A GALLANT Bridport Reserves side came away from former Dorset Premier League champions Holt United with their heads held high after a thrilling 3-2 loss at Petersham Lane.

Bridport dominated for large spells and had the misfortune of seeing Luke King head into the ground and over the bar from a corner in the second minute.

Holt were stunned by an energetic Bees’ side in the early stages of the first half following excellent combination play between Brandon Scadding and Riley Weedon.

Scadding supplied Weedon who delivered a dangerous cross into the Holt box, allowing Josh Hunter to slam home.

The Bulls responded almost instantly when chief marksman Nathan Saxby equalised from a pinpoint squared ball.

Bridport recovered well from the concession and once more took the game to Holt, who found themselves 2-1 behind in a near mirror image of the Bees’ first strike.

This time Will Gape fed Weedon on the right and, despite the midfielder’s cross evading Hunter, fellow forward Robin Jones was on hand to tuck home as Shaun Annetts’ men led at the interval.

Holt employed physical tactics in the second half and reaped the dividends when Dominic Falco finished off a fine pass from Saxby.

Saxby, who was a thorn in the Bees’ side all afternoon, the capitalised on Bridport’s failure to clear a corner, unleashing an unstoppable 25-yard drive beyond goalkeeper Billy Fleet into the top corner to hand Holt victory.

Speaking to the Bridport News, Annetts said: “My overriding emotion is one of disappointment. We played very well first half and deservedly went in 2-1 up. “It should’ve been three or four and it would’ve been a different game. Second half we were poor and didn’t retain the ball when we had it – the writing was a little bit on the wall.

“Apart from a very good last 10 or 15 minutes, it was the first part of the second half we were poor in.

“(Holt) were quite aggressive and there’s a few things that went on off the ball. 2-1 was always that dodgy scoreline and it proved to be the case.”

Annetts’ men visit Poole Borough in the Dorset Senior Trophy first round on Saturday (2.30pm).