Robins beat Bodmin Town 1-0 in second-round replay to set up trip to London in third qualifying round

Bideford earned themselves a place in the third qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup last night (Tuesday).

The Robins beat Bodmin Town 1-0 at the Sports Ground in a second qualifying round replay.

Sean Downing got the crucial goal for the home side, getting to Matt Bye’s free-kick first to send a glancing header into the net.

The victory means Sean Joyce’s side travel to Bostik League North side Haringey Borough on Saturday for the third qualifying round match, with the winner receiving £7,500 and a place in the final qualifying stage before the first round proper.

Tuesday night’s win snaps a three-game run without a win for the Robins.

Speaking after the game, Joyce said: “Winning is a good habit and getting beaten is a bad habit, and sometimes it’s hard to get out of it.

“It’s easy to fall into that rut so it was important to get a win tonight against a team like Bodmin, who would be in the top 10 in our league. I’m glad we’re through it really.

“A goal either way would have done it and if they had scored first we would have found it hard to break them down.

“I thought we were the better team and I thought we created the better chances.

“Getting the goal gave us an impetus to hang on to it but then again I thought we could have been better in pushing people on to get the second.

“We scored the first and had 10 minutes to get the second and we just couldn’t get it.”

Downing’s deadlock-breaker early in the second half was the perfect tonic after what had been a back-and-forth first half for both sides.

Ben Wood, coming in at left wing back, had a handful of half-chances for the Robins, but had trouble finding the target.

Bodmin looked dangerous at the other end, and had Scott Beattie not been alert, the visitors would have gone into the lead after 12 minutes.

Former Robin Chris McPhee put a ball over the Bideford defence for Luke Rundall to flash a ball across the box. With Oliver beaten, Adam Kelly steered a finish towards the goal, but the recovering Beattie was able to clear just in time.

The home side started the second half with more intent, and were rewarded after five minutes.

Ryan Turner burst through the Bodmin defence and rounded keeper David Painter, only to be brought down right on the edge of the box.

Bye took the resulting free-kick after Painter was booked, and his bending ball into the box was met by Downing, who glanced a header beyond the Bodmin keeper and into the far corner.

Downing almost doubled the lead 10 minutes later when his deflected header hit the outside of the post.

Speaking about Saturday’s third qualifying round match, Joyce said: “It’s the first cup run we’ve had in years. We’ve won £4,500 today and that’s massive for a club like mine.

“If we get them down here I think we might be the slight favourites, but then again we’re unbeaten away from home.

“I’ve got to devise a plan now and get some information on them and what they’re like and go down on Saturday and get a result.

“It costs us what we want to do in the league, but give me a cup run and a place in the first round and it would be like winning the league.

“In the meantime we’re through this one, we’ve gone through three rounds and we’re into the next one.”