Dorchester Town’s Aaron Rodriguez salvages draw at Beaconsfield

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


DORCHESTER Town twice came from behind to salvage a thrilling 2-2 draw against Beaconsfield Town in their Evo-Stik Southern Premier South clash at Holloways Park.

Anthony Mendy scored a headed brace for the Rams, who created little else during the match, while an unfortunate own goal from keeper Nick Hamann and an 82nd-minute Aaron Rodriguez strike completed the scoring for the dominant Magpies.

Dorchester boss Steve Thompson made changes to his entire forward line at Beaconsfield.

Tom Blair missed out through a one-game ban for two yellow cards at Wimborne, while Dom Panesar-Dower and Callum Thompson dropped to the bench having started the 3-0 FA Cup first qualifying round replay win over Matty Holmes’ men on Tuesday night.

The Magpies’ manager elected to bring in Tiago Sa and goalscorer from Tuesday, Rodriguez, who made his first start of the season after sustaining a broken foot during pre-season.

Alex Stafie, who has now failed to score in 16 mostly substitute appearances for the county town side, led the line in the only other change.

With Dorchester having scored three times late in the second half against Wimborne, the Magpies continued where they left off at Beaconsfield by conjuring two opportunities in the first two minutes.

Midfielder Billy Lowes bustled through the Rams’ defence and forced Hamann into a fine stop before right-back Kyle Egan found the net only to see his effort ruled out with striker Stafie adjudged to have strayed offside.

Beaconsfield had an early chance of their own when Charlie Losasso fashioned a presentable opening, his strike deflecting wide for a corner that came to nothing.

Dorchester were rocked after their solid start when Mendy finished off a quick move. The Magpies lost possession in midfield and Beaconsfield worked the ball out to the wing where a first-time cross found Mendy to clinically head home in the 10th minute.

Rodriguez responded by cracking an effort off target before the winger took a large slice of the credit for the Magpies’ fortuitous leveller on 19 minutes.

Callum Rose pinged a superb crossfield pass to the winger who drove forward and smacked a shot against the post, the ball ricocheting off Hamann’s head and over the line.

Midway through the half, Kingsley Latham was called upon to make a solid save and then block a one-on-one situation as Beaconsfield threatened to retake the lead.

However, it was Dorchester who went closest to going ahead as Cameron Murray supplied Rodriguez to thump an effort against the post again, the ball rolling to safety.

Thompson’s men ended the half the stronger and Hamann had to be alert to tip another goalbound strike over the bar as the scoreline somehow remained level into half-time.

Although the second half began more quietly than the first, Beaconsfield again nudged ahead with an astute passage of play.

A quickly-taken throw-in had Dorchester on the back foot and the unmarked Mendy was on hand to bury his second header of the game from a pinpoint delivery.

Dorchester continued to press and halfway through the second period Stafie was denied a maiden Magpies goal when his attempt from a tremendous Rodriguez cross was blocked on the line by the Beaconsfield defence.

The Magpies had appeals for a foul waved away by referee Michael Smith when Murray appeared to be upended, before Stafie was replaced by Winsper in Dorchester’s first change of the game.

And the switch seemed to work as Rodriguez finally got the goal his performance merited.

Lowes was the assistant, slipping Rodriguez into the penalty area. The winger then shifted the ball into space and drilled a powerful low effort beyond Hamann to set up a grandstand finale.

Ben Morris replaced Rodriguez moments later as Thompson freshened up his options on the wing. Dorchester’s next chance came from out wide but Winsper could not direct a header on target from Murray’s cross.

Deep into the game, Rose nodded down a cross to Morris and the young winger connected with his strike only to agonisingly see his attempt go wide as Dorchester were forced to settle for a point following a display that might have earned all three.

Beaconsfield: Hamann, Vassell, Balogun, Yorke, Neville, Daly (Webb 86), Stead, Brown, Cathline (Powell 83), Mendy, Losasso. Subs not used: Ajanlekoko, O’Regan, Constable

Magpies: Latham, Egan, Martin, Rose, Bailey, Kite, Murray, Lowes, Stafie (Winsper 73), Sa, Rodriguez (Morris 84). Subs not used: Edgar, C Thompson, Panesar-Dower

Referee: Michael Smith

Attendance: 90