Merley Cobham Sports 3 Bridport Reserves 1

GARY Bulman saw red as the Bees suffered a frustrating start to 2013 with defeat at Merley Park.

Bridport enjoyed plenty of possession in their opening game of the New Year but they were unable to turn it into goals and paid the ultimate price, as their struggling opponents picked up only their fifth league win of the campaign.

Bees’ boss Robin Townsend said: “We played okay but we failed to take our chances and didn’t get the rub of the green.

“To be fair to Merley, they flew out of the blocks and made it into a real battle from the outset.

“They are quite a physical side and they have one lad up front who proved a real handful, particularly in the opening half-hour.

“We had our chances though and the fact we found ourselves two down at half-time was really disappointing.

“We then came out and were the better side at the start of the second half but then came the madness.

“Firstly, the ball was played through and it hit Ashley Clarke on the top of the arm. There were only five yards between him and the player that played the pass but the referee decided to book him anyway.

“Then, just after that, a ball over the top saw one of their lads do a Maradona and punch the ball into Jamie Fry’s face. The referee blew up again but this time decided not to book the player.

“How he deemed it not to be deliberate I do not know and of course that wound people up. To make matters worse, the referee then showed Gary a second yellow card after he had turned around to us to explain the decision. He also booked Jamie too.

“It was extremely frustrating and even the senior linesman at the game couldn’t understand it either.

“They then went on to grab a third before we pulled one back late on.”

Kabba Jack was the man that Bridport failed to get to grip with early on and it was his two goals that gave the visitors a mountain to climb.

First he slotted home a penalty following a clear foul from Luke King before he then added a second after some slack defending at a free-kick.

Townsend’s men also hit the bar in the first half and created several other openings but when Bulman received his marching orders after the break, and Craig Barnett added a third it was game over despite Jack Scovell’s late consolation.

The defeat ended a nine-game unbeaten run in the Magna Dorset Premier League for the fourth-placed Bees, who will now look to bounce back at home to high-flying Holt United on Saturday (2pm).

Bees: Fry, King, A Clarke, Stordy, G Bulman, McAllister (Falvey 80), Fleet (Gale 70), C Bulman, Steele, Scovell, Kamara.