BRIDPORT suffered a second half collapse to lose 5-1 away at league leaders Willand Rovers in the Toolstation Western Premier Division.

The two sides had been level at half-time, with Mark Salter having initially given the Bees the lead before Josh Searle equalised late on in the half.

However, Luke Mortimore scored a second-half hat-trick and Dean Stamp rubber-stamped the defeat for Bridport.

Bridport boss Adam Fricker was absent due to a stadium ban picked up against Plymouth Parkway and, as a result, the Bees were led by assistant-manager Paddy Behan.

The Bees had played well, and Salter’s header from an Andy Martin free-kick was deserved after 23 minutes, with Bridport having missed other efforts.

However, a late penalty, when Josh Hull brought down Stamp, saw Searle level from the spot to dent the Bees going into half-time.

The visitors had a good chance early on in the second half, a Sam Clark lob that just drifted wide of the post.

Willand made Bridport pay and immediately broke for Mortimore to get his first of the afternoon.

The Bees had to play the last 20 minutes with 10 men when Martin went off injured but by this point they were 3-1 down.

Willand were persistently catching Bridport on the break and it was this that allowed them to claim their second and third goals.

Bridport still pressed and pushed but could not stop Mortimore claiming his second and third goals of the afternoon to wrap up a wide margin of victory for the hosts.

Bridport were a depleted side for the battle.

The Bees missed the likes of Lee Sweet, James Regan, Matt Condliffe, Luke King, Leighton Thomas, Richard Hebditch and Louis Rutter all unavailable for the Boxing Day clash.

After the match Behan admitted that the scoreline probably flatters their opponents.

Willand are currently top of the league with 48 points from 19 games.

Bridport meanwhile are exactly mid-table, with the Bees having accrued 25 points from 17 games so far this season.

Behan said: “I think 5-1 flattered them slightly but it is what it is.

“We played very well in the first half, we just unfortunately conceded a soft penalty just before the half-time break.”

“It was disappointing but it is what it is.”

Bridport host Westbury United on Saturday (3pm).

Bridport: Hutchings, Hull (Wood 65), McGrath, Martin, Peach, Symes, Andrews, Cox, Clark, Salter, Morris