A SCINTILLATING 25-minute spell in the first half laid the foundations for Bridport’s fifth consecutive victory in Toolstation Western League Division One.

Following last week’s 6-0 defeat against Clevedon Town in the FA Cup, boss Trevor Senior was hoping for a positive response from his men but even he must have been surprised by the fantastic showing in the opening period, which resulted in a 4-0 lead at half-time.

Ryan Dovell went on to grab a fifth and complete a hat-trick after the break and although the hosts hit back with three late goals Senior was more than satisfied at the final whistle.

He said: “It was a pleasing result as we have a bit of a break now in the league, which will give other teams the opportunity to open up a gap. However, it will also give us an opportunity to rest a few players who have picked up injuries.

“Towards the end we leaked a couple of goals but having already won the game we did switch things around a bit in the second half by giving all three substitutes a run, so that does not concern me at all.”

The home side, who have just one win to their name so far this season, started the game with a great deal of intent and kept the Bees down to isolated attacks.

However, as the half drew on the visitors slowly began to find their feet and after Matt Condliffe struck a shot wide and Jamie Symes had tested home keeper Owen Dunn, they finally broke the deadlock.

Condliffe was once again at the heart of the move and it was his cross that found Jamie Symes who flicked the ball home with his head for his sixth of the season.

From there the Bees’ 100 per cent start to their league campaign was never in doubt of not continuing as Shepton began to capitulate with Dunn’s fluffed clearance handing Dovell a tap-in for his first, just a minute later.

Mallet continued to show plenty of endeavour but they were simply being outplayed by the Bees’ midfield and after a wonderful period of pressure a free-flowing move involving around 20 passes resulted in a third with Dovell nodding in a fine cross from skipper Darren Lock.

The away side then rubbed even more salt into Shepton’s wounds with just three minutes of the half remaining when Jamie Symes secured his brace with a first-time effort from a cross from Chris Clarke.

Dovell also hit a post in the first half but his hat-trick was not far away as Shepton came out in the second period fearing more punishment.

The fifth came on the hour when Dunn pushed Clarke’s thunderous effort on to a post, only for Dovell to head home the rebound.

In the latter stages the Bees took their foot off the gas and to Mallet’s credit they took full advantage with three consolation strikes.

Ashley McGrane fired in the first after keeper Sam Filkins had denied Alistair Bamford before Oliver Higgenson and Brad Allen both scored with headers in the final five minutes.

The Bees will not be in league action again now until September 25 when they will face an away trip to Westbury United. Before that they will travel to Buckland Athletic in the second qualifying round of the FA Vase on September 18.

Bees: Filkins, A. Symes, Condliffe (Bulman 79), Lock, Senior, Hayter (Hill 74), J Symes, Wise, Clarke, Dovell (Evans 60), Watts. Bridport Man of the Match: Dan Wise

Referee: Mr Richard Lawrence

Attendance: 94