BRIDPORT Reserves conceded three nearly carbon-copy goals away to Merley Cobham Sports, who saw Asa Phillips score a hat-trick, as the Bees got their Dorset Premier League season off to a poor start with a 3-0 loss.

Josh Buck picked up a hat-trick of assists and put in a fantastic performance that Bridport Reserves manager Shaun Annetts admitted his side just could not deal with.

The Bees had started well and were probing the Merley defence with recent recruit Dan Baggs getting in behind the Merley defence.

Bridport goalkeeper Billy Fleet had to be alert however, after a corner Bridport headed away but a shot then came in from Merley prompting Fleet into a fantastic save.

Moments later on 26 minutes the duo of Buck and Phillips as the former got down the left-hand side and crossed in for Phillips to stab home.

Bridport could not get a goal back before half-time as Merley went in a goal up.

After 55 minutes Buck and Phillips combined once again as the latter fired in for Merley’s second.

After 68 minutes Buck again found Phillips lurking inside the Bridport box and he fired in for his hat-trick.

Three changes sparked life into Bridport who produced a rejuvenated last 20 minutes.

Brandon Scadding hit the crossbar with a lovely shot, while Josh Hunter went close with a headed effort and Jones had another half-chance.

Annetts said: “We came across a very well organised and a very good quality team in Merley.

“I am slightly disappointed that we were not a little bit more competitive if I am honest but at the same time their left-winger. He was extremely good, he created all three of their goals and we could not get to grips with him.

“He was probably the difference.

“He was a thorn in our side to be honest.”

“On reflection I have no complaints, Merley were a far better team than us and they were better in most departments.”

Bees: Fleet, Storey, King, Day, Strelley, Baggs (Herbst 65), Ward, Gall (Paul 75), Jones, Scadding, Radivojsa (Hunter 65). Subs not used: Peart, Tozer.