Clarke 52


BRIDPORT recorded their first home victory of the season as Lewis Clarke’s 52nd-minute strike earned a 1-0 win over Hallen in their Toolstation Western League Premier Division clash at St Mary’s Field.

The Bees have now collected two wins under new boss Jamie Manley, although the scoreline barely reflected the chances both teams had.

In a breathless half in which Hallen twice saw shots cleared off the line by Jacob Coombs, Bridport’s Max Westlake was bizarrely denied when his shot cannoned off a defender and into the arms of Liam MacFarlane.

Kyle Thomas and Sacha Tong also went close for the Armadillos before Will Gape swept a shot wide for the hosts.

After half-time, Hallen were thwarted by a third goalline clearance before the Bees struck what proved to be the winner when Clarke strode on to a fine through ball to slot home from 12 yards.

Hallen retaliated through Aron Robbins, who failed to trouble home goalkeeper Scott Wells-Burr, before Bridport’s Tom Richardson went close.

In a manic finish, Hallen were enraged when they saw a goal ruled out for offside, but the Bees held firm for their second clean sheet of the season, securing the three points.

After the game, Manley said: “It was a tough game. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy – they’re a good side. They were fourth in the league and they’re not up there for no reason.

“To put in the performance we did was very pleasing. They all put a great shift in, worked hard for each other and put their bodies on the line at times.

“We had the rub of the green a couple of times with goalline clearances, but Jacob did fantastically on a couple of occasions, I thought he did well – I was really pleased for him.

“The lads listened to what we had to say and we reaped the rewards. First half was cagey with both sides trying to play football and cancelling themselves out.

“Overall, second half we battled really well and kept our shape. That’s what we’ve been trying to instil into the lads and it came off.

“We grabbed our goal in the second half and Lewis put us 1-0 up with a great finish. Once we got in front we had something to


“It obviously got a bit nerve-racking near the end when they were chucking bodies forward – we were looking for the final whistle to come and when it did we were over the moon with three points.”

Bees: Wells-Burr, Coombs, Salter, Gall, Richardson, Gape, Westlake, Thompson, Clarke (Friend 65), Pinder (Charles 90+2), Cornish. Subs not used: White, McAuley

Attendance: 95


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