AN EPIC second-half comeback saw Bridport take all three points in a pulsating 6-4 win over Teignmouth on Saturday.
A classy first half had the Teigns buzzing at the break – the bumbling Bees found themselves 3-0 behind, but a swarm of goals after the restart helped them find their sting.
Dan Garswood (2) and a Ryan Leader own-goal had Teignmouth in a healthy lead until the 63rd minute, at which point the match exploded into frenzy. Ash Donohue netted the Teigns’ fourth among a rip-roaring final half-hour which saw Bridport net six times.
‘It’s hard to put into words because for the best part of 45 minutes, I thought that was the best performance I’ve seen from a number of our lads for a year or maybe two,’ admitted Geoff Breslan, who was standing in as Teignmouth boss with usual gaffer Liam Jones serving a ban.
‘But then to produce the type of performance we did in the second half is not good enough – it’s very disappointing but it’s our season [summed up], really. We have to be more consistent; that comes with winning games obviously, but we’re in a patch at the moment where we are struggling to win games, and it’s winning that breeds confidence. When you’re conceding goals like we do, it’s hard to win football matches.’
Garswood put Teignmouth into an unlikely lead after only seven minutes when he received a pass, spotted Bees ‘keeper Jordon Scadding astray from his line and executed a sensational dink.
The hosts had a second eight minutes later. Jack Baxter gave chase to a wild ball down the left flank and outmuscled his opposite number before pulling the trigger on a wayward chip. The ball was clumsily turned home by the head of Leader.
Teignmouth had their third shortly before half-time when a venomous effort launched off a bobble in the pitch, struck Scadding’s face and fell kindly for Garswood to net his second of the afternoon.
‘We can’t let the second half overshadow how good we were first half – it’s about getting that balance right,’ Breslan said.
‘I asked the boys to produce as best as they possibly could second half but it’s very difficult doing that over 90 minutes. But for 65 minutes it was still 3-0 and we were very comfortable.
‘[Ours is] a great group of lads that don’t deserve to be where they are at the moment but we are where we are because of second-half performances like today. We have to take massive confidence from that first half because if we can produce that for 65 or 70 minutes against teams that are lower [we will win].
‘We’ve just outplayed a Bridport side that are second in the league and going really well for 65 minutes but it’s the end result that matters and, unfortunately, that’s gone against us today.’
Bridport flew out of the traps after the interval. Returning Teigns goalkeeper Zach Lee was called upon just six minutes into the second stanza as Fred Parsons squeezed through the defence and tried to poke under the onrushing custodian. Lee was wise to the effort and saved well.
Then came a scoring blitz as the two sides combined for four goals in four minutes. Bridport drew first blood from the penalty spot through Riley Weedon and pulled within one of their hosts a minute later when George Calverley headed in off the base of the far post.
Donohue headed home to restore the two-goal cushion a minute later but the Bees clapped back again, this time through a powerful Fred Parsons volley. Bridport levelled on 72 minutes as, counterattacking a missed chance on their own net, Weedon tempted Lee off his line but saw his shot blocked. Parsons arrived on the scene in time to smash home.
‘I don’t know [what caused the collapse] but it is a bit of everything,’ Breslan said.
‘To be outplayed a much as they were first half by a team that is struggling, we knew there was going to be a reaction. I think losing Moorey [Jamie Moore] just before half-time was a big loss which showed because, defensively, we were very good first half but then second half we’ve let goal after goal.
‘Big praise to Zach [Lee] coming back in today because, if it wasn’t for him, we probably could’ve lost the game by a little bit more. But it is something we just have to take on the chin; be annoyed about it, be upset, be angry but it’s something we have to put right now for Boxing Day.’
The Bees took the lead for the first time on 82 minutes when they broke wide on the right and fired a low cross into the vacant box, just for Teigns defender Omar Nyang to prod the ball into his own goal. The win was sealed with a daisy-cutting free-kick from Weedon on the stroke of full-time.
‘We knew there was going to be a reaction from these boys,’ Breslan explained.
‘We cannot think that the job is done after 45 minutes and, as well as the boys did first half, I thought we lacked composure in the second half, we lacked leadership and we lacked game management. It is frustrating and it is something we will have to address and work on but we also need that group of players to react to these sorts of disappointments.
‘Unfortunately for us, we’re having too many of these disappointments at the moment.’