Sean Joyce still chirpy after Robins suffer loss
Bideford manager Sean Joyce will be hoping to kick off a busy Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division spell with a home win over Bedworth United today.
Joyce's Robins are 18th in the division, just four points behind 13th-placed United, who beat the newly-promoted Robins 2-1 at their Oval home ground in Warwickshire on the first day of the season.
Bideford have come a long way in the past four months, highlighted by last week's 2-1 defeat at second-placed Leamington. Their first loss in five matches came against the run of play and after a slow start to life in a new league, when the Robins kicked off with a run of four losses.
Bedworth will face a Bideford side schooled on a steep learning curve when they meet at the Sports Ground.
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Following last week's loss at Leamington, Joyce admitted: "Ten weeks ago, we probably would have come up here and opened ourselves up. I think the lads believe me now and what I say about staying in games. We were solid, we were organised and we sprang forward in numbers and caused them problems.
"We are always going to create because we are a positive team, and now we have just got that little bit of mental strength as well."
The Robins also have a player in form in the guise of veteran striker Kevin Squire, on a goal-scoring spree of five in four games after last Saturday's opener.
The Reds will want to extend a recent home record of successive wins over leaders Hemel Hempstead Town, Kettering Town and St Albans City. Bedworth were beaten 3-1 at home by sixth-placed St Albans last Saturday.
Tiverton Town, fourth in Division One South and West, travel to Oxfordshire to play 14th-placed Abingdon United.
Abingdon's midweek clash at Bishop's Cleeve was rained off and so they will be anxious to get back into match action against a Tiverton side fresh from back-to-back 2-2 draws.
Tivvy boss Mark Saunders and his assistant, Hedley Steele, will be hoping that the Yellows can return to the early-season form which saw the east Devon club string together six and seven-match unbeaten runs.
Rod Marsh scored twice for Taunton as they lost 3-2 at Winchester City on the opening day of the new campaign.
Today, Leigh Robinson's resurgent Peacocks will start as favourites against City, with home advantage and buoyed by last Saturday's confidence-boosting 2-0 home win over Hungerford Town. Defeat caused Hungerford to slip to second, behind Poole Town.