IVYBRIDGE TOWN 1
BRIDPORT came away from Ivybridge Town with a controversial 1-0 defeat in their opening South West Peninsula League Premier East game of the season.
The Bees felt that Fletcher Williams’ 78th-minute winner should have been disallowed for an alleged elbow on goalkeeper Callum Smalley in the build-up, causing him to spill the ball and Williams to pounce.
Bridport had three chances in the first half, all stemming through a tactic to spread play via long balls into wide areas.
Callum Arnold was twice the beneficiary of those searching passes, cutting inside and firing at goal without reward.
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Bosley Yu had the Bees' third such opportunity although he too was unable to score the opening goal.
Bridport built patiently up to the Ivies’ box in the second half without any piercing deliveries through the lines as Ivybridge’s defence held firm.
Town played a high line and Arnold looked to run in behind on two occasions, both flagged for offside with Bridport again feeling the calls might have gone their way.
But Ivybridge cashed in on their defensive efforts when Williams reacted quickest to Smalley’s drop under pressure to take all three points.
Speaking post-match, Bridport boss Edgar Marcu said: “Our goalkeeper caught the ball in the first instance.
“Then when he was hit he lost the ball and they score. Defensively we did amazing although attacking-wise we still have work to do.
“I would say it’s a positive start even if the score shows different. I’m pleased with the boys’ attitude, they worked really hard.”
Bridport host Honiton Town on Tuesday evening (7.30pm).
Bees: Smalley, Baggs, Gall, Grace, Mamanta, Owen, O Peart, Arnold, Oliveira, Ayunga, Yu. Subs used: Bogdan, Nicholas, Brook. Sub not used: Wootton.