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Injury-hit Bideford lose ground after home loss to Cambridge City

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 08, 2013

By ROSS REID

Cambridge City

Nick Beasant heads Cambridge City into an 11th-minute lead at Bideford. Picture: Mike Southon

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HEMEL HEMPSTEAD TOWN powered to the Southern League Premier Division summit following their ninth home league win of the season, 3-0 over Truro City on Saturday.

With Chesham United surprised 2-1 at home by a Burnham side who had lost 3-1 to Bideford last time out, Hemel edged a point ahead of the Generals at the top of the table with a game in hand.

Injury-hit Bideford slipped to fourth behind Cambridge City, who moved up to third following their 4-1 win over north Devon's Robins at the Sports Ground.

Without on-loan Torquay United striker Ashley Yeoman (hamstring) and former Gulls winger Saul Halpin and Richard Groves (both ruled out by ankle injuries), Bideford slipped to only their second defeat of the season in the league.

Stand-in Cambridge City central defender Nick Beasant headed the visitors ahead on 11 minutes following 15-goal top scorer Adam Marriott's free-kick, and Adam Martin doubled the Lilywhites' lead in the 25th minute.

Bideford responded and dominated the remainder of the half with Sean Downing – the Robins' two-goal hero at Burnham – twice going close with headers before half-time.

With Bideford seeking to build on their bright first-half finish, skipper Matt Hockley skimmed a shot just wide.

City countered with Robbie Burns curling in a free-kick on 55 minutes to make it 3-0 before James Brighton crashed in a 25 yard strike on the hour.

Downing and Hockley combined for Bideford's 75th-minute goal, headed home by midfielder Hockley.

Truro also lost by a three-goal margin, as Hemel – who drew 1-1 at Cambridge City a week earlier – surged into a 33rd-minute lead through Kieran Murphy, heading home David Hutton's corner.

David Pearce volleyed the home side 2-0 ahead on 71 minutes despite the best efforts of outstanding new City goalkeeper Grant Fisher, making his second successive start after joining the Cornish club from Exmouth Town.

Substitute Charlie Mpi made it 3-0 in the 82nd minute for the promotion-chasing Tudors.

Truro, in 17th place, return to league action at home to 13th placed Corby next Saturday while Bideford visit 12th-placed Redditch United on Monday week.

Striker Craig Veal hit a hat-trick as Willand Rovers powered to a 5-0 Western League home win over Premier Division newcomers Winterbourne United.

Luke Alden and former Tiverton and Torquay United defender Kevin Hill – making his Rovers debut as Exmouth were without a game – also scored for rampant Rovers.

Second-from-bottom Ilfracombe Town turned the form upside down with a 2-0 win at seventh-placed Brislington with goals for Frank Paxton and Mark Clunie, while Buckland Athletic suffered a 2-0 defeat at Hengrove Athletic.

Barry Yeo enjoyed a winning start as manager of his home-town team Barnstaple Town, who beat First Division visitors Calne Town 4-2 with goals from Jack Jenkins (two), Billy Tucker (pen) and Jed Harper-Penman.

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