BRIDPORT suffered a 3-2 defeat at 10-man Shepton Mallet after the Somerset side staged a remarkable second-half comeback in their Toolstation Western League Premier Division encounter.

Adam Fricker’s men had opened up a 2-0 lead through Leigh Bailey and Richard Hebditch strikes after Mallet’s Jack Goodhall was sent off for studs-up challenge on Ed Butcher, causing a deep wound on the forward’s thigh.

But the hosts roared back courtesy of a Tyson Pollard brace and a late winner from James Billing as Bridport surrendered.

Speaking to Echosport after the game, Fricker felt his players had “hit self-destruct”.

He said: “For 55 minutes we were doing everything we needed to do and then completely hit self-destruct. I let them know in no uncertain terms after the game.

“We did have a few choice words because the way (the players) played was unacceptable. They started playing their own individual games.

“But we had won six of our last seven, one poor result doesn’t derail our season.”

Fricker believed Goodhall’s sending off to be “harsh” but admitted his players “switched off” after going 2-0 up.

He said: “They had a lad sent off after 15 minutes. To be fair it was a bit harsh. Ed’s got a massive slash on his thigh, the studs sliced it open.

“Braeden Symes got the ball in midfield and played in Leigh down the right and 18 yards smashed it in the bottom corner.

“Then second half we worked the ball from right to left and got it to Richard who curled it in the top corner.

“At 2-0 we looked comfortable then we switched off, players playing out of position and going hunting for the ball.”

But Fricker was disappointed in the Bees’ demeanour having conceded five minutes later, feeling his side had then “downed tools”.

He said: “Their lad broke from right-back and got over halfway and wasn’t marked. He ran all the way into the box and had a strike which James Smith saved and it fell to one of their lads who knocked it in.

“We could probably moan about the equaliser because he was two yards offside and they scored the penalty. As soon as it was 2-2 our lads just downed tools.

“They had their tails up and it was just a straight ball down the side, our centre-halves were asleep and their lad has had a clear run.”

Bees: Smith, Bailey, Rutter (Hill 80), Martin, Sweet, Vance, Symes, Thomas, (Cornish 55), Hebditch, Butcher (Latas 13), Salter