Stoppage time winner from Bassett earns Dorchester Town much-needed win over Generals

BY: Josh Donaldson Dorset Echo Sport


OLLIE Bassett netted in the 91st minute to give Dorchester Town a much needed victory in a five-goal thriller against Chesham United.

The visitors opened the scoring early on through Darren Purse in a first half that was largely dominated by the hosts.

It took until the 48th minute for Dorchester to draw level, Jake Smeeton scored from the spot. They then took the lead through Franklyn Clarke minutes later.

However Drew Roberts converted a penalty just after the hour mark to restore parity in this highly-contested clash.

Both sides had half chances but it was in stoppage time when Bassett skipped past two defenders and with the game with a deflected effort.

The Magpies were unchanged from the side that lost 3-0 in the FA Trophy against Basingstoke Town. The only difference was on the bench with Mario Mateus’ spot filled by Jason Brookes. Joe Lea, having extended his loan deal with the county town side, was named on the bench but, he was nowhere to be seen – his place was taken by Billy Mitchell.

The visitors had former Premier League players Purse and 44-year-old Barry Hayles in their starting line-up and it was the former that took the lead for the hosts in the fifth minute.

A corner wasn’t properly cleared by the Magpies and a driven effort from Sam Youngs was heading wide only for Purse to direct it past Murphy to open the scoring.

Before the goal, the hosts had started the brighter with Franklyn Clarke pulling the strings and just moments after the goal, they nearly got themselves level. Neil Martin found Nathan Walker on the edge of the box and he, in turn, found Tom Blair. The former Bridport man fired a right-footed shot just past the post to give Chesham keeper Ashlee Jones to think about.

It was a half that was dominated by Clarke. He ran the show in midfield and the Magpies had plenty of chances to draw level.

Ollie Bassett was in the thick of it on the right wing and, after being played through by Clarke, Jones was able to come and smother the ball. On the rebound, Clarke volleyed over.

The hosts were pressing high looking to spring attacks quickly. Smeeton was joining them when he could and he got onto the end of a Blair cross only to see his shot deflect wide.

However, Dorchester had to be wary of counter-attacks and set-pieces from the Generals. Hayles headed just wide with 10 minutes of the half to go before Jermyn had to be at his best to stop him getting onto the end of a corner.

There was still time for the Magpies to create some more chances in a pulsating half of football. Nathan Walker nearly found the top corner with a shot from the edge of the area but, Jones made the stop.

The away side had to make a change in goal at the break with Matt Nolan replacing Ashlee Jones and it was a sorry five minutes for the substitute as he had to pick the ball out of his net twice.

Firstly, in the 48th minutes, Walker was pushed in the box giving the referee Lee Roberts no choice but to point to the spot. Up stepped Jake Smeeton – deadly from 12 yards this season – who made no mistake, slamming his penalty into the roof of the net.

Three minutes later and the hosts took the lead they had deserved. Clarke picked up a short corner and deceived everyone by placing a shot into the bottom corner from 25 yards to score his first goal since returning to the club.

It looked fluky but, he celebrated like he meant it as he was mobbed by his team-mates.

However, the lead didn’t last long. Roberts broke through and was just about to pull the trigger before he was tripped by Jermyn. The referee didn’t hesitate to award the Generals a penalty and Roberts stepped up to level the game.

Dorchester then had a penalty appeal turned down, Walker went over the outstretched leg of Purse but it was waved away. The match was end to end and substitute Ben Wood skewed a shot across the face of goal moments later.

After some torrential rain, the pitch was cutting up badly with players on both sides slipping and sliding on the slick surface. It didn’t seem to impact the visitors, who tried to get themselves back into the lead.

A cross from the left fell to McKenzie but, Oldring got himself in the way as the game entered its final stages.

Both sides had half chances to seal the win but, it took until the 91st minute for Bassett to net the winner. He beat two defenders and from the edge of the box wrong-footed the keeper with a deflected shot. It may have had an element of luck but, it was a fully-deserved winner for the Magpies, who secured their first win in four games.

Magpies: Murphy, Jermyn, Smeeton, Martin, Oldring, Dillon, Clarke (Brookes 90+3), Morgan, Walker, Bassett (Jerrard 90+2), Blair (Wood 59)

Subs not used: Mitchell, Yates

Chesham: Jones (Nolan 45), Crilley, Little (Blake 28), Mitchell-King, Purse, Hamilton-Forbes (McKenzie 57), Pearce, Youngs, Hayles, Roberts, Wilson

Sub not used: Reece

Referee: Lee Roberts (Plymouth)

Bookings: Magpies – Martin, Jermyn

Chesham ¬– none