Five goal Bideford go marching on

Joseph Bulmer

Rees and Stephens the danger men as Robins make a stroll of the Park.

BIDEFORD Reserves go marching on at the top of the North Devon League Senior Division, marking their first league game since November 26 with a 5-1 win at home to their closest rivals Park United.

Park got the game under way, but it was Bideford who made the early breakthrough. Sam Stephens released James Rees on the left wing and his cross, with the aid of the wind, completely fooled the goalkeeper who could only watch the ball drop into the net.

Park had to soak up a lot of pressure, but coped well and look dangerous on the break.

Bideford were made to rue missed chances when, on 17 minutes, a free kick on the half way line was twice cleared out of the penalty area, only for Park’s Mark Hill to fire an equaliser.

But within three minutes Bideford were back in front when Sam Stephens was tripped in the box and Rikki Williams scored from the spot.

There they stayed, extending their lead 11 minutes before the break when Ben Ford tucked the ball into the empty net.

With the pressure telling, Bideford created several more chances before Ross McNicholas made the gap and fired the ball into the path of Rees for 4-1 at the break.

More Bideford pressure provided ample chances, but no goals. Park were then reduced to 10 men for a second yellow card and Bideford redoubled their efforts against a solid defence.

Number five came on 80 minutes when a Rees cross hit a defender’s arm and Joe Cann was given the responsibility and duly broke his scoring duck.

Third placed Chittlehampton made up ground on Park with a comprehensive 7-0 result at home to Barnstaple Ammie Reserves.

Matt Ransley scored the opening two goals and Kieran Lishman added a third before half-time.

Ransley completed his hat-trick shortly after the re-start, then came a brace from Jamie Giffard and a ‘screamer’ from outside of the box by man-of-the-match central midfielder Ross Williams.

Chittle went into the match without a keeper and the space was filled by left back Chris Dent, but he had little to do.

Lynton and Lynmouth had a real tussle at North Molton Reserves before coming through 4-3 winners.

Goals by Martin Phillips and Nick Wilde gave them a flying 2-0 start within eight minutes, but then the tables turned in the closely contested match and North Molton went into the break 3-2 ahead.

Lynton lost keeper Jack Osman in the second half, but substitute Tristan Jones filled the gap with style, pulling off some tremendous saves.

Phillips struck again to level the sscores and Max Smith grabbed the winner.

Shamwickshire Rovers Reserves were 4-2 winners away to South Molton with goals by Ryan West, Justin Symons, John Jefferies and Kirk Lee.