Magpies on song with Malara masterpiece

Joseph Bulmer

Great goalkeeping gives struggling Wimborne a win at the Sports Ground

BIDEFORD were unable to break down a stubborn Wimborne Town side in their penultimate Zamaretto Southern League game at the Sports Ground this season.

The Robins huffed and puffed against the struggling Magpies but failed to blow away a two-goal deficit and record their fourth win in four on Saturday afternoon.

Matt Andrew scored his fifth goal in four games but good work by goalkeeper Jakub Malara helped earn the visitors a 2-1 win.

Wimborne made a bright start despite fielding an under strength side that featured assistant manager Darren Powell. making his first appearance for many years.

Also in the starting line-up was Scott Joyce, who was thrown into the fray from the start after a long lay-off. And it was Joyce who got the ball rolling for Wimborne despite only playing 15 minutes of competitive football this season.

Andy Culliford’s shot at the far post was blocked by Matt Bye and Joyce crashed the loose ball past stand-in keeper Jon Vaughan and in off the bar to notch his first Southern League goal 11 minutes into the match.

Vaughan, in for the suspended Matt Armstrong-Ford, normally spends Saturday afternoon keeping goal for Braunton in the North Devon Gazette League; and despite the early attack, he had a quiet afternoon by comparison.

At the other end, it was Malara who was earning his keep as Bideford began to turn the screw. The keeper made three fine saves in the 20th minute, one from midfielder Richard Groves, who was then unlucky to see his effort cleared off the line by Powell.

Bideford went on to dominate the half and had a Dave Pearse effort ruled out by the linesman’s flag.

After the break, Jack Furzer thought he’d headed the equaliser but in the scramble for the ball, Malara was adjudged not to have carried the ball over the goal line.

Against the run of play, Wimborne added a second on 55 minutes when Jamie Davidson jinked his way in from the left and through a crowd of players before passing the ball past Vaughan at the near post.

Bideford responded almost immediately when Nick Barker’s cross from the left found the head of Andrew.

The hosts continued to press for an equaliser but efforts by Andrew and Ben Wood – and an injury time header by Furzer – were well saved by Malara, whose goal came under attack from a succession of corner kicks.

Bideford will travel to Cinderford Town again tomorrow night (Thursday) after a floodlight failure last Tuesday night forced the abandonment of the game with the scores at 1-1.

On Saturday, the Robins are away to Bishops Cleeve.