BRIDPORT boss Adam Fricker slated Longwell Green Sports’ pitch as a “cow field” after the Bees took a 1-0 win over the Toolstation Western League Premier Division basement side.

Ed Butcher scored in the 18th minute to hand Fricker’s men a fourth-straight league win that propels them into sixth, with several games in hand on the teams around them.

But Fricker told Echosport he was displeased with the “embarrassing” surface at the Longwell Green Community Stadium.

He said: “I’ve never known a pitch like it. It was one of those where we needed to get the job done and get out of there, it was embarrassing.

“We tried to play but we had to go long all the time. It was a clean sheet and whether we beat them 1-0 or 10-0 it’s only three points.

“The pitch made the difference, it brought us down to their level.

“The lads couldn’t turn or stay on their feet, it was like a cow field.”

Fricker did have sympathy with struggling Sports, who have picked up just one point from 18 games.

“No disrespect to them but they’re a very poor side. They were quite a physical, heavy side, not a great footballing side at all.

“If we’d have played them at our place we would have beaten them more than comfortably.

“I don’t want to be disrespectful because I know how hard it is, but I can totally understand why they are where they are. It’s going to be tough for them this season,” Fricker said.

Bridport fielded Butcher as their main forward in Mark Salter’s absence and that decision was rewarded with the decisive goal.

Fricker said: “We put Ed up top and tried to get him behind them. He did that a couple of times. The second or third time we got him through he drove it low and hard past the keeper.

“Then Ed had an open goal and he went with his foot when we should have gone with his head. We had a few other opportunities, we just couldn’t kill them off.

“In the last few minutes James Smith managed to make a save down to his left-hand side, but they didn’t deserve anything out of the game. We could have been punished for not finishing the game off.”

Bridport completed a one-game loan for Tiverton Town centre-back Owen Irish before kick-off.

Fricker said: “Owen played and I don’t think he was too grateful with the pitch!

“But it was 90 minutes for him and he’ll go back to Tiverton with that under his belt.

“If the opportunity arises we’ll look to bring him in again. It was just circumstances that worked for both of us.”

Bees: Smith, Latas (Cornish 70), Rutter, Irish, Martin, Sweet, Symes, Vance, Hebditch (Thomas 70), Richardson, Butcher. Sub not used: Peach


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