Bideford suffered their first defeat in seven matches in Evo-Stik League South West on Saturday.

The Robins were beaten 2-1 at Cirencester Town for their first loss since December 16.

The damage was done by Alan Griffin, who scored twice in quick succession in the final 15 minutes to help the hosts to a fifth win in a row.

Griffin broke the deadlock in the 75th minute, following up on a good save from Steve Oliver to head into the net from close range.

He doubled the lead just four minutes later, and was again in the right place at the right time after the Centurions had twice hit the bar.

Josh Key, making his first start, pulled one back for the Robins in the 90th minute with a well-taken header, but it was too little too late.

The Robins now lie 11th in League South West, but they still have plenty of games in hand in their push for the playoffs.

Bideford manager Sean Joyce said: “I thought we played well to be fair. There were difficult circumstances with the 3G pitch, which we always seem to struggle on, but we handled ourselves quite well.

“They were only going to hurt us on set pieces and they were good on that. We’re not the biggest team and that’s what cost us probably. One corner and one free kick.

“But in general I thought we played the better football and had the better chances, so it felt like a positive result in some ways.”

The game came four days after Bideford’s trip to Kidlington – their longest of the season – ended with the game being abandoned before half-time.

The Robins were 1-0 to the good thanks to a Craig Allan finish before the pitch was deemed unplayable.

Joyce said the situation was an ‘absolute farce’.

“I got there at 6.30pm and the pitch had water all over it. The car park was virtually flooded,” he said.

“It should never have been on and the referee only started it as a token gesture because we had travelled.”

Kidlington are the visitors to the Sports Ground on Saturday, but the Bideford manager said Wednesday’s fiasco wouldn’t go onto the pitch with them this time around.

He said: “I’m disappointed but I can’t hold their players or management to account, because it’s not down to them. They should have just turned us around earlier.

“It’s been a tough month, but the boys have managed to pick up some great results and kept it going. It will be nice to get back at home and see where we are.”

The Robins travel to league leaders Taunton Town tonight (Tuesday) for a rearranged game.