BRIDPORT will aim for a response to Friday’s 5-1 loss to promotion favourites Willand Rovers when tackling Brislington in their penultimate game of the Toolstation Western League Premier Division season tomorrow (3pm).

The Bees had hoped for the traditional Easter fixture against a neighbouring team but have been lumbered with a punishing trip to Bristol amid holiday traffic.

Add to that a shortage of defensive options with Chris McGrath (suspension) and Matt Condliffe (work) out and manager Adam Fricker is less than taken with the situation.

He told Echosport: “We’re going to go up there a little bit light defensively but we’ll shuffle the pack and see what happens.

“I’m presuming it’s not a rearranged fixture because you always play on Good Friday and Easter Monday. Obviously Willand was a local one for us to an extent, but it is what it is.

“We’ll just travel on up there. We’ve got a few missing so we’ll just dust ourselves off and see what happens.”

On Brislington, he added: “Every time we’ve played them they’ve always been quite a physical team. I think the pitch will be quite hard with this weather, so we know it’s going to be a tough afternoon.

“Likewise, we want to bounce back after three disappointing defeats. I said to the lads ‘I want to finish our season strongly’.

“I don’t want it to just peter out. Hopefully we can get some points on the board and take that into the last game of the season.”

Dec Cornish (work) and Braeden Symes (knee) also miss out.

Bridport’s third defeat in three came against Willand, who will win the title if they claim maximum points from their final three games.

Brett Worbey and Brad Ausden sent Rovers into a 2-0 lead before Kameron Andrews stormed through the Willand defence to score with a fine solo effort before half-time.

However, Willand stretched their legs in the second half as Luke Alden grabbed a brace before sub Ben Bickle tapped home late on.

Fricker said: “Willand are a great side and after about 60 minutes we just ran out of steam. They probably only had six chances but they took five of them.

“They’re just clinical and it goes to show the difference between us and them. They punish you.”

“We were quite strong first half but they came out of the blocks and just blew us away.

“It was a disappointing result but the lads, on a really hot day, didn’t do themselves any disservice.”

Bridport had been sent a scouting report on Willand from their title rivals Plymouth Parkway in the hope that the Bees could take points from the Devon side.

Fricker said: “I had a joke about it with their assistant-manager Dave Steele. He was asking me about it and he said ‘can we have a look at them?’

“I said ‘ yeah, course of you can – they aren’t very complimentary on you though!’

“It goes to show the level of professionalism Plymouth Parkway have got. They’ve come into this league with an intent to be out of it as soon as they can.

“To have teams scouted at our level is unheard of. You go and watch teams, but a professional scouting report goes to show the levels we have to compete against the top sides.”

Bees: Hutchings, Condliffe, Cox, Peach (Cornish 73), King, McGrath, Hebditch, Andrews (Thomas 58), Salter, Butcher, Morris (Martin 63). Subs not used: Clark, Smith


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