Bideford kept their Evo-Stik League South West play-off hopes alive this afternoon (Saturday) with an important win over Paulton Rovers.
The Robins came from behind to win 2-1 at the Sports Ground, a result that will not reflect what was a dominant performance from the hosts.
Paulton took the lead against the run of play when Mitch Tippins tucked away a free-kick from 25 yards just before half-time.
Craig Allan got the hosts back on track four minutes into the second half with a goal against his former club, before Kevin Squire headed home the winner less than 10 minutes later.
The win keeps Bideford in the hunt for a play-off spot as they head into the final two weeks of the season, lying six points adrift of sixth place with two games in hand.
It also ensures they go into Monday’s trip to Kidlington with some much-needed momentum.
The Robins laid siege to the Paulton goal in the first half, and should have been way out of sight by the time Tippins gave the visitors the lead.
Squire and Ben Seymour both fired wide in the first three minutes after getting in behind Rovers’ defence. Ryan Turner found the target two minutes later with his head, but was denied by goalkeeper George Burton, who saved well.
Burton was instrumental in keeping the game goalless for so long. When James Mayne met Matt Bye’s corner with his head it looked for all the world to be in, only for the keeper to parry it away with an instinct save.
He also did well to keep out a Will Hancox cross that deflected off Joe Hillard and almost looped into the net.
Despite all the hosts’ chances it was Tippins who broke the deadlock, bending his 25-yard free-kick around the Bideford wall and into Steve Oliver’s bottom right corner.
It was a soft free kick to concede, with Allan pulled up for manhandling Jack Ball, but the centre-back atoned for it with the equaliser four minutes into the second half.
Bye’s free-kick was met by Allan at the back post, with the centre-back touching the ball through Burton’s legs and into the net.
Eight minutes later the Robins were in front, with Squire finishing off a well-worked move orchestrated by Turner.
After finding Seymour, Turner was given the ball again inside the penalty area, where he fired a ball across goal for Squire to glance into the bottom corner with his head.
The go-ahead goal allowed Bideford to shut the game down. Allan came closest to extending the lead further on 70 minute with what would have been a carbon copy of his first, but Burton was on hand to keep his header out.
Bideford: Oliver, Key, Hancox, Sampson, Allan, Mayne, Bye, Western (Carter 60), Squire, Seymour (Wood 85), Turner. Subs not used: Reed, Harrison.
Paulton Rovers: Burton, Hillard, Knott, Hedges, Ford, Guest, Monelle (Bennington-Mannings 77), Tippins, Ball (Morgan-Williams 60), Simpson, Cann (Lovi-Bond 60). Subs not used: Evans.