(Bees win 6-5 on penalties)

BRIDPORT reached the semi-finals of the Walter C Parson Cup after a dramatic 6-5 penalty shootout win.

Riley Weedon looked to have given Bridport a 1-0 victory in normal time, but for Newquay’s 94th-minute equaliser by Harry Downing.

Weedon hit the post in extra-time but penalties were called for and, with the teams inseparable, goalkeeper Callum Smalley proved the hero by saving Newquay’s seventh penalty.

The semi-final will be played against Okehampton Argyle at a neutral venue on either Tuesday, March 12 or Wednesday, March 13, expected to be as equidistant as possible between the clubs.

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Bridport should have opened the scoring in the fifth minute as Ryan Gall thudded a shot against the post from Fred Parsons’ cross.

Weedon passed up a couple of half-chances, as did Newquay, with neither side able to break the deadlock in the first period.

Bridport were on top in the second half but the match looked to be heading towards a 0-0 draw until Weedon struck in the 83rd minute.

Kieren Daniels was the architect, swinging in an inviting first-time cross for Weedon who had stolen across his man to get the finishing touch.

But Bridport’s habit of conceding late goals reared its ugly head again as Newquay struck deep into added time.

Gall cleared a ball pumped down the channel by the Peppermints but the recycled cross was attacked by Downing whose solid header beat Smalley in the Bees’ goal.

Bridport used the frustration to good effect in extra-time, although the Bees were irritated by an offside call against Adam Diaz when the midfielder strolled through one-on-one.

Weedon also hit the post for Bridport, who only had a couple of Newquay chances to contend with, while Bees’ goalkeeping coach Mark Tozer was sent off for dissent despite foul language appearing to come from the stands instead.

However, after 120 minutes the teams could not be separated and penalties were required.

Both teams missed one of their first five penalties, with Bridport’s Toby and Adam Diaz plus Weedon and Joe Etherington all on target.

That forced sudden death and both Charlie Pitt and Daniels netted to heap pressure on Newquay.

The burden eventually told as Smalley produced the goods to save the decisive spot-kick, sending Bridport into delirium on the sidelines.

Bridport boss Chris Herbst said: “It was a game that had everything. I’m absolutely over the moon. It’s unbelievable, credit to the boys.

“I kept bringing up last Saturday, that isn’t us. Go back to the Bovey game where we played so well.

“I said we needed a performance like we’ve been doing all season and they delivered, the lads were so good.

“We should’ve won without extra-time but fair play to them they came at us and scored an equaliser. It’s probably the most emotional game I’ve been involved in.”

Bridport now move on to a Dorset Senior Cup semi-final at home to Hamworthy Rec on Tuesday (7.45pm).

Bees: Smalley, King, Owen (Baggs 91), Gall, Brook (Pitt 110), Childs (T Diaz 70), Parsons, Daniels, Weedon, G Calverley (A Diaz 83), B Rowe (Etherington 80).