Missed opportunity for the Robins

Bideford manager Sean Joyce. Picture: Matt Smart

Bideford manager Sean Joyce. Picture: Matt Smart - Credit: Matt Smart

Bideford were left to rue a missed opportunity after going down to a 3-1 defeat at fellow strugglers Mangotsfield United on the weekend. 

The Robins have shown real promise in recent weeks but the playing surface was hardly conducive to good football from either side, and it was a case of Mangotsfield taking their chances in front of goal. 

Home goalkeeper Jakob Glover pulled off two excellent saves in the opening stages to deny Niall Heeney and Joe Charles, but the third was even better, with Jack Calver the next Robin to curse his bad luck. 

Mattie Buchan and George Nancekivell both missed the target from good positions, and the hosts inflicted the ultimate punishment, snatching the lead with a scruffy goal from Kye Simpson on 38 minutes. 

Bideford kept ploughing forward and their dominance was rewarded with a penalty decision in their favour early in the second half, only for Calver to smash his spot-kick against the bar. 

Mangotsfield could hardly believe their good fortune and Simpson was the man to make it 2-0 from a swift break on 68 minutes. Daniel McBearn wrapped up the points for Mangotsfield from the next attack. 

Lewis Wilson did grab a late consolation for the Robins, who will be hoping to see the net bulge with more regularity at home to promotion-chasing Winchester City on Saturday. 

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Barnstaple Town remain rooted to the bottom of Division One South after suffering a 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Sholing. 

The performance was positive from Barum, who will surely find their first point of the season if they can reproduce this sort of display, but Sholing are a side in the leading pack, and they edged in front with a goal from Joe Adams. 

Barnstaple threw everything at their visitors in search of an equaliser and two goals in injury-time from Jake Cope were particularly harsh. After the midweek game at home to Bristol Manor Farm, Barum travel to Lymington Town on Saturday. 

In the Toolstation Western League, Ilfracombe Town are in third position, following the confident 2-0 win at home to Buckland Athletic.  

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