Bideford manager Sean Joyce praised the character of his side as they came back to take a 3-2 win over Barnstaple Town in Boxing Day’s North Devon derby.

Bideford v Barnstaple Town in the Boxing Day North Devon derby in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt SmartBideford v Barnstaple Town in the Boxing Day North Devon derby in BetVictor Division One South. Picture: Matt Smart

The Robins battled back from behind twice to take all three points. Kai Fisher gave Barnstaple an early lead before captain Ben Carter fired Bideford back into the game.

Barnstaple took the lead again before half time through Saddam Bello, but second half goals from Ryan Turner and Toby Down gave the Robins the spoils at the Sports Ground.

Joyce said the win was 'massive' for his side, who moved up to 15th in BetVictor Division One South and back towards the middle of the pack with the win.

"I thought we were the better team," said Joyce.

Ryan Turner and Kai Fisher battle for the ball in the North Devon derby between Bideford and Barnstaple Town. Picture: Matt SmartRyan Turner and Kai Fisher battle for the ball in the North Devon derby between Bideford and Barnstaple Town. Picture: Matt Smart

"We came in at half time and I said just keep doing what you're doing, believe and it will come, because I thought we were the better team, had a better shape, and were better organised. It was important not to panic at 2-1 down in a derby.

"I thought we controlled the game well in the second half.

"We came out, blew them out in the first 20 minutes to go 3-2 up and said 'what have you got?'. It showed a lot of heart in a derby to come back from 2-1."

Barnstaple Town manager Dean Edwards said defeat to Bideford was a one to take.

"Its another defeat which regardless of whether it's Bideford, to lose in that manner is hard to take," said Edwards.

"I think we took the game to them. When we go 2-1 up I'm thinking they've got to score two to beat us and that's what they've done.

"With two of the goals they've scored they should have been stopped and the first was a wicked deflection.

"There wasn't a lot in the teams, they just had that little bit of extra quality and that's the way it is. It was a proper derby game, it still gives us a mountain to climb.

"I don't think they're any better than us. I think it was a tough game which could have gone either way. Fortunately for them they got the result they needed."

The match was stopped for 25 minutes after a clash of heads saw Bello knocked unconscious. Paramedics treated the striker on the pitch before he was taken to North Devon District Hospital.

An update from Barnstaple Town said the injury wasn't as bad as first feared, with the striker staying overnight in hospital on Boxing Day to be monitored.