Brilliant Dorchester cut down the Poppies

BY: Terry Spracklen – Dorset Echo Sport


DORCHESTER turned in a tremendous team performance to prise three points from a Kettering Town side who had only lost one other league match this season and conceded just 13 goals in their 15 previous league outings.

Magpies’ boss, Steve Thompson included Billy Lowes and David Jerrard in his starting line-up with Aaron Rodriquez and Don Panesar-Dower named on the bench in the main changes from the midweek defeat at Frome Town.

Third-placed Kettering enjoyed a good spell of early pressure and forced three corners in the opening few minutes.

But in the seventh minute, Lowes won the ball in midfield then exchanged passes with Sam Lanahan before firing over visiting keeper Paul White to open the scoring for Dorchester.

The Poppies tried to hit back but found Chris Weale and the Dorchester defence in commanding form. A corner from Ben Toseland reached Gary Mulligan whose header was saved on his line by Weale.

Visiting skipper Brett Solkhon then made matters worse for his side when he shepherded the ball out of play in the penalty area with his upper arm following a cross from Kyle Egan, who was presented with supporters club October player of the month award before the match.

White did well to save the resultant spot-kick from Lanahan but could not prevent the Dorchester striker from netting the rebound.

That proved to be Lanahan’s last contribution to the match as he limped off to be replaced by Dom Panesar-Dower.

The substitute fired wide on 22 minutes following good work by Egan and Phil Ormrod.

The latter then pulled up with a hamstring tweak and was replaced by Blake Davies.

Weale was called into action again in the 28th minute to gather a 30-yard Ben Milnes free-kick while opposite number, White, cut out a promising cross from Neil Martin.

Weale gathered another Milnes corner while White saved to deny Lowes.

The Magpies conceded a free-kick for which Jerrard was yellow-carded but Milnes attempt was cleared.

Mo Baghdadi pulled off several good challenges to help out his defence including halting a breakaway by Lindon Meikle.

A shot from Rhys Hoenes was headed over his own crossbar by Gary Bowles then from the Milnes corner that followed, Mulligan headed over.

There was a close call for Dorchester in the first of two stoppage-time minutes.

Weale parried a shot from Aaron O’Connor but presented Gary Stohrer a close-range opportunity which he drilled against the inside of the far post. The ball was then hacked off the line by Egan.

Early in the second half, a foul on Baghdadi earned the Magpies a free-kick which Lowes delivered to Ross Carmichael who headed wide under pressure.

At the other end, Rene Howe fired wide on the turn. Storer turned a Baghdadi effort over for a corner which White punched clear. Davies hit the side-netting after being set up by Lowes.

A curled effort from Howe rolled well wide while Hoenes earned a yellow card for simulation. Kettering should have scored in the 61st minute but Solkhon blasted wide after good work by Meikle.

Substitute Matthew Stevens tested Weale with a low shot but Callum Rose was on hand to clear away the loose ball. Bowles then created a chance for Baghdadi who fired wide from 20 yards.

Kettering pulled themselves back into contention when Howe turned quickly on to Mulligan’s low ball into the box to finally beat Weale but the Magpies quickly restored their two-goal lead when Baghdadi set Jerrard clear and he steered his shot into the far corner.

A long-range effort from Panesar-Dower was saved by White before a dramatic turn of events reduced the visitors to ten men when substitute Marshall WIllock was red-carded for a rash challenge on Bowles 80 seconds after he had replaced Toseland.

Dorchester took advantage of their superior numbers and added a fourth goal when Davies and Jerrard combined to create an opening for Baghdadi who took his time to manoeuvre onto his favoured foot before drilling an inch perfect shot into the bottom corner.

Stevens for Kettering and Davies for Dorchester both sent efforts wide while Jerrard was foiled by White as stoppage time loomed.

The Magpies finished strongly and were warmly applauded as they left the pitch by an appreciative crowd after a very impressive all round team performance.

Magpies: Weale, Egan, Martin, Rose, Carmichael, Bowles (c), Jerrard, Lowes, Ormrod (Davies 25), Lanahan (Panesar-Dower 18, Clarke 79),Baghdadi. Subs not used: Collins, Rodriquez

Kettering: White, Bateman, Toseland (Willock 73), Solkhon, Mulligan, Stohrer (Stevens 56), Meikle, O’Connor, Howe (Sundire 80), MIlnes, Hoenes. Subs not used: Camacho, Snow

Referee: Daniel Flynn (Bristol)

Bookings: Dorchester – Jerrard (39), Carmichael (55)

Kettering: KToseland (47), Howe (53), Hoenes (57), O’Connor (74), Sundire (82). Bateman (84)

Sent-off: Kettering – Willock (74)

Attendance: 410