BRIDPORT 3 SHERBORNE TOWN 1
BRIDPORT have been crowned Dorset League champions after a nerve-wracking play-off victory over Sherborne Town at St Mary’s Field.
Strikes from Olly Woodcock, Sam Tabner and an own goal from a Sherborne defender proved enough for the Bridport youngsters as they saw off the side that finished the regular season top of the table.
However, the match didn’t get off to the best of starts for manager Terry Warren’s team, and it was Sherborne who struck first when a long-range strike found the bottom corner.
Unperturbed, Bridport retaliated immediately and Woodock headed in a Fred Warren free-kick to bring the scores level.
The second half began much as the first half had ended, with the two teams locked together.
But then, just as extra-time and penalties were beginning to hove into view, Woodcock was cruelly taken down in the opposition’s box – the fate of the game now rested on the should-ers of striker Tabner.
Impervious to the pressure, he coolly placed the penalty into the bottom corner, to give his side a 2-1 lead.
Dismayed at the sudden turn of events, Sherborne tried to level but were met by Bridport’s solid defence, with full-backs Will Lovell and Callum Douglas giving their best performances of the season.
Sherborne’s hopes were finally ended when Jonah Ayunga pushed the ball round the keeper and a defender provided the finishing touch.
Boss Warren said: “This match was never going to be pretty but we weren’t in the mood for losing with style.
“We knew if we held firm at the back in the second half that opportunities to counter would open up.
“It’s been a real privilege to work with this team and we’re looking forward to more success next season.
“We’d like to thank main sponsor David Taylor for his support and hope he’ll come and help us celebrate when the league trophy turns up.”