TAUNTON TOWN 1 BIDEFORD 1
A patched up Bideford came away from league leaders Taunton Town with an excellent point last night.
Ben Seymour’s second half penalty equalised Dan Sullivan’s first half strike to ensure the game at the Viridor Stadium ended in a 1-1 draw. Bideford, who were without Craig Allan, James Mayne and Ben Carter as well as manager Sean Joyce and physio Tony Beal due to illness, had to weather the storm and ride their luck at times but in the end could’ve even snatched all three points from their Southern Premier bound hosts.
Taunton almost took the lead early on as Keith Emmerson saw an effort cleared off the line but Bideford were a threat at the other end with Olly Mehew working his way into the box only to see his cutback well intercepted. The home side took the lead with The Robins down to ten men as Matt Wright looked to have caught a bloody Dan Harrison with an elbow. The Peacocks took advantage as Craig Veal flicked on for Sullivan to coolly lob the ball over Steve Oliver and into the net.
Bideford looked to be rocking as Wright headed against the post and Shane White had a goal ruled out for offside. However, The Robins fought back and began playing some nice football in the final third. Seymour laid the ball off for Matt Bye to shoot wide, Sean Downing saw a volley well blocked and Josh Key curled a shot just over. Sullivan then shot wide for The Peacocks as the game reached its halfway point with Bideford still well and truly in it.
There was a big let off seven minutes into the second period as Wright headed Ryan Brett’s free kick back off the crossbar and White blazed the rebound over. But once again Bideford sustained a period of pressure and came back stronger as the game approached its final quarter. The equaliser came with just over 20 minutes left as Lloyd Irish struggled to collect a header back by Josh Nelmes. Kevin Squire, who had only been on the field a minute, nipped in to steal the ball and was brought down by the keeper for a certain penalty. The only question was; would Irish receive a red card? He didn’t, much to the dismay of several Bideford players.
In any event, Seymour stepped up to send Irish the wrong way and despatch the penalty low into the bottom left corner to level things up. The Robins then looked the more likely of the two sides to win it as Downing headed just wide from a Bye cross, Ian Sampson fired over from distance and Seymour’s run and shot was blocked in the penalty area. The last action saw Brett strike over the bar for Taunton but Bideford held firm for the final few minutes to claim an excellent point especially considering the missing personnel.
Bideford: Oliver, Sampson, Beattie, Harrison, Reed, Bye, Turner (Western 66), Key, Downing, Mehew (Squire 66), Seymour. Subs: Squire, Western, Hancox, Wood.
Taunton Town: Sullivan 18
Bideford: Seymour 69 pen