Spirited Dorchester earn gutsy victory after serious injury to Nathan Walker

BY: Josh Donaldson Dorset Echo Sport


A late winner from David Jerrard saw Dorchester Town beat Hayes & Yeading United 2-1 at Holloways Park.

However, the game was overshadowed by a serious injury to Nathan Walker, who after an hour of treatment, left the field in an ambulance after a collision with Shane Murphy and Yannis Ambroisine.

The game at one stage looked set to be called off with some of the players and fans distressed about Walker’s neck injury, however, the referee decided to continue the game after a 70-minute stoppage.

Before that, Lewis Morgan opened the scoring for the visitors in the fourth minute. Sam Humphreys scored to level the game up, but Jerrard had the last say with an accurate set-piece.

The county town side made just one change from their midweek defeat to Chippenham Town.

Ollie Bassett was on international duty with Northern Ireland Under-19s so Dory Yates, who recovered from a head injury, was back in the starting line-up.

But it was Yates’ midfield partner, Morgan who got the visitors off to the perfect start in the fourth minute. Mark Jermyn played a wonderful diagonal ball into Ben Wood, who in turn found the onrushing Morgan.

He beat his marker to slam home from close range to send the handful of visiting fans into raptures.

After the opening goal, the home side reacted well.

They attacked down the right wing, but found Matt Oldring in good form as he dealt with anything that came into the box.

With the lead, the visitors sat back looked to counter on their opponents. But any attacks were cut out early leaving Walker isolated up top.

Set-pieces seemed to be the best form of attack for both sides.

For the away side, Wood’s cannon of a throw was flapped behind by keeper Louis Wells before, from the resulting corner, Oldring saw his header at the near post cleared.

Down the other end Murphy, who was a spectator for much of the stop-start half, made a save from Humphreys.

As the half wore on the game became scrappy as both sides struggled to trouble either stopper.

Ambroisine had a couple of efforts from range but neither were on target, troubling the home fans rather than Murphy.

If the first half was a turgid affair, the second was very different.

Wood had an effort saved before the hosts got the leveller just after the hour mark.

Humphreys found some space on the edge of the box before rifling home to level the game up.

However with 15 minutes to go, the game took a distressing turn.

After a collision with Murphy and Ambriosine, Walker was left on the floor.

Both sets of physios rushed onto the pitch to aid the striker who was not moving. Emma Tonkin, Dorchester’s physiotherapist, was on hand to look after the striker whilst he was treated.

The severity of the injury was soon realised as an ambulance was called as concern swept the ground.

There were question marks over whether the game should be abandoned, but instead of making a quick decision, the referee sent the players into the dressing room whilst Walker was treated.

It can’t be understated, the sterling work of all the medics who treated him.

After 45 minutes of treatment, the striker was placed in the ambulance as the home fans sung his name – an incredibly touching gesture that puts football into perspective.

The teams were in and out of the dressing room because of the stoppage and there was confusion all around the ground.

But, after 70 minutes without play, the teams were back out and under way.

And it took just three minutes for the visitors to retake the lead after the long stoppage.

Substitute Jerrard stepped up to curl in a free-kick home past Wells.

The goal, which had added significance due to Walker’s injury, was celebrated hugely by the visiting players.

After that, Hayes & Yeading streamed forward looking for a late leveller. Everitt had a shot cleared off the line by Martin before Brown had a deflected shot saved by Shane Murphy, who was struggling with his injured knee.

The backline defended stoutly to see the game off and record a huge win, a victory for their number nine.

Magpies: Murphy, Jermyn, Smeeton, Martin, Oldring, Dillon (Jerrard 61), Yates, Morgan, Walker (Sayers 70), Mateus (Crittenden 66), Wood Subs not used: Swann, Ayunga.

Hayes & Yeading: Wells, Mugoya (Sinclair 61), Moutaouakil, Harper, Joseph (Kearney 85), Durojaiye, Ambroisine, Everitt, King (Simpson 61), Humphreys, Brown Subs not used: Otuyo, Taylor.

Referee: Daniel Lamport
Bookings: Magpies – Sayers
Hayes & Yeading – Humphreys

Attendance: 169