Second-half double helps Dorchester Town see off King’s Lynn

BY David Williams: Dorset Echo Sport


A brace of second-half headers saw the Magpies make it back-to-back league wins and three successive victories in all competitions.

Jonah Ayunga and Nathan Walker were on target after the break as the hosts overcame King’s Lynn at the Avenue to move up to eighth in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division.

Dorchester were one of only four sides to claim all three points from their fixture on Saturday, with no fewer than seven matches in the league ending in draws.

Alan Walker-Harris, Jake Smeeton, Chris Dillon, Charlie Davis, Luke Holmes, Liam Sayers, Bradley Tarbuck and Ayunga came back into the Dorchester starting XI having not featured in the Dorset Senior Cup quarter-final triumph at Portland United in midweek.

Ashley Nicholls was handed another start, while Neil Martin, Mark Jermyn, Oakley Hanger, Jason Brookes and Nick Crittenden, who all played against Portland, were on the bench.

And there was no place in the matchday squad for striker Ben Watson who was unavailable for the clash.

A gusting wind was always going to cause problems for both sides and the Linnets played with it behind them in the first half.

Walker, who had made his 250th appearance for the Magpies away to Portland, was caught dawdling on the ball inside the first five minutes, though Jacek Zielonka scuffed his shot after dispossessing the defender.

Young Holmes again showed some nice touches for the hosts in a fairly tepid opening quarter, while the visitors went close when Liam Hurst’s free-kick from distance was well saved by Walker-Harris.

King’s Lynn then thought they should have had a penalty after Lee Stevenson went shoulder to shoulder with Dillon.

However, some of the Dorchester players were then claiming for a spot-kick at the other end when they thought Lee Smith had handled the ball.

In a half very low on clear-cut chances, Linnets captain Sam Gaughran probably had the best just before the interval.

His shot appeared to be heading in but Matt Oldring got in the way of it to snuff out the danger.

Lynn were forced into a change at the break when Toby Hilliard was brought on to replace Zielonka.

And the substitute almost made an instant impact less than two minutes after entering the fray.

He combined with Hurst and Stevenson before firing an angled drive at goal which Walker-Harris pushed up in the air and then did well to turn away for a corner.

Then, after two-and-a-half matches at home without really troubling an opposition keeper, the Magpies finally had an effort on target.

Skipper Smeeton found Sayers and the Portsmouth loanee surged through the heart of the Linnets’ defence before producing a shot which was saved low down by Alex Street.

Dorchester went close again a few minutes later, although this time it was Gaughran who almost found the back of his own net when heading Tarbuck’s cross behind.

The hosts were certainly the team on top and Sayers might have made the breakthrough on 63 minutes.

A long throw-in from Dillon reached Sayers at the back post but he couldn’t keep his half-volley down – he was replaced by Neil Martin soon after.

Having gone close on a couple of occasions, the Magpies finally made the breakthrough in the 69th minute.

Nicholls fed Tarbuck on the right and he beat his man on the outside to deliver an inch-perfect cross which Ayunga gleefully headed past Street.

A second goal for the home side looked as if it could follow almost immediately when Tarbuck was played in by Smeeton but the former side-footed his shot straight at Street.

However, with nine minutes left the Magpies did make it 2-0 to secure the points.

Dillon’s long throw came back to the defender and when he returned the ball into the box Walker was just too strong for Street, the centre-half heading home from close range.

There was no way back for the visitors after that and two nearly became three when a Davis corner, the first of five in succession for Dorchester in injury-time, came off King’s Lynn left-back Jordan Yong and was tipped onto the bar by Street.

Magpies: Walker-Harris, Oldring, Smeeton, Nicholls, Walker, Dillon, Davis, Holmes (Jermyn 76), Ayunga, Sayers (Martin 64), Tarbuck (Hanger 85). Subs not used: Brookes, Crittenden.

King’s Lynn: Street, Castellan, Yong, Miller (Edge 83), Gaughran, Smith, Clunan, Hurst, Zielonka (Hilliard 46), Stevenson, Bridges (Friend 73). Subs not used: Marshall, Fryatt.

Bookings: Magpies – None

Stratford – None