Dorchester Town stun Hungerford Town to reach FA Trophy first round

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


MAGNIFICENT Dorchester Town knocked out a poor higher-league Hungerford Town as Ben Seymour’s 57th-minute strike earned a fully-merited 1-0 victory in the FA Trophy third qualifying round.

After a cagey first-half in which neither side created a clear chance, James Rusby hit the bar with a header before Alfy Whittingham wasted a golden late chance for the National League South side.

Dorchester made two changes to the side that kicked off the 5-0 defeat to Chesham United last weekend, with manager Steve Thompson handing a debut to left-sided utility player Sam Jackson, dual-registered with Bashley.

Ross Carmichael came in for Callum Rose, who served the first of a two-game ban after his dismissal against the Generals.

Top scorer Luke Winsper dropped to the bench and Aaron Rodriguez missed out from the matchday squad with a broken wrist.

Ash Pope, Dom Panesar-Power and Josh Williams were the other names in the Magpies’ four-man dugout.

A sloppy start to the game, characterised by several misplaced passes travelling out for throw-ins, was ended when Dorchester registered the first shot on target.

Slick conditions caused by constant drizzle played into the Magpies’ hands and Antonio Diaz doubled back before slipping Ben Seymour in, the Exeter City loanee’s shot forcing visiting goalkeeper Jacob Weaver into a smart catch from an acute angle.

Cameron Murray then cut inside from the right wing to find Harry Kite, whose scuffed 30-yard effort dipped awkwardly in front of Weaver, the Crusaders’ gloveman doing well to hold on.

Debutant Jackson was heavily involved on the left, showing some neat touches and clear vision to pick a pass when closed down, and the winger earned a corner after a good run, only for Murray’s quickly-taken delivery to evade the incoming Carmichael.

National League South side Hungerford started poorly but Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis fizzed a shot just over from 30 yards as the visitors warmed to the task.

Hungerford’s Ramone Rose was then booked for chopping down Carmichael before Rusby connected sweetly with a volley only to direct his shot well wide.

A brief scare for Hungerford saw a fierce Kyle Egan cross bundled towards his own goal by captain Marvel Ekpiteta, Weaver having to sweep up his mistake under pressure.

Jackson had been enjoying an excellent debut but clattered into Rose to concede a free-kick 25 yards out. Despite a chasm in the Dorchester defence, Kingsley Latham was able to watch the delivery curl out of play as Hungerford continued to struggle in front of goal.

Their frustrations were best aired by player-manager Ian Herring, who earned himself a stern talking to by referee Philip Staynings before Dan Bailey fluffed a good chance 20 yards out before half-time.

So incensed was Herring at the break that he brought himself and Alfy Whittingham on for Ten-Grotenhuis and Bailey. His changes made an immediate impact as Hungerford went close to scoring.

A neat move set up Matt Jones for an arcing cross that picked out the late run of Rusby, his header crashing against the bar from 12 yards with Latham beaten.

Rusby’s miss was to prove costly as Dorchester took the lead soon afterwards.

Egan, whose advanced role as a right wing-back appeared a deft tactic by Thompson in a 3-5-2, swung in a vicious cross that had Marcus Johnston-Schuster under pressure, the right-back weakly heading to Seymour who buried a first-time finish six yards out.

Johnston-Schuster nearly atoned for his error with a pinpoint deep cross to Richie Whittingham, whose header had Latham scampering to his right before drifting wide.

Seymour’s goal had opened the game up and after a desperate 35-yard drive from Ekpiteta, the holes in the Hungerford defence began to open.

Egan’s cross from the right picked out Lowes, whose overhit pass forced Murray to check back and find Kite, who slammed a shot just over from 20 yards.

Dorchester’s stout defending was keeping the visitors at bay and a wonderful interception from the tireless Jackson, followed by a gorgeous pass to Diaz, set the number 10 clean through, only to hit the side netting with his weaker right foot.

The Magpies continued to scrap and sub Darren Foxley’s rising drive had Latham worried before Alfy Whittingham aimed a wasteful, tame volley at Latham as the hosts held on to deservedly book their place in the main draw, with £5,000 in prize money to boot.

Magpies: Latham, Egan, N Martin, Carmichael, J Bailey, Kite, Murray (Panesar-Dower 81), Lowes, Seymour, Diaz (Pope 81), Jackson. Subs not used: Winsper, Williams

Hungerford: Weaver, Johnston-Schuster, Jones, Ten-Grotenhuis (A Whittingham 46), Ekpiteta, J Martin, R Rose (Foxley 77), Rusby, Orsi-Dadomo, R Whittingham, D Bailey (Herring 46). Subs not used: Lynch, Fragata

Referee: Philip Staynings (Swindon)

Attendance: 258