Last-gasp Benson rocks Dorchester

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


A LATE Lewis Benson goal stole a 2-1 win for Salisbury against Dorchester in their Challenge Cup tie at the Avenue Stadium.

Salisbury had taken the lead through Marvin Brooks after 11 minutes but the Magpies equalised through David Jerrard in the second half before Benson’s late strike.

Dorchester made four changes to the side that began the 3-3 draw with Farnborough with Gary Bowles, Dom Panesar-Dower, Phil Ormrod and Jerrard coming in for Luke Winsper, Tom Blair, Ollie Taylor and Jamie Beasley.

Of the four omitted, only Tom Blair and Jamie Beasley made the bench, while Conor Jevon missed out completely.

There was also a place on the bench for Jayden Corbridge, who returned to the matchday squad.

Salisbury named former Magpie Jake Wannell in their side. The Whites’ man was one of two ex-Weymouth players in the visitors’ side, with Rhys Baggridge also selected on the bench.

Dorchester were gifted the first chance as Salisbury cheaply gave away possession in midfield. Jerrard was the beneficiary, playing a one-two with Ormrod before planting a 12-yard shot straight at Whites’ keeper Charlie Searle, who palmed the ball into the air and collected on the goal-line at the second attempt.

But Salisbury went ahead with their first shot on target in the 11th minute. Pacy winger Daniel Young outstripped Kyle Egan and his cross was only partially cleared to the onrushing Marvin Brooks, who steered a low shot past Magpies’ keeper Chris Weale.

Jerrard responded for the Magpies four minutes later when he curled an effort against the bar.

The Magpies were given a big let off when Samuel Roberts lifted the ball over the Dorchester defence for Benson, whose glorious touch freed Stuart Green but the striker could only fire wide from 12 yards with the goal gaping.

In the 39th minute, Jerrard struck the woodwork for the second time. The midfielder showed excellent technique on the half-volley to power a shot at goal, but despite beating Searle the ball slammed against the base of the keeper’s post.

And the Magpies were dealt a further blow just before the break when Sam Lanahan, scorer of three goals in two games, went off in obvious discomfort having sustained a hamstring injury.

Lanahan’s injury is the latest for the midfielder this season, having only just made a recovery from a groin problem.

A dire opening to the second half was alleviated when Brooks went close to his second of the night, but his curling effort flew wide of Weale’s post. But on 59 minutes, Dorchester equalised when Jerrard turned and shot into the net in one motion from an Ormrod knock-down.

The leveller opened the game up and Whites’ captain Elliott Wheeler tried an audacious overhead kick before Dorchester’s Billy Lowes scooped an effort at goal after a strong run from captain Gary Bowles.

Dorchester had dominated since their goal but Salisbury had the final say when they stole a winner with five minutes remaining.

Benson collected a pass and beat Weale with a neat finish.

The Magpies pressed to try and force extra-time but Steve Thompson’s men were unsuccessful, consigning the new manager to his first defeat since joining the club.

Magpies: Weale, Egan, Martin, Storey, Carmichael, Bowles, Panesar-Dower, Lowes, Ormrod (Blair 75), Lanahan (Beasley 44), Jerrard. Subs not used: Ross, Clarke, Corbridge

Salisbury: Searle, Herbert, Perrett, Dawson (Whelan 62), Wheeler, Wannell, Benson, Roberts, Green (Tavares 75), M Brooks, Young. Subs not used: Whelan, Baggridge, Ball

Attendance: 249