Report from North Devon Gazette
Bideford’s impressive start to the Evo-Stik League South season took a downward turn this afternoon with a home defeat to Evesham United.
The Robins lost 3-1 to their Worcestershire counterparts – who were beaten finalists in the play-offs last season.
Adam Mann book-ended the scoring for the visitors, opening after 26 minutes and closing after 79.
Bideford had equalised after Mann’s opener through a Craig Duff penalty. Greg Peel put the visitors back ahead before the number 10 finished the game off.
With Sean Joyce and Nick Barker both absent from the Bideford dugout, managerial responsibilities fell to Kevin Squire.
The Robins started well and had Craig Duff got more of his foot over the ball after 15 minutes, they could have been in front. Some excellent link-up play between Ryan Turner and Sean Downing led to a Turner ball across the box, but Duff’s side-footed shot rose over the bar.
Downing had caused problems for the Evesham defence, having a chance to open the scoring himself after dribbling 65 yards and shooting, but his effort was saved by Kevin Sawyer.
The visitors got in front with 27 minutes on the clock. Mann collected the ball at the edge of box, finding just enough room to send a deflected shot past Steve Oliver.
The Robins got back on terms just before half-time from the penalty spot. Referee Timothy Burley felt Ryan Turner had been dragged down by Matt Williams.
It was Craig Duff who stepped up to take the penalty, and the striker calmly rolled the ball to Sawyer’s left to get the home side back in the game going into the break.
Ryan Turner had an early sight at goal in the second half, and Jordan Bryan saw a shot hit the post for the visitors before Evesham retook the lead.
Peel probably couldn’t believe his luck when James Mayne missed the ball attempting to clear a pass across the penalty area. The striker collected the ball and after getting the ball out from his feet lifted a shot over Oliver and a recovering Mayne and into the net.
Squire brought Reed off for Ben Wood to try and reclaim parity, but when Mann got his second of the game with 11 minutes remaining, it looked beyond reach.
The number 10 was played through one on one with Oliver, and after waiting for the goalkeeper to make his move, clipped the ball over him and into the waiting goal.
Squire brought himself and Craig Veal on after the third goal, but the home side were unable to mount any sort of comeback.
Bideford: Oliver, Allan, Reed (Wood 74), Downing, Mayne, Harrison, Western, Smallcombe, Turner, Duff (Veal 80), Tucker (Squire 80).
Evesham United: Sawyer, Dovey, Bennett, A Williams, M Williams, Liddard, Bryan (Binns 74), Haskayne, Peel (Brown 81), Mann, Gray (Fahy 74)
Subs not used: Gilder, Lymn
Referee: Timothy Burley