BIGGLESWADE TOWN 3 DORCHESTER TOWN 0
Dorchester Town fell to a 3-0 defeat after a second half collapse against Biggleswade Town.
Although not mathematically safe, the Magpies went into the game with little pressure on them, having all but secured their Southern Premier Division status.
It had been a turbulent week for Craig Laird’s side, with the unexpected departures of central figures Matt Oldring and Franklyn Clarke, who left the club with immediate effect.
Both players were hugely influential in the dressing room and the manager would have been hopeful that the departures wouldn’t have too much of an impact on a tight-knit group of players.
The saying goes “when one door closes, another one opens”, and that is likely to be the case for the club’s young starlets, who look set to be given an opportunity over the coming games to stake a claim for a place in the first team.
Dorchester made three changes from last week’s game, with Jake Mawford, Ollie Davis and Tom Blair being brought into the starting 11, while the likes of Billy Mitchell, Sol Ayunga and Owen Nicolson would hope for an opportunity to impress from the bench.
The hosts went into the game in ninth position in the league, and with a sizeable gap between them and the play-offs, it looked a distinct possibility of turning into a typical end of season wind-down.
It began with this feeling very being evident, with the opening 20 minutes going by without any real talking points or opportunities.
The Magpies’ productivity has improved in recent weeks after the introduction of Phil Ormrod.
The bulky target-man has looked a real presence when leading the line and today was no different as a great flick on set Blair away down the flank, who put in a delightful cross which narrowly evaded Davis on the right.
A few minutes later, a moment of embarrassment for the Magpies, as Neil Martin attempted to take a quick free-kick, a move which caught Ollie Griggs off-guard, striking the young midfielder from just three yards away.
The Waders looked the more likely to take the lead during the first period, first being awarded a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area due to a high foot, which they should have done better with, and then with another long-range effort which was well saved by Dorchester Town stopper Shane Murphy to keep the scores level as half-time approached.
It was Biggleswade who started the quickest in the second half, launching a counter-attack before capitalising on some slack defending from the Magpies, which saw Tony Burnett slot the ball past Murphy to make it 1-0.
Things went from bad to worse for the Magpies, as they gave away a penalty, which was confident converted by Rhys Hoenes, as Murphy was sent the wrong way from 12 yards.
Frustration started to boil over for the visitors, with Griggs going into the book after clashing with the Biggleswade player.
Manager Craig Laird looked to freshen things up by introducing Mitchell in place of Davis.
The youngster has been a star player for Rich Robson’s reserve team side this season, playing an influential part in their challenge for the Wyvern Combination Midweek League, and their run to the semi-finals of the Wyvern Challenge Cup, which will see the Magpies come up against Petersfield Town for a place in the final.
Nathan Walker had an excellent opportunity to get a goal back as a ball was crossed in, but the captain just couldn’t get on the end of it.
Straight after, the Waders put the game to bed as Burnett got his second of the game to all but end the Magpies’ hopes of battling their way back into the game.
Laird then introduced youngster Ayunga in place of the carded Griggs. Ayunga has also impressed for the Reserve team, but with a bright future in front of him, he will certainly be wishing to show he is ready to step up into the first team set-up on a more regular basis.
Unfortunately for the Magpies, the third goal eliminated any chance of a comeback, and despite having had the opportunity to give his squad players a chance, the Dorchester Town boss will be disappointed with the way his side looked unlikely to get a result.
Biggleswade Town: Gooch, Woodward, Perry, Parker, Short, Hoyte, Daniel, Richens, Burnett, Hall, Hoenes. Subs: Rees, Patrick, Emery, Vincent.
Magpies: Murphy, Egan, Martin, Vance, Walker (C), Down, Davis (Mitchell), Mawford, Ormrod, Griggs (Ayunga), Blair. Subs not used: Brookes, Nicolson, Jerrard.
Referee: Andrew Humphries
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