Sam Lanahan’s header seals last-gasp Dorchester winner

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


SAM Lanahan headed a stoppage-time winner as Dorchester sneaked a 2-1 win over Biggleswade Town in their Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division clash at the Avenue Stadium.

Substitute Callum Rose had headed Dorchester in front from Aaron Rodriguez’s corner, before Phil Ormrod missed a big chance to double the Magpies’ lead before the break.

However, after sub Tony Burnett coolly levelled for the Waders, Lanahan outjumped his marker at the back post to win the game in dramatic fashion.

Boss Steve Thompson made just one change to the starting XI that began the 2-1 FA Trophy first qualifying round win over Basingstoke Town last Saturday, with Phil Ormrod, who scored both Magpies’ goals that day, coming in for the injured Rory Fallon.

There were three new faces on the bench for Dorchester, with Chad Collins, Tom Blair and Sol Ayunga all recalled.

Biggleswade fielded a new signing in their starting XI, with forward Liam Brooks, signed from Hitchin Town, making his debut for the Waders.

Thompson’s men began positively as Gary Bowles looped a header into Waders’ keeper Liam Gooch’s gloves.

Ormrod then blazed over a volley after initially showing great touch to control a long ball and play a one-two with Lanahan.

As the visitors settled into the game, they saw centre-back Connor Hall flash a powerful 20-yard snapshot just wide of Chris Weale’s right-hand post with the Magpies’ stopper scrambling to cover his goal.

Lanahan then went close as his header from a Rodriguez cross was easily picked out by Gooch, before each side lost their captains to injury.

Home skipper Bowles was the first to go off after sustaining a knee knock. Rose, crucially, was the man to replace him.

Biggleswade constructed their best move of the half when Craig Daniel exchanged passes with Brooks before finding George Bailey, but the winger could only side-foot over.

Just two minutes later, Waders’ captain Daniel also picked up a knee injury, with Daniel Jarvis his replacement.

Despite losing Daniel, Biggleswade remained on top and wasted two presentable chances as firstly Brooks placed a shot wide from 12 yards, before Jack Bowen headed over after Rose failed to clear a corner.

After a dreadful passage of play that saw both sides continually concede possession, Jarvis went desperately close with a heavily-deflected strike before Rose was alert to superbly steer a header clear after Nathan Hicks’ dangerous cross.

But two minutes before half-time Dorchester took the lead.

Rodriguez was the spark, firstly winning a corner after Jordan Patrick cut out his cross, before sending over a pinpoint delivery for the charging Rose to plant a header beyond Gooch.

Dorchester should have doubled their lead immediately when Rodriguez cut out a wayward cross-field pass and played in Ormrod, only for the striker to inexcusably fire over from eight yards.

Both sides again struggled after the break until a 50-50 challenge saw Ross Carmichael felled by Bailey. But referee Parsons waved play on and Brooks was able to test Weale with a firm strike.

Carmichael was again involved in a flashpoint when Bowen pulled the centre-back’s shirt as both players chased a ball over the top. Both men tangled on the floor and Bowen laid his leg on Carmichael’s chest, causing the defender to push the forward, earning each man a booking.

Mo Baghdadi, who had otherwise been quiet, then set up Ormrod but his effort was deflected wide for a corner, which Biggleswade cleared.

That clearance was to prove invaluable as Brooks broke upfield before deftly clipping to substitute Burnett, who calmly controlled to slot past Weale.

In a shaky final few minutes, Weale fumbled the ball into Brooks’ path, but his toe-poke was cleared by a lunging Neil Martin.

Weale then atoned for his error by distracting Bowen, who bore down on goal after Hall’s pass from a seemingly offside position.

But Lanahan was to have the final say in the 93rd minute, powerfully heading home from Tom Blair’s excellent run and cross to hand the Magpies a win they barely deserved.

Magpies: Weale, Egan, Martin, Bowles (Rose 14), Carmichael, Lanahan, Rodriguez (Jerrard 76), Lowes (Blair 86), Ormrod, Panesar-Dower, Baghdadi. Subs not used: Collins, Ayunga

Biggleswade: Gooch, Patrick, Perry, Fielding, Hicks, Hall, Daniel (Jarvis 18), Parker, Bowen, Brooks, Bailey (Burnett 75). Subs not used: Alban-Jones, Walker

Attendance: 401

Referee: Ian Parsons (Salisbury)