BATTLING Bridport were defeated 3-1 by Buckland Athletic at St Mary’s Field in Toolstation Western League Premier Division action.

The defeat was the Bees’ third in succession following the resounding 4-0 victory over Chipping Sodbury Town in manager Jamie Manley’s opening game in charge.

Will Gape had given the Bees a 20th-minute lead, the midfielder finishing off a fine team move with a late run into the box.

However, goalkeeper Scott Wells-Burr was penalised for upending a Buckland striker and Richard Groves stepped up to convert the spot-kick.

Five minutes later, Bridport conceded possession and Buckland surged up their left-hand flank, laying on a perfect cross for Nathan Cooper to bury a header past Wells-Burr for a 2-1 half-time lead.

Bridport got caught by a long ball after the break as Stuart Bowker ran through and slotted in at the near post.

To their credit, the Bees fought on and Gape missed a free header 12 yards out before debutant Aston Butcher saw a rapid shot saved as Buckland saw the game out.

Commenting on his side’s performance, Manley remained positive as the rebuilding process continues.

He said: “We started off really well, it was quite even and we started creating a few chances.

“Max Westlake had a few long-range shots that tested the keeper and a couple went just wide.

“We got on top in the first 25 minutes and Will burst into the box and fired past the keeper – it was a good goal, actually.

“Then we took our foot off the gas and our decision making was poor.

“We’re making the same mistakes over and over again. That is frustrating. Myself, Kev (Leigh) and Gary (McAuley) have had a good chat with the lads but it doesn’t seem to be sinking in at the moment.

“But we’ll keep soldiering on.”

Bees: Wells-Burr, Coombs, Salter, Butcher, Dovell (Thompson 28), Westlake, Warren, Gape, Richardson (Charles 70), Clarke (Friend 61), Pinder. Subs not used: Cornish, White

Attendance: 99


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