Bideford made it three wins in a row on Saturday with a 4-3 victory at Highworth Town in Evo-Stik Division One South.

Sean Downing struck twice in the win – opening the scoring in the first minute and bagging the winner five minutes from time.

Downing’s winner was the fourth time Bideford had taken the lead, having been pegged back by the hosts three times before.

The Bideford forward gave his side the lead for the first time after 47 seconds, following up his own shot to finish past Connor Johns.

Ashan Holgate levelled for the hosts after quarter of an hour, heading in a cross.

Kevin Squire put the Robins back out in front after 25 minutes with a well taken volley from inside the penalty area.

The visitors struck early in the second half, with Ash Edenborough converting a penalty before Ben Carter got Bideford’s third with a curling free kick from 25 yards 17 minutes from time.

Highworth were awarded a second penalty in the 83rd minute and Bideford were reduced to 10 men with Ben Palmer sent off for a second booking. Callum McGhee-Parsons converted the spot-kick to make it 3-3.

Bideford didn’t settle for a point though, and sealed all three just three minutes later when Downing burst through the Highworth defence to slip the ball past Johns and into the net.

Manager Sean Joyce was left frustrated with some of the key decisions.

“We had to go and win this game three or four times because the referee made a game of it,” he said.

“We were so much better and in control than the scoreline suggests, but we just couldn’t put it to bed because of the decisions that have gone against us – they were just bad.

“At 3-3, down to 10 men and having conceded two penalties, we’re thinking about a point and Sean Downing breaks away.

“It was a great result to come away with against a team that has only lost twice all season. We didn’t totally dominate but we were comfortable. It looks like my centre backs have had a nightmare but they were excellent.”

The result means Bideford are sixth in Division One South – a position Joyce is happy to see his side in after 10 games.

“It’s a funny league this year, there are no stand-outs,” he said.

“If you lose a couple you’re down towards the edge of the relegation zone and if you win two you’re right back in it.

“Looking back we’re probably four or five points off where we should be, and there are a couple of defeats we’ve had that we should have taken more from.”

The Robins are in action again tomorrow night in the second round of the Southern League Challenge Cup, making the short journey to Tiverton Town.

They’re back at the Sports Ground on Saturday when they host 17th-placed Mangotsfield United.