A Ryan Turner hat-trick ensured Bideford got the better of Barnstaple Town in Boxing Day’s North Devon derby in Evo-Stik Division One South.
Turner’s hat-trick against his former club paved the way for a 4-1 win for the Robins at Mill Road in Aaron Harper-Penman’s first home match at the helm for Barum.
Turner popped up with two typical striker’s goals in a frenetic first half, scoring either side of a low strike from Barum’s Jack Jenkins.
Two second half penalties for the Robins ensured they took all three points back down the A39, with Sean Downing converting one midway through half before Turner completed his hat-trick with a spot-kick in stoppage time.
While the result isn’t pretty reading for Barnstaple, who have conceded 10 in their last two games, there were certainly some positives for Harper-Penman’s side.
The result puts Bideford 13th in Division One South – one of five teams on 25 points. Barum are still at the foot of the table, but defeats for Fleet Town and Mangotsfield United means not much has changed for them at the bottom.
Harper-Penman brought in goalkeeper Steve Johns and added Neil Bettiss and Brodie Montague to the Barum backline for the clash.
The match came alive after 13 minutes when Turner put the visitors ahead for the first of three goals in the space of eight minutes.
Billy Tucker was the architect, cutting in from the left wing and firing at goal. His shot was well saved by Johns, who parried it onto the inside of the post, but the keeper could do nothing about Turner sliding in to put the ball in the back of the net from close range.
Barnstaple came straight back though. Jenkins received the ball at the edge of the penalty area and managed to get off a low shot that managed to evade everyone, including a diving Joe Moore, and roll into the bottom corner.
Turner restored Bideford’s lead five minutes later with another striker’s finish. A corner from Tucker, met by Downing, had drawn a save from Johns, but with the ball bouncing loose the Bideford forward followed up and headed in from inside the six-yard box.
The opportunities kept coming too. Jenkins was inches away from getting his second, only to see his well-struck free kick 20 yards come back off the crossbar. Jack Rice-Lethaby drew a superb save from Moore minutes later with a shot from distance.
At the other end Downing forced a good save from Johns after taking the ball forward 50 yards.
Downing had two glorious chances extend the lead with his head early in the second half. Both came from long-range free kicks from Carter. One came off the top of the crossbar while the other was off target.
His third chance was the one that just about put the game to bed. When Downing was brought down in the box, referee Lee Roberts pointed to the penalty spot, and the Bideford forward duly dispatched, firing the spot-kick in off Johns’ right post.
Downing was fouled in the box again in the first minute of stoppage time, earning the Robins their second penalty. This time it was Turner who took the resulting kick, completing his hat-trick with a low effort to Johns’ left.
Barnstaple Town: Johns, Montague, Humphreys (Jones 46), Bettiss (Dart 90+4), Gardner, Holland (Reay 80), J Harper-Penman, Jenkins, Langford, Nancekivell, Rice-Lethaby. Subs not used: A Harper-Penman, Holmes.
Bideford: Moore, Sampson, Gregory, Downing, Allan (Dyer 85), Palmer, Carter, Heeney (Squire 90+2), Turner, Tucker (90+1), Randall. Subs not used: Haynes, Hancox.