PORTLAND UNITED 4 BRIDPORT RESERVES 2
ROBIN Townsend was left lamenting individual errors after the Bees crashed to defeat at league leaders Portland United.
Bridport Reserves enjoyed plenty of possession at Grove Corner but only after they had given themselves a mountain to climb by conceding two goals in the opening 12 minutes.
Townsend, whose side re-main fifth in the Magna Dorset Premier League, said: “Consid-ering the conditions and the fact both sides hadn’t played for a while it was a good game but you cannot go to a quality side like Portland and give them a two-goal head start, which is exactly what we did.
“We were missing eight players through suspensions and other things but at the same time we were boosted by three first-teamers in Chris and Ben Clarke, and Chris Luke, who all played well.
“Had we been at our strongest we might have done a little better but take nothing away from Portland because they are a fantastic side.
“Ross Doidge and Alex Hall-oran are both quality players and Mitch Conning caused us problems with his pace.
“However, I still feel individual mistakes cost us and for me that was the most disappointing thing.”
A stunning set-piece from Alex Halloran opened the scoring in the early exchanges before Ross Doidge added a second from the spot on 12 minutes following a foul on Conning by Sam Day.
The table-toppers looked in command at that stage but Day soon made up for his earlier error by netting two free-kicks either side of half-time to set up an intriguing last 40 minutes.
However, it was the Blues that went on to win it with Lewis Whyton and Conning putting the result beyond doubt to stretch their side’s unbeaten league run to 10 games.
Portland boss Chris Wilson said: “Following the overnight rain we had on Friday, I didn’t think it had any chance of being on but the pitch was perfect.
“It was a bit heavy underfoot but it was great to get the game on and I thought for both sets of players to turn in performances like they did after such a long lay-off was excellent.
“Bridport possibly kept the ball a lot better than us but despite having the lion’s share of the possession, they didn’t really turn us a lot and I always felt we looked more incisive.
“We certainly had to work for it though and considering we had 10 players missing it was a really pleasing result and a great squad effort, which is what trying to win titles is all about.”
Next up for Bridport is a home tie against Poundbury Rovers on Saturday (1.30pm) in the last eight of the Dorset Senior Trophy, while the Blues face a tough trip to Wincanton Town (2pm) in the league on the same afternoon.
Blues: Bickerstaff, Halloran, Whyton, Carmichael, Newnham, Doidge, Reader, Halloran, Conning, Smith (Turner 75), McKechnie. Sub not used: Spenceley.
Bees: Fry, Day, A Clarke, King (Herbst 20), C Clarke, Luke, Fleet (Falvey 80), McAllister, Symes, B Clarke, Gale.