Injury-time delight and despair for local sides

North Devon Gazette

Bideford and Barnstaple were both just seconds away from hard-fought draws in the Southern League weekend, but one club secured late glory and the other was left heartbroken.Â

The Robins welcomed Bristol Manor Farm to North Devon and the league’s form team were looking to extend their late promotion push, while Bideford desperately need the points to push away from the danger zone.Â

Alex Moyse had the first attempt for Bideford, whipping a wind-assisted 25-yarder narrowly wide. The strong start continued with George Nancekivell also going close and Moyse then forced the best from Manor Farm ‘keeper Ben John with a low effort from Alex Byrne’s corner.Â

John denied Craig Duff on 36 minutes before the visitors showed their muscle late in the half, striking the Bideford post with a scruffy effort on the break. The Robins opened the second period with renewed vigour and a Matt Buchan header was cleared off the line by a stretched Manor Farm defence.Â

The visitors replied by creating a glorious chance for Lucas Vowles, who evaded the onrushing Bideford goalkeeper Adam Seedhouse Evans but was denied a certain goal by a terrific recovery tackle from James Mayne.Â

When Kai Fisher’s header was saved in the last minute, it looked like the Robins would have to settle for a point, but there was one final twist. Moyse volleyed into a packed penalty area deep into injury time and the ball bounced loose for Charlie Hanson to strike the dramatic winner.Â

While the Robins were celebrating wildly, 150 miles away in Cirencester, Barnstaple sank to their knees in dismay, as a last-minute penalty from Jake Lee gave the hosts a 2-1 win and a result that keeps Barum six points adrift at the bottom.Â

Barnstaple had overcome the disruption of two injury-enforced changes inside the first quarter and battled back from conceding early in the second period, Owen Howe seemingly earning his side a point seven minutes from time, but the last-gasp spot-kick was a sickening and decisive blow. Â

Barum welcome second-placed Frome Town on the weekend and Bideford travel to mid-table Evesham United. Â