Bideford battled back from a goal down to claim another point in Evo-Stik Division One South this afternoon (Saturday).
A fabulous volley from Billy Tucker helped the Robins take a 1-1 draw away from their game against Melksham Town at the Sports Ground.
Jon Davies had given the visitors the lead four minutes into the second half after making the most of a failed clearance from Bideford goalkeeper Steve Oliver.
Tucker’s equaliser came 10 minutes from time, and the Robins almost snatched all three points in stoppage time but for a Sean Downing effort going over the bar.
Bideford started the game well and had numerous chances to take the lead in the first half, but were unable to take any of them.
Tucker pushed a fierce shot across goal from a tight angle after 13 minutes, and a minute later he volleyed wide meeting a long ball from Toby Down.
Tucker wasn’t the only Robin to have sight at goal. Kevin Squire saw a header go just over the bar, and Ryan Turner had a header saved by Darren Behcet.
Tucker had the best chance of the first half at the end of it when a well-struck shot from inside the box forced a good save from the Melksham goalkeeper.
The visitors had chances of their own. Rob Hobbs pulled a shot wide in the 20th minute after being fed through by Andy Sandell, who forced a good save from Steve Oliver with a shot 10 minutes later.
Melksham took the lead shortly after the break. Oliver’s clearance from outside the penalty area was charged down by Sandell, who managed to buy some time before finding Davies, who fired a low shot past the Bideford keeper and into the bottom corner.
On came Sean Downing and Matt Ward in place of Squire and Turner, with Downing leading the line with Tucker.
The Robins soon started creating chances again, with Wood firing an effort at Behect. A minute later Sam Haynes put a shot at the back post over the bar after some more good work from Wood down the left flank.
When Toby Down saw a header from six yards out go straight into the hands of Behcet it didn’t look like it was going to be Bideford’s day.
In came Tucker, who volleyed Bideford back on terms with a lovely finish with 10 minutes remaining. The forward had made a hash of a chance seconds earlier, but with the ball sitting up at the edge of the box he sent a lovely looping volley into the net.
The Robins missed a glorious chance to win the game in the fourth minute of stoppage time, with Downing firing over the bar after Tucker pulled the ball back for him.
Bideford: Oliver, Haynes, Wood, Sampson, Allan, Down, Bye, Heeney, Squire (Ward 61), Turner (Downing 54), Tucker. Subs not used: Mayne, Gregory, Hancox.
Melksham Town: Behcet, Cooper, Lyons (Wall 78), Hobbs, Maidment, Thompson, Sandell (Niekell 88), Perrott, Ballinger, Davies, Gilbert. Subs not used: Davidson, Bagg.