BEES: Last-gasp Luke seals Bridport victory in seven-goal thriller

MATCH-WINNER: Bridport's Chris Luke, left

MATCH-WINNER: Bridport's Chris Luke, left

First published in Sport Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Reporter

CHRIS Luke struck with just seconds of normal time remaining to settle an enthralling encounter at St Mary’s Field.

Bridport had fought back from two goals down to lead the Tool-station Western League Premier Division clash 3-2 when Matt Condliffe was shown a straight red card with 11 minutes left.

Cadbury Heath’s Matt Huxley then levelled with his 41st goal of the season but there was still time for Bees’ midfielder Luke, pictured, to snatch the three points at the death after good play from substitute Matt Morley.

“We showed good character to come from behind,” said Bridport boss Trevor Senior. “We played alright in the first half but we just looked frightened to make a mistake.

“We passed the ball around but didn’t really hurt them and it was a bit like last week against Winter-bourne.

“Luckily, their keeper got us back in it at the right time and I said to the lads at half-time not to be frightened to make a mistake and have a go.

“We’ve started to score a few goals from set plays and the delivery was great, and we scored two to make it 3-2.

“Then we ended up having the sending off and got caught out, but we came back and it was a great set-up by Matt Morley and Lukey finished it off – I love those sorts of games.”

Other than a sprawling save by Sam Filkins from a Jack Camm effort on 20 minutes, neither keeper had been given too much to do before Heath took the lead.

Huxley broke the deadlock with eight minutes of the first period to go, stooping low to head in George Boon’s cross.

And the visitors seemed to be in command soon after as Boon’s dangerous free-kick was headed in by Rob Scott.

But the Bees were given a lifeline on the brink of half-time when Heath keeper Damien Freeman dropped a high ball and Luke found Tom Richardson who stroked home.

Bridport were then 3-2 up within 15 minutes of the restart, both goals coming from Dan Wise corners. The first was met by Richardson for his second and the next found the head of Darren Watts.

The hosts did have chances, most notably Richardson, to grab a fourth, before Condliffe was dismissed for a two-footed challenge on Chris Astley.

Heath sensed their chance and they must have thought the three points were there for the taking when Huxley turned in Leon Maloney’s cut back.

However, Morley weaved some of his magic on the left, laid the ball off to Luke and he found the bottom corner to win it.

Bridport, now up to 14th in the table, head to Odd Down (Bath) tomorrow night (7.45pm).

Bees: S Filkins, J Filkins, Condliffe, Evans, Watts, Ry Hayter, Luke, Wise, Richardson (Morley 82), Dovell, Buckler. Subs not used: Clarke, Rh Hayter, T Senior

  •  Elizabeth Wright, Ken Mullins, Keith Morgan and David Fowler have all received a Long Service Award from the league for their services to Bridport FC over the last 30 years or more.

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