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Solitary Nathan Walker strike sees Dorchester Town oust Portland United in Dorset Senior Cup

BY David Williams: Dorset Echo Sport

PORTLAND UNITED 0 DORCHESTER TOWN 1

Nathan Walker’s second-half tap-in took Dorchester Town into the last four of the Dorset Senior Cup at Grove Corner.

The Magpies’ skipper struck from close range when Portland keeper Sean Lillington failed to gather Jason Brookes’ 68th-minute corner.

The quarter-final tie was low on clear-cut scoring opportunities but Walker made the most of his when it mattered.

Centre-back Walker was wearing the captain’s armband with Jake Smeeton, one of several Dorchester first-team regulars to be rested, sitting out the game.

The only incident of note in the early stages was a booking for Portland left-back Shaun Bessant – team-mate Ross Carmichael would follow him into the book late in the second half.

Playing with the wind, Portland threatened to open the scoring on 18 minutes but Ed Bastick dragged his shot wide.

Alex Godfrey was also off target for the hosts 36 minutes in, while the best Dorchester could manage was a Matt Oldring effort that United skipper Lewis Whyton did well to block.

Things had to improve in the second period and Bastick nearly made the breakthrough soon after the restart when he ghosted past Magpies’ boss Mark Jermyn but couldn’t beat Shane Murphy.

Godfrey then forced Murphy into a save from point-blank range, and Lillington turned Luke Woodland’s shot out for a corner at the other end.

Midfielder Ashley Nicholls, making a rare appearance for the county town club, drew a superb fingertip save out of Lillington – but things then turned sour for the Blues’ gloveman.

Brookes’ corner seemed to be going right down Lillington’s throat but when he flapped at the ball Walker was there to pick up the pieces.

Both sides made changes in the last quarter – Jamie Symes had come on for his Portland debut prior to Walker’s strike – but goalmouth action was lacking.

Portland put a few crosses into the Dorchester box but they ultimately came to nothing for Gary Bailey’s side.

Blues: Lillington, Smith, Bessant, Carmichael, Whyton, Will (Morris 80), Bastick, Halloran, McClements (Symes 59), Godfrey (Mutch 70), Doidge. Subs not used: Critchell, Camp.

Magpies: Murphy, Hanger, Martin, Jermyn, Walker, Oldring, Old (S Ayunga 56), Nicholls, Woodland (Diaz 77), Crittenden, Brookes (Wellman 90+1). Sub not used: Walker-Harris.

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