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Stubborn Dorchester battle to solid point against Redditch

BY: Josh Donaldson Dorset Echo Sport

DORCHESTER TOWN 0 REDDITCH UNITED 0

A solid defensive display earned Dorchester Town a 0-0 draw against Redditch United at the Avenue.

The Magpies had the better of the intermittent chances in a game that struggled to catch light. Matt Oldring volleyed wide from a corner midway through the second half and Tom Blair should have done better with a shot in the ninth minute.

Down the other end, the visitors were lacklustre in front of goal. Shane Murphy had just the one save to make in the match.

The hosts looked the more likely to score a winner however, they couldn’t break through Redditch’s stubborn resistance.

Player-manager Mark Jermyn had the luxury of naming an unchanged line-up from the side that convincingly beat Frome Town 3-0 at the Avenue in midweek.

Jake Smeeton scored twice in that game and before the Redditch clash, he was presented with a salver by chairman Matt Lucas and president Keith Kellaway. Also present was his daughter Hope, who came out with her father before kick-off.

The action started slowly but it was an intriguing watch as both teams almost polar opposite tactics.

The away side lined up with a 3-4-3 whereas the Magpies went for their usual 4-2-3-1. There was some extra space in the middle for the hosts and it was them who started the brighter.

Tom Blair – Tuesday night’s man of the match – had a good chance in the ninth minute after Clayton McDonald miscued his clearance.

The teenager had time to pick his spot, but he could only find the arms of Redditch’s stopper Bradley Catlow.

Another flowing move from the hosts allowed Lewis Morgan to try his luck from range, but, it lacked power and didn’t cause the keeper any problems.

Down the other end, Luke Shearer, who scored in this fixture last season, saw his free-kick deflect just past the post before Jordan Jones saw his long range effort parried by Shane Murphy. However, there could have been more danger had Matt Oldring not reacted quickly to clear the ball after the save.

As the first half progressed, both sides continued to cancel each other out. Set-pieces seemed to be the best bet for a goal and Smeeton, who scored in midweek from a free-kick, was trying his luck again.

After Mario Mateus was fouled by Apostolis Apostocopoulos just outside the box, the captain curled a left-footed attempt over the wall but, Catlow was equal to it and the sides went into the break goalless after a cagey half.

As players began to tire, diminutive winger Mario Mateus came into the game more for the Magpies.

After winning a rare header that got a round of applause from the Avenue faithful, he jinked past Jordan Brown before he nearly surprised Catlow with a rifled effort towards goal. The keeper didn’t have to make a save from Mateus’ shot as it went over the bar.

Soon after, Joe Lea whipped in a corner that found the late-arriving Oldring, who was a roack at the back throughout the game, however he could only volley wide when placed well.

Down the other end, Shearer was a posing a threat. He had a shot that sailed over the bar before Murphy had to react well to tip a cross over the bar.

The Magpies brought on David Jerrard to bring some life to the centre of midfield and Neil Martin as they looked to feed an isolated Nathan Walker.

Neither player were able to cause too many problems for the Reds as both sides searched for some inspiration. Smeeton tried his luck from another free-kick but, it flashed over the bar.

In truth, both keepers had a quiet day at the office and, as the game winded down, the two sides seemed happy with a point.

And, that is how it finished without much fanfare. The Magpies will be happy with a point against a solid Redditch outfit with the only concern for the Avenue outfit will be an injury to Nick Crittenden, which forced him off late in the second half.

Magpies: Murphy, Crittenden (Jermyn 76), Smeeton, Wood, Oldring, Dillon, Lea (Jerrard 69), Morgan, Walker, Mateus, Blair (Martin 65)

Subs not used: Mullis, Yates

Redditch: Catlow, Jones, Washbourne, Brown, McDonald, Cullinane-Liburd, McDermott (Thompson 69), Spink, Johnson (Taylor 89), Apostocopoulos (Bako 54), Shearer

Subs not used: Young

Referee: Scott Jackson (Taunton)

Bookings: Magpies – none

Redditch: McDonald

Attendance: 353