Bideford sunk by last-minute goal at Slimbridge

North Devon Gazette

Bideford hearts were broken by a last-minute goal at Slimbridge in the Southern League on Saturday.Â

There was little to choose between the two sides in the first period and the Robins nearly pinched a half-time lead when George Nancekivell threaded a pinpoint pass for Mattie Buchan, who was denied by an excellent save from home custodian Lewis Adams.Â

Bideford continued to probe after the break, Niall Heeney firing in a long-range effort that again forced the best from Adams. At the other end, Adam Seedhouse Evans was equally adept in his work, denying Slmibridge with a fine save.Â

The home side then struck the woodwork, while the Robins had a strong penalty claim dismissed by the referee. A satisfactory draw was on the cards until Slimbridge substitute Edjidja Mbunga broke down the right in stoppage time and delivered the cross for Myron Turner to convert the last-gasp winner.Â

The frustration for manager Sean Joyce was particularly acute, given that his side had come so close to a special victory at home to league leaders Frome Town in midweek.Â

The Robins were excellent for long periods, weathering an early storm from the visitors, with Seedhouse Evans impeccable between the sticks, to then go close through Craig Duff and Rubin Wilson.Â

The breakthrough arrived nine minutes before half-time, when Frome goalkeeper James Carey passed straight to Wilson, who gobbled up the opportunity to slip the ball into a waiting net.Â

Bideford were in dreamland just before the hour, as Nancekivell’s cross was deflected into the top corner for a 2-0 lead. Crucially, however, Frome hit back almost immediately, Kane Simpson sending a low shot beyond Seedhouse Evans. The visitors piled forward in search of an equaliser and got their reward when a free-kick was headed in by James Ollis.Â

After a string of encouraging performances in recent weeks, Barnstaple Town were unable to reproduce that form in the Devon derby with Willand Rovers on Saturday, going down to a 4-0 defeat at Mill Road.Â

Bideford host seventh-placed Melksham Town this weekend, while Barum have a massive game at Mangotsfield United, the side just above them at the foot of the table.Â