Paulton Rovers frustrate Dorchester in dour draw

BY: Josh Donaldson Dorset Echo Sport


DORCHESTER Town were rocked late on by a Paulton Rovers’ equaliser as they left Winterfield Road with just a point on Saturday.

After a dour first half, Bradley Tarbuck struck for the visitors with a composed strike into the bottom corner in the 68th minute.

Magpies sat on their lead looking to see the game out, but the Rovers scored in the 88th minute through Aaron Brown to send the Magpies home with just a point.

The result leaves Mark Jermyn’s men in 11th place, mired in mid-table of the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division.

The manager was left scratching his head after a “lacklustre” display from his charges. He said: “Whenever we play these lower league sides we struggle to perform. Players are making individual errors and it is not helping us.

“I don’t know whether they raise their game against us or it is a mentality thing I just haven’t been able to put my finger on it.

“We prepared the players in the same way but when we play a side that are down there we struggle to raise our game and I think that was the theme of Saturday’s performance.”

The county town side’s manager had issued a rallying cry during the week after his side’s win over Bideford on Easter Monday but the Magpies started slowly.

Alan Walker-Harris, who started the game ahead of injured keeper Shane Murphy, made a good save with his legs to deny the hosts an early goal after they had countered well.

Both sides took time to figure each other out and after the early chance to the Rovers the game settled down with no chance of note. The Magpies’ boss felt the pitch had a negative effect on proceedings.

He said: “I don’t go on about pitches, but it was not a great surface to play on. Probably one of the worst we have played on (this season).

“Having said that, you need a better touch and to move the ball quicker and we failed to do that.”
Ben Watson replaced Jason Brookes at half-time for the Magpies as they looked to add more attacking impetus.

But it was another forward who made the impact for the away side and forced the breakthrough.

Bradley Tarbuck popped up to open the scoring with 22 minutes left to play. Henry Lander set Tarbuck up and the striker finished calmly into the bottom corner to give his side the lead after cutting in off from the right and beating his man.

“It was one of the high points of the game,” admitted Jermyn. “It was a rare moment where we got beyond them and took a chance and took on a shooting opportunity.”

Despite the goal, the Magpies struggled to assert their dominance on their lowly opposition as chances were hard to come by, just as they had been in the first 45 minutes.

“Even when we were 1-0 up I felt we could’ve done more,” he added. “We could have worked a bit harder.”

Just as Dorchester were sensing victory was within their grasp, the hosts grabbed an equaliser late on to break the hearts of the away side.

After having a solid game, Walker-Harris made a mistake from a Rovers’ corner and Brown was in there to level the game although the keeper felt he was was pushed just before the ball found its way to the net.

“It was a frustrating how we conceded. Alan spoke to me afterwards and said he was pushed in the back.

“I didn’t see it and the referee didn’t give it, it is just frustrating because it is not the first time we’ve conceded like that this season.

“Regardless of whether it was a foul, this performance was not good enough. It was lacklustre,” Jermyn added.

“We find ourselves with a draw. It is not the worst result but it is not what I expect from my players and they are fully aware of that.”

The Magpies face promotion-chasing Redditch United on Saturday (3pm) and the manager is expecting a better display from his players.

He said: “I expect this Saturday we will play better, but it is no good picking and choosing when players think they are going to turn up.

“If they don’t start showing up they could be in this division for years to come. It’s up to them really.”

Magpies: Walker-Harris, Hanger, Martin, Jermyn, Lander, Dillon, Davis, Clarke, Walker, Brookes (Watson, 45), Tarbuck (T Holmes, 86). Subs not used: L.Holmes, B.Walker, Proffitt.