Robins come back from 2-0 down to rescue Evo-Stik League South West point
Bideford rescued an Evo-Stik League South West point this afternoon (Saturday) with a smash-and-grab final 10 minutes.
The Robins drew 2-2 with Cinderford Town at the Sports Ground after a late comeback saw them recover from 2-0 down.
Sean Downing gave them a sniff of a comeback when he headed in a Billy Tucker corner on 85 minutes.
Then in the second minute of stoppage time, James Mayne rose highest to glance the ball in and restore parity.
Cinderford had led since the 22nd minute, with Dan Clare breaking the deadlock.
The centre-back gave the visitors a 2-0 lead going into half-time when he nodded in a free header in first half stoppage time.
The result puts the Robins eighth in League South West and they are one of five teams with 23 points.
In a performance similar to their last outing at the Sports Ground – a 3-1 win over Slimbridge – the Robins were easily second best for large portions of the game.
The visitors were quickest out of the blocks and put pressure on Steve Oliver’s goal in the opening 15 minutes. Their best chance fell to Sammy Hicks, who fired wide from six yards out after Lewis Bamford picked him out from the right.
It took the Robins 20 minutes to get a sight at goal, and it fell to Matt Bye, who fizzed a shot just over the bar from 20-yards out.
A minute later Cinderford took the lead. A long free-kick wasn’t dealt with by the Bideford defence, and after Steve Oliver pushed the ball onto the post it came out to Clare, who did enough to get the ball over the line despite a last-ditch attempt from Craig Allan to clear the ball.
Ryan Turner could and really should have levelled things up for Bideford with 8 minutes of the first half to go. A long throw in from Ben Wood was helped on by Craig Duff straight into the path of the striker, who somehow managed to bend the ball over the bar from inside the six-yard box.
The miss was punished in stoppage time. Hicks’ long free kick from just inside the Bideford half saw Clare find space for a free header to nod past Oliver and into the goal.
Manager Sean Joyce made changes five minutes into the second half to give his side more impetus in attack. Sean Downing and Ben Seymour came on for Dan Western and Turner. Kevin Squire was brought on with 20 minutes remaining for Ian Sampson.
The Robins gradually exerted more pressure. Squire and Downing both had sights of goal but ultimately didn’t trouble Cameron Clarke.
It wasn’t until the 85th minute that the pressure paid off. Billy Tucker’s corner from the right channel was in the right area and Downing rose higher than anyone to meet the ball and steer it into the goal.
With one on the board, the Robins continued to search for an equaliser, and they were rewarded two minutes into stoppage time.
Again it came from a corner, this time from the opposite side and from Matt Bye. His set piece was met at the near post by James Mayne, who glanced the ball past Clarke and into the net.
Bideford: Oliver, Sampson (Squire 70), Wood, Mayne, Allan, Harrison, Bye, Western (Downing 50), Turner (Seymour 50), Duff, Tucker. Subs not used: Roberts, Beattie.
Cinderford Town: Clarke, Grimes, Bloom (Humphreys 66)), Lewis, Clare, Alderdice, Norman, McDonald (Angel 46), Bamford (Atkinson 57), Hicks, Waugh. Subs not used: Knott, Michael.