A sumptuous half-volley from Ryan Turner saw Bideford take all three points in Evo-Stik Division One South this afternoon (Saturday).
Turner’s strike with 15 minutes remaining was enough for the Robins as they claimed a 1-0 win over Winchester City at the Sports Ground, ending a nine-game unbeaten run for the visitors.
The game followed a similar pattern to last week’s win over Highworth Town, with the Robins looking sharper in the second half after a first half dominated by the defences to carve out victory.
The clash was billed as a must-win match by Sean Joyce if his Bideford side were to have anything to play for heading into the final 10 games of the season. The win over sixth-placed Winchester helps Bideford – who sit in 11th – keep up with the rest of the play-off chasers.
Sean Downing had an early sight at goal for the Robins but saw his lob over Winchester goalkeeper Ryan Price land off target.
The visitors also had an early chance to break the deadlock after five minutes, with Joe Moore getting down well to stop Jake Hawkins’ effort from inside the penalty area.
Both sides put had spells of pressure without creating too many opportunities. A spell of free kicks and corners for the Robins saw Billy Tucker come close, but when he reacted to a loose ball from a Ben Carter free kick, his sliding shot was blocked.
On the whole Bideford looked more dangerous after the break, but almost found themselves behind when Oli Bailey nodded the ball past a committed Moore outside the penalty area. James Mayne, who had an impressive game before he serves a suspension, was on hand to clear the ball before Bailey could get there for his shot.
Downing looked dangerous down the left wing, and saw a shot blocked after he dribbled forward for 20 yards and cut in for a shot.
The match was starting to follow a similar patter to last Saturday’s last gasp win over Highworth Town. Toby Down saw a close-range header well saved by Price as the hosts started to put more and more pressure on the Winchester goal.
The pressure paid off with 15 minutes remaining. Turner ran on to a flick from Downing and fired a right-footed shot on the half-volley across Price and into the top corner.
IK Hill almost snatched an equaliser for Winchester in the second minute of stoppage time, with his shot from inside the penalty area coming back off the outside of the near post.
Bideford: Moore, Taylor (Sampson 82), Palmer, Downing, Mayne, Down, Carter, Reay, Turner, Tucker, Randall (Ricketts 69). Subs not used: Squire, Heeney, Haynes
Winchester City: Price, Hayward, King, Gilbert, Flooks, Harfield, Mlambo, Barron, Bailey (Mitford 73), Cook, Hawkins (Hill 64). Subs not used: Cunningham, Griggs, Davis.