OWEN HOWE was not even born when Marco Van Basten scored with a volley for Holland in the final of the 1988 European Championship.
But the Bideford striker evoked memories of that famous finish with a stunning goal at the Sports Ground on Saturday.
Howe will always remember his first goal in the FA Cup – a ferocious left-footed strike that gave the Robins the edge in a tricky tie.
In a battle between two unbeaten teams, they edged past a lively Larkhall Athletic with a 3-0 win in first round qualifying.
A minute before half time, the 18-year-old Howe had hardly had a significant touch when he let fly with an instinctive shot on the angle at the far post.
"It was one of those that sat up and you just take a chance," said Howe. "I just hit it."
Sean Joyce, who has been manager at Bideford since 1998, described it as "one of the best goals I have seen here". "As soon as it dropped, I knew it was going to go in," said Joyce.
Such ruthless finishing was the difference as Larkhall acquitted themselves well against a team from two levels above.
As they did in the previous week's win over Bedford Town, Bideford reached the break with a two-goal advantage without playing particularly well.
For 42 minutes at least Larkhall showed how they had won all five games in the Toolstation Western League, with a strong work ethic and inventive, attacking football.
Then came a howler of playground proportions from Peter Hussey.
Matt Bye's corner was not delivered with any great venom but the keeper, under no real pressure, could only flap at the ball and watch in horror as it trickled in off the post.
The official records have generously credited the goal to Bye – and Hussey will not argue.
Two minutes later there could be no arguments about the scorer of the next goal.
Sean Downing's cross was not properly cleared and when Kevin Squire hooked a shot towards goal, Howe showed remarkable reactions to rip a shot into the roof of the net.
For a teenage striker Howe has impressed with his willingness to lead the line and not be bullied by defenders.
The physical side of the game got him into trouble moments later with a yellow card for a late lunge on Ben Horan as tempers briefly flared on both sides.
With the match now in their grasp, Bideford started the second half eager to get the third goal.
Downing shovelled a shot wide and did not connect properly with a far-post header.
Connor Clifford saw a misdirected cross tipped over by Hussey and Howe went close with a rising drive.
As Joyce bemoaned his team's inability to kill the tie off, Clifford could only bundle a close-range effort against the foot of the post.
Larkhall refused to go quietly and Tyler Sibbick, their lone striker, caused the defence as many problems as anything they have faced in the Calor League this season.
Sibbick was unfortunate to face Steve Oliver, the Bideford goalkeeper who was enjoying arguably his best game since joining from Ilfracombe Town.
Oliver was out quickly to dive at Sibbick's feet and showed superb reactions to deny Jonny Devoile.
Bideford could finally relax when Clifford claimed the third goal 12 minutes from time.
Having made numerous breaks forward from left back, he was rewarded with a goal when he beat Hussey to a bouncing ball and tapped into the empty net. Even then there was time for Sibbick to head over wastefully from five yards.
And if there was a moment that summed up Bideford's defensive commitment this season, it came in the last five minutes.
A place in the next round was virtually assured already but they were hell bent on claiming a clean sheet as Oliver denied Sibbick from point-blank range and Jack Furzer threw himself at the ball to block the rebound.
Joyce was happy a solid display was enough to secure the £3,000 prize money and safely reach the next round.
"It's a massive banana skin because they are a good team," he said. "They are a credit to the Western League.
"They caused us problems in the first half, not with chances but with the way they played and got on the ball."
Bideford can look forward to a meeting with Yate Town in second round qualifying next week.