PICTURES: Bideford 4 Swindon Supermarine 0: Richards hat-trick caps dominant display from the Robins
- Credit: Archant
Sean Joyce’s side put in an impressive display in the 4-0 win over Swindon Supermarine in Division One South and West.
Will Richards is unlikely to forget Bideford’s 4-0 win over Swindon Supermarine on Saturday in a hurry.
Richards, who joined from Exeter City’s youth ranks over the summer, claimed a hat-trick in the emphatic Southern League win at the Sports Ground.
Playing on the left wing instead of his usual full-back position, the youngster was clinical, with a composed finish in the first half before extending Bideford’s lead through the second.
The Robins move up to seventh in Division One South and West after the result, sitting one place behind Supermarine, who had their misery compounded by a Josh Parsons sending off and an Ashley Taylor own goal.
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Bideford manager Sean Joyce said the youngster’s performance was no surprise to him.
“I wanted to have a look at him on the left side, he gives it a natural balance, he’s got a good brain and he’s gambled at the back stick,” he said.
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He added: “I know what he can do, and with Reedy behind him, an experienced pro who will talk him through it, today he was clinical.”
Joyce’s side dominated the 90 minutes and limited their opponents to a handful of attempts on goal, but it was Supermarine who came closest to scoring after 17 minutes.
When Josh Colwill struggled with a free kick, Ryan Morgan was unable to hit the target.
From there, Bideford took charge, opening the scoring 10 minutes later.
Richards burst into space with the ball after Ben Watson won possession.
Left one-on-one, he dinked the ball over Connor Johns and into the empty goal.
Watson had a clear-cut opportunity to make it two shortly before half-time, but wasn’t able to find the target upon meeting Sean Downing’s cross.
After the break it was all Bideford.
Richards made it 2-0 just short of the hour mark, finishing off a well-worked move from close range.
Kevin Squire was instrumental in providing the assist, coming in off the right flank and beating two players before firing across goal.
The youngster completed his hat-trick with 20 minutes remaining.
Matt Bye’s cross was challenged by Squire and Johns in the six-yard box only to drop at the feet of Richards, who made no mistake.
Swindon were reduced to ten-men a couple of minutes later when Parsons was shown red for a dangerous challenge on the goalscorer.
It got worse for the visitors with three minutes of the 90 remaining when James Richards’ free kick from out wide cannoned off Taylor and into the goal.
After the match, Joyce said: “We did our research on them and knew what they wanted to do.
“They’re young lads who want to play the right way, but I think today they came up against a team full of men.
“In the second half we were clinical, we took the chances that came and were patient with them and overall it was a good performance.”
Bideford will be looking to boost their playoff hopes this week, as they take on the two clubs at the bottom of the league.
They travel to Wantage Town on Saturday before welcoming Bridgwater to the Sports Ground on Monday evening.
Joyce said: “This sets it up – we’ve got to go to Wantage now and get a result, then Bridgwater on Monday night.
“If you’ve got ambitions of getting into the playoffs you’ve got to beat them.”