The Robins put in an impressive performance to beat the Gulls 3-1 at the Sports Ground on Monday evening.
Bideford laid down a statement of intent in the Devon St Luke’s Cup on Monday evening, beating Torquay United 3-1.
A howler from goalkeeper Jamie Robba got Bideford back in contention after Brett Williams had given a youthful Torquay side the lead.
Matt Andrew made it 2-1 before half-time with a well-taken finish after Downing broke clear of the defence.
Kai Fisher wrapped up the win on the hour, with a towering header into the bottom corner from a Billy Tucker cross.
A much changed side put in an impressive high-tempo performance, with slick passing repeatedly unlocking the Torquay defence.
Bideford manager Sean Joyce said: “We’ve had to change the shape and tweak it a little bit to get everybody in.
“We didn’t have natural forwards to some extent, but I wanted to try a different shape and I thought the response was brilliant.
“They worked really hard.
“Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a strong Torquay United side, I’m not going to go home and say we beat their first team, nowhere near it.
“But you’ve got to beat what’s put in front of you.”
The win over Torquay is bound to instill some confidence in the Robins, who squandered a two goal lead to lose 4-2 at Didcot Town in the Southern League on Saturday.
It looked like it was going to be plain sailing with 20 minutes gone.
Ben Watson gave Bideford the lead after nine minutes with a well-taken finish from the edge of the box.
Ian Sampson doubled their lead seven minutes later.
A mistake from Josh Colwill in goal allowed Jack Powell to pull a goal back for the home side 10 minutes before the break.
The turning point came on the stroke of half-time. Bideford’s newest addition, Kai Fisher, was shown a harsh red card after Ben Whitehead went down in the box under a shoulder charge
Whitehead converted the penalty to level things, and with an extra man in the second half, Didcot took control. Sam Barder gave the home side the lead after 71 minutes, heading in a whitehead cross, before Taylor Janes put the game out of Bideford’s reach with five minutes of the game remaining.
Andy Ballard was shown red for Dicot late on, but by that point there was no way back for the Robins.
After the match, Joyce said: “I felt for the lads, because the effort they put in.
“But we got sawn off at the knees – the referee had a shocker.
Bideford will be looking for a fourth successive home win on Saturday when they face Shortwood United before a clash with Taunton Town in the Southern League Challenge Cup on Monday.