Four-goal Bideford outside the points

Joseph Bulmer

Nine-goal thriller at North Leigh ends in frustration for travelling Robins

BIDEFORD’s rollercoaster Zamaretto Southern League season took another dramatic twist with a nine-goal thriller at North Leigh on Saturday.

Despite scoring four times in Oxfordshire, the Robins returned home disappointed after finding themselves on the wrong end of a 5-4 scoreline.

After Bideford ended a run of three straight defeats by rescuing a late point in Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw with Stourport Swifts, three points at the weekend would have been just the tonic to remedy what has so far been a miserable February.

Things started badly at Eynsham Park when Andy Caton caught Bideford napping after only three minutes.

But hope was swiftly restored when Sean Downing equalised four minutes later, and after a volley of efforts at the North Leigh goal – including a missed Matt Hockley penalty – it was no surprise that they soon went 3-1 one up through a Kevin Squire double.

Stuart Hole pulled one back from the penalty spot before half-time and five minutes after the re-start the hosts were on level terms again when Josh Dutton-Black found the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

Caton then grabbed his second of the day to make it 4-3 for the Yellows but Nick Barker drilled a rasping shot past Adam Lonsdale to level the match again with 15 minutes to play.

In the end, Michael Hopkins’ deft lob over Matt Armstrong-Ford with 10 minutes to go proved to be the difference between the two sides.

After three straight wins, the Robins have picked up just one point from a possible 15 and have slipped to 12th place in the Division One South and West table.

Bideford were set to host Plymouth in round three of the Devon St Luke’s Bowl last night (Tuesday).

On Saturday, the Robins are at home to Mangotsfield United before the visit of Bridgewater Town on Tuesday night.