Bideford v Barnstaple Town: Late Barum goal sees points shared on Boxing Day derby in Evo-Stik League South West

A late strike from Nathan Cooper ensured Barnstaple Town shared the points with Bideford in this afternoon’s (Boxing Day) North Devon derby in Evo-Stik League South West.

The centre-back applied the final touch at the end of a well-worked move to make the score 1-1 with two minutes of the 90 remaining.

Craig Duff had given the Robins the lead seven minutes into the second half.

The result leaves Bideford eighth in League South West. Barnstaple Town remain second from bottom in 21st, but the result will provide a welcome boost for them in the middle of a busy festive period.

Both teams were hampered by conditions in the first half, but it was Bideford who enjoyed more of the ball.

Ryan Turner had the best chance to break the deadlock after he was put clean through behind the Barum defence inside 15 minutes, but after bearing down on goal and setting himself, his effort was pushed wide by Neal Osborn.

Barnstaple’s best opportunity fell to Harry Stevens minutes later, but the striker flashed his effort just over the bar.

With the rain teeming down, conditions gradually declined for both sides. Sean Downing, Mike Humphreys and George Nancekivell both went in the book for sliding challenges.

Bideford started to strike up a rhythm as the half went on, but couldn’t do enough to fashion a serious opportunity at goal.

Barnstaple came out with a bit more vigour in the second half, but couldn’t take either of two great chances to score.

First Jed Harper-Penman saw a chip fall just over the crossbar. Minutes later Nancekivell saw a free header from six yards out go wide of the post when he probably should have scored.

They were made to rue the missed opportunities moments later when Duff tapped Bideford into the lead.

A switch of play to the right flank saw Downing and Ian Sampson with plenty of space and the latter put in a deep cross over to the far post. Tucker was there to meet it, and although his header was saved by Osborn, it was tipped straight to Duff’s feet for the striker to tuck it away.

The rain came back as the second half progressed, and as conditions worsened, then understandably, so did the quality of play and it looked as thought the Robins had done enough to claim the points.

But after Matt Bye brought down substitute Jordan Walton, Barum moved with a quick one-two from the resulting free kick. Walton burst down the left flank and made it to the byline before sending a low ball into the box where Cooper got the final touch to drive the ball into the net.

Photo: Matt Smart

Bideford: Oliver, Sampson, Reed, Downing, Harrison, Mayne, Bye (Squire 90), Carter, Turner (Seymour 63), Duff, Tucker.

Subs not used: Allan, Western

Barnstaple Town: Osborn, Humphreys (Walton 81), Heeney, Radford (Barker 85), Ibbeson, Cooper, Nancekivell, Rickard, Harper-Penman, Mitchell (Reay 76), Stevens.

Subs not used: Hopcroft, Holmes.

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