Late glory on testing day for Robins

North Devon Gazette

The improving form of Bideford in the Southern League continued with a dramatic 1-0 victory over Larkhall Athletic.Â

The victory lifted the Robins out of the bottom three in Division One South but it was only possible after a late winner and a young striker playing the second half as an emergency goalkeeper.Â

Larkhall had only lost once previously in the league and looked very strong in the early exchanges. Bideford first big chance came when Toby Down headed narrowly wide from a Jack Calver corner before Robins’ goalkeeper Adam Seedhouse Evans made an excellent save from a Lewis Powell effort.Â

Bideford were then grateful to Craig Duff for a miraculous goalline clearance on the stroke of half-time. Sadly, it was the last meaningful input from Duff and Seedhouse Evans, who were forced off with head injuries.Â

Rubin Wilson took over goalkeeping duties in the second period and did a super job in slippery conditions, displaying admirable handling, as Larkhall understandably looked to test the temporary glovesman.Â

Wilson also saved well from Powell, while Buchan and Calver went close for Bideford. The game was just six minutes away from stalemate when Buchan brilliantly created room on the right and cut the ball back for Wilson to ram home the winner.Â

It was a proper hard-fought three points for the Robins, who will be hoping for more success when they travel to second-bottom Mangotsfield on Saturday.Â

While Bideford won the game with a solitary strike on 84 minutes, the exact opposite befell Barnstaple Town, who were agonisingly close to earning their first point of the season at promotion-chasing Highworth Town.Â

Barum defied their lowly status with a first-half display full of confidence and spirit. Highworth did hit the woodwork but the general momentum was in favour of Barnstaple, with Kyle Darragh and JJ Evans both forcing saves from the home custodian.Â

The hosts increased their tempo after the break but were repelled by resilient disciplined defending from Barum, with debutant Ben Palmer terrific in the back four.Â

Sadly, hearts were broken, when Felipe Barcelos finally found space in the Barnstaple box and rifled home a harsh winner.Â