Matt Andrew strikes twice in Bideford win over Weymouth
MATT ANDREW scored twice to end Weymouth's six-match winning streak in the Evo-Stik League Southern, sending Bideford up to 14th in the premier division.
The Robins edged a 2-1 win in front of a season's best gate of 373 at the Sports Ground this afternoon.
Andrew opened the scoring in the 62nd minute with a spectacular volley and the midfielder won the game after a calamitous mistake from goalkeeper Simon Evans.
Scott Walker had equalised for Weymouth with a left-foot strike but Andrew pounced in the 69th minute, clinching the points as Evans lost the ball trying to take on home striker Kevin Squire.
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There was little to choose between the teams in a dour first half in which they were both guilty of giving away possession by punting aimless long balls.
Walker came closest to breaking the deadlock when his long-range free kick had to be beaten away by goalkeeper Paul Hider.
The match was crying out for some quality and Andrew provided it with a brilliant opening goal. Controlling the ball on his chest just inside the area, he turned to hook a volley past Evans into the roof of the net.
A scuffed shot from Sean Downing then had to be hacked off the line by Weymouth defender Ashley Wells as Andrew again caught Evans dithering.
Backed by their vocal travelling supporters, Weymouth took only five minutes to respond, Walker breaking on to a fine reverse pass from substitute Dan Smith to drill past Hider.
The introduction of Smith and Stephen Reed, playing against his home-town club, gave Weymouth greater urgency but they still struggled to create chances against a defence led superbly by Jack Furzer and Aaron Harper-Penman.
Harper-Penman denied Reed with a block, while front pair Mark Ford and Ben Joyce, who hit a hat-trick against Bideford in August, were never allowed to influence the game.
Andrew's second goal lifted Bideford and they were unlucky not to increase their advantage when a swerving strike from substitute Richard Groves crashed back off the bar against his former club.
When Smith had a penalty appeal turned down after going to ground in a challenge with Furzer, it summed up a frustrating afternoon for the visitors.
They remain in the play-off places after St Albans crashed to a surprise 6-2 defeat at home to Chesham United.
Bideford, who continue to play with spirit and resilience, have lost just once in eight games and have moved eight points clear of the relegation zone ahead of the trip to Gosport Borough on Saturday.