Bideford claimed a much-needed win over Slimbridge on Saturday to progress in the Buildbase FA Trophy.
The Robins were 3-2 winners over their Gloucestershire rivals at the Sports Ground, scoring all their goals in a blistering first half where they could have scored many more.
Adam Carter scored twice in the space of two minutes to help Bideford take a 3-1 lead into the break.
The striker finished off a couple of well-worked moves after Toby Down’s header in the 10th minute was cancelled out by a strike from Jay Malshanskyj seven minutes later.
Ryan Turner saw an early penalty saved by Slimbridge goalkeeper Lewis Adams with the score at 0-0.
Danny King pulled one back for the visitors midway through the second half to set up a nervy finish, but the hosts held firm to progress into the third qualifying round.
Sean Joyce made three changes to the side which battled for a point against Thatcham Town, with Ben Wood coming in for Charlie Lawrence and Nick Milton replacing James Mayne. On the pitch Niall Heeney and Alex Byrne switched roles, with Heeney going to left back and Byrne taking up a role alongside George Nancekivell in midfield.
It was a different Bideford to the one that lumbered through the first 30 minutes a week previous, with the Robins putting pressure on the Slimbridge goal and creating plenty of chances.
That said, the visitors almost took the lead inside a minute as Malshanskyj snuck in behind the Bideford defence. Liam Kingston was alert to make a double save and deny him.
Bideford’s first sight at goal ended up being the penalty won with seven minutes on the clock, coming after Joe Charles was brought down as he stormed into the box.
Turner stepped up and saw his penalty down the middle parried by Adams and as he raced the goalkeeper to the rebound his shot rolled wide of the post.
It mattered not three minutes later when Down headed Bideford into the lead. The centre-back was gifted a free header as he met Ben Wood’s corner from the right and thumped it past Adams.
Carter saw a volleyed effort cannon off the crossbar minutes later before Slimbridge levelled it up in the 17th minute. Malshanskyj was played in behind the Bideford backline on the left and sent a vicious shot across Kingston’s goal and into the bottom corner.
Bideford recovered quickly and heaped more pressure on the Slimbridge defence. Turner rattled the crossbar with an effort from 25 yards out before Carter volleyed just wide of the post.
After twice going close, Carter got his goal and gave Bideford the lead again in the 27th minute. A well-worked set piece saw Wood’s long free kick nodded across goal from the back post by Down and into the path of the Bideford striker, who ran onto the ball and fired past Adams.
Carter was celebrating his second and Bideford’s third just a couple of minutes later, meeting an Aaron Taylor cross and flicking a header into the back of the net.
A fluid first half gave way to a slightly more disjointed second as Bideford looked to preserve their lead, with few chances to shout about.
The game took a twist midway through the second half as Slimbridge got back within one. King got in behind the Bideford backline, and with the Robins’ offside appeals waved away, the striker coolly rounded Kingston and slotted the ball into the empty net.
It was almost level minutes later in similar fashion. This time substitute Jamie Martin was the man to get in behind the defence, but one on one with Kingston he fired his effort straight at the Bideford keeper
Kingston produced another good save to deny a Malshanskyj effort from the edge of the box, getting down low to his left to push the shot away minutes after Alex Byrne fired a low shot just wide at the other end.
As the game moved into stoppage time Down was alert to snuff out a dangerous ball across goal from Malshanskyj as the visitors pressed for an equaliser.
Bideford: Kingston, Taylor, Heeney, Byrne, Milton, Down, Nancekivell, Charles (Mayne 90+3) , Carter, Turner (Rosenquest 72), Wood, (Wilson 72) Subs not used: Lawrence, Wright.
Slimbridge: Adams, Deakin, Humphreys, Ford, Giles, White, Flo (Mubunga 59), Turner (Martin 67), Hawes (Dunbar 80), King, Malshanskyj.