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Buoyant Bees run riot
LONGWELL GREEN SPORTS 2 Bridport 5
IN-FORM Bridport ran riot in Bristol in an action-packed game that saw Ryan Dovell bag a brace in only his second game back at the club.
There were also two red cards in the seven-goal thriller as well as several injuries in the home ranks that dampened their hopes of a second half comeback.
Afterwards boss Trevor Senior was clearly delighted at the magnificent start his charges have made to the new campaign having secured 10 points from five outings.
This win pushes his side up to second spot in the Toolstation Western Premier Division after many sides were involved in FA Cup action at the weekend.
He said: “I have to admit I was a bit pessimistic before the season started with the opening half-dozen games we had scheduled but the squad is strong and we are playing with confidence.
“To have 10 points already is fantastic as it took us until October to get to double figures last term.
“As for Saturday, well it came at a good time to play Longwell as they are not firing at the moment and the win sets us up nicely for this weekend’s tricky FA Vase trip to Tavi-stock.”
The hosts suffered a string of setbacks that began just five minutes in when they were forced to stretcher off a forward following a strong challenge on Chris Luke.
And within the first five minutes of the second period, Green suffered a fourth serious injury that meant, with all their substitutions already made, they had to see out the remainder of the game with just 10 men.
The visitors had got off to a flying start when Dovell gobbled up a chance inside three minutes and the Bees continued to control the early exchanges with Matt Condliffe going close before Dovell nearly added a second with a terrific left-foot drive that was well saved.
Senior said: “At this stage we really needed a second goal and we got it right on the stroke of half-time when Matt Condliffe was fouled on the right-side and Dan Wise swung the resul-ting free-kick to the back post for Chris Clarke to power home a header.
“We heard them getting a right roasting from their boss at the break and with the elements in our faces we struggled to get out of our own half for the first five minutes after the restart.
“They then nicked one back with a free header from a corner.
“However, a long punt from Sam Filkins allowed us to make it 3-1 as a defen-der missed the ball and in raced Ben Clarke to head it past the onrushing keeper and force it over the line under pressure.
“They then went down to 10 with another injury and I thought we would run out easy winners. However, Russell Legg earned a second yellow for a deliberate hand- ball when it looked like he chested the ball in.”
Bridport had to make changes at this point with Dovell and substitute Chris Senior dropping back to midfield.
Dan Wise came off with a knock and Ben Clarke was rested in readiness for the Vase game with Dovell unavailable for that tie.
Senior added: “We just wanted to shore up at that point and so we put Condliffe up top on his own but within minutes he scored a great goal with an overhead kick from 12 yards to make it 4-1.
“Amazingly they were then reduced to nine men when one of their guys blatantly handled a cross into our box and Ryan has then smashed a 20-yarder for number five with 10 minutes to go.
“Three minutes from time they forced the ball home from another corner which was disappointing, but overall it was a great team performance and we won quite comfortably in the end.”
Bees: Filkins, Condliffe, C Clarke (Evans 65), Buckler, Hill, Hayter, Legg, Wise (J Filkins 55), B Clarke (Senior 65), Dovell, Luke. Attendance: 52