IF THE strength of a side can be measured by who is scoring the goals, Bideford are on cloud nine.
Nine players have found the net in the first seven games of the season after the 4-0 win over Bedford Town on Saturday.
With Matt Hockley and Ben Gerring becoming the latest to open their accounts, the unbeaten start in the Calor League can be put down to a tremendous team effort.
For the second occasion in three weeks, Bideford hit four at the Sports Ground – and this time strikers Owen Howe and Kevin Squire did not get a look-in.
The goals are coming from all over the pitch and a double from Craig Duff saw the midfielder take his tally to four in five games.
Following the full-blooded win over Weymouth in midweek, there was almost an air inevitability about turning over a team who had been thumped by Hemel Hempstead Town in their previous game.
Dealing with raised expectations is something Bideford will have to get used to if the promising start continues.
"Everyone was expecting us to win," said Sean Joyce, the manager. "That's probably the first time that's happened in the Southern Premier.
"It was comfortable. If we had played with the same effort and intensity as we did against Weymouth it would have been a lot more. If we took our chances, it could have been double figures."
In the end they won at a canter, although a 2-0 deficit was harsh on the visitors after a lively first half.
Bedford played like Bideford tended to at this stage last season – positive and energetic going forward but vulnerable when they lost the ball.
Duff offered the first threat by breaking on to a pass from Sean Downing, only to be denied by a fine challenge from Zak Stephens.
The defender injured himself in the process and was carried off on a stretcher with a suspected broken ankle. Thankfully it was not as bad as first feared.
A poor decision by the referee not to play advantage when Ash Farmer had dribbled clear of the home defence denied Bedford a genuine opening. From the resulting free kick, a shot by Jordan Jarrold had to be pushed away by goalkeeper Steve Oliver.
Bideford began to take control with Squire shooting narrowly wide and Duff drilling across goal.
The breakthrough came on 37 minutes when a simple cross from Halpin caught the defence flat-footed and Duff struck at the far post.
With a golden chance to equalise, Lorenzo Ferrari then spooned his shot over the bar.
Moments later it was 2-0 as Farmer stuck out a lazy leg and tripped Halpin who was heading away from goal. It was a soft penalty but Hockley had no complaints as he rammed the ball beyond Dan Green.
Oliver denied Dominic Lawless and Farmer with a double save early in the second half before Duff swept home the third goal from a surging run by Downing.
Now it was all Bideford and Duff was determined to claim his first hat-trick for the club, seeing a header drift wide and a long-range drive beaten away by Green.
A storming run from Richard Groves, the substitute, set up Downing who drilled wide and the Robins remained an imposing threat at set plays.
All three defenders – Jack Furzer, Rob Farkins and Gerring – went close at corners before Gerring got it right in the 89th minute. Meeting a Groves corner with a thumping header, he wheeled away to celebrate his first goal for the club.
"Even at the end we were still trying score more goals," said Joyce. "We were 4-0 up and when we broke there were six boys trying to get in the box."
That sums up the spirit and desire with which the team is playing.