Dorchester Town grounded by Linnets

BY: Neil Walton – Dorset Echo Sport (@EchosportNeil)


DORCHESTER were sunk at the Avenue as they could not dent Kings Lynn’s unblemished start to the new campaign.

A strong Linnets side added a third straight win to maintain second place in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier League table.

Craig Laird made two changes to his starting line-up with Chris Clarke and Tom Blair replacing Ollie Griggs and David Jerrard.

And it was the hosts who carved out the first chance of the afternoon with Blair latching on to a long ball before testing Linnets’ keeper Alexander Street with a shot to the near post.

At the other end, the lanky Tom Siddons posed a constant threat but it was Craig Parker that went closest to scoring an early goal when he drilled a low shot against the foot of the post after Ryan Hawkins nodded down a right wing centre from full-back Cameron Norman.

Blair looked set to break through again but a superbly timed tackle from Ryan Jarvis denied him that opportunity.

Clarke then set up Blair whose shot was blocked 18 yards from goal.

Gary Bowles was well positioned to intercept a shot from Leon Mettam but the ball ran loose to Siddons who hit the side-netting.

After a patient build-up, Billy Lowes found Dominic Panesar-Dower who passed back to Sam Lanahan but his weak shot rolled wide.

Dorchester keeper Chris Weale showed sharp reactions to claw aside a shot from Siddons while his opposite number cut out a firm drive from Lowes.

The only yellow card of the game was then shown by Poole referee Lee Rutter to Mettam for a foul on Lowes.

Siddons showed good skill to surge into the six yard box but could only pull his shot wide of goal.

The breakthrough soon followed and it was a poor clearance from Callum Laird which put Lanahan under pressure and the latter’s challenge on Mettam was adjudged to be a foul resulting in a penalty kick emphatically converted by Linnets’ skipper Michael Clunan.

The Norfolk side went close to adding a second goal before the interval but Weale made a vital save to block another shot from Siddons.

Although the ball ran loose, Siddons impeded Lowes and a free-kick was awarded to the Magpies.

After the break, Dorchester searched for the equaliser and an early cross from Dominic Panesar-Dower was punched clear by Street while Blair went closer with a 25 yard shot pushed around the far post by the King’s Lynn gloveman.

But a second Linnets’ goal knocked Dorchester off their stride.

A left wing centre from Mettam was met by Parker whose bullet header from six yards flashed past Weale.

Defending a two-goal lead, the visitors rarely looked troubled but the Magpies kept pushing.

Another Panesar-Dower cross was met by Jordan Storey whose header was aimed too close to Street. After Parker scooped another effort over the Dorchester crossbar, Kyle Egan and Tom Bearwish replaced Laird and Lowes.

Mettam had another shot beaten aside by Weale while Bowles watched his free-kick saved by Street. As play swept from end to end, Clunan delivered a free-kick which Parker met but could only head over, Bearwish headed down in the Linnets’ area but Panesar-Dower couldn’t capitalise and a poor back pass from Ross Carmichael let in substitute Toby Hilliard but Weale came to the rescue smothering the shot that followed.

In the closing minutes, Bearwish headed over and a free-kick from Clunan was cleared by Neil Martin but only to Sam Gaughran whose 30-yard drive was only just off target.

The Magpies were unable to break through a determined Linnets’ rearguard who held firm until the final whistle.

Magpies: Weale, Laird (Egan 66), Clarke, Bowles, Storey, Carmichael, Lanahan, Lowes (Bearwish 66), Blair (Beasley 72), Panesar-Dower, Martin. Subs not used: Griggs, Max Buckler

King’s Lynn: Street, Norman, Blake-Tracey, Gaughran, Fryatt (Ward 46), Jarvis, Clunan, Parker, Siddons (Gillies 86), Mettam (Hilliard 80), Hawkins. Sub not used: Warburton

Referee: Lee Rutter (Poole)

Bookings: Dorchester – None. King’s Lynn – Mettam (foul)

Attendance: 371