BRIDPORT boss Rich Robson says his side’s pre-season trip to Shaftesbury tonight will give him a good chance to see what will be close to his starting league 11, but also expressed hope of making new signings.

The Bees saw their Saturday friendly cancelled due to player unavailability on their part, a factor in arranging the Shaftesbury game, while on Tuesday they lost 4-1 at at Hythe & Dibden, with Dec Cornish scoring the only goal for Bridport.

Robson said: “We chose to put one in for two reasons, Ben Wood messaged me for a favour for a friendly because he has taken over as interim at Shaftesbury and we couldn’t commit on Saturday just gone by, we did not want to lose a friendly.

“So Hythe was a chance to see some squad players and (against Shaftesbury) we should be up to full strength, so it will be a good chance to put our starting 11 out so far, before we bring in hopefully some more players over the next couple of weeks.”

Robson also praised the Rockies, who finished 14th in the Sydenhams Wessex Premier Division, a league equivalent to the one Bridport are currently


Robson said: “Shaftesbury are a good side, so it will be a good chance to see what will be close to our starting 11 and how they are going to do, how they deal with the system in which we are going to put them in.”

On Tuesday, the Bees lost 4-1 to Hythe & Dibden, despite going a goal up early on through Cornish.

However, Hythe fought back, taking advantage of a nervous young trialist in goal for the Bees during the second half.

Bridport were missing Tom Richardson, Charlie Hannan and Dane James among others for the contest.

The Bees went ahead with through Cornish after 15 minutes, when Will Gape passed the ball over towards Thompson, who then slid it through for Cornish, who took it round the goalkeeper to fire in.

The goal came as part of a dominant first 30 minutes for Bridport.

Bridport were proving a consistent threat, with Callum Thompson again a great threat for the Bees.

Hythe got their goal back in the 35th minute, from a ruthless counter attack.

Hythe took the lead just before half-time, when Ryan Gall went down inside the box and gave away a penalty.

The penalty was poorly taken but it was enough to get past the Trialist in goal.

A young trialist goalkeeper came on for Bridport in the second half, who was easily beaten at his near post, as Hythe extended their lead.

Another mistake from the goalkeeper, when he did not go to ground when rushing towards the striker inside the box, who went round and fired in the fourth for Hythe to wrap up a big defeat.

Reflecting on the match, Robson said: “Once again, we are not fussed (by the result) we had a chance to look at two different goalkeepers.

“By far we looked accomplished on the ball, we looked very dangerous throughout.”

Lyme Regis have opened up their pre-season account with a 2-1 victory over Ottery St Mary.

Nathan Womersley and Kingsley Wellman grabbed the goals for Lyme, who also announced that Michael Knight has signed with them for the season.

Bees (against Hythe): Trialist (Trialist 45), Coombs, Dovell, Gape, Gall (Trialist 45), Wall, Cornish (Okumu 60), Hewitt, Clarke, Thompson, Handyside (Leader 60).

Meanwhile, Bridport Reserves will open their Dorset Premier League campaign at home to Sturminster Newton United on Saturday, August 10 (3pm).

Shaun Annetts' men will then tackle Balti Sports in a derby three days later, again at St Mary's Field.

The Bees' second string will be hoping to at least match last season's placing of eighth and entertain Dorchester Sports, who finished ninth, on Tuesday, August 27.