I think we need to be realistic here. Bideford are a comparatively strong side in this competition. Only Torquay, Tivvy and Plymouth Parkway come above them in Devon's non league clubs this season. Charlie Hanson was on loan there for most of the season and was in and out of the side. Playing an u17 side with a fair old smattering of schoolboys with no natural striker and a few more missing was always going to be a good physical test against a decent outfit.
I only saw the second half but I thought we defended very well and stood up well to the physicality even when Ed James went off. I am still surprised we didn't keep Dan Preece on as he was impressive in the cup winning u16's and slotted right in tonight. When Bideford did get through Harry Lee showed why he is rated by the club. Two outstanding saves, one right at the end.
Of the players I haven't seen before Aamir Daniels looks like he has something about him. Definitely has the athleticism to do well. Pedro Borges after being isolated up front looked far more comfortable in midfield and looks an interesting prospect.
Penalties were what they were. They weren't really bad pens and the Bideford keeper saved well going the right way each time. All part of the learning process.
The non league scene in the south west is as strong as I have ever seen it at the moment. There are several very decent outfits around. Some of that is down to the better standard of youth development around the area and those players who don't quite make it feeding down. All the better for us to send our young hopefuls out on loan to.