Away-day agony for Dorchester

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


DORCHESTER Town manager Craig Laird feels his side’s away form presents him with a “conundrum” after a 4-0 loss at Redditch United in their Evo-Stik Southern League Premier encounter.

The Magpies dominated the opening half-hour, but failed to take their chances and were punished as the Reds capitalised on what Laird labelled “individual errors”.

He told Echosport: “I’m disappointed. Individual errors again cost us goals. There’s no excuses, the whole team didn’t do well enough on the day.

“We had some good chances and I thought Ross Carmichael was excellent but other than that it was individual errors.

“The opportunities to defend are coming further up the pitch and people are not defending properly. Defenders have to pride themselves on defending and strikers have to pride themselves on scoring goals.

“Collectively as a team we’re not taking our opportunities and not defending well enough.”

Dorchester began much the better side as Neil Martin created an opening for Tom Blair in the first 10 minutes, but his shot skimmed off a defender and the corner was cleared safely.

The Magpies were combining well down the wings and on the other flank it was Kyle Egan and Dom Panesar-Dower’s turn to fashion a chance, with Egan’s delightful cross headed for a corner by a worried home defence.

More bright play from Martin yielded a cross from which Tom Bearwish couldn’t connect with the knock-down, before another superb Egan cross was blasted wide by Blair.

On 30 minutes, Dorchester were made to regret those missed chances as Redditch opening the scoring.

Poor decision making from a throw-in allowed Dior Angus the time and freedom to spin in the area and slot a neat finish past Chris Weale to make it 1-0.

And Redditch made it 2-0 just four minutes later when Vinny Mukendi pounced on a loose ball after the Magpies failed to clear a corner kick.

Asked whether the concession of the two goals changed the game, Laird admitted that was the game “in a nutshell”.

He said: “In a nutshell, yes. It was a poor decision from a throw-in which allowed them to score a goal and then we didn’t defend a corner properly.

“Like against King’s Lynn, two individual errors have cost us in a game that we’ve dominated for 30 minutes.”

Goalscorer Mukendi was substituted on 42 minutes for Spencer Weir-Daley, and the replacement wasted no time in getting himself on the scoresheet in the second half.

Less than 60 seconds after the restart, he was afforded far too much time to control the ball in a dangerous area and duly finished past Weale for 3-0.

Dorchester responded through Tom Bearwish, who blazed a shot over the bar, but on 70 minutes the Magpies conceded a fourth.

Weir-Daley was again the visitors’ tormentor, evading the covering defence and shooting into the top corner past Weale to complete the scoring.

Laird’s men had two opportunities to grab a consolation through Panesar-Dower and substitute Luke Winsper, but Redditch held firm for a handsome win.

With Dorchester no having conceded nine goals in two league away games, Laird admits he is now searching for “consistency” from his team.

“It’s been a perennial thing with Dorchester, it was before I took over. It’s something I’m going to have to really sort out, I don’t think it’s the travelling.

“We put in a really good performance one week and an indifferent one the next. Consistency is our problem. We seem to go forward one step and then back two or three. It’s a real conundrum at the moment,” he said.

Redditch: Ross, Rosser, Fox, Jackman (Jung 72), Mailancol, Pendley, Monteiro, Apostolopoulos, Mukendi (Weir-Daley 42), Thanoj, Angus (Johnson 69). Subs not used: Mitchell, Manning

Magpies: Weale, Egan, Martin, Storey, Carmichael, Bowles, Griggs, Lanahan (Winsper 65), Bearwish, Panesar-Dower, Blair (Beasley 60). Subs not used: Laird, Clarke, Jerrard

Attendance: 241