivals AFC Totton last night.
Kevin Squire came off the bench to head home the all important winner which saw Bideford leapfrog their hosts and back into the top six in the Southern League West Division.
There were debuts for Will Hancox and Ben Palmer as Sean Joyce was forced to shuffle his pack with the absence of key players Sean Downing, Ian Sampson, Craig Duff and the now departed Billy Tucker. However The Robins raced into a two-goal lead as top scorer Ben Seymour latched onto a through ball by Hancox and calmly finished over the out-rushing Shane Murphy with less than two minutes on the clock. Three minutes later Dan Harrison looped a header in off the post from a Matt Bye corner to make it 2-0. It was Harrison’s first goal for the club in almost three years!
Totton got themselves back into the game on 17 minutes as Jack Smith headed in from a corner and they would’ve been level but for Steve Oliver’s cracking save from a Charlie Gunson strike. Oliver had to be at his best again to repel a deflected Tobi Adekunle effort before the hosts hauled themselves level in first half injury time. A through ball found Craig Feeney who squared for Adekunle to finish from close range.
The second half was a bit of a bad tempered affair as Totton’s Assistant Manager was sent to the stands following a Ryan Turner challenge on Matthew Bozier. Feeney then hit the post for the home side while a Stephen Reed free kick flew wide at the other end. Oliver produced another great save to deny Tony Lee before Bideford got their noses back in front through Squire who glanced a header home from a Seymour free kick. It was Squire’s 93rd goal for the club.
Totton blew the opportunity to take a share of the points after Lee was brought down in the box with 15 minutes to go and Gunson crashed the resulting penalty back off the crossbar. Ben Palmer forced a save from Murphy on the break at the other end and soon after Totton were reduced to ten men as Dave Allen was shown a second yellow card. Oliver denied Lee once again in the latter stages as Bideford held on for a huge three points.
Bideford: Oliver, Mayne, Allan, Harrison, Reed, Hancox (Squire 63), Bye, Carter, Palmer, Turner (Western 90), Seymour. Subs: Squire, Western, Key.
AFC Totton: Smith 17, Adekunle 45+3
Bideford: Seymour 2, Harrison 5, Squire 73