Dorchester punish Wimborne Town in FA Cup first qualifying round replay

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


DORCHESTER Town were far from their best but secured a 3-0 win over Wimborne Town in their FA Cup first qualifying round replay at the Clayson Stadium.

Three goals in the space of 18 second-half minutes from Billy Lowes, Aaron Rodriguez and Luke Winsper gave Dorchester a flattering result with Wimborne having dominated the first half and forced several stops from goalkeeper Kingsley Latham.

Dorchester boss Steve Thompson made three changes to the team that salvaged a 1-1 draw at Cuthbury to earn this replay.

Ash Pope missed out with a medial knee ligament injury, while Ross Carmichael and Winsper dropped to the bench.

In came Josh Bailey, Dom Panesar-Dower and Callum Thompson to replace them.

Josh Williams and Ben Morris, who are currently enjoying a spell with Bridport, were also named on the bench alongside Winsper and Carmichael, plus Mike Edgar, Alex Stafie and Rodriguez.

In a sign of the importance of this match, both teams made a slightly hesitant start in front of goal but Wimborne were the first to try their luck, Jack Lovell scuffing an effort into the waiting gloves of Latham from a wide angle.

Dorchester responded almost immediately when excellent combination play between Neil Martin and Tom Blair allowed the latter to cross for the scampering Callum Thompson, who poked an effort at goal that gloveman Gerard Benfield sharply caught.

In two near-symmetrical passages of play, Martin and Callum Rose were booked for respective fouls on Curtis Young and Lovell out wide. Luke Burbidge swung over the free-kicks and twice Lovell got up highest 12 yards out only to guide headers over.

Wimborne seemed content to hand Dorchester possession in their half and, when Lowes was dispossessed in the visitors’ area, Matty Holmes’ men broke upfield, releasing Lovell on the right channel who tested Latham with a fierce shot, the home keeper parrying his effort for a corner.

Sam Davidson was found unmarked at the back post from the set-piece but elected to head across goal rather than shoot as Dorchester survived.

Other than Thompson’s chance, Dorchester had created little until Harry Kite picked out Murray, the winger watching the ball over his shoulder and aiming a tame volley straight at Benfield from 12 yards.

Lovell and Burbidge were forming a dangerous link-up for the away side, and the latter sauntered through the centre of the pitch before slipping in Lovell, whose goalbound shot was bravely smothered by the advancing Latham.

Lovell then surged forward on another potent Wimborne counter but dragged his shot just wide in the last action of the half.

In a continuation of Dorchester’s lack of quality up front, Lowes sliced a free-kick horribly wide after a twinkle-toed run from Murray earned a free-kick 25 yards out.

Manager Thompson took just 10 minutes of the second half to make a change, replacing Callum Thompson with Rodriguez, and the switch enlivened the Magpies.

Almost immediately, Rodriguez unleashed a crisp rising drive that Benfield gathered at the second attempt, but Wimborne responded when Lovell played in Burbidge, who was denied by a fabulous sliding tackle from Bailey.

After the introduction of Rodriguez, Dorchester’s new-found confidence was clear and a peachy cross from Murray presented Lowes with a golden headed chance, the midfielder burying his effort from 12 yards.

Suddenly, there was only one team in the game and Blair curled an effort at Benfield before Rodriguez picked out fellow sub Winsper with a square ball, only for the midfielder to delay his shot and allow the Wimborne defence to block his attempt from 10 yards.

Wimborne replied when Davidson boomed a header over after Latham misjudged a Burbidge corner, but Dorchester effectively killed the game on 81 minutes with their second.

A good move on the edge of the box saw Rodriguez wriggle around the Wimborne defence and place a sweet shot past Benfield low into the far corner.

Three minutes later, Murray raced forward and showed strength to hold off the challenge of three defenders before feeding Winsper, who controlled and slotted home to hand Dorchester a flattering scoreline, a second qualifying round trip to Tiverton and £6,000 in prize money.

Magpies: Latham, Egan, Martin, Rose, Bailey, Kite, Murray, Lowes, Blair (Stafie 82), Panesar-Dower (Winsper 67), C Thompson (Rodriguez 56). Subs not used: Edgar, Williams, Morris, Carmichael

Wimborne: Benfield, Lee, Maybury, Davidson, Arnold, Kellaway (Francis 71), Stokoe, Penny (Owen 85), Young (Shepherd 79), Burbidge, Lovell. Subs not used: Walsh, Okumu

Referee: Gary Parsons (Lymington)

Attendance: 476