Bideford manager has his say on home form, Saturday’s win over Bishops Cleeve and the upcoming trip to Swindon Supermarine.

Max Smallcombe could feature for Bideford for the first time since September on Saturday. Picture: Matt SmartMax Smallcombe could feature for Bideford for the first time since September on Saturday. Picture: Matt Smart

Bideford manager Sean Joyce has called for his team to be more ruthless after his side scraped by bottom-of-the-league Bishops Cleeve on Saturday.

Sean Downing headed home a Billy Tucker free kick in the 90th minute to spare the Robins their blushes and break the hearts of the visitors, who were minutes away from taking just their sixth point of the season back to Cheltenham.

The win was a first in five games for Bideford, who move back up to eighth in Evo-Stik League South West. It also ends a run of three home games without a win, form Joyce is looking to change.

“I think we’ve been poor at home all season,” he said.

“We’ve got to be braver because it should be a fortress down here.

“When teams get a point or win here they are banging on the dressing room and singing and dancing, and our boys have got to realise that’s what they’re up against. That’s the respect the rest of the league has got for this team.

“They’ve got to realise how good they can be and be ruthless and take their chances.”

The Robins created plenty of chances in the first 20 minutes, including a penalty. Ben Seymour saw his effort saved by Sam Gilder, a moment that no doubt increased Cleeve’s resolve.

“If we had got one or two goals in the first half we would have breezed through it,” said Joyce.

“It just filtered out. They come and it’s 21 players in one half. On a dead pitch it’s hard to get in and around because the pitch takes the pace out of what we want to do, but also every time you get a ball out wide there are three or four lads around it.

“I know what they’re trying to do and I’ll give them respect for it. I felt sorry for them in the end, they defended and fought, but if we had scored the penalty they wouldn’t have had all that in them.

“We got over the gain line. Did we deserve it? I thought so - we kept going until the very end.”

Next up for Bideford is a trip to fourth-placed Swindon Supermarine, a match Joyce thinks will suit his side that little bit better.

It also represents a chance for the Robins to get back in the League South West play-off positions

“The bottom teams come in and sit deep, spoil the game and slow it down, the top teams come and play us and have a go and we get results against them,” said Joyce.

“Swindon is a great one for us. If we’re going to be where we want to be we’ve got to go up there and get a result.

“We’ve got to go there and be positive and brave. We don’t go away for a point, we go to win.”

The Robins will also welcome back Exeter City’s Max Smallcombe, with the 18-year-old set to return to the club for the remainder of the season.

Smallcombe started the season well, scoring twice in eight games, but hasn’t featured for the Robins since picking up a hamstring injury in September.