Richardson 5, Westlake 34, L Clarke 44, Thompson 71

BRIDPORT coasted to a tremendous 4-0 triumph at fellow strugglers Chipping Sodbury Town to give new boss Jamie Manley the perfect start to his tenure.

In keeping a clean sheet, the Bees registered their first shut-out of the season and doubled their win tally in the Toolstation Western League Premier Division.

Key to victory was a rampant first half in which Bridport scored three times.

Tom Richardson, who was positioned at centre-back alongside 43-year-old player-coach Gary McAuley, grabbed the Bees’ first goal in the fifth minute.

Stemming from a corner, which Town only partially cleared, the recycled delivery found Richardson who stole in to tuck home.

The second of two Bridport debutants, Max Westlake, put Bridport 2-0 up on 34 minutes as the visitors dominated.

Westlake, who played under Manley at Chard last season, was a thorn in Sodbury’s side all afternoon and rifled home from 20 yards into the far corner to double the Bees’ advantage.

Hungry for more goals, Bridport then struck the post when Callum Thompson worked his own space and lashed an effort against the woodwork.

But the Bees grabbed a deserved third with a fabulous move which set Thompson free down the left.

His peachy cross invited Lewis Clarke to bolt forward and unleash a bullet header past the home keeper in the 44th minute.

Chipping Sodbury pressured Bridport after the interval, forcing Scott Wells-Burr into three good saves as the Bees’ defence held firm.

Wells-Burr’s good work allowed Bridport to add gloss to the scoreline as another cross from a cleared corner rained in for Thompson to slide a tidy finish home from six yards.

Speaking to Echosport, Manley said: “It was a good day at the office but we’ve got our feet firmly on the ground, we’re not going to get carried away.

“We’ve got Bridgwater on Sunday – that’s going to be a different kettle of fish. They’re second in the league and flying.”

Manley added: “We changed formation and went to a 4-4-2. We had a chat with the lads and told them what we expected of them.

“They bought straight into it. Our philosophy has always been hard work and to enjoy the game – play with a smile on your face.

“From the first whistle I thought they were superb, every one of them. From the back four, all the way through.

“It was the first clean sheet Bridport have had this season so that was just as pleasing as scoring four goals.”

Bees: Wells-Burr, Coombs, Leader, McAuley (Phillips 55), Richardson, Warren, Westlake, Gape, L Clarke, Thompson, White (Charles 75)


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