Bideford were forced to settle for a point in their Southern League Division One South opener against Larkhall Athletic on Saturday.

Bideford v Larkhall Athletic in the Pitching In Southern League Division One South opener at the Sports Ground. Picture: Matt SmartBideford v Larkhall Athletic in the Pitching In Southern League Division One South opener at the Sports Ground. Picture: Matt Smart

The Robins let a 2-0 lead slip to draw 2-2 at the Sports Ground.

They had gone in at the break in control of the game after Ryan Turner’s brace. His first came from the penalty spot after 15 minutes and he doubled the lead five minutes before half time with a composed finish.

Larkhall responded quickly after the break and were back on terms before the hour. Substitute Bradley Norris headed them back into the game two minutes into the second half before a Liam Kingston error paved the way for Jack Camm’s close-range equaliser.

Bideford had chances to retake the lead, with Exeter City youngster Lewis Wilson missing some good opportunities, but the hosts were unable to find the goal they needed to take all three of the points.

Bideford v Larkhall Athletic in the Pitching In Southern League Division One South opener at the Sports Ground. Picture: Matt SmartBideford v Larkhall Athletic in the Pitching In Southern League Division One South opener at the Sports Ground. Picture: Matt Smart

Turner got Bideford up and running after quarter of an hour, converting the penalty he won when he went to round goalkeeper Shaun Semmens only to be brought down.

Semmens received a yellow card for his troubles and Turner converted the spot-kick to put the Robins in front.

Most of Bideford’s first-half chances came through Turner, who forced Semmens into a low save 15 minutes later before getting his and Bideford’s second five minutes before the break.

The second was made possible thanks to Aaron Taylor, who burst forward and won the ball in the middle of the opposition half before slipping a precise pass in behind the Larkhall defence. Turner skipped through and placed a low finish into the bottom corner.

Bideford v Larkhall Athletic in the Pitching In Southern League Division One South opener at the Sports Ground. Picture: Matt SmartBideford v Larkhall Athletic in the Pitching In Southern League Division One South opener at the Sports Ground. Picture: Matt Smart

Larkhall freshened things up going in to the second half and their double substitution paid off almost immediately. Norris had been on the pitch for less than two minutes when he headed Larkhall back into contention.

The visitors levelled things up 10 minutes later when Robins keeper Kingston spilled a free kick from Michael Baker into the path of a grateful Camm, who tapped in from close range.

The goal spurred Sean Joyce into a couple of attacking substitutions, with Charlie Lawrence and Wilson coming on and providing plenty of opportunities for the Robins to take the lead again.

At the other end Kingston made something of amends for his earlier error with a good save from Lewis Powell.

Bideford v Larkhall Athletic in the Pitching In Southern League Division One South opener at the Sports Ground. Picture: Matt SmartBideford v Larkhall Athletic in the Pitching In Southern League Division One South opener at the Sports Ground. Picture: Matt Smart

Wilson saw a couple of close-range opportunities go off-target after some good work down the left from Lawrence.

Wilson came close again with a remarkable header from 20 yards that beat the committed Semmens but didn’t quite dip under the crossbar.

Bideford: Kingston, Taylor, Byrne, Rosenquest (Lawrence 60), Milton, Down, Heeney, Nancekivell, Annear (Wilson 60), Turner, Charles. Subs not used: Calver, Reay, Mayne

Bideford v Larkhall Athletic in the Pitching In Southern League Division One South opener at the Sports Ground. Picture: Matt SmartBideford v Larkhall Athletic in the Pitching In Southern League Division One South opener at the Sports Ground. Picture: Matt Smart

Larkhall Athletic: Semmens, Restorick, Greenland, Camm, Baker, Jones (Norris 46), Lambert (Britton 46), Evans, Demkiv, Powell, Tumelty. Subs not used: Byrne, Coyle, Warren.

Attendance: 236.

Bideford v Larkhall Athletic in the Pitching In Southern League Division One South opener at the Sports Ground. Picture: Matt SmartBideford v Larkhall Athletic in the Pitching In Southern League Division One South opener at the Sports Ground. Picture: Matt Smart

Bideford v Larkhall Athletic in the Pitching In Southern League Division One South opener at the Sports Ground. Picture: Matt SmartBideford v Larkhall Athletic in the Pitching In Southern League Division One South opener at the Sports Ground. Picture: Matt Smart

Bideford v Larkhall Athletic in the Pitching In Southern League Division One South opener at the Sports Ground. Picture: Matt SmartBideford v Larkhall Athletic in the Pitching In Southern League Division One South opener at the Sports Ground. Picture: Matt Smart

Bideford v Larkhall Athletic in the Pitching In Southern League Division One South opener at the Sports Ground. Picture: Matt SmartBideford v Larkhall Athletic in the Pitching In Southern League Division One South opener at the Sports Ground. Picture: Matt Smart