Bideford ensured their Evo-Stik League South West campaign ended on a high on Saturday with a 2-0 win over Winchester City.

With last Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat to Salisbury taking their play-off hopes out of their hands, the Robins needed a win and some extra help if they were to have any chance of a shot at promotion.

Goals from Craig Allan and Sean Downing saw them keep up their end of the bargain, but with their rivals all winning their respective matches, they were unable to make up any more ground.

Allan broke the deadlock eight minutes before half time, meeting a Matt Bye corner with his head.

The Robins extended their lead six minutes after the break. Ryan Turner’s pass found Downing, who rode a challenge before finishing past Ryan Price in the Winchester goal.

The result means Bideford finish the season in eighth – two places higher than 2017/18.

Robins manager Sean Joyce said he couldn’t ask for any more from his squad, who have played 16 games in the final two months of the season.

He said: “It’s been a tremendous season and I’ve really enjoyed it. The lads have been excellent, they’ve travelled everywhere.

“I can’t fault them, because everything I’ve asked of them they’ve given me.

“We just dipped out because of the run in. To get to this stage we played a hell of a lot of games, and if we’d played them in the right order I’ve no doubt we would be in the play-offs, or pushing Salisbury for second. It was always going to be a big effort.

“I didn’t expect us to get this close with the games we had left, as soon as that snow came in I thought that was us done.”

After seeing out the league campaign, Bideford’s season comes to an end on Tuesday night, with the Devon St Luke’s Challenge Cup final.

The Robins will take on South West Peninsula League champions Plymouth Parkway at Devon FA’s Newton Abbot headquarters.

Whatever happens, Joyce said the game would be a chance to celebrate a fantastic season.

“Fair play to them, they’ve had some investment and are going up to the Western League and they’ve only lost once all season.

“Because we’re two leagues above them everybody things we are favourites, but they’ve got quantity and quality and we’ve got a squad who have been slugging it out for the last eight or nine games.

“It doesn’t matter what happens, the league was always more important to us. It will finish a great season but it isn’t the be all and end all, we just want to celebrate the season we’ve had and how far we’ve come.”