9:36am Wednesday 14th March 2012
By Adam Summers
BRISTOL MANOR FARM 0
MIKE Savage has hailed the Bees for the way they have made the step up this season in the Toolstation Western Premier Division.
The Bridport assistant-manager took the reins last Saturday in the absence of Trevor Senior and led the team to an incredible 1-0 victory at Bristol Manor Farm – a result he believes shows just how far the players have come in such a short space of time.
Savage told the Bridport News: “This season was always going to be a learning curve for the lads, who are still relatively young.
“The gulf between this level and Division One is massive and on the whole the lads have played okay.
“If the games were just over 45 minutes we would be a lot higher than we are but for whatever reason, we always tend to fade in the second half. But I think that is just down to the step up in quality.
“Make a mistake at this level and it gets punished eight out of 10 times and that level of intensity takes some getting used to.
“We always knew it was going to be tough but the aim was to stay up this year and we are almost there.
“The fact we have kept clean-sheets in our last two games now and won them both is a massive step forward and hopefully we can continue the run at Odd Down this Saturday.”
The Bees knew they would have to produce a big performance last weekend and they did not disappoint with Tom Richardson grabbing the all-important goal.
Savage added: “It was a massive result and we played really well. We set up 4-5-1 and in the first half we produced some good football. We closed them down and made it hard for them and we also created several chances.
“Sam Filkins made a stunning point-blank save to turn an effort on to a post and he also began the move that led to the goal. His throw-out saw Matt Condliffe find Dan Wise, whose clever ball then put away Tom. He then sold a trick to a defender before slipping the ball under the keeper.
“It was a great finish and having not scored for a while, it was an important goal for Tom in terms of confidence.
“It was very much end-to-end after that. They had a couple of half chances and we had a few opportunities too.
“Obviously, we were delighted at half-time but we knew they would come at us in the second half and to be honest the rest of the game was pretty much backs against the wall.
“They poured forward and made chance after chance but Sam pulled off a couple more great saves and Russell Legg and Joe Charles produced two fantastic goal-saving blocks to help us hang on. The way we dug in and kept going was just superb, and everyone was delighted afterwards.”
The Bees, who are likely to welcome back Chris Senior this weekend, remain 10 points clear of the drop-zone.
Bees: Filkins, Condliffe, C Clarke, Hill, J Charles, Hayter, Luke (Morgan 70), Wise, Watts, Legg (Cummings 80), Richardson (Evans 60).
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