BRIDPORT expect a “cracker” when Crediton United provide the opposition for a crunch meeting of second versus third on Saturday (3pm).

Crediton have snuck above the Bees in the South West Peninsula League Premier East table but have played a game more than their Dorset counterparts, who trail Creddy by only a point.

Bridport thrashed Crediton 6-3 at St Mary’s Field in a barnstorming encounter back in September but both teams come into the return match after postponements last week.

Anticipation is high for the fixture, the winners of which will assume second place behind leaders Ivybridge.

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And Bridport boss Chris Herbst is under no illusions as to the magnitude of the game.

He told the Bridport News: “We’ve played them before, won 6-3 and both teams have been going well since. It should be a cracker to be involved in.

“It’s a big game. These are the games you want to be involved in and win. We’re really looking forward to it.

“I would say we can’t lose but, really, we need to go there and win if we want to have any hope of catching Ivybridge. If they slip up, we’ve got to be ready and keep in touch and try and pull away from Crediton.”

Herbst insisted Bridport cannot afford dips in level and concentration in such a big match.

“If we’re not on it, we’ll struggle to get a result there,” he added.

“It can’t be one of those where we gift them a goal. We need a lot of eight-out-of-10 performances and everyone knows it. We’re confident going into it, for sure.”

Bridport’s home game with Torrington fell foul of a waterlogged pitch, but the Bees fielded fringe players Jake Childs, Jake Owen and Adam Diaz in their reserves’ 5-0 win at Sturminster Marshall.

Aside from that, there is healthy competition behind the scenes as Bridport’s players look to post the quickest 5k run within the squad.

Herbst said: “We trained well (Tuesday) night and everyone’s been setting 5km runs, with a bit of five-a-side.

“That’s all we can do, it’s difficult training in the winter months, but everyone’s looking sharp.

“It depends if it’s in the gym but Kieren Daniels is the one that sets a 5k time. A lot of the lads try and get inside 20 minutes or around that.

“It’s different if you’re running or on a treadmill. Like, Harley Brook also sets a decent time.

“He lives out in Burton Bradstock, so he’s pacing around a lot of hills and his times are still very good.

“It’s good for the lads and it’s a bit of competition as well.”

Tom Richardson, who has dual signed with Wincanton Town, has not fully recovered from a knee injury.

James Cox is unavailable until March through work and Brad Rowe (ankle) is out for two weeks. Ryan Gall (groin) is expected to be fit next week.