BRIDPORT Reserves were deprived of a final spot in the first of two cup semi-finals, losing 3-1 at Sturminster Newton United in the Dorset Senior Trophy.

Chris Herbst’s men have done exceptionally well this season but they found the Cherries, who lie fourth in the Dorset Premier League, too big an obstacle to overcome.

Bridport felt they should have had a penalty on 30 minutes but Cherries’ star Billy Bright was sent off and the resulting free-kick was blasted over.

Sturminster took the lead against the odds when Ashley Clarke volleyed home, but the Bees equalised when Josh Hunter converted following a slick move.

READ MORE: Bridport must find identity in big rebuild, says Greg Taylor 

Bridport made the worst possible start to the second half as Will Guppy scored before Bees’ sub James Cox was sent off for a hands-to-face incident.

As Bridport chased the game, the pacy Guppy hit the Bees on the counter to seal a final with either Merley or Dorchester Sports.

Herbst said: “I think their experience showed and the occasion probably got to us.

“Everyone was gutted. We didn’t turn up, it’s really frustrating because we had a really good side out. The better team definitely won.”

Herbst had no complaints over Cox’s dismissal, adding: “It wasn’t ideal. He just reacted to a tackle, raised his hands and pushed him. It’s a red card.”

Herbst’s men have provisionally set an April date for their DPL Cup semi-final at Ham Rec.

Bees: Jo Scadding, Ja Scadding, King, Herbst, Gall, Adler, Baker, Gape, Jones, Weedon, Hunter. Subs: Cox, Etherington, Day.

On Tuesday night, Herbst’s men then drew 2-2 with Portland United Reserves in Jewson Dorset Premier League action.

Riley Weedon put the Bees 1-0 up but goals from ex-Bridport striker Liam Sayers and Lance Wilson moved the Blues 2-1 ahead by half-time.

Weedon then notched his brace and Bridport were left fuming after a late decision not to award a penalty, despite the linesman appearing to flag for a foul in the box.

Bees: Jo Scadding, Gall, Herbst, King, Ja Scadding, Condliffe, Gape, Etherington, Weedon, Hunter, Radivojsa. Subs: Adler, Baker, Jones.