FOOTBALL: Perfect hat-trick as Ben fires Bees

HAT-TRICK: Ben Clarke

HAT-TRICK: Ben Clarke

First published in Football

WAREHAM RANGERS 1 BRIDPORT RESERVES 3

BEN Clarke’s ‘perfect’ hat-trick was just the tonic for Bridport Reserves as Robin Townsend’s charges got back on the victory trail at Wareham.

Clarke scored with his left foot, right foot and head to give the Bees all three points in their first Dorset Premier League fixture since the end of January.

The Bees had lost 3-0 to Cranborne in their last outing and went to Wareham without a couple of reserve-team regulars.

However, after dipping into the club’s third team, Town-send saw his troops come up trumps to consolidate sixth place in the table.

“We probably didn’t go there with our strongest squad but the people who came in did really well,” said Town-send. “The lads who came in from the thirds stepped up and did marvellous- ly.

“We played into the wind in the first half and they had the better of the chances, but I thought we defended really well and the back four were superb.

“The wind was in our favour in the second half and it was up to us to take the game to them.

“Ben Clarke said at half-time that he thought he was never going to score but then got a ‘perfect’ hat-trick in the second half – one with his left foot, one with his right, and one with his head.

“Dom McAllister came on at half-time for Jack Scovell who was injured, and with his first touch he cushioned the ball down for Ben to score from 15 yards.

“We made it 2-0 with 20 minutes to go when Ben headed in a corner from six yards.

“Wareham threw everything at us and Billy Fleet made a great save going the wrong way.

“Then a long ball was knocked over the top, Ben ran on to it, went round two or three of their players, and scored from an acute angle.

“The only thing that took the gloss off the result was when they made it 3-1 with a few minutes to go.”

Townsend gave a special mention to Scovell for playing when not 100 per cent fit.

He added: “I take my hat off to people like that. He knew we were struggling a bit and he came along to help out.”

The Bees’ boss should have less of a selection headache this Saturday when his team hosts Portland United in the quarter-finals of the DPL League Cup (2pm).

Bees: B Fleet, A Clarke, Herbst, Lock, McClements, Stewart, Cum-mings, Hailu, Jones (Hawker 70), Scovell (McAllister 46), B Clarke.

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