BRIDPORT had to settle for a point against Elburton Villa following an entertaining 2-2 draw that ebbed and flowed throughout.

The Bees, without their ill manager Chris Herbst, are in danger of losing second place with Crediton United lurking one point behind with two games in hand.

With qualification for the 2024/25 FA Cup potentially resting on securing second spot, the Bees may yet rue this draw after being ahead on 71 minutes.

Elburton fired the first punch in the 22nd minute when Lewis Edwards’ sweet volley flew past goalkeeper Jordon Scadding.

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Bridport were behind for only 10 minutes, though, as stand-in skipper Riley Weedon scored from a free-kick.

Bridport’s only other chance of the half fell to Brad Rowe but the striker could not trouble the Elburton goal after a fine cross from Toby Diaz.

Bridport kicked with the wind during the second period and enjoyed the better of play, getting themselves back in front thanks to Diaz’s first goal for the club.

However, the Bees were only ahead for one minute as Elburton won a penalty, which was converted by prolific former Tiverton striker Levi Landricombe.

Neither side could force a winner in what could prove to be a dress rehearsal for the Walter C Parson Cup final, should Bridport beat Okehampton on Tuesday (7.30pm).

Post-match, Bridport assistant Mark Lock said: “It’s definitely a good point earned. They beat St Austell in midweek, who are top of the Western side of the league, a very good result.

“For us, where we had a different side on paper to what we normally had, there were other lads that stepped up and played really well.

“Ryan Gall and Ryan Leader did very well. They’ve not played together before in the middle of the back four. So, we coped very well.

“They’re a good battling side, they don’t give much up. They’re strong in the air and do play football at times, they’re a difficult side to beat.”

Bees: Jo Scadding, A Diaz, Childs (G Calverley 65), Gall, Leader, Owen, Weedon, Daniels, T Diaz, Brook, Rowe (Parsons 75). Subs not used: Baker, Pitt.