BIDEFORD reserves and North Molton shared a 1-1 draw in the North Devon League premier division last night.
Honours were even at the Sports Ground where both teams showed their title credentials, producing a competitive clash and two superb goals.
Liam Craze put North Molton ahead after 15 minutes, smashing in a ferocious shot from a tight angle.
And the Robins hit back with an expertly crafted team goal just after half time, Sam Stephens scoring from the edge of the box.
After last week's 6-0 drubbing against Boca Seniors, Bideford made a determined start with Nathan Bate going close.
Both teams had claims for penalties turned down before Stephens, the player-manager, hit the equaliser from a backheel by Bate.
North Molton's Greg Holland and Will Nicholls, the home striker, had chances to snatch a late winner.
The draw maintained North Molton's unbeaten record and moved them up to third in the table with games in hand on the top two.
Bideford, with one defeat, remain second, level on points with leaders Torridgeside having played a game more.
"It was a good game," said Stephens. "Two good teams and the pitch held up.
"I asked for a response from the players and that's what they gave me."
Bideford host Putford at the Sports Ground on Saturday. North Molton's next league game is at Georgeham and Croyde on Saturday, February 23.