BRIDPORT Reserves must have felt a sense of déjà vu at St Mary’s Field on Saturday as Lewis Clarke turned out to be Portland United’s match winner for the second time in eight days against the Bees.

Clarke, who had scored twice in Portland’s cup win in West Dorset the previous weekend, struck again to give Gary Bailey’s troops a vital victory in their push for the Dorset Premier League crown.

This time it was a penalty early in the first half that did the damage, the three points good enough to move the islanders up to third in the table following Hamworthy Recreation’s narrow loss to Merley Cobham Sports.

Robin Townsend was much happier with the Bees’ performance this time around and felt the hosts were unlucky not to claim a point in the end.

He said: “It was a miles better performance from us this time and I thought the game was pretty even.

“They probably shaded the first half but we were much the better side in the second half.

“Midway through we had a goal disallowed but I could- n’t see anything wrong with it.

“Ben Clarke took the ball on his chest, swivelled and beat the keeper, but the referee gave handball.

“With two minutes to go, we had a shot and their lad has jumped up with his arm in the air and it looked like it hit him on the arm.

“Everyone appealed but the referee waved them away.”

The Bees, in sixth, are home again this Saturday when they host second-placed Merley (3pm).

It was 2-0 to Bridport when the sides met on the first day of the season with Ben Clarke and Robin Jones on the scoresheet.

Townsend is hoping to have Gary Bulman, Harry Fleet and Jack Scovell available again, while he could also have a new face in his squad in time for the game.

Bees: B Fleet, A Clarke, Lock, McClements, Herbst, Stewart, Day (Fry 65), Hailu (Cummings 70), Gale (Annetts 75), Jones, B Clarke Blues: Weeks, Smith, Whyton, Carmichael, Newnham, Mutch (Bastic 46), R Doidge, Carlile, McKechnie, Linaker (B Doidge 75), L Clarke