Brice, Bishop (3), Whittaker

BRIDPORT slumped to their fifth loss by five goals or more this season as Bitton took a 5-0 Toolstation Western League Premier Division victory at St Mary’s Field.

Jamie Manley’s side will question how they managed to lose this contest so heavily after an energetic start.

Will Gape forced the first save from back-up keeper and regular centre-half Steve Fletcher after five minutes.

Fletcher, whose introduction protected the booked Rob Brown from missing next weekend’s FA Vase quarter-final at Wroxham, then caught a tame Lewis Clarke effort.

Bitton relieved the early pressure and should have taken the lead when Harrison Kyte missed from 10 yards out, before the Bees saw Clarke, Ben Haines and Aston Butcher squander further chances.

Profligacy in front of goal cost Bridport as Bitton took a spectacular lead, Scott Brice bending a sublime 25-yard free-kick into the top-right corner on 23 minutes.

Bitton then grabbed a second just before half-time when debutant Liam Bishop ignored protests of offside to slot past home keeper Scott Wells-Burr.

The Ton’s second robbed Bridport of their belief and the unmarked Jordan Whittaker lashed home from 20 yards early in the second half.

Bridport wilted quickly as Bishop headed his second before completing his hat-trick with a tap-in from a rebound.

Speaking post-match, Manley said: “The first 30, 35 minutes we were superb and played really well.

“We created three or four gilt-edged chances that we missed, which was obviously disappointing.

“If we’d have taken at least two, it would’ve put us in a good position. We didn’t and we got punished.

“To start how we did and play how we did was really pleasing. To come away losing 5-0 is disappointing.

“Their lad scored a lovely free-kick in the top corner. If there were two keepers in goal they wouldn’t have saved it.

“That knocked the stuffing a little bit out of us. They scored another right on half-time and we’ve gone in 2-0 (down) at half-time. We could’ve gone in 4-2 up.

“The second half, as much as we were really good in the first half, the second half we were really poor.

“We’ve gone from competing, getting the ball down and playing it well, to switching off at vital times and conceding goals.

“We’ve conceded two goals from set-plays, which is basic marking. We’re not organised at the back and I want leaders on the pitch to take control.”

Bees: Wells-Burr, Gall (Evans 58), Haines, Dyer, Butcher, Warren, Pinder, Gape, Clarke, Knox (Greenwood-Neate 59), Cornish (Westlake 63). Subs not used: Leader, McAuley