BRIDPORT got their pre-season campaign up and running with a 0-0 draw against Bishops Lydeard at a stifling St Mary’s Field.

Played out in searing heat, the Bees got their first taste of lockdown football as no fans were present.

Bridport came closest to scoring when busy winger Dec Cornish had a goal ruled out for a push – a decision deemed soft by the Bees’ bench.

A number of debutants earned match minutes, with new striker Christian Blanco wasting an early headed chance.

Bishops Lydeard settled quickest of the two sides and enjoyed the better of play for the next 20 minutes, but Bees’ goalkeeper and captain Scott Wells-Burr remained unbeaten.

Cornish was causing Lydeard problems and, moments after he saw a shot turned clear by the away keeper, the Bridport man had netted.

His strike was disallowed for a slight push on the goalkeeper but Cornish nearly scored soon after only to muddle his footwork when rounding Bishops’ number one.

Lydeard responded with a trio of chances before half-time as Guy Burns curled wide before star man Mark Cornish forced Wells-Burr into a fumble from which he recovered.

Jack Furse spurned the best of the three opportunities, rounding Wells-Burr before the Bees’ keeper blocked a goalbound effort.

Lydeard remained in the ascendancy after the break and were denied by the post as the unlucky Cathal Robertson saw his shot rebound into the grateful arms of Wells-Burr.

Wells-Burr thwarted Robertson again before Lydeard’s Cornish and Kevin Hazeldine had shots on target saved – the visitors unable to break the deadlock.

Speaking to Echosport, Bridport boss Jamie Manley was pleased with the run-out in the Bees’ first home game for over five months.

He said: “Everyone who was training got an opportunity and it wasn’t a bad game.

“You could see we haven’t played in a long time and with new players in they’re going to take a little bit of time to gel. That’s understandable.

“We learnt a lot about some of the players, so we got something out of it. It was good to get back on the field and play.

“The work that the chairman (Adrian Scadding) and everyone has done at the club, with the COVID restrictions that have been put in place, has been fantastic.

“A lot of credit to everyone for getting the game on.”

Bridport next host South West Peninsula Premier League side Honiton Town tomorrow (7.45pm).

Bees: Wells-Burr, Haines, Owen, Gape, Lock, Wood, Cornish, Warren, Blanco, Westlake, March. Rolling subs: McAllister, Gall, Butcher, Leader, Weedon, Elkahla, McAuley.


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