Dorchester Town held by battling Wimborne

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


DORCHESTER Town were held to a 1-1 draw as a battling Wimborne Town took a point from their Evo-Stik Southern Premier South clash at the Clayson Stadium.

Tom Blair gave the Magpies an eighth-minute lead, tapping home Aaron Rodriguez’s lay-off from 10 yards.

The hosts missed several first-half chances before Wimborne improved and equalised through Luke Holmes. Luke Burbidge also struck the woodwork as Dorchester survived.

Steve Thompson made four changes to the starting XI that began the 1-0 Ridgeway derby loss to Weymouth on Boxing Day, three of which were enforced.

Ross Carmichael (hamstring), Harry Kite (ankle) and Cameron Murray (toe) missed out, with Brennan Camp, Luke Winsper and Rodriguez coming in.

Blair replaced Antonio Diaz in the Magpies’ other change, while there was a welcome return to the matchday squad for Dom Panesar-Dower after a long spell out with illness.

Ben Morris was recalled to the Dorchester 16, joining Nick Hutchings and Ash Pope on the bench.

Looking to restore early belief following their last-minute defeat to the Terras three days previously, Dorchester began well and nearly scored after five minutes.

Blair jinked inside and out under pressure before clipping a delicious ball to Callum Rose, who offloaded to Winsper. The midfielder then cracked a deflected shot out for a corner which was taken short to Kyle Egan, the right-back sending his delivery into the onrushing Camp to glance a weak header wide from 12 yards.

Three minutes later, Dorchester claimed the goal their bright start deserved via Blair, who netted his sixth goal in six games.

Good interplay between Egan and Rodriguez unleashed the latter near the byline and the winger pulled the ball back expertly for the unmarked Blair to bury his finish from 10 yards.

Moments afterwards, Winsper was called upon to make a superb goalline clearance after former Magpie Toby Holmes saw his shot blocked by Kingsley Latham.

Ben Seymour, who leapt to win several aerial duels in the first half, then nodded down for Blair to curl at Benfield as the end-to-end action continued.

At this stage, Wimborne had no answer to the pace of Blair, Seymour and Rodriguez on the break and, after Winsper drilled a clearance just over from 25 yards, Rodriguez cut inside after another speedy attack before shooting just over from 18 yards.

Seymour was the next Dorchester player to miss a presentable chance, understandably skewing his header wide with Blair’s volleyed pass carrying too much pace.

Exeter loanee Seymour nearly profited when Benfield dithered in claiming a header back before Clarke twice blazed over from Burbidge pull-backs.

Ex-Terra Burbidge was increasingly earning joy down the Wimborne right and it came as no surprise when he provided an assist just before half-time.

Moments after the unsighted Rodriguez missed a header from six yards, Burbidge got down the outside of Sam Jackson to the byline where he chipped a perfect cross for Luke Holmes to nod in from three yards at the back post.

After the break, Dorchester tested Benfield when Rodriguez shot low from 20 yards but Wimborne this time threatened on the break when a Toby Holmes effort fizzed past Latham’s right-hand post with the Southampton loanee unmoved.

Burbidge was incensed after hitting a sensational effort against the post and bar from an acute angle, believing the ball to have crossed the line, but the officials waved play on to the disbelief of the away side.

Dorchester manager Thompson threw on Diaz and the Spaniard nearly made an immediate impact, his chipped cross cleared to Billy Lowes who blasted at Benfield from 20 yards to earn a corner from which Diaz poked Blair’ delivery wide at the near post.

Winsper then cracked a long-range attempt at Benfield, who again dealt with the danger, before Clarke cynically brought down Diaz to earn a booking when Dorchester countered upfield.

Burbidge and Seymour wasted further chances for their respective sides as a disappointing second half came to a close, both teams forced into settling for a point that keeps them hovering above the bottom three.

Magpies: Latham, Egan, Martin, Rose, Camp, Winsper (Panesar-Dower 88),, Rodriguez (Diaz 66), Lowes, Seymour, Blair (Pope 76), Jackson. Subs not used: Hutchings, Morris.

Wimborne: Benfield, Penny, Maybury, Davidson, Oldring, Pettefer, Clarke, Young, T Holmes, Burbidge, L Holmes. Subs not used: Francis, Phillips, Shepherd, Owen

Referee: Declan O’Shea (Chippenham)

Attendance: 594