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Dorchester Town comfortably beaten by the Rebels

BY: Phil Spencer – Dorset Echo Sport

DORCHESTER TOWN 0 SLOUGH TOWN 4

Dorchester Town were comfortably beaten 4-0 by Slough Town on a rainy afternoon at the Avenue Stadium. The Magpies had been looking to get back-to-back results following last weekend’s hard-fought victory over Dunstable Town.

It hadn’t been all rosy for Laird’s men though, with the news that defender Gary Bowles was likely to be out for the season with a fractured ankle, the manager was looking to bolster his weakened defensive line.

The addition came in the shape of Toby Down, an old-fashioned centre-back who joined on a one-month loan deal from Exeter City.

A number of youngsters were also looking to make their mark on the first team following the Reserve side’s 6-1 win against Basingtoke Under-21s on Wednesday night, which saw them progress to the semi-final of the John Stimpson Memorial Shield.

Several players impressed, most notably Sol Ayunga who bagged a hat-trick, which wasn’t enough to secure a place in the match-day squad.

The Magpies made two changes from last week’s win with debutant Down and Ollie Bassett coming into the team in place of the injured Gary Bowles and Neil Martin.

It took just four minutes for the visitors to take the lead, with James Dobson swinging the ball in for Manny Williams who looped a header round Shane Murphy and into the far corner.

They nearly made it two just minutes later as Lee Togwell fired a low effort from 20 yards, but it was easily saved by Murphy.

Slough didn’t look like the side who had lost midweek against Cinderford, dominating possession and closing down sharply to allow the hosts little time on the ball in the opening 20 minutes.

The Magpies didn’t get into the opposition penalty area until 22 minutes, when Franklyn Clarke’s cross from deep was easily claimed by Mark Scott in the Slough goal, who rose above the Magpies’ target man Lewis Powell.

Powell had spoken about the active role that manager Craig Laird played in bringing him to the club, and despite the lack of possession, he was quick to show moments of class as he linked up play with his first touch and close control.

Despite the home side’s dominance, Dorchester did go close on 30 minutes as some excellent work by Clarke found Bassett, whose effort was blocked before Tom Blair’s follow-up was deflected over in the home side’s first real chance of the game.

But it wasn’t long before Slough’s lead was doubled, as Dobson nut-megged Jordan Williams, and took on Oldring before squeezing home from the tightest of angles for a quite fantastic goal.

The second half started in much the same way, with Murphy making an early save from point blank range, before the Rebels’ set-piece specialist James Dobson hit a free-kick which clipped the post on its way wide.

Frustration was starting to boil, and with Ollie Mehew and Ollie Davis replacing Powell and Clarke, Clarke took off his shirt and threw it down showing just how annoyed he was before storming to the dressing room.

Dorchester did have a shout for a penalty, as Jon Vance’s effort appeared to take a deflection on its way wide, but the referee only gave the corner.

They then went close as Blair curled an effort wide of the mark, showing that they were still very much battling for a route back into the match.

Blair has been impressing in recent weeks, putting in consistent displays for both the senior side and the reserve team, and providing a fast and direct outlet on the left flank, which causes undoubted issues for even the best full-backs in the league.

The Magpies looked to be running out of ideas as a series of long balls and attempted flicks led to very little, before a counter-attack led to Dobson smashing home from 10 yards to make it 3-0 to the Rebels.

Ben Wood was introduced to replace Blair with 13 minutes remaining, and moments later it was nearly four as Murphy was caught off his line, with a lobbed effort being picked up by Down at the back post.

Slough substitute Ramone Rose was unlucky to hit the bar with a late effort for the Rebels, but followed up with an injury time goal to condemn the Magpies to a heavy victory.

Magpies: Murphy, Brookes, Williams, Vance, Walker, Down, Bassett, Oldring, Powell (Mehew 57), Clarke (Davis 57), Blair (Wood 77). Subs not used: Jerrard, Mitchell

Slough Town: Scott, Fraser, Stonehouse, Smart, Nisbet, Togwell, Dobson, Dunn, Williams (Rose 77), Flood, Harris (Jakeman 84). Subs not used: Wilson, Gokmen, Webb

Referee: Timothy Burley

Attendance: 446