Salter 60, Hebditch 70

BRIDPORT rounded off 2017 with three points as the Bees ground out a 2-0 win at lowly Wellington in the Toolstation Western League Premier Division.

Second-half goals from Mark Salter and Richard Hebditch proved the difference for Adam Fricker’s men, who are eighth in the table with six games in hand on Cribbs, who lie sixth.

Speaking to the Bridport News after the game, Fricker was buoyed by the victory but admitted his charges had performed below-par.

He said: “It was always going to be tough, they’re not a bad side, they’re well-organised and have been together for a while.

“The main thing for us is that we got three points to head into the new year. We weren’t at our best, we were very poor.”

In a fruitless opening half, Bridport were forced into an early change, with the loss of Tom Richardson to injury sparking the Bees into life.

Fricker said: “We lost Tom to injury early in the first-half. No disrespect to Tom, it probably helped us because we had to reshuffle. We put Declan Cornish on.

“To be honest, first half we were losing the ball in the midfield a lot, and weren’t winning our midfield battles.

“We defended strongly, the lads were nice and solid. When it was needed we put our chances away.”

Talking through the goals, Fricker praised substitute Cornish for his role in the opener, before lauding Hebditch for his calm finish in claiming the Bees’ second.

He said: “We got the ball in the box and it was great work from Dec with quick feet. He managed to play it across the six-yard box for Salts to put it in.

“Then they tried to clear a long ball in the air and Rich closed it down, forced their guy into an error and he had a 45-yard run, one-on-one with the keeper and he coolly slotted the ball past him, those are never easy. We then managed the last 15-20 minutes.”

Fricker also referenced previous games in which the Bees had failed to see out a 2-0 win, voicing his pleasure at Bridport’s ability to be “smarter”.

He said: “We did the right things like the top teams did to us this season. It’s been something we’ve drummed into the lads to be a little bit smarter.

“Myself and Paddy (Behan, assistant-manager) have obviously learned from that as well.

“Sometimes when you get to 2-0 you do need to kill the game. It’s a fine balance as you don’t want to rest on your laurels.”

Bees: Hutchings, Hill, Bailey, Rutter, Martin, Symes, Vance (Peach 70), Latas, Richardson (Cornish 25), Hebditch, Salter. Sub not used: Gall


t: 01305 830990

e: neil.walton


twitter: @EchosportNeil