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Robins soar to surprise victory against leaders Hemel Hempstead

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 10, 2012

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Bideford turned the form book on its head to beat Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division leaders Hemel Hempstead Town 3-2 at the Sports Ground.

Sean Joyce's resurgent Robins continued their fine run of home form to soar away from the basement and up to 15th in their first term in the Southern League top flight.

Promoted Bideford – last season's runaway Division One South and West champions – notched their third home win in four matches despite trailing 1-0 to free-scoring midfielder Dave Pearce's 16th-minute opener for the Tudors.

In-form Kevin Squire levelled in the 30th minute as Hemel failed to clear Richard Groves' corner and – despite having Dominic Rivans dismissed – Bideford took the game to their table-topping visitors in the second half.

Groves fired the Robins ahead on 55 minutes before Squire claimed his seventh of the season and fourth goal in three games by heading Bideford 3-1 ahead in the 70th minute, after Sean Downing had won his aerial challenge with the Tudors' goalkeeper Sam Beagle.

Hemel rallied and substitute Joe Bruce scored an 80th-minute goal before they were also reduced to ten men following the dismissal of midfielder David King.

It does not get much easier for Bideford, however, as their next league match is at second-placed Leamington next Saturday.

Fourth-placed Tiverton Town got back on track with a 2-2 comeback draw at Sholing Sports following back-to-back Division One South and West top-of-the-table defeats.

Mark Saunders' side, beaten 4-1 in the League Cup by Paulton Rovers in midweek, were left reeling by basement side Sholing's flying start as the hosts took a first-minute lead through Lewis Fennemore.

Sholing surged 2-0 ahead in the 45th minute through Jamie Musslewhite.

It took the division's top scorer Joe Bushin to get Tiverton back in the game with his 16th League goal of the term, a spectacular overhead kick to greet David Steele's pacy 59th-minute cross.

Tiverton skipper Paul Kendall restored parity by applying the finish touch to a sweeping 77th-minute move.

Taunton Town claimed their first away League win of the season, 4-2 at Evesham, with Craig Herrod, Simon Ingram and James Blake on target.

Willand Rovers warmed up for tomorrow night's Devon St Luke's Cup tie against Exeter City with a 4-0 Western League Premier home win over Bridport to overtake their visitors in the bottom four.

Danny Jee, Danny Baily, Jake Wannell and man-of-the-match Scott Rogers scored for resurgent Rovers.

Buckland Athletic beat Hallen 5-0 with goals by Dean Stevens, James Mudge, Simon Revell, Lucas Burgess and top scorer Gavin Hammon.

Ilfracombe Town lost 3-2 at Odd Down despite goals by Ed Yeo and Steve Holland.

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