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Bees rocked as Tom ruled out
Bridport have been dealt a huge blow ahead of the big kick-off with the news that Tom Richardson will be out of action for up to two months.
The striker has spent a fortnight in a London hospital suffering from what doctors believe to be Still’s disease – juvenile rheumatoid arth ritis.
Richardson is expected to make a full recovery but is unlikely to appear in Bees’ colours until late September.
And with the new Toolstation Western Premier Division campaign set to get underway this weekend at Barnstaple Town (3pm), Bridport’s attacking options have been left severely diminished.
Manager Trevor Senior, already without long-term absentees Joe and Sam Charles, said: “Tom has been quite bad. He’s been in hospital in London for a fortnight with what they think is Still’s disease, which is arthritis of the joints.
“He has been taking tablets etc and they have said he will make a full recovery but it will probably take two months for him to recover so we will be without him for a while.
“When you take Tom, Joe Charles and Sam Charles out of the line-up you are without three massive players.”
Bridport’s preparations for the new term have been far from ideal. However, many of the problems they have faced have been completely out of their hands.
Two friendly fixtures, including last Saturday’s visit of Bournemouth Poppies, have been cancelled due to the opposition’s failure to raise a side and Senior admitted: “Pre-season has been disjointed.
“We had it all planned out but it’s not gone according to plan due to unavailabilities and teams not being able to play us.”
Despite his frustration, Senior will no doubt be confident heading into Saturday’s curtain-raiser.
However, his side will be looking to avoid a repeat of last season’s results against their upcoming opponents.
Bridport may have finished two points above Barnstaple in the final standings but they suffered 1-0 and 3-0 defeats in the two meetings between them.
Following the weekend’s match at Mill Road, the Bees contest their first home fixture of the new term on Tuesday night with the visit of Wells City (7.45pm).