Robins aim for first win over Totton this term at third attempt
Bideford are due to be back on Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division duty at the Sports Ground today bidding to build on their amazing Devon St Luke's Cup turnaround win at Elburton Villa.
Bideford trailed 3-1 at half-time before winning 4-3 at Hayes Road on Tuesday thanks to second-half goals from Richard Groves and Sean Downing (two). Matt Andrew had scored Bideford's 14th-minute opener.
The north Devon side will hope for a better start against AFC Totton today, especially as the Stags won 4-0 at home to basement side Kettering Town on Tuesday.
The win lifted Southampton-based Totton to 13th in the Southern League top flight, four points ahead of 17th-placed Bideford with a game in hand on their hosts.
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Bideford have already lost 2-0 at Totton twice this term, the first time in the League in mid-September and two weeks later in the FA Trophy first qualifying round.
Top scorer and striker Richard Gillespie scored both goals in the League encounter, while James Coutts and Ryan Hill scored to knock Bideford out of the Trophy.
Gillespie has hit 16 League goals for the Stags this term, including another two on Tuesday as Totton bounced back from a surprise 6-0 defeat at mid-table rivals Chesham United on January 5.
The Robins' boss, Sean Joyce, will be hoping for third time lucky against the Stags, especially given Bideford's recent home form.
Last week's surprise 2-1 Sports Ground defeat to Banbury United was the first home loss in five for Bideford, who gave a debut to former Truro City goalkeeper Tim Sandercombe.
A string of Sandercombe saves prevented a heavier defeat and kept Bideford in with a chance up until the last minute, when Andrew pulled a goal back for the Reds.
Joyce admitted: "It would have been interesting if we had scored with ten minutes to go how they would have reacted.
"In the end they deserved to beat us. We were beaten by the better team. They have beaten Leamington and Hemel Hempstead and you can see how. On the counter-attack they were good, probably the best I have seen in this league."
Tiverton Town are set to return to home action against North Leigh following a two-week break and the postponement of last Saturday's trip to in-form Yate Town.
Last time out Tiverton drew 1-1 with Bishop's Cleeve at Ladysmead. Today, if the match survives an 8.30am pitch inspection at Ladysmead, they will be hoping to end a four-match run of draws against North Leigh.
Taunton Town – who host third-placed Merthyr Town today – have slipped to third from bottom following Tuesday's 3-0 defeat at Didcot Town. Leigh Robinson's Peacocks will be hoping for a return to the December form that saw them win at Evesham United and then beat leaders Hungerford Town.