Bideford made it three wins in a row in Evo-Stik Division One South this afternoon (New Year’s Day) with victory over Paulton Rovers.
The Robins were 3-2 winners at the Sports Ground, carrying on where they left off at Barnstaple on Boxing Day.
Ryan Turner gave the hosts the lead after 20 minutes, knocking in from close range after Sean Downing forced a save from Paulton keeper Rob Brown.
The visitors equalised seven minutes before the break when Liam Monelle headed in from a corner, but Billy Tucker ensured Bideford went into the break with the lead with a powerful strike.
Bideford were well on top in the second half, and wrapped up the win with 10 minutes remaining when Niall Heeney headed home for his first goal for the club.
A Jack Ball strike helped Paulton reduce the deficit in the seventh minute of stoppage time.
The Robins started the match well, looked dangerous in the final third and when their opening goal came after 20 minutes it was no more than they deserved.
Tucker caused problems for the Paulton defence, drawing a save from Brown inside 10 minutes after Turner pulled the ball back to him. Tucker then saw a shot blocked by Joe Hillard minutes later.
Turner broke the deadlock with a close-range finish not a million miles away from his efforts on Boxing Day. Ben Carter’s free kick was met by Downing, who forced a reaction save from Brown. The ball was only parried as far as Turner though, and the Bideford striker was left with a simple finish from inside the six-yard box.
The Robins seemed to take their foot off the accelerator after the goal, and with the game beginning to drift, Paulton were able to haul themselves level eight minutes before the break.
Joe Moore had just produced a good save from Jay Malpas, but it ended in vain, with the resulting corner nodded in by Monelle.
The equaliser woke Bideford up, six minutes later Downing got to the byline and dug out a cross to the back post, where Tucker was waiting to run towards goal before blasting a shot past Brown.
Tucker almost extended the lead shortly after the break. Again it was Downing who was able to tee him up, working his way down the right channel before sending a ball to Tucker at the back post, this time his shot was tipped by Brown.
The Robins looked comfortable in the second half, with Downing forcing a good stop from Brown after he had taken down Ben Carter’s high ball and fired off a shot from the edge of the penalty area.
Paulton had looked quiet throughout, but were only a few inches away from an equaliser when John Gay’s header from a deep free kick drifted over the bar.
Three minutes later Heeney just about wrapped up all three points for Bideford. A Tucker corner was flicked on by Downing and into the path of the midfielder, who glanced the ball past Brown to get his first goal for the Robins since joining them in the summer.
Paulton pulled one back in the seventh minute of stoppage time when Ball rocketed a volley in from close range.
Bideford: Moore, Sampson, Gregory, Downing, Mayne, Palmer, Carter, Heeney (Haynes 82), Turner (Squire 86), Tucker, Randall (Hancox 89). Subs not used: Taylor, Down.
Paulton Rovers: Brown, Withey, Pike, Hitchings, Hillard, Malpas (Bond-Kendall 89), Monelle (Jordan 70), Evans, Ball, Gay, Lovibond. Subs not used: Rendall, Powell.