Dorchester sunk by Waders’ spot-kick

BY: Dan Rose Dorset Echo Sport


DORCHESTER’S dismal run of form in March continued as they slumped to defeat by a solitary goal against Biggleswade Town.

In terrible conditions on a soggy surface at the Avenue, a first-half spot-kick from Waders’ frontman Tony Burnett made the difference as the away side took advantage of a clear handball in the area by Chris Dillon.

With player-manager Mark Jermyn, assistant Nick Crittenden and Gary Bowles out of the hosts’ squad, Oakley Hanger, Dillon, Luke Holmes and Bradley Tarbuck all came back into the starting XI.

Jason Brookes dropped to the bench, Nathan Walker led the line up front once again.

The Waders, who listed debutant and new signing Nick Freeman in their starting line-up, knew a win against the Magpies would see them leapfrog the county town side in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division.

Playing with the wind in the opening half, the home side looked to create an early opening as Hanger and Tarbuck combined down the right flank. The latter’s cross however just evaded Ben Watson, who had made a run into the box.

The Waders then had muted claims for a penalty as Ian Rees went down in the home area under the challenge of Henry Lander but referee Chris Wade was having none of it.

The treacherous surface at the Avenue then almost cost Waders’ keeper Ian Brown.

Receiving a routine back pass, the ball bobbled out of nowhere and almost caught him off guard. Under pressure, he eventually managed to hack away for a throw.

In a contest that really failed to get going during the opening 25 minutes, a snap shot by Waders’ winger Freeman deflected wide. County town skipper Jake Smeeton then needed treatment to what appeared to be a cut to the head.

And, with the hosts momentarily down to 10, Dorchester conceded a penalty.

A ball was floated deep into the box from a free-kick by Mark Coulson, Dillon dangled an arm out and handled to give referee Wade no option than to award a spot-kick. Up stepped frontman Burnett to confidently roll past Dorchester keeper Shane Murphy.

Minutes before the break, Smeeton, now sporting a Terry Butcher-esque headband, whipped in a free-kick on the angle which keeper Brown lunged at and cleared over the top of his bar.

Ironic cheers then came from the main stand as the Magpies mustered a rare shot on target. Hanger cut in from the right and fired straight at Brown in a bid to level things up after the break.

With 65 minutes on the clock, a Charlie Davis corner found the left boot of Smeeton, who must have thought he had scored when he connected with a stinging volley, only for the effort to be blocked on the line by Coulson.

The Waders then came within inches of wrapping things up at the other end when the ball fell to Rees, whose effort cannoned off the outside of a post.

A couple of melees then followed as Jermyn’s man ramped up the pressure on the visitors late on.

Having come off the bench, Toby Holmes showed good endeavour to run on to a punt forward and head past Brown but a covering defender was on hand to clear.

A late shout for handball in the Waders’ box was then turned down, as another blow was dealt to the Magpies, who have now lost six in seven in all competitions this month.

Magpies: Murphy, Hanger, Smeeton, Martin, Lander, Dillon, Davis, L Holmes (Brookes 77), Walker, Watson (T Holmes 69), Tarbuck. Subs not used: Ayunga, Proffitt, Walker-Harris

Biggleswade Town: Brown, York, Coulson, Short, Hoyte, Key, Danie (Marsh 77), King, Burnett (Effiong 74), Rees (Vincent 86), Freeman. Sub not used: Lewis