Murphy’s mistake proves costly as Dorchester Town move closer to relegation scrap

BY: Phil Spencer – Dorset Echo Sport


A MOMENT to forget for Dorchester Town goalkeeper Shane Murphy proved costly as they lost 1-0 to relegation strugglers Cambridge City.

With other results going against them, the loss drags the Magpies closer to the battle to avoid the drop.

Dorchester went into the game knowing that a victory would mathematically secure their Southern Premier Division status for another season, while also delivering a crushing blow to the relegation-threatened Lilywhites.

Craig Laird made just one enforced change to his line-up, with Jordan Williams coming in to replace central defender Toby Down who will now sit out the rest of the campaign following his red card against King’s Lynn Town last week.

The dismissal was a controversial one, with the Magpies boss acknowledging the penalty decision was correct, but enforcing that the decision to send the young defender off was harsh.

Laird also handed a place on the bench to three of the reserve team who featured in Thursday night’s penalty shoot-out defeat in the Wyvern Challenge Cup, with Tom Blair, Sol Ayunga and Owen Nicolson all doing enough to be considered for the senior team.

Dorchester made a lively start to the game with target-man Phil Ormrod beating the defenders before hitting an effort which was well held by the Cambridge goalkeeper.

Ormrod has made a huge contribution to the Magpies team since his arrival, acting as a real focal point for Dorchester’s build-up play, but not being able to get on the scoresheet since his debut against Hayes & Yeading in March.

It was the Lilywhites who took the lead, when a Lee Stevenson corner was whipped into the area and fumbled over the goal-line by Magpies’ stopper Murphy, who will not be keen to see the replay back.

The goal seemed to rattle the visitors, who found their defence under pressure as Cambridge began to dominate possession.

This play led to Norman Wabo letting fly with a 25-yard effort which went wide of the mark to the relief of the Magpies.

Wabo went close again moments later as he used his agility to turn Nathan Walker before firing a lively effort wide of the mark again.

Cambridge didn’t look like a side who were embroiled in a relegation battle, doing a great job of dictating play and unsettling the Dorchester back line, who would be thankful to only go in 1-0 down at the half-time interval.

The second period started in much the same fashion, with the hosts having an effort go just wide in the opening minutes.

Tom Blair looked lively, finding space on the left flank and whipping the cross in, only to evade Kyle Egan who was coming in at the far post.

Egan has impressed since arriving on loan at the club, and with the youngster clearly possessing all of the key attributes needed of an effective right-back, it is no wonder that he is rated so highly by the Magpies management team.

The Lilywhites had an excellent chance to double their lead on 65 minutes, when Darren Foxley found himself in acres of space, but hit his effort way over the crossbar.

The first real opportunity for the Magpies fell to Jon Vance who hit a free-kick straight at the wall, before the rebound fell to Gary Bowles who hit his effort harmlessly over the crossbar.

Dorchester struggled to create any real openings, but looked to freshen things up by introducing Ollie Davis in place of Blair.

Cambridge made a change of their own, introducing Salim Relizani who almost made an immediate impact by hitting an effort over the bar.

As much as the Magpies were searching for a way back into the match, the closest they came was from another free-kick which was easily collected by the hosts’ keeper.

Laird then introduced Mitchell to try and add some pace to the attacking line, but it proved ineffective against a stubborn Lilywhites defence.

The defeat heaps pressure on the Magpies who will be looking for a positive result against Basingstoke Town on Easter Monday.

Cambridge City: Snedker, Robinson, Cooper, Norman, Gent, Paterson, Foxley (Relizani 69), Stevenson, Walker, Wabo (Osei 84), Snaith. Subs not used: Woolfe, Harradine, Theobald.

Magpies: Murphy, Egan, Williams, Bowles, Walker, Martin, Griggs, Vance (Mitchell 85), Ormrod, Mawford, Blair (Davis 72). Subs not used: Ayunga, Brookes, Nicolson
Referee: Anthony Pope
Attendance: 264