Robins soar as rivals slip

Joseph Bulmer

Bideford increase the gap at the top

BIDEFORD were the only top five team to gain a win in the Evo Stik League Division 1 South and West on Saturday, enabling them to stretch their lead to six points.

While the Robins were soaring with a 3-1 win at Mangotsfield, second and third placed Hungerford and Sholing both slipped to defeats, while fourth and fifth Thatcham and Paulton Rovers were both held to draws.

Striker Kevin Squire set Bideford off to a perfect start with a goal after just two minutes, but Ian Sampson stole the glory with his first two goals for Bideford.

Squire slotted home from 20 yards as the Mangotsfield defence hesitated in the opening minutes.

But Mangotsfield were level shortly before the break when Bideford keeper Grant Fisher was unable to stop a lofted shot by the home team’s Sean Savill.

Fisher was the hero midway through the second period when he saved a penalty shot from Mangotsfield’s Harley Purnell.

The home side continued to have chances before Bideford broke away and a cross from Sean Downing was only parried and Sampson followed up to force the ball home from close range in the 80th minute.

The former Tiverton man was there again five minutes from time with a headed second goal to ensure the points were safe.

Last night (Tuesday) the Robins were due to entertain Clevedon Town in the third round of the Red Insure League Cup and on Saturday there will be at home to Bridgwater.