Bideford’s first match in preparation for the new Southern League season ended in defeat to National League South champions Torquay United.
The Gulls left the Sports Ground 5-0 winners on Tuesday night (July 9). Manny Duku and Jamie Reid gave them a 2-0 lead at the break before two second half goals from a trialist and one from Olaf Koszela completed the result.
Bideford, who had new signings Lewis Waldy and Josh Wadham in the starting line-up, were forced to defend for long periods of the match as Torquay dominated possession.
The visitors started brightly, with an early shot from Asa Hall forcing Joe Moore into a low save to his right. Hall headed wide from the resulting corner.
Bideford came close to opening the scoring after eight minutes when Ryan Turner's strike bounced down off the underside of the crossbar and landed the wrong side of the line for the Robins.
Torquay took the lead after 17 minutes when Reid robbed Toby Down of the ball on the edge of the penalty area and squared for Duku, who took his time to pick out a shot into the bottom corner.
Gary Johnson's side doubled their lead just before half time when Kalvin Lumbombo-Kalala fed the ball through to Reid after a long dribble, with the Torquay forward duly putting the ball in the back of the net.
The second half saw a wave of substitutions for both sides, with Alfie Moulden and John Downing among those to come on for the Robins.
Torquay extended their lead shortly after the break when their trialist fired in from a Jake Andrews corner.
The fourth came on the hour when Koszela drove in behind the Bideford defence and produced a delicate shot past Moore.
Bideford had a couple of chances as the second half progressed. Ian Sampson was just off target with a shot from wide of the penalty area, and Kevin Squire saw a header go over the crossbar from a corner.
Torquay's trialist got their fifth with 15 minutes to go, with Koszela providing.
Bideford's pre-season continues on Sunday, with Hereford the visitors to the Sports Ground. Kick-off is at 1pm.
Before then Hereford take on Yeovil Town at the Sports Ground on Friday, with kick-off at 7.30pm.