TEN-MAN Bridport were denied a victory in the second minute of injury time as Elburton Villa struck back to earn a deserved 2-2 draw at St Mary’s Field.

Bridport were below-par for much of the contest, belying their position of third in the South West Peninsula League Premier East table.

Instead, it was Elburton who looked the better side early on and took the lead just three minutes in when Reece Brown raced through on goal to give Villa a wind-assisted lead.

Bridport created nothing of note early on and their afternoon soured further when striker Sol Ayunga was forced off with a swollen shin following a late tackle, the Bees’ appeals for a red card waved away.

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Bridport survived a further scare before half-time but George Calverley jolted them into life, scrambling past a forest of legs and slotting home for 1-1.

In the second half, Bridport were restricted to long-range attempts before Villa went close to retaking the lead as Bentley Alcantara forced Jordon Scadding into a solid stop.

Bridport were beginning to get going as Riley Weedon crashed a shot off the bar, but their progress was stunted by two yellows in quick succession for Darren Lock.

The Bees could have few complaints over Lock’s bookings but did remonstrate with the officials for what they perceived as inconsistency given the earlier challenge on Ayunga.

However, the Bees were gifted the lead when Fred Parsons collected a loose backpass to fire Bridport 2-1 ahead with 15 minutes to play.

It seemed as if Bridport had done enough to secure an unlikely win until Charlie Stearnes swept home an equaliser in the 92nd minute via Jake Owen’s shoulder to rightfully gain Elburton a share of the points.

Speaking post-match, Bees’ boss Chris Herbst said: “It was a tough one to take.

“The first 35 minutes we were terrible and Elburton were much, much better. They were on it and wanted it, chasing everything and winning every second ball.

“Then, something clicked and the last 10 minutes of the half we were good. We took it into the second half but just frustrating with a silly red card.

“We were so good with 10 men and got the second goal, then conceded right at the death. It was just a big blow.”

Bridport visit Bovey Tracey on Saturday (3pm).

Bees: Jo Scadding, Baggs (Owen 60), Leader, Lock, Daniels (A Diaz 60), Gape, Calverley (Rowe 85), Brook (T Diaz 60), Weedon, Parsons, Ayunga (Jones 30).

Attendance: 197.