Barnstaple Town v Bideford: 10-man Bideford come out on top in North Devon derby


A 10-man Bideford held firm to see off Barnstaple Town in bank holiday Monday’s North Devon derby in the Evo-Stik League South West.

The Robins beat Barum 2-1, despite playing the entire second half with 10 men after Ian Sampson was shown a red card on the cusp of half time.

Ryan Turner’s first-half goal gave Bideford a slender lead at the break before Billy Tucker doubled with 10 minutes remaining – atoning for an earlier penalty miss.

Chris Ibbeson set up a nail-biting finish with a beautifully struck volley, but the Robins saw the game out to ensure they left Mill Road with the bragging rights.

After a summer of comings and goings at both ends of the A39, and with four former Barum players in Bideford’s starting 11, it was no surprise that a former Barnstaple player gave the Robins the lead after 15 minutes.

Turner burst between Austen Booth and Nathan Cooper to get behind the Barnstaple back line and latch on to a through ball. After taking a touch he slotted it past Robbie Powell and into the bottom corner in clinical fashion.

Turner should have doubled the lead 15 minutes later with his head, but couldn’t get behind a ball acrobatically flashed across goal by Tucker and instead headed the ball away.

Barum had plenty of sights of the Bideford goal in the first half, Shaun Copp – undoubtedly the home side’s standout performer until his substitution on the hour – hit a well-worked effort over the bar, and Billy Hopcroft saw his low shot across goal trapped by Craig Allan on the goal line.

The game took a turn shortly before half-time when the Robins were reduced to 10 men for the second game in a row.

Sampson was the man to be shown red by referee Ciaron Barlow this time round after the right-back went in a bit too high and a bit too late on Shaun Copp.

Two minutes later and Barnstaple should have been level. Some quick footwork from Copp released Charran with almost half the pitch in front of him and only Oliver to beat. The striker brought the ball into the box but fired his shot straight at the keeper, who saved with his legs.

The red card meant Sean Joyce was forced to change his side’s shape at half-time. Dan Harrison came on for Craig Duff and slotted in alongside Allan and James Mayne as Bideford moved to a back three.

Two minutes into the half a 25-yard free-kick from Tucker cannoned back off the crossbar.

At the other end Steve Oliver’s acrobatics ensured Bideford kept their lead through the 70th minute, getting up to his top right corner to keep out a long range shot from Fletcher Williams and recovering in time to see Hopcroft put a follow-up in the side-netting.

The game took another turn with 15 minutes remaining when the Robins were awarded a penalty. Tucker, who looked dangerous on the break throughout the second half burst into the Barnstaple penalty area from the left and was brought down by Booth.

He stepped up to take the spot kick, opting for power over placement and seeing his effort clip the outside of Powell’s left post on its way wide.

He would atone for that miss less than five minutes later, this time cutting in from the right wing, the forward fashioned a couple of yards of space before firing a low shot in at Powell’s near post.

Barnstaple weren’t out of it though, and Ibbeson’s spectacular effort in the 87th minute set up a nail-biting finish. Meeting the ball at corner of the 18-yard box, the full-back’s falling volley gave Oliver no chance as it rocketed in at the near post.

Charran could well have grabbed an equaliser with a minute remaining, but with the ball coming down to him in the middle of the box, his shot on the turn went over the bar.

Barnstaple Town: Powell, Ibbeson, Heeney, Gray (Humphreys 69), Cooper, Booth, Rickard, Denny (Williams 61), Charran, Hopcroft, Copp (Walton 61).

Bideford: Oliver, Sampson (sent off 42), Reed, Downing, Allan, Mayne, Bye, Smallcombe, Turner (Veal 89), Duff (Harrison 45), Tucker.

Attendance: 502

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