SIMON Gale came off the bench to score a brace for Bridport Reserves as they eventually managed to overcome a stubborn Cranborne side at St Mary’s Field on Saturday.

The Dorset Premier League clash was locked at 1-1 when Bees’ boss Robin Townsend brought Gale on for Tom Fouracre with half an hour left.

And Gale’s introduction paid dividends as the substitute went on to give his side the lead and then clinch the three points with a second late on.

Ben Clarke converted a Jack Scovell pass from 12 yards to make it 1-0 to the hosts just before the break.

But Cranborne, without a win in four going into the match, levelled when Bridport went to sleep at a set play.

The Cranes had frustrated Bridport for long periods of the contest and it looked as though they might hold on for a share of the spoils.

However, Gale struck with around 10 minutes to go – Scovell providing the assist again – and the same player then made it 3-1.

The second-half replacement leapt to power in a bullet header four minutes from the end of normal time.

“Cranborne came out with a game plan to sit back and frustrate us,” said Townsend.

“We had a golden opportunity in the first couple of minutes which we didn’t take and that set the tone for the rest of the half.

“They would have been really pleased to go in at half-time level but we kept plugging away and Ben Clarke scored.

“They made it 1-1 after about 10 minutes of the second half and it wasn’t good defending on our part. We made some changes and Simon Gale gave us the lead, then he scored again with a great header.”

“I was pleased to get the three points and we played okay, though it looked as if we were going through the motions a little bit.”

Meanwhile, Chris Herbst will be unavailable for Bridport’s trip to title contenders Hamworthy Recreation tomorrow (1pm).

But Townsend is set to have Roger Cummings back, while Russell Legg, Darren Lock and Gary Bulman could all be involved as well.

Looking ahead to the game, Townsend said: “On paper they should beat us, but we go there with a bit of confidence.

“Hopefully with the side we’ve got we can give them a game and upset the apple cart.”

With seven fixtures of their season left, Bridport lie 11th in the table, though they have played fewer games than any other side.

Bees: Fry, Herbst, Day, Dunlop, Peart, Fleet, Walken (S Gale 60), Fouracre (T Gale 70), Hayter (Stordy 70), Clarke, Scovell