HITCHIN TOWN 0 DORCHESTER TOWN 1
Dorchester Town secured the most unexpected of victories to boost their survival chances as they beat Hitchin Town 1-0.
The Magpies went into the game looking to bounce back from their 4-0 defeat at home to Slough Town, while Hitchin were looking to extend their unbeaten run to 14 in all competitions.
Hitchin went into the match sitting five points from top in the league, but with two games in hand, and without a defeat at home this season, they were feeling positive going into the match.
Craig Laird made three changes, including David Jerrard returning from illness, alongside Olly Mehew and debutant Ollie Davis who replaced Ollie Bassett, Jason Brookes and Lewis Powell in the starting line-up.
It was a flying start for the Magpies who applied pressure from the off, and got an early breakthrough after five minutes when Davis put in an exquisite cross which Tom Blair managed to head over the keeper into the far corner of the net.
The hosts nearly got a reply minutes later when Brett Donnelly forced a point-blank save from Shane Murphy, just seconds after he was receiving treatment, which he followed up with another double save.
Hitchin were clearly up for the fight and pushed forward, putting the Magpies’ defence under pressure only to be halted by the in-form Murphy.
Both sides had chances in an open first-half, with the Magpies’ opportunities coming from a Franklyn Clarke effort and an excellent piece of play by Blair and Mehew, resulting in an effort which was smothered by the keeper at the second attempt.
It was all Hitchin at the start of the second half, getting numerous opportunities from set-pieces but being unable to capitalise despite the increase in pressure being inflicted on the Magpies.
Murphy continued to keep his side in front with several more excellent stops, including another sublime save to prevent an own goal from defender Matt Oldring.
Hitchin continued to huff and puff but the Magpies held on to become the first side to beat Hitchin at Top Field this season, and give them new found confidence in their relegation battle.
Hitchin Town: Johnson, Smith, Bickerstaff, Rolfe, Webb (C), Wright, Kirkpatrick (Spence 68), C Donnelly, B Donnelly, Brooks (Burns 46), Lench
Subs not used: Bennett, Waister, Barnes
Magpies: Murphy, Oldring, Williams, Vance, Walker (C), Down, Davis (Griggs 62), Clarke, Mehew (Powell 66), Jerrard, Blair
Subs not used: Bassett, Brookes, Mitchell
Referee: P Forrester
Dorchester Town Community Football Club Limited.
Registered with the FCA under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies act 2014 as a Community Benefit Society.
Company Registration Number: 7128