Dorchester offer little as Banbury triumph

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


THERE was little to enthuse supporters in a flat performance from the Magpies in difficult conditions at the Avenue Stadium, let alone any real chance of the hosts over-turning a two goal deficit as Banbury scored a goal in each half to clinch the league double.

Former Terra, Jefferson Louis, was left unmarked to head in a Tom Winters corner in the fourth minute while the industrious Ravi Shamsi raced on to a long through ball from full-back Matt Peake-Pijnen surging past Ross Carmichael then beating keeper Chad Collins, in for the suspended Chris Weale, with a low shot to the far corner.

Dorchester boss Steve Thompson was forced to change his starting line-up when Aaron Rodriguez injured an ankle in the warm-up while former New Zealand international, Rory Fallon, was unable to make his home debut following a knee injury sustained in the midweek draw at Kings Langley.

Tom Blair came in for Rodriguez and Phil Ormrod replaced Fallon in the starting line-up with Gary Bowles, Sam Lanahan and substitute keeper John Ross named on the bench having not been involved in Hertfordshire.

Dorchester started the match with the strong wind from the residual Storm Brian theoretically in their favour but abjectly failed to harness the conditions to their advantage.

Indeed it was Banbury who started brightly and forced Collins to race from his area to kick clear. Collins then found himself out of position but Conor McDonagh was unable to take advantage as Luke Winsper cleared his low shot around the near post.

That corner came to nothing but shortly after Winsper conceded a second corner which was swung in from the right wing by Winters for Louis to head into the bottom corner from inside the six yard box.

Winsper produced a 30-yard drive in the seventh minute which lacked the power to trouble Puritans keeper, Jack Harding. At the other end only a timely tackle from Carmichael thwarted a Banbury attack while a cross from Louis then hit the side-netting.

The Magpies struggled to weight their passes according to conditions and frequently lost possession as a result. Banbury meanwhile also found themselves caught offside on numerous occasions.

A long range David Jerrard free kick was curled to the back post where Harding was ready to gather while Collins was able to make a comfortable save to deny Shamsi, then raced to the edge of his area to prevent the same player connecting with a dangerous centre.

Louis looked certain to test Collins until a superbly-timed tackle from skipper Neil Martin took the ball off his foot.

Kyle Egan surged into the Banbury box but referee Lee Roberts waved aside penalty appeals as the full-back tumbled.

At the other end Collins saved a near post drive from McDonagh.

The only yellow card of the match was shown to Harding for time wasting before Winsper’s second shot curled wide and Carmichael glanced wide from a Blair free kick.

Winsper sustained an ankle injury in a tackle at the very end of the first half and was replaced by Bowles after the break. The second half began almost as the first did with Louis quickly in a goal scoring position but this time he fired over from 12 yards.

Collins punched over a Peake-Pijnen centre and a Winters corner as Banbury searched for a second goal. Harding meanwhile was enjoying a quiet afternoon pulling off routine saves to gather a Carmichael free-kick and a Dominic Panesar-Dower header.

Louis found himself in the clear again but this time Collins raced out to make a fine save at the striker’s feet. Egan sent two far post efforts over before Banbury grabbed their second goal.

Shamsi raced clear on to Peake-Pijnen’s pass, outpaced Carmichael then fired low past the advancing Collins into the far corner.

The Magpies will look to an 81st minute opportunity for substitute Sam Lanahan which if taken may have led to a rosier outcome for his side but the returning midfielder could only glance wide from Blair’s centre.

Then, from a Tom Bearwish centre, Lanahan looped another header over at the end of a very disappointing afternoon for the Magpies.

Magpies: Collins, Egan, Martin, Storey, Carmichael, Winsper (Bowles 46), Blair, Lowes, Ormrod (Bearwish 68), Panesar-Dower (Lanahan 74), Jerrard. Subs not used: Bastick, Ross

Banbury: Harding, Westbrooke, Peake-Pijnen, Carnell, Bradbury, Hawtin, Louis (Johnson 75), McDonagh (Self 64), Winters, Pond, Shamsi (Nash 85). Subs not used: Wise, Sambrook

Referee: Lee Roberts (Plymouth)

Attendance: 396