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Dorchester Town topple Kings Langley in battling win

BY: Terry Spracklen for – Dorset Echo Sport

DORCHESTER TOWN 1 KINGS LANGLEY 0

DORCHESTER Town dug deep to defend their slender advantage on a heavy Avenue Stadium pitch, winning 1-0 against Kings Langley in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division.

Tom Blair’s 24th-minute goal proved to be enough for the Magpies who worked hard throughout to protect their lead.

Keeper Chris Weale was also in outstanding form, pulling off some critical saves in the latter stages of the match.

Billy Lowes, Sam Lanahan and Blair returned to the starting line-up replacing Ed Bastick, Dom Panesar-Dower and Cameron Ebbutt. The latter started on the bench alongside Chris Clarke both of whom saw some second half action while Lanahan was utilised from the start as centre forward.

In a lively opening, an early Blair centre was claimed by Bennett who could then only watch as Lanahan met another delivery but headed over. In the fifth minute, Arjun Jung picked up the first yellow card for King’s Langley with a foul on Blair. Neil Martin was on target but his free kick was gathered at his near post by Bennett.

The visitors then forced a succession of corners the last of which was cleared by Lanahan back helping his defensive teammates.

Dorchester responded with a deep cross from Blair on the left, which was met by Archie Collins whose shot was smothered by Bennett while an 18-yard low strike from Collins was also blocked.

Kings Langley then saw Jung have one effort stopped and his follow-up shot deflect wide, but the Magpies’ breakthrough came courtesy of a delightful diagonal pass from Ross Carmichael which Blair collected on the left before cutting in past Max Fraser and curling a low shot into the far corner from 20 yards.

A drive from Bowles was then parried by Bennett, while Lanahan headed over another inviting Blair cross.

Visiting skipper Gary Connolly earned a yellow card for barging Collins off the ball but the resultant Jerrard free-kick was easily cleared. The last chance of the first half again fell to the Magpies as a ball lofted into the six-yard box by Rose was headed over by Lanahan.

Early in the second half, a promising break by Collins ended with a pass to Lanahan who turned but fired well wide. Kieran Turner then brought down Jerrard to concede a free-kick which Martin delivered for Carmichael whose downward header brought a superb save from Bennett diving to his left to claw the ball around the post. Bennett then punched clear the Jerrard corner kick that followed.

At the other end, King’s Langley were beginning to pose a greater threat. Matthew Ball turned quickly on to a pass from Jung but fired over while Lanahan again appeared in the six yard box to glance clear.

From a Jerrard lay off, Collins had a shot blocked. but back came Langley. Callum Adebiyi and Jung both had shots thwarted as Dorchester threw everything behind the ball. Collins then sent a free kick into the Kings’ wall, Jerrard had an attempt cleared and Bowles sent a 20-yard drive wide before Rose picked up a yellow card for a foul after Kyle Egan lost possession.

Yet only the last-ditch intervention of Martin, who with an outstretched leg diverted a tremendous strike from sub Mitchell Weiss to the relative safety of a corner kick, prevented a certain equaliser. Ball then had an effort saved by Weale.

Dorchester substitute Ebbutt intercepted a Connolly clearance and fired in a low shot which Bennett turned around his near post.

Following a left-wing break and cross from Adebiyi, Steven Ward stabbed wide while Weale did incredibly well rushing out to save at the feet of Price who had been played through by Ward. Jorell Johnson powerfully headed wide through a crowded six-yard box following a free-kick awarded for a foul by Lowes.

As Kings Langley looked more and more likely to grab a point, Weale pulled off two more top drawer saves to deny Adebiyi and Price while Carmichael also made a vital stoppage-time clearance to break up another Langley attack.

Dorchester survived the four minutes of time added on to clinch their ninth home league win and fifth in six games.

Dorchester: Weale, Egan, Martin, Rose, Carmichael, Bowles, Blair (Clarke 68), Lowes, Lanahan (Griggs 89), Collins, Jerrard (Ebbutt 68) Sub not used: Ayunga

Kings Langley: Bennett, Fraser, Adebiyi, Connolly, Johnson, Godfrey, Ward, Jung (Minchev 84), Price, Ball, Turner (Weiss 67), Subs not used: Femiola, Coldicott-Stevens, Gosling

Referee: Sam Littlefair (Exeter)

Attendance: 373

Manager Steve Thompson speaking to Dorset Echo Sport’s Neil Walton and dorchestertownfc.co.uk’s Sam Bernard following our 1-0 win against Kings Langley at The Avenue.