Torquay United await after Ellis Laight goals sends Bideford into cup semi-final
SEAN DOWNING and Ellis Laight scored as Bideford won 2-1 at Plymouth Parkway in the Devon St Luke's Cup quarter-final on Tuesday night.
A second-half fightback booked a meeting with Torquay United in the last four.
Trailing 1-0 to opponents from the Carlsberg South West Peninsula League at the break, Bideford turned the tie around with a workmanlike performance.
Manager Sean Joyce named a strong side, although striker Kevin Squire and defender Aaron Harper-Penman were given the night off.
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Matt Hockley, the captain, went on for the second half and missed an opportunity to equalise, heading over from close range.
But Downing was a constant menace to the Parkway defence and he equalised on 62 minutes after combining with Matt Bye.
Laight, the veteran striker, marked a rare start with his third goal of the season and second in the competition. He swept in the winner midway through the half after Downing pulled the ball back.
Joyce said: "In the first half we were off it and probably thought it was going to be easier than it was. In the second half we upped the tempo.
"We have come through two rounds and we want to win it now."
In the semi-final, Bideford's players may even find themselves lining up against their latest team-mates.
Saul Halpin and Karl Baker have joined on a month's loan from Torquay, although they are likely to be with their main club for the county cup.
Halpin plays on the right wing or as an attacking midfielder and Baker is a left-sided player who previously appeared for Bideford in the 2010 Devon St Luke's Cup final.
"They are good young lads," said Joyce.
"We have got ourselves in a great position with 40 points and ten games to go. Bringing them in will give us that lift.
"They are pacey, they are sharp and they have been well coached at Torquay."
Both players will join the squad for the trip to Hitchin Town in the Evo-Stik League Southern premier division on Saturday.
After Sunday's aborted trip to Kettering Town, Bideford will be glad to return to action.
They had already reached Bristol when they were told the match was off due to a waterlogged pitch, which had earlier had a covering of snow.