The Robins were beaten 3-2 by their Somerset rivals in the preliminary round match at the Sports Ground after conceding three goals in the space of 15 first-half minutes. Sean Downing gave the Robins the lead after just 18 seconds with a well-taken goal, but Harry Foster cancelled it out 13 minutes later. Set piece headers minutes later from Phil Ormrod and Ross McErlain gave the Cobblers a commanding lead at the break. The Robins comeback chances were dealt a blow on the hour when captain Matt Bye was shown a red card for a challenge on Ormrod, but a Billy Tucker penalty gave the hosts a sniff going into the final quarter of the game. The hosts had been forced to go to plan B before the game had even kicked off when Kevin Squire was forced to rule himself out with a groin strain, replaced in the line-up by Ben Wood. The Robins then had the perfect start. Steve Olivers long clearance was brought down by Downing, who shuffled in between Leigh Bailey and McErlain to fire past former Bideford goalkeeper Joe Moore. Wood went close to doubling the lead 10 minutes later, but after driving forward his shot from 20 yards was over the bar. Street pulled themselves level three minutes later when Jamie Short slipped a ball through to Foster inside the box for the midfielder to fire low past Oliver. Before Bideford could do anything the visitors had taken the lead. This time Craig Herrods cross from the right wing was met at the back post by Ormrod, who sent his header back over Oliver and into the far corner. Ian Sampson came close to equalising when a Tucker throw-in found its way to him at the back post, but his sliding effort was off target. What could have been 2-2 became 3-1 to the visitors. Herrod was again the provider, this time from a corner as his ball to the back post was met by McErlain. Needing two goals in the second half, odds for a Bideford comeback were lengthened on the hour when Bye was given a straight red card by referee Phillip Eddie after a robust challenge on Ormrod inside the centre circle. They were offered some hope four minutes later when Sampson was brought down in the box under a challenge from Aiden Chainey. Tucker blasted the spot-kick down the centre of the goal to get the Robins within one. They almost bagged an equaliser in stoppage time by which point James Mayne was playing in central midfield alongside Niall Heeney. Tuckers free-kick from deep was spilled by Moore into Downings feet, but his shot was blocked by the legs of the keeper.Bideford: Oliver, Sampson, Palmer (Haynes 76), Downing, Mayne, Down, Bye, Heeney, Wood (Allan 68), Hancox (Gregory 59), Tucker. Sub not used: Squire. Street: Moore, Bennett, Waldy, Bailey, McErlain, Hurley, Chainey (Amghar 84), Foster (Strange 88), Ormrod (OHare 74), Herrod, Short. Subs not used: Morris, Punchyard.