BRIDPORT boss Adam Fricker saw his side so stretched in their trip to Melksham Town on Saturday, he came off the bench himself in the encounter.

The Bees’ chief, who was full of praise for his side’s endeavour shown against one of the Western League’s big guns at the weekend, replaced Louis Rutter with 25 minutes remaining after the former sustained a knee injury.

Asked if he enjoyed his cameo at right-back, Fricker joked: “I wouldn’t say I enjoyed it, I thought those days were long behind me. Although, I thought I was probably the best player on the pitch for 20 minutes, to be fair!

“I just came on at right-back and you just try and do what you’ve got to do, clear your lines and don’t mess around with it

“It wasn’t pretty!”

Melksham, who have been in impressive form in the league this term having only lost on three occasions, opened the scoring in the opening period against the Bees, thanks to a neat finish from Dave Thompson.

Then, midfielder Luke Ballinger, who is a stalwart in representing England Futsal at international level, then made it two with a well-crafted lob which found the net to put the hosts well in control at the break.

Fricker was introduced in the second period in place of Rutter, who himself only made kick-off 10 minutes before the game due to work commitments.

But despite their efforts, the Bees were powerless to stop Ballinger adding another late on to wrap the game up.

“To be fair, credit to the lads that played,” the Bees’ chief added.

“It wasn’t to be and we knew it was a bit of a bonus game for us. We just have to look ahead to the next game now.

“The lads just rolled their sleeves up and got on with it.

“It was always going to be a tough day and we knew that but, for us, if we can take the attitude, heart and desire that we showed into the game against Longwell Green next Saturday, then we will be alright.”

Bees: Hutchings, Regan, Hayter (Hull 50), Hill, Condliffe, Andrews, Peach, Rutter (Fricker 65), Symes, Holland, Salter. Subs not used: Behan, Smith

Attendance: 349