Monday, August 19, 2013
Chesham United 2-2 Bideford
Bideford kicked off their 2013-14 Calor Southern League Premier campaign with a battling 2-2 draw away to Chesham United.
The Robins produced a fine performance to pick up a valuable away point against the side which came third last season, even without five first team players in Hockley, Farkins, Milton, Barker and Sampson.
And the result is made even more impressive by the fact the visitors had to play the last 35 minutes without a recognised goalkeeper after Steve Oliver was sent off on debut and midfielder Craig Duff finished the game between the sticks.
The away side got off to the perfect start with a goal from Connor Clifford before a mistake from Oliver led to Chesham’s equaliser.
The red card followed, as did Chesham taking the lead before a re-shuffle from manager Sean Joyce which saw the introduction of Saul Halpin.
And it was Halpin who put Owen Howe in to make it 2 a piece.
“The boys were brilliant,” said Joyce. “It’s a great point against one of the favourites to win the league, especially with five lads missing for us.
“It’s a shame for Steve Oliver because he’s been so good in pre-season. He’ll certainly not forget his debut!”
Bideford played their first home game of the season on Tuesday, after the North Devon Gazette had gone to print, entertaining Wincanton.
“It’s an unpredictable league but we want to get a win on the board,” said Joyce. “We need to make sure we come away with something.”