BRIDPORT sunk to a demoralising 5-0 defeat at Buckland Athletic on the Toolstation Western League Premier Division.

Jamie Manley’s Bees have now lost all three opening fixtures, although player injuries and availability were a factor in Devon.

Buckland were swarming around the Bridport goal from the off as Lloyd Gardner and Gavin Collins both tested young keeper Jordon Scadding.

Athletic’s breakthrough came in the 19th minute when Aaron Wellington’s incisive through ball found Ryan Bush to lash through the fingertips of Scadding.

After Lewis Tasker rifled wide, Bridport’s Nathan Warren went close with a dipping volley which had home goalkeeper Andy Collings beaten, only to see his effort drift wide.

Scadding made three rapid saves at the end of the first half to keep the Bees in it, the best of which to deny Bush his brace.

Bridport worked Collings with a free-kick before half-time but 10 minutes after the restart it was 2-0 when Wellington pounced on a low cross to fire past Scadding.

Gardner assisted Bush for his brace on the hour as Bridport went 3-0 down, before the Bucks’ striker crashed a shot in off the bar late on to complete a resounding hat-trick.

Two minutes from time, home skipper Kieran Parkin slotted past the unfortunate Scadding – arguably the Bees’ man of the match – as Buckland went top.

Post-match, a dejected Manley said: “I’m disappointed, the first half we did OK and Jordan did really well in goal.

“We huffed and puffed and second half their quality came through. We take two steps forward and three back.

“Player availability has not been great and that’s hurt us quite a bit – we’re down to the bare bones at times.

“When we’ve got everyone available we’ve done OK, but as soon as we’ve got two or three missing you’re on the back foot.”

Bridport host St Austell in the FA Vase first qualifying round on Saturday (3pm).

Bees: Jo Scadding, King, Hastings, Warren (Carlile 55), Holmes (Butcher 60), Owen, Haines, Wood, Gape, Cornish, Westlake (Leader 55).

Attendance: 147