Watson and Oldring leave it late to see off Bluebirds

BY David Williams: Dorset Echo Sport


Late goals from Ben Watson and Matt Oldring turned this FA Trophy first qualifying round tie on its head as Dorchester saw off league rivals Chippenham at the Avenue yesterday.

A largely uninspiring match was brought to life when Matt Jones gave the visitors the lead with a stunning effort from distance 17 minutes from time.

The Magpies huffed and puffed before finally equalising courtesy of in-form Watson’s close-range finish.

And as a replay looked to be on the cards, Oldring popped up in the 89th minute to prod home after Nathan Walker’s header had been saved.

Dorchester player-manager Mark Jermyn stuck with the side that started the 6-0 hammering of Paulton on Tuesday, while the Magpies’ bench also remained the same.

The hosts had the first half-chance of the tie on five minutes when Chippenham skipper Greg Tindle slipped as he tried to clear a Charlie Davis corner but Chris Dillon blasted over the bar.

Other than a few tasty challenges from Jake Smeeton and Davis, there wasn’t too much to shout about in the opening quarter of an hour.

However, in the 16th minute the visitors did have a chance to go in front when Smeeton was brushed off the ball far too easily by Andy Sandell on the Dorchester right.

Sandell surged forward and found team-mate Jones eight yards out but he couldn’t get a decent enough contact on the ball and it sailed well wide.

At the other end, Jermyn powered into the Bluebirds’ box and claimed for a penalty when he went down under Tindle’s challenge.

Southampton referee Christopher Wade was having none of it and rightly waved away the Dorchester chief’s appeals.

Bradley Tarbuck, one of the Magpies’ standout players against Paulton, was the first player to trouble either keeper, with Kent Kauppinen saving his well-hit shot from the edge of the area.

Chippenham stopper Kauppinen was called into action again on 27 minutes, the time keeping out a Jermyn howitzer with a fingertip save.

The rest of the half was relatively quiet in terms of scoring opportunities as both sides cancelled each other out, and it was far from vintage stuff on show.

The effort was there but most of the time the quality certainly wasn’t – Neil Martin giving a Dorchester free-kick straight to a Chippenham player a perfect example of that.

That element of sloppiness continued after the interval.

Jermyn had his head in his hands when he demanded the ball off Martin only to pass straight out of play.

Taylor then looked to be in on goal for the visitors as he waltzed past a half-hearted challenge in the Dorchester box, but Oldring recovered to see off the danger with a last-ditch tackle.

A foul by Matt Smith on Jonah Ayunga brought about the first booking of the afternoon on 66 minutes, either side of which Chippenham introduced Ashan Holgate and Ryan Campbell from the bench.

And it was seconds after Campbell replaced Iain Harvey that the visitors took the lead.

There didn’t seem to be much on when Jones picked up the ball some 30 yards from the Magpies’ goal.

But the midfielder let fly with his left foot from all of 30 yards and Alan Walker-Harris in the home goal hardly moved as the ball flew past him and into the corner of the net.

A few minutes later, Smith tried his luck from wide out on the right and his long-range effort nearly embarrassed Walker-Harris.

At this point it just didn’t appear to be Dorchester’s day.

However, all that was to change in the last five minutes of normal time.

First, Tarbuck made some room for himself on the right-hand side, sent a low cross into the six-yard box, and ace goal poacher Watson was there to put the ball through the legs of Kauppinen.

Dorchester full deserved at least a replay, but better was to come in the 89th minute.

A Martin cross into the Chippenham box was met by the head of Walker, Kauppinen saved his effort, but Oldring stabbed in a dramatic winner.

The hosts then saw out the four minutes of injury-time to book their place in Monday’s draw for the second qualifying round, which takes place the weekend after next.

Magpies: Walker-Harris, Oldring, Smeeton, Jermyn (Morgan 75), Walker, Dillon, Davis, Martin, Ayunga (Brookes 90+3), Watson (Hanger 90), Tarbuck. Subs not used: Murphy, Hanger, Old.

Chippenham: Kauppinen, Ballinger, Bevan, Allen, Tindle, Preece, Harvey (Campbell 72), Smith, Taylor (Holgate 61), Sandell, Jones (Guthrie 86). Subs not used: Beeden, Pook.

Bookings: Magpies – Davis (foul, 83)

Chippenham – Smith (foul, 66)

ATT: 254