Dorchester dig in to earn victory over Waders

BY: Dorset Echo Sport


A BLISTERING first-half performance set Dorchester Town up for back-to-back league wins, as they saw off Biggleswade Town at the Avenue.

Goals from Jake Smeeton and David Jerrard put the Magpies well in the box seat in what was an impressive opening 45 minutes from Mark Jermyn’s men.

And, in a stop-start second period, where referee Timothy Burley showed no fewer than nine yellow cards, a goal from Biggleswade’s Evan Key proved to be consolation as the Avenue outfit dug in to see the game out – despite Smeeton being sent off late on.

The Magpies named an unchanged starting XI from the side that overcame Cinderford Town at the Avenue in midweek.

The only switch for the home side came on the bench as player-assistant manager Nick Crittenden replaced keeper Jordan Mullis.

Former county town skipper Nathan Walker was making his 300th appearance for the club on the afternoon and, with 10 minutes on the clock, he was involved in the game’s first talking point.

After some slow start, Walker, playing centre-half, tangled with Inih Effiong on the edge of the box, sparking a reaction from the visiting frontman. Both players were calmed down by referee Burley.

After a fairly subdued opening, Dorchester took the lead on 16 minutes.

A surging run from Neil Martin allowed him to give the ball to Ollie Bassett.

Bassett provided a return pass for Martin, whose cross was bundled into the net by Smeeton for 1-0, after a flick on from Ben Wood inside the box.

And just three minutes later, Jermyn’s men made it two.

Good work again from Bassett enabled him to find Wood, he teed up Jerrard who rifled the ball into the top corner to double his side’s advantage.

The Magpies had their opposition rattled at this point and they nearly added a third almost straight from kick-off. Having won the ball back, a defensive slip allowed Wood in on goal.

He forced a sharp save from Waders’ keeper Ian Brown and Jerrard just failed to get enough on the rebound to put the ball home.

Martin and Bassett were causing all sorts of problems on the left flank with the hosts winning a number of set-piece chances.

After a free-kick was given on the edge of the Waders’ box, Jerrard lined it up and sent a curling effort which crashed against the upright and fell to safety.

A rare moment of concern in then came for the Magpies on 38 minutes.

A mistake from Chris Dillon allowed Effiong in on goal but he blasted into the side netting from an acute angle. The same striker then blazed over the top after running in on goal just a minute later.

The Magpies picked up from where they left off after half-time with Walker glancing a header at goal from a Martin free-kick but, just moments later, Jermyn’s side were hit with a sucker-punch.

After giving away a free-kick on the angle, a dangerous delivery was sent in by Biggleswade’s Rhys Hoenes. It was Key who was confirmed to have got the final touch to make it 2-1.

From then, the visitors showed their threat. Effiong was a powerful presence up front and it was Hoenes who had the game’s next big chance, striking over after a brisk run into the Magpies’ box.

Tempers then started to flare as the clash heated up, with referee Burley struggling to keep the contest flowing.

One altercation, involving Biggleswade’s Lucas Perry receiving a caution, even left both sets of coaching staff squaring up after a foul by Jason Brookes.

Boss Jermyn then decided to bring himself of for his 699th appearance in a Dorchester shirt, replacing Brookes for the final 20 minutes.

But, with the Waders throwing men forward in search of a leveller, they failed to really break through in the latter stages.

One negative did come for the hosts as Smeeton was given a second caution, which seemed fairly innocuous, but it was not to have an impact on the final scoreline.

Magpies: Murphy, Brookes (Jermyn 70), Smeeton, Martin, Walker, Dillon, Jerrard (Morgan 62), Oldring, Wood, Bassett, Blair Subs not used: Mitchell, Ayunga, Crittenden

Biggleswade: Brown, Norman, Perry, Lewis (Vincent 81), Key, Hoyte, Patrick, Hall, Effiong, Daniel, Hoenes. Subs not used: Short, Burnett, Parker, Lucan.

Bookings: Magpies – Oldring, Smeeton (2), Walker, Blair, Brookes

Biggleswade – Effiong, Perry, Hall

Sent off: Magpies – Smeeton

Biggleswade – None

Referee: Timothy Burley (Redruth)

Attendance: 314