Robins’ FA Trophy success continues against Londoners

BRILLIANT Bideford have booked themselves a first class ticket into the next round of the FA Carlsberg Trophy.

A barnstorming first-half performance – and watertight second-half display – gave the Robins a memorable 1-0 win against London visitors Dulwich Hamlet from the Ryman Isthmian Football League Division One South.

The second round qualifying win earned the North Devon side £3,000 from the FA prize fund as well as another home draw against Londoners AFC Hornchurch, from the Isthmian League Premier Division, on Saturday, November 20.

A crowd of 246 – one of the biggest of the season – was at the Sports Ground to see Saturday’s win. They were given plenty to cheer about early on as the home team took the game to the visitors in the opening exchanges.

Sean Downing had a one-on-one effort well-saved by keeper James Dunn and Ben Wood was dispossessed as he looked ready to unleash an effort at goal.

Bideford really did crank up the pressure with a succession of corner kicks but Dulwich always looked threatening on the break and Bideford keeper Matt Armstrong-Ford needed to be on his toes as the hosts were forced to deal with a number of high balls themselves.

The breakthrough came early in the second half when Dominic Rivans lofted the ball into the box and Jamie Mudge pounced on a mis-cleared ball to score the tie’s decisive goal.

The goal galvanised the visitors, who nearly pulled level immediately after the restart and began to turn the tables on the Robins. Armstrong-Ford forced Ethan Pinnock to fire wide into the side-netting and Nyren Clunis saw his header rebound back off the upright and into Armstrong-Ford’s arms.

Ellis Laight could have settled Bideford’s nerves with 10 minutes to go but he fired his effort straight at Dunn.

Dulwich looked dangerous until the final whistle and the nail-biting only intensified when Sol Pinnock whipped a dangerous ball across the face of the Bideford goalmouth with almost the last kick of the match.

Bideford are at home to top of the league Sholing on Saturday.