Rovers applied early pressure and Elliott Gibbons set up Rekko Best, whose shot was tipped over the bar by home stopper, Josh Colwill. However, they went ahead on five minutes, as a cross from Elliott Keightley found Jordan Ricketts, who slipped the ball to Will Hailston and onto Best, who drove the ball past Colwill from twelve yards out.
Hailston then saw a snap shot saved by Colwill and on fifteen minutes, Best looked to increase his side’s lead, only for the keeper to bring off a last ditch save with his feet.
Bideford then began to get into the game as they targeted their veteran striker, Kevin Squire. A deep cross from right back, James Richards, was headed on by Squire for Billy Tucker to cross and Matt Andrew to fire wide.
Sean Dowling should have levelled on the half hour, as he disposed Josh Ford and ran on to be one-on-one with Paulton keeper, Andrew Hannah and then proceeded to blast over. What a miss!
Hailston responded with a dipping shot tipped over by Colwill, only for Bideford to see headers from Dan Western, Matty Bye and Squire saved by Hannah. Andrew then cracked a shot that hit the cross bar with Hannah beaten.
Biddy had a great early chance as Tucker’s volley was deflected into the penalty area and Rovers’ defenders were able to scrabble away.
Paulton then lost influential central defender, Joe Chandler and had to reshuffle and this allowed Bideford to press with Squire and Downing heading wide and Hannah tipping the ball over the bar from yet another header, this time by centre half, Kai Fisher.
Rovers produced a good spell of attacking football as Hailston played a lovely ball out to onrushing right back, Keightley, who drove wide. Left back, Conor O’Sullivan, outpaced Chris McGrath and found Hailston, who shot wide. James Byrne played the ball through to Best, who brought a save out of Colwill on seventy minutes.
Just a minute later and Bideford equalised as the ball was played into Squire, who turned and beat Hannah from close range.
With both sides pressing for the winner, it nearly fell to Paulton as Hailston turned after Kailan Gould’s pass and his dipping shot sailed over Colwill and looked to go into the net, but clipped the cross bar and McGrath, son of ex-Manchester United and Republic of Ireland star, Paul, was on hand to thump the ball away.
Paulton were home to Salisbury (managed by Steve Claridge) on Tuesday this week as The Journal went to press. They have no game this Saturday, 29th October.
The next match is at Yate Town on Saturday, 5th November, kick-off at 3 p.m. On Tuesday, 8th November, Radstock Town visit Winterfield Road in the second round of the Somerset Premier Cup, kick-off at 7.30 p.m.
On Saturday, 12th November the side are home to Slimbridge, kick-off at 3 p.m. and then Tuesday, 15th November at home in the Southern League Cup to Weymouth, kick-off at 7.30 p.m. On Saturday, 19th November, Rovers are away at Didcot Town, kick-off at 3 p.m. and home to Barnstaple Town on Tuesday, 22nd November, kick-off at 7.30 p.m.
The Youth team lost 2–1 to a very good Oldland Abbotonians side last Thursday and are away to Bishop Sutton on Thursday, 10th November and then Tuesday, 15th November at Welton Rovers, both kick-off at 7.30 p.m.
The Sunday XI had no game last weekend and up and coming fixtures are Sunday, 30th October, away to Larkhall, then 6th November, home to Bath Spa University, both kick-off at 10.30 a.m.