BRIDPORT were cruelly denied by a stoppage-time Keynsham Town leveller in a 3-3 draw as the Bees earned their first home point of the Toolstation Western League Premier Division.

The West Dorset men had previously only beaten Cadbury Heath this season but this draw took Bridport into 18th, giving the St Mary’s Field side a platform to build on as the season continues.

Performances have largely been enterprising during a tough run of five losses in six league games, but Keynsham took the lead after a barrage of early Bridport chances.

Callum Thompson glanced over, man-of-the-match Will Gape saw an effort cleared off the line and Dec Cornish rifled wide.

However, in the 38th minute Bridport failed to clear in their box and Craig Harris punished the Bees, lashing home past goalkeeper Jordon Scadding for a 1-0 half-time lead.

Bridport were level after the interval when a short corner routine fashioned a chance for Nathan Warren on the edge of the box, the midfielder tucking home for the equaliser.

Buoyed by the goal, Bridport took the lead as Lewis Clarke latched onto a fine through ball from Cornish before slotting home.

Bridport’s defensive frailty was exposed by Town once more when a routine ball over the top muddled centre-backs Scott Wells-Burr and Lloyd Beals, Harris gleefully nipping in to blast past Scadding from 18 yards.

Cornish, who rivalled Gape for Bridport’s best performer, then drove across two defenders and slotted home clinically to restore the Bees’ lead.

Bridport sub Joel Hewitt was dispossessed when well-placed to score before a late spell of pressure undid the Bees, Keynsham’s Adey Harvey rising highest in a cluttered area to steal a share of the points.

Bees’ boss Rich Robson felt the draw was “progress” for his young side, albeit “slow”.

He said: “It was two points dropped but that being said – and I did say a month ago – I said it was going to be slow, steady progress and that’s what we’ve seen.

“It was probably our best 90-minute performance, arguably another game we should be winning.

“The signs of life are there. If we keep playing how we’re playing, we’re not going to struggle picking up points.

“We’ve probably had two good penalty shouts turned down in the second half and lots of chances on goal.

“So, we’re creating, we just need to shore up that little bit more at the back.”

Bridport next visit Clevedon Town in league action on Saturday (3pm).

Bees: Jo Scadding, Wall, Beals, Wells-Burr, Phillips, Warren, Gape, Richardson, Thompson, Cornish, L Clarke (Hewitt 79). Subs not used: Coombs, Leader, Dovell, White