Paulton deservedly won this Boxing Day six-pointer with a much

improved display in North Devon.

Bideford Captain, Richard Groves, saw an early shot

deflected for a corner taken by Billy Tucker, from which Groves headed wide. Tucker was guilty of a poor foul as Rovers controlled play, keeping the ball on the ground against a blustery wind.

Paulton skipper, Darren Mullings, linked well with Dave O’Hare to find winger, Nuno Felix, whose cross was punched away by Kyle Moore, who was kept busy as Mullings and Leon Jeanne tested him. His opposite number one, Ben John, had little to do, as another Tucker corner saw Nick Barker head tamely wide. After 28 minutes, Jeanne drove an effort narrowly over the crossbar.

Bideford were troubled by attacking runs from midfield by Jordan Ricketts and Jeanne and Felix, who were chasing their full backs down the flanks. Rovers saw some stout defending from full backs, Steve Willams and the reliable Jack Allward. Jeanne and centre forward, Tom Knighton, both had shots blocked as half-time


Paulton came out to the second half with intent and after 47 minutes, Moore dived to turn Jeanne’s low drive around the post, with Grimshaw hitting a long bar down the left for Knighton to shoot wide. On 49 minutes, Allward’s free kick was crossed by Jeanne, only for Felix to volley wide. As Tucker received an inevitable yellow card, this time for a foul on Mullings, Jeanne broke down the left and curled a lovely ball wide with Moore beaten.

The breakthrough came after 62 minutes when Ian Sampson brought down Jeanne and Allward’s free kick on the left from the half-way line, which was met by Knighton’s header and Moore could only manage to tip onto the cross bar with Mullings on hand to turn the ball into the net. Jeanne then brought another save from Moore and Mullings thought his shot had crossed the line, but the linesman ruled that Reed had cleared away.

Bideford then put on some last ditch pressure and Tucker was lucky to stay on the pitch after another offence, jumping at Alllward, who received a nasty blow to the head. Three minutes from time, Groves took a quick free kick to an unmarked Sampson down the right, who saw his low drive go right across the goal area and safely out on the left for a Rovers goal kick.

For Paulton Manager, Tony Ricketts, this win nicely sets up Saturday’s local derby as Frome Town vist Winterfield Road, kick-off at 3 p.m. On Tuesday, 5th January, the First team are in action, again at home, against

Weymouth, kick-off at

7.30 p.m.

Tony Walsh