BIDEFORD are blazing a trail to the home of English football with another famous FA Vase victory on Saturday. The Robins and their supporters are now just two games away from a mouth-watering Wembley showdown on Sunday, May 10. With wet weather wiping ou
BIDEFORD are blazing a trail to the home of English football with another famous FA Vase victory on Saturday. The Robins and their supporters are now just two games away from a mouth-watering Wembley showdown on Sunday, May 10.With wet weather wiping out the all of the day's other fifth round ties, the North Devon side is the only team through to the last eight of the competition. And while Sean Joyce's players duly showed their strengths on the pitch with a 2-0 win against high-flying Northern League Division One visitors Spennymoor Town, the fans certainly did their bit off it.The club will almost certainly be thanking the small army of supporters who grabbed pitchforks to help drain the Sports Ground pitch and ensure the game was playable.A coach of around 50 visiting fans had set out from the North East at midnight before arriving in Bideford at 9am on Saturday morning to help swell a crowd of nearly 500.But the 743-mile round trip was a disappointing one for the County Durham-based side and their supporters as goals by Darren Hawkings and Nick Barker sealed the Robins' passage into the quarter-final draw.There was little to separate the sides in an evenly-fought, yet frantic first half. Both sides had good chances to score, Nick Barker hitting the up-right for the hosts, while a foul on keeper Ryan Draper saw a goal chalked off for the visitors. But Bideford stepped on the gas after the re-start with a goal that helped to warm fans still sipping on cups of half-time coffee. Centre-half Darren Hawkings, a previous FA Vase winner with Taunton Town, rose highest to head home from a corner and break the deadlock on 47 minutes.And 10 minutes later, Barker doubled the lead with a left foot volley to help the hosts claim the win, the £2,000 fifth round FA prize fund, and add Spennymoor to the FA Vase scalps of Brislington, Frome Town and Scarborough Athletic.Following Monday's draw made at Soho Square, the Robins will now have to wait until Valentine's Day to find out whether they've got a date at either Lowestoft Town or Hungerford Town in the next round on February 28.A win in the quarters would see the North Devon side emulate the form they showed in the 2003/2004 season where they reached the semi-finals of the competition.Before that though, they will be turning their attention back to the Western League with a home game against Hallen on Saturday and a trip to Street on Tuesday.Meanwhile on Saturday, Barnstaple are at home to Devizes Town and Ilfracombe host Corsham Town.