Bideford Ladies’ title hopes received an almighty boost on Sunday after they came out of their top-of-the-table clash with Plymouth Argyle Ladies Development with a 3-0 win.

Bideford Ladies v Plymouth Argyle Ladies Development in the South West Women's Football League Western Division. Picture: Matt SmartBideford Ladies v Plymouth Argyle Ladies Development in the South West Women's Football League Western Division. Picture: Matt Smart

The Robins sit second in the South West Women's Football League Western Division with five left to play – four points behind the Pilgrims, who have played two more games.

Next up for Bideford is a trip to third-place Plympton Ladies, where a positive result would certainly confirm them as serious title contenders.

Sunday's game at the Sports Ground was being edged by the visitors early on. They hit the crossbar with 20 minutes on the clock after a good spell of possession and pressure.

The near-miss sparked Bideford into life, and in the latter stages of the first half they broke the deadlock. Hannah Neve's flick-on header went to Beth Ellis, who fired in.

Bideford Ladies v Plymouth Argyle Ladies Development in the South West Women's Football League Western Division. Picture: Matt SmartBideford Ladies v Plymouth Argyle Ladies Development in the South West Women's Football League Western Division. Picture: Matt Smart

One became two six minutes into the second half when Ellis found the back of the net again. This time she latched onto a ball from Alicia Martin.

An organised Bideford defence was able to stop Argyle getting back into the game, and the Robins wrapped up victory with five minutes remaining. When Neve was upended in the box for a penalty, Ellis stepped up and smashed the spot-kick into the top corner for her hat-trick.

Bideford Ladies v Plymouth Argyle Ladies Development in the South West Women's Football League Western Division. Picture: Matt SmartBideford Ladies v Plymouth Argyle Ladies Development in the South West Women's Football League Western Division. Picture: Matt Smart

Bideford Ladies v Plymouth Argyle Ladies Development in the South West Women's Football League Western Division. Picture: Matt SmartBideford Ladies v Plymouth Argyle Ladies Development in the South West Women's Football League Western Division. Picture: Matt Smart

Bideford Ladies v Plymouth Argyle Ladies Development in the South West Women's Football League Western Division. Picture: Matt SmartBideford Ladies v Plymouth Argyle Ladies Development in the South West Women's Football League Western Division. Picture: Matt Smart

Bideford Ladies v Plymouth Argyle Ladies Development in the South West Women's Football League Western Division. Picture: Matt SmartBideford Ladies v Plymouth Argyle Ladies Development in the South West Women's Football League Western Division. Picture: Matt Smart

Bideford Ladies v Plymouth Argyle Ladies Development in the South West Women's Football League Western Division. Picture: Matt SmartBideford Ladies v Plymouth Argyle Ladies Development in the South West Women's Football League Western Division. Picture: Matt Smart

Bideford Ladies v Plymouth Argyle Ladies Development in the South West Women's Football League Western Division. Picture: Matt SmartBideford Ladies v Plymouth Argyle Ladies Development in the South West Women's Football League Western Division. Picture: Matt Smart

Bideford Ladies v Plymouth Argyle Ladies Development in the South West Women's Football League Western Division. Picture: Matt SmartBideford Ladies v Plymouth Argyle Ladies Development in the South West Women's Football League Western Division. Picture: Matt Smart

Bideford Ladies v Plymouth Argyle Ladies Development in the South West Women's Football League Western Division. Picture: Matt SmartBideford Ladies v Plymouth Argyle Ladies Development in the South West Women's Football League Western Division. Picture: Matt Smart