Dorchester stunned by Bulls’ second-half comeback

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


DORCHESTER Town were made to pay by a resurgent Hereford after the Bulls’ second-half Evo-Stik Southern League Premier comeback helped them to a 4-1 win at Edgar Street.

The Magpies were on top in the first half and took the lead on 10 minutes through a Jimmy Oates own goal after a teasing cross from debutant Aaron Rodriguez.

Hereford were able to turn the match on its head in the second half though, with a deflected Lance Smith strike setting the Bulls on their way.

A John Mills penalty followed shortly afterwards, before Keyon Reffell quickly added a third from a misplaced pass before the duo combined for Mills’ second.

Dorchester made two changes to the starting XI that began the 2-1 Challenge Cup loss to Salisbury City.

Dom Panesar-Dower and Sam Lanahan were the absentees, both missing from the squad completely. Lanahan was omitted due to a hamstring injury.

But the significant pre-match news for the Magpies came from the bench, where Jon Vance made his return from a serious injury lay-off to take his place in the matchday squad.

He was joined by new signing and former Weymouth goalkeeper Matt Cafer, who enjoyed a spell in Gibraltar playing for College Europa two years ago.

Dorchester made another encouraging start to the match, a theme under new boss Steve Thompson, and they pressured home goalkeeper Martin Horsell into dropping a cross in the fourth minute, but Phil Ormrod could only poke wide on the follow-up.

However, the Magpies got the goal their promising opening merited when debutant Rodriguez’s excellent cross was headed into his own net by Bulls’ captain Oates in the tenth minute.

Moments later Ormrod almost doubled the Magpies’ advantage, the striker spinning and shooting at goal only to see Horsell safely gather.

Hereford had not been at their fluent best but they summoned their best move of the half when hitman Mills beat the offside trap after good work from Reffell, but Mills’ shot was comfortably saved by Weale.

The hosts, clearly shaken by Dorchester’s stout performance, could have gone further behind when Horsell spilled his second cross of the game, but the Bulls’ stopper was fortunate to see David Jerrard fire his effort over from the rebound.

Dorchester continued to rattle Hereford as the half endured and Ormrod had the ball in the back of the net, only to see his strike ruled out for offside.

As the break loomed large, Dorchester were content to frustrate the Bulls and preserve their 1-0 lead into half-time.

But Hereford weren’t to begin the second half as they did the first and they claimed a fortuitous equaliser on 57 minutes as Lance Smith’s heavily deflected strike carried enough power to loop over Chris Weale and into the net.

After the concession of that equaliser, Dorchester began to crumble.
The Magpies were guilty of losing their heads when Phil Ormrod made a rash tackle in the box and he was punished when striker John Mills converted the penalty.

Thompson then made a double substitution with Jerrard and Rodriguez coming off for Tom Blair and Jamie Beasley.

And Blair almost made an immediate contribution when his delicious cross found Ormrod, but he could only head wide.

Minutes later Hereford grabbed their third when Reffell collected a stray pass from Ross Carmichael before racing forward, cutting inside and firing past Weale.

Dorchester responded when Beasley’s free-kick was driven straight into the wall after Luke Winsper was fouled, but they were to fall three goals behind with 15 minutes remaining.

Mills was the man to hit Dorchester again, after being played in by Reffell, and the in-form hitman made no mistake to drill home the fourth after several dragbacks.

Hereford almost added a fifth when substitute Adam Page cracked a shot from distance, only to see his effort bounce back off the crossbar.

A wounded Dorchester could offer little in reply as Hereford earned their fifth successive league win.

Hereford: Horsell, Oates, Bowen, Purdie, Green, Deaman, Preen (Page 74), Dinsley (Symons 82), Mills, Reffell (Haysham 78), Smith. Subs not used: Preston, Harris

Magpies: Weale, Egan, Martin, Storey, Carmichael, Winsper, Rodriguez (Beasley 64), Lowes, Ormrod (Vance 76), Bowles, Jerrard (Blair 58). Subs not used: Cafer, Clarke

Attendance: 2,596