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Dorchester survive Barnstaple scare to advance in Buildbase FA Trophy

BY: Josh Donaldson Dorset Echo Sport

DORCHESTER TOWN 3 BARNSTAPLE TOWN 1

Dorchester Town were given a scare by Barnstaple Town in the FA Trophy first qualifying round however, they showed their superiority to seal a 3-1 win over the Avenue and advance into the next round.

First half goals from Tom Blair and an audacious lob from Nathan Walker put the hosts firmly in control.

However, after wasting plenty of chances, their lead was halved with 15 minutes to play through James Mayne.

But the Magpies saw off some late pressure before Ollie Bassett put them into the next round with a clinical finish in stoppage time.

There was some good news for the county town side ahead of kick-off as Ollie Bassett re-joined the club on loan from Yeovil Town. He was named on the bench alongside Joe Lea, who was taken out of the line-up for Lewis Morgan. Mark Jermyn picked up a knock to his foot in the 2-1 defeat to Slough Town on Tuesday and taking his place was Dory Yates.

The manager wanted his side to attack from the outset and they heeded his words. From the word go, the Magpies flew forward looking for an early breakthrough. Neil Martin, playing at left midfield instead of his usual left back spot was delivering some dangerous crosses that Barnstaple’s back four had to be alert to.

All of the play was coming down the left for the hosts and their next good chance ¬– discounting Jake Smeeton’s free-kick that was saved easily by Steven Oliver – came from Ben Wood’s precise pass. It found David Jerrard and he tried an audacious lob over the keeper. Needless to say, Oliver was able to deal with that.

But, after some more pressure, the hosts took the lead in the 19th minute. Martin’s corner ricocheted around the box before it fell to Blair. He had a rather alarming amount of space in the six yard box, so much so that he was able to control the ball before poking it past the Barnstaple stopper and taking a deserved lead for the hosts.

That was soon 2-0 through Walker. He was given the ball just outside the centre circle and, after spotting the keeper off his line, he produced a scintillating lob that fell perfectly between the frantically back-pedalling Oliver and the bar to find the back of the net. The hosts were now in full control.

The visitors had struggled to get into Dorchester’s half during the first period let alone create a chance. Lee Francis had a shot from the outside of the box that went wide midway through the half before, in the 44th minute, Jed Harper-Panman left fly from the corner of the box. It hit the hoardings rather than the net but, the midfielder would have hoped to have done better.

Dorchester didn’t let up at the start of the second half and should have made it 3-0 in the 46 minute. Blair beat two men before crossing a delightful ball that found Jerrard. He, with the goal at his mercy, managed to steer his header wide of the mark amid groans from the home fans.

Blair was at it again soon after as he beat Liam Gregory twice that made Aaron Harper-Panman clear over his own bar.

In both halves, the hosts had had many chances to kill the game off and, after Barnstaple’s best spell in the game, they earned themselves a lifeline with 15 minutes to play. Murphy didn’t deal well with a corner and, instead of clearing the ball, he palmed it into the path of Mayne. He made no mistake with the finish and suddenly all the pressure was on the Magpies.

Cards were being dished out left, right and centre as the referee seemed to be losing the game. Tackles continued to fly in though as the away side pushed forward looking for a leveller.

The hosts brought on Mark Jermyn for Tom Blair late on as they tried to see out the game. They did just that, and more, as Bassett sealed the cup win with a goal in the 93rd minute.

Mateus found the midfielder inside the box and he cut onto his left foot before unleashing a left-footed finish to send his side into Monday’s draw.

Magpies: Murphy, Yates, Smeeton, Wood, Oldring, Dillon, Blair, Morgan, Walker (Mateus 56), Jerrard (Bassett 56), Martin

Subs not used: Jermyn, Lea, Mitchell

Barnstaple: Oliver, Huxtable, Gregory, Francis, Mayne, A Harper-Panman, J Harper-Panman, Jenkins, Blake, Pearse, Paine (Sharp 56)

Subs not used: Turner, Heeney, Holland

Referee: Peter Cruise (Rochester)

Bookings: Magpies – Blair, Yates, Smeeton

Barnstaple ¬– Pearse, Sharp, Gregory, J Harper-Panman, Jenkins

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