BRIDPORT have been thwarted in their efforts to withdraw from the Les Phillips Cup this weekend.

The Bees were in negotiations with Toolstation League officials over pulling out of the competition in order to focus on completing their league season.

However, league officials have not been sympathetic to Bridport’s request and the Bees must now travel to Western Premier Division leaders Tavistock on Saturday (3pm).

Bridport have been knocked out of every other available cup competition at the first time of asking this season and have lost 28 of 29 league games.

They sit bottom of the Premier Division and are on course to be relegated in March.

READ MORE: Helston Athletic 6-0 Bridport - match report

And caretaker boss Shaun Annetts felt league officials could have used greater discretion to comply with Bridport’s appeal.

He told the Bridport News: “We did enquire whether the Toolstation League would allow us to withdraw from the competition to ease our issues, if you like.

“Unfortunately, they weren’t able to help us on this occasion.

“I asked the question: ‘Are they not aware of our plight? Are they not aware of how much we’re struggling, just getting teams out?’

“They are aware and sympathetic, however, had the game been in midweek and we were asked to travel on a Tuesday night then we may have had a better chance of having the game cancelled.

“Because it fell on a Saturday I believe that’s the reason our appeal was not granted.”

On Tavistock, Annetts added: “We couldn’t have had a worse draw.

“All that the football club wants to do is fulfil our league fixtures, put this season behind us and hopefully regroup in the summer when the new management team come in.

“It is a question of literally just getting through this season. We clearly are not going to trouble Tavistock.

“It just seems a bit of a wasted journey and travelling expenses getting there. It would seem the obvious thing to have given Tavistock the win.

“But we’ll go down with the best side that I can put together.”

Josh Lucas will replace unavailable goalkeeper Greg Taylor, but captain Jake Owen returns along with top scorer Mike Hill.

Dan Baggs (hip), Jake Hawker (shoulder) and Dom McAllister (leg) are major doubts.

Bridport Reserves are in Dorset Premier League Cup semi-final action at Hamworthy Rec on Saturday (1.30pm).