Bideford FC maintained their unbeaten build-up to their forthcoming Southern League Premier Division challenge with two good results against tough Cornish opposition.

Blue Square Conference visitors Truro City - one rung up the ladder from the Robins - were held to a 1-1 draw on Saturday.

Both clubs used the match as a run-out for their players, with almost full team changes at half-time.

Bideford had generally the better of the opening exchanges, creating a number of chances in the first half-hour. They opened the scoring when speedy attacker Sean Downing was brought down and Matt Hockley stepped up to net from the penalty spot. But Truro hit back before the break with a goal by former Exeter City player Les Afful.

The second half was a stalemate, producing few chances for either side, but ensuring a satisfying result as the Robins continue their warm-up.

On Monday night a much smaller Bideford squad of just 12 players travelled to meet Saltash from the South West Peninsula League.

On paper an easier encounter, it proved anything but as the Cornishmen gave a battling performance and were only undone when Stan Paxton was brought down in the 87th minute and Richard Groves scored the late only goal from the penalty spot.

Barnstaple Town went down 3-0 on Saturday to a fit young Exeter City side featuring a number of their first year professionals.

It was a defeat, but manager Dave Griffiths said he was more satisfied with this performance than when they had won 5-1 at Holsworethy the previous week.

“They were very fit and held the ball weel,” he said. “Our main difficulty was fitness. we matched them for the first 20 mijnutes, but then we had to chase the ball and this gave us a good workout. We used 15 or 16 players. It is not looking too bad at the moment, with a carload coming up from Exeter and the rest all local players,” he said. “There were really quite a few positives to take from the game, but we have to get our fitness levels up.”

l Bideford visit Barnstaple Town at Mill Road tonight (Weds). They enterain Dorchester at home on Saturday (ko 2pm) and next Tuesday are at home to Bodmin Town (ko 7.45pm).

Barnstaple follow up tonight’s game with Bideford with a game at home to North Devon League Premier Division champions Boca Seniors.

Ilfracombe’s scheduled friendly at home to Lydney Town on Saturday was called off when the visitors could not raise a side. Combe continued their pre-season programme away to Crediton last night (Tues) and entertain North Molton tomorrow (Thurs).