Hastings, Holmes, Gape, Haines


Own goal, Searle, Soares

BRIDPORT claimed a morale-boosting 4-3 victory over St Austell to progress to the FA Vase second qualifying round.

With 131 fans in attendance at St Mary’s Field, plus a guaranteed £550 for beating their Cornish opponents, this was a much needed payday for the Bees amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

A rollercoaster encounter began with the Lillywhites bagging the opening goal when a big deflection off a Bridport defender beat young keeper Jordon Scadding.

Bridport dug in and found an equaliser through the tireless Kris Hastings, who nodded home a spearing Andy Holmes throw-in.

Holmes was again involved as Bridport took the lead soon after, burying a header from a corner.

Scadding was unlucky to concede a second when his stunning reflex save fell perfectly for Matt Searle to bundle in for 2-2 at the break.

Bridport retook the lead when Will Gape finished off a clever one-two after steaming into the area, only for St Austell to level less than a minute later when Tiago Soares scored from 20 yards.

Jamie Manley’s Bees were denied a fourth in a goalmouth scramble but soon notched the winner.

Star striker Liam Sayers, earning his first 90 minutes this season, raided forward and played in Ben Haines to seal a precious victory.

Speaking post-match, a delighted Manley said: “Like I said in the week, hopefully that will be a springboard to some good results in the league.

“They’re a good side, St Austell, and the result could’ve gone either way.

“I think we had that luck and some good finishing from us got us over the line – and some good defending, so I’m very pleased.

“Jordy was in goal and he did well, and we pushed Kris up front. He was man of the match in my opinion. That was a massive plus for us.”

He added: “As soon as we got in front we shot ourselves in the foot, giving a free-kick or corner away and they’d hit straight back.

“Our game management needs to be better but the lads showed great character to dig in and grind a result out.

“It’s something to build on now and the lads should be raring to go for the Bridgwater game (tomorrow).”

Bees: Scadding, King, Butcher, Gape, Holmes, Owen, Haines, Wood (Leader 19), Hastings (D Lock 90+2), Sayers, Cornish.

Subs not used: Westlake, Warren

Attendance: 131


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