Bideford 1-0 Hemel Hempstead Town

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Bideford exacted instant revenge over Calor Southern League Premier leaders Hemel Hempstead Town with a superb display to claim a 1-0 win at the Sports Ground on Saturday.

The two sides had met four days earlier at Hemel, with the league leaders proving too strong for the Robins and making it 11 games unbeaten in the process.

But it was a different story on Saturday, as a crowd of 275 watched Bideford defend brilliantly to keep Hemel out – the first time that has happened since the first day of the season.

Bideford made the better chances in the first half, with Ethan Phillips working hard up front and forcing some good saves from the visiting ‘keeper.

And just before half time, Bideford had their reward. A set piece was sent deep by Steve Orchard to pick out Matt Hockley, whose header the keeper could only parry to give Ben Gerring a simple tap-in.

Hemel started brightly in the second half, but the home side continued to defend their box well and their hard work ensured they carried a threat of their own going forward.

Hemel’s pressure continued to the end, but they couldn’t find a way past Bideford’s outstanding back line. Robins boss Sean Joyce was clearly happy with his side’s performance as he jumped into the air at the final whistle.

He will hope the win will give his side a boost going into two key games this week, starting with sixth-placed Poole Town on Tuesday.

They then go to fifth-placed Stourbridge on Saturday.

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