Butcher 4, 63, Salter 10, King 53


Hiroli 16 pen, Lloyd 33, Davey 66

BRIDPORT made hard work of defeating Odd Down 4-3 in a lively encounter at St Mary’s Field in the Toolstation Western League Premier Division.

The scoreline suggested a tight game, although the Bees should have been out of sight by the first half as the hosts created a multitude of chances.

Within four minutes a sumptuous first-time Ed Butcher volley was too hot for the Down’s goalkeeper to handle as Bridport took the lead.

Mark Salter finally ended an 11-game streak without a goal six minutes later, stealing across his man and lethally finishing a Butcher cross.

Bridport had three shots on target in a goalmouth scramble, only for Down to survive conceding a third, before the visitors were gifted a way back into the game.

The returning Chris McGrath gave the spot-kick away after the Bees had overplayed following an Odd Down chance, with Adnan Hiroli tucking the penalty home.

Bridport were then caught out by a long ball on 33 minutes as George Lloyd latched onto the pass, running 40 yards unchallenged to equalise.

However, the Bees took just eight minutes of the second half to retake the lead when Luke King prodded home for his second goal in three games following Sam Clark’s headed pass from Andy Martin’s free-kick.

Six minutes later, Butcher raced clear and lobbed the Down gloveman only to see his effort bounce back off the post. Luckily for the winger, he followed up and headed into the empty net for 4-2.

But Down were not beaten yet as the unmarked Darius Davey aimed a weak shot through a crowd of bodies to halve the gap.

Down applied pressure in the closing stages but Bridport held on for a deserved win, although boss Adam Fricker admitted his team had “slackened off”.

He told Echosport: “We started really brightly and really got stuck into them. Frustratingly from our part we didn’t build on it.

“I think when we went two up we slackened off and allowed Odd Down to get back into the game, which was a lot of my frustration at half-time because I felt we could’ve gone out second half and really enjoyed the game.

“The lads made it difficult for themselves but that being said we got ourselves over the line in the second half, got another two goals. We scored some decent goals as well.”

Bees: Hutchings, Peach, King, McGrath, Martin, Symes (Morris 50), Andrews, Thomas (Hebditch 78), Clark (Cornish 72), Butcher, Salter.


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