Mistakes cost Dorchester Town in Poppies reverse

BY: Josh Donaldson Dorset Echo Sport


MISTAKES cost Dorchester Town as second-half goals from Liam Canavan and Callum Westwood saw the Magpies lose their opening game of the season against the Poppies.

After a first half that was edged by the hosts, Liam Canavan struck early in the second half to take the lead for the away side.

Mark Jermyn had the best of the chances in the second period as they went in search of an equaliser in a game where they matched their opponents in large parts of the clash.

Shane Murphy’s back pass was charged down in a piece of poor goalkeeping, allowing Callum Westwood to simply tap home and give the away side the spoils.

The county town side gave five of their starting XI a debut on the opening day with just two of the team started the 4-1 loss to the Poppies back in April.

On that day, the visitors were dominant at the Avenue and they started the brighter as Nathan Bobowicz caused some early trouble.

Shane Murphy thwarted him before the Poppies’ attacker failed to capitalise on Nathan Walker’s errant pass from within his own box.

After that, the hosts started to find their feet and see more of the ball as Ben Wood tried his luck but to no avail.

As the first half progressed, both sides settled down and it soon became a midfield battle even with referee James Robinson giving the game every opportunity to flow.

David Jerrard was playing up front with Mario Mateus for the Magpies, however the connection was not reaping any rewards with both strikers tightly marked.

The counter-attack seemed to be the best weapon for both teams and it nearly paid dividends for the hosts but Liam Sayers could only float his shot over the bar in the 30th minute.

Kettering – second favourites for the league ­– were on the back foot as the interval came to a close.

A Dory Yates measured strike from 30 yards had Paul Walker reeling as it missed the top corner before Walker kneed a Jake Smeeton cross over the bar.

The hosts would not have wanted the half to end and they were made to pay for their missed chances three minutes after the break.

A quick throw-in was met by Poppies’ Spencer Weir-Daily, who headed it down to Canavan and he deftly lobbed a stranded Shane Murphy to take the lead for the visitors.

The Magpies responded well. A Liam Sayers break needed a good tackle from Brett Solkhon whilst Mark Jermyn brought the best out of Paul Walker with a right-footed curling effort from the edge of the box.

But, their task of getting back into the game was made harder when, in the 78th minute, Murphy had his clearance charged down by Callum Westwood and he had the simple task of tucking it home.

With the Magpies continuing to push forward, it opened up gaps at the back and Sam Smith was just kept at bay by the home goalkeeper, despite Murphy not being able to grab the ball on the first or second attempt.

Solomon Ayunga was thrown on in the closing exchanges but the hosts were unable to test Walker in the Kettering goal.

In an even game, it was only Dorchester’s own mistakes that were the difference. The Magpies will look to amend things on Tuesday night when they head to Cinderford Town (7.45pm).

Magpies: Murphy, Oldring, Smeeton (c), Jermyn, N Walker, Martin, Yates (B Walker, 72), Jerrard, Sayers, Mateus (Ayunga, 82), Wood (Crittenden, 61)

Subs not used: Swann, Brookes