Joyce left happy with point at Arlesey
The long journey to Arlesey Town on Tuesday proved worthwhile for Bideford with a 2-2 draw in Evo-Stik League Southern.
Midfielder Richard Groves scored twice in a four-goal first half for a hard-earned point.
Without Matt Bye or Ian Sampson for the 500-mile round trip, manager Sean Joyce was heartened by another resilient effort from his squad.
The point kept Bideford in 15th place in the Premier Division and ten points clear of the relegation zone with ten games to go.
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Joyce said: “When we played them at our place three weeks ago, when we drew 1-1, I thought they bullied us. They were a good, physical side.
“Even in those three weeks we have come on a lot. I thought we won more headers and got about them more in the first ten minutes than we did in the whole game at our place.”
Bideford are on the road again this week with a League game against Kettering Town at Corby on Sunday and a trip to Plymouth Parkway in the Devon St Luke’s Challenge Cup next Tuesday. Captain Matt Hockley is unavailable for the Kettering game due to work commitments.
Manager Mark Saunders believes Tiverton Town’s battling performance in Tuesday’s 2-1 Evo-Stik League Southern defeat at Yate is cause for optimism ahead of the visit of Swindon Supermarine this Saturday.
The Yellows put in a dogged display but fell behind to a fortunate Edd Vahid goal from a corner, only for Josh Searle to level on 33 minutes after his initial shot had been saved.
But an 83rd-minute strike from Michael Bryant saw one of Division One South and West’s form teams leave with all three points.
High-flying Supermarine will provide Tivvy with an equally difficult test on Saturday at Ladysmead, but Saunders feels the performance – coupled with the second-half display in the 0-0 draw at Bridgwater Town last Saturday – is a source of encouragement.
“Swindon is going to be a tough game against another tough in-form side, but if we can carry on the battling performance against Yate then that will help us,” said Saunders.
“Although we were not good enough to win the game, I did not think we were not bad enough to lose it. Coupled with that good second half against Bridgwater, we have something to build on.
“I was happy with the first half, but we let the second half get away from us a little bit.”
Saunders also confirmed that striker Dave Pearse has rejoined Bridgwater, four months after he swapped Fairfax Park for Ladysmead.