CRANBORNE 3 BRIDPORT RESERVES 0
THIS game is one Bridport boss Robin Townsend would rather like to forget in a hurry.
Not only was it the second time his men had lost to Cranborne in the Dorset Premier League this season, it was the manner in which they were beaten.
A combination of a below-par performance and what Townsend thought were questionable decisions by the officials contributed to a miserable afternoon for the visitors.
Bridport trailed 1-0 at the interval before conceding two second-half penalties and having Sam Day shown a red card for two bookable offences.
“I’m not sure Cranborne deserved it but we definitely gave them a helping hand,” said Townsend.
“They like to play the ball long and then pick up the pieces, and we coped with that well for 40 minutes, but we went a goal down just before half-time.
“We gave away a sloppy free-kick and were caught napping, as we have done in the past.
“Then the referee made two decisions that changed the game.
“Michael Hailu was booked for dissent and that set the tone. Then the ball was knocked over the top of our defence and Darren Lock was bundled to the floor.
“I thought it was a free-kick to us but the ball rolled over his arm and the referee gave a penalty.
“They scored that and with about 15 minutes to go Sam Day, who had already been booked for dissent, deserved to be sent off for a tackle he made.
“Sam was nowhere near the ball and it was a booking so I had no qualms with that. They then scored from the spot to make it 3-0.”
Townsend didn’t pull any punches when asked to assess his team’s display.
He added: “Our performance as a team was shocking and the players know how unhappy I am.
“I would have been absolutely furious if we had a run of games going into it, but because we’d had a break I probably gave them the benefit of the doubt.
“We had a few chances in the first half but it wasn’t our day. We didn’t really create that much because it was a scrappy game.
“The only good thing to come from it was that Jack Scovell got 20 minutes after being out for so long.”
Bridport stay fifth in the table and host Blandford United next on Saturday.
Bees: B Fleet, Day, Lock, A Clarke, Steele, H Fleet, Legg (Cummings 65), Hailu, Gale (Rh Hayter 72), Jones, B Clarke (Scovell 70)