Groves 5, Plummer 78


Dovell 38

BRIDPORT exited the FA Cup at the extra preliminary round stage as Bitton took a late 2-1 victory at the WDS Associates Stadium.

Matt Groves put Bitton into a fifth-minute lead, poking home a cross after a break down the right but the Bees’ assistant-manager Ryan Dovell levelled with a stunning 25-yard free-kick before half-time.

Bridport were more than a match for the Ton but the big-spending hosts got over the line in the 78th minute when Tristan Plummer capitalised from a quick move following a throw-in to cut inside and lash home.

Despite the scoreline, Bridport will be encouraged by another improved display from a newly-crafted squad, although a defensive error again hindered Rich Robson’s men.

There was little Bridport could have done to stop the predatory Groves notching the first goal as Bitton developed an overload on the right before crossing for the frontman to steal in and nudge past Jordan Scadding in the away goal.

Bridport limited Bitton to shots from outside the box thereafter as their gameplan began to take effect.

Luke White wasted a good chance as space opened up in the Bitton box but Dovell rewarded the hard-working Bees with a moment of magic just before half-time, curling home after Callum Thompson was upended.

Bridport’s momentum continued into the second half as a firm Dec Cornish header forced the Bitton goalkeeper into a smart save.

Bitton dominated possession but were failing to trouble the Bees until a foul throw gifted Bitton possession, Plummer cutting inside and lashing past Scadding.

Robson felt the Bees “deserved a replay” from the contest.

He said: “They probably dominated possession better with lots of shots from outside the area but we limited them inside our box.

“We set up to really frustrate them with the quality they’ve got in their side – they’ve scored 11 in two.

“I felt the way we played deserved a replay. We didn’t dominate the game but we controlled the game in the way we could, and that was to limit them doing what they can do.

“Then, doing what we do well when we go forward, getting some crosses in.

“We were a little unfortunate going forward when our final ball wasn’t quite well timed enough, but we were definitely well in that game.”

Bridport next tackle Plymouth Parkway at St Mary’s Field on Saturday (3pm).

Bees: Jordon Scadding, Coombs, White (Leader 72), Gall, Gape, Wells-Burr, Richardson, Dovell, Phillips (Jayden Scadding 84), Thompson, Cornish. Sub not used: Kershaw