Torquay wing duo will lift Robins
Bideford are set to be back on the team coach again today for another Evo-Stik League Southern Premier away day Saturday.
Today's destination – weather-permitting – is Hertfordshire and the Top Field home of Hitchin Town.
The travelling Robins will be buoyed by Tuesday's 2-1 Devon St Luke's Cup win at Plymouth Parkway. The county cup tie was a welcome distraction and a useful exercise for Sean Joyce's Bideford side after the postponement of last Sunday's league trip to basement side Kettering Town due to a waterlogged pitch.
Joyce's Robins start today 15th in the table and nine points ahead of today's hosts, second-from-bottom Hitchin, beaten 2-1 at Frome Town last Saturday despite taking an 11th-minute lead.
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With ten games to go Bideford remain on course for the mid-table – read consolidation – target set them by manager Joyce. However, the Robins boss is too experienced to take anything for granted and will be wary of a Hitchin side that countered from going 2-0 behind in five minutes at Bideford in November to level within 11 minutes.
Skipper Matt Hockley won the match 3-2 with a successful 80th-minute penalty.
Bideford – who turned around at 1-0 deficit at Parkway thanks to goals from top scorer Sean Downing and veteran ace Ellis Laight – welcome back striker Kevin Squire and defender Aaron Harper-Penman today.
Joyce's squad is also set to boosted by new on-loan Torquay United wingers Karl Baker and Saul Halpin, who were due to make their debuts at Kettering.
The Bideford boss, a former Torquay United midfield ace, said: "We have got ourselves in a good position with 40 points and ten games to go. Bringing them in will give us that lift."
Another former Torquay United midfielder, Kevin Hill, is set to take temporary charge of team affairs at Tiverton Town today as they visit Winchester City in Division One South & West.
Hill has been handed the caretaker reins following Mark Saunders' decision to step down, along with assistant Hedley Steele, after Tuesday night's 2-1 home defeat by North Leigh, Tiverton's 16th league match without a win.
In the meantime Tiverton's board, headed by chairman Matthew Conridge, seek a full-time replacement for former Plymouth Argyle and Gillingham midfielder Saunders, who intends to continue playing.
Southampton side Sholing have announced their intention to leave the league at the end of the season.