BIDEFORD gained a hard-earned point in a tough and physically demanding encounter at home to Arlesey,

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Substitute Connor Clifford was the hero of the hour, coming off the bench to score the equaliser for a 1-1 result.

Arlesey, with a number of experienced ex-League professionals in their line-up, stretched the Robins despite being reduced to 10 men after 40 minutes when Leon Hibbert was sent off after a second yellow card for fouling Sean Downing.

Front runner Drew Roberts was a constant threat for the visitors, but they missed a handful of scoring chances before a goalmouth scramble ended in Danny Gordon tapping in to put them in front ten minutes into the second half.

A superb midfield break by Matt Andrew led to Bideford’s equaliser, tucked away by Clifford on 66 minutes.

The remainder of the game was a hard slog without result for either side, with Rob Farkins and Jack Furzer giving sterling performances in the home defnce.

Furzer was one of two changes from the Bideford side which earned their stunning 7-1 win over Chippenham the previous weekend, stepping in for Aaron Harper-Penman who was having attention to a broken nose.

Ian Sampson also came back into the side after being unavailable the previous week, taking over on the wide left from James Richards.

With their scheduled midweek game with Cambridge City cancelled, Bideford are next in action on Saturday away to St Albans, who currently sit eight places above them in the Premier Division table - but who the Robins beat 1-0 in their home encounter.

In an ironic twist, having signed up former Truro City keeper Tim Sandercombe to give added cover between the sticks, Bideford’s other keeper Paul Hider has been on loan to Truro after their anticipated replacement failed to materialise.

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