Thomas 24, Salter pen 38


Shanley 27, Lenihan pen 49

BRIDPORT boss Adam Fricker felt the “cliché” of “a game of two halves” was a fair description of his side’s 2-2 Toolstation Western League Premier Division draw with Bradford Town.

A draw preserves Bridport’s unbeaten start to the campaign, following up their 2-0 victory at Chipping Sodbury Town.

The Bees went into half-time with a 2-1 advantage thanks to a Leighton Thomas tap-in and a Mark Salter penalty, either side of Ashton Shanley’s rifled free-kick.

But Kameron Andrews was adjudged to have stood on a Bobcats’ player to concede a penalty, leading to Martin Lenihan equalising soon after the break.

Thomas’ strike came courtesy of Mark Salter’s header across the box from a swinging Andy Martin free-kick.

However, Bradford soon levelled when a brisk tackle from Braeden Symes drew a free-kick, allowing Shanley to bury the set-piece into the far corner.

Bobcats’ centre-half Dan Price was deemed to have handled inside the box on 38 minutes, presenting the lethal Salter with a chance from the spot, which he duly converted.

But Town had the final say when away skipper Lenihan ruthlessly punished Andrews’ misdemeanour.

Commenting on the contest, Fricker told Echosport the Bees had “controlled” the opening 45 minutes but “didn’t come out” in the second half.

He said: “It was a bit frustrating from our part. It’s a bit of a cliché but it was certainly a game of two halves.

“We controlled the first half but disappointingly gave away a free-kick straight after scoring which gave them a chance to get back into it.

“We went in 2-1 at half-time but just didn’t come out in the second half. What didn’t help matters was that we conceded a penalty in the first or second minute which brought them back into the game at 2-2.

“It gave them a lift and we never really reacted to that, although we had chances to win the game. Likewise, our keeper James Smith had to pull off a couple of great saves to keep us in the game as well.

“The lads are still finding their fitness and it looked good on Wednesday but I think possibly the lads that missed pre-season, it possibly told on them a little bit in the second half.”

Reflecting on the result itself, Fricker was pleased to have continued a solid start to the season.

He said: “We haven’t lost yet this season. Bradford, certainly in my opinion will be in the top eight.

“They’ve built a new team from last season but they’re very strong and have got some experienced Western League players.

“So all-in-all, a point is not a drastic result and it keeps us unbeaten.”

Bees: Smith, Martin, McGrath, Symes, Andrews, Sweet, Peach (Williams 70), Hebditch, Thomas, Salter, Latas (Morris 65). Subs not used: Richardson, Wood

Attendance: 127