Dorchester Town earn point at leaders Taunton

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


DORCHESTER Town picked up a deserved point from a 1-1 draw at Evo-Stik Southern Premier South league leaders Taunton Town.

Rocky Neal pounced on a Kingsley Latham parry to tap home on 10 minutes before Brennan Camp buried his first Dorchester goal before half-time at the Viridor Stadium.

Matt Wright and Tom Blair had chances to win the game for their respective sides, while Magpies’ boss Steve Thompson was sent off for venting his frustration towards referee Lee Roberts.

Dorchester made one change to the side that kicked off the 3-2 win at Tiverton on New Year’s Day, with Cameron Murray shrugging off a toe injury to replace the unavailable Luke Winsper.

Ross Carmichael also sufficiently recovered from a hamstring injury to take his place on the bench, although there was no room in the 16 for Ollie Griggs, whose loan spell at Winchester expired at the turn of the year.

Taunton, who had scored 38 goals in 11 home league games this season, started quickly and forced the Magpies into a scrambling clearance when Ollie Chamberlain charged down a clearance and his cross to Matt Wright was hastily seen off.

And the Peacocks cashed in on their bright opening by taking the lead, although the goal was somewhat fortunate.

Chamberlain began the move with a neat reverse pass over the Magpies’ defence for Wright, the striker’s shot too hot for Latham to handle and the Southampton man parried to Neal for a tap-in.

In response, Dorchester registered their first serious attempt at goal, but Blair’s ambitious long-range strike sailed wide.

Taunton again won possession from a Dorchester error, this time Sullivan pouncing on the ball only to fire well over.

Dorchester finally worked home goalkeeper Chandler Hallett with a free-kick after Blair was felled by Josh Nelmes but Diaz’s effort was easily gathered by the Peacocks’ gloveman.

More efficient play from the hosts saw Neal win possession and lash wide before Latham, whose deal was extended to the end of the season on Friday, again proved his worth by making a fabulous point-blank save from Sullivan.

Dorchester were beginning to edge into the game and might have scored when Ben Seymour’s clever pass set Blair through, only for the winger to bend his attempt inches wide.

Yet the Magpies levelled on 38 minutes following scrappy Taunton defending.

Diaz drew a foul from Pierce Mitchell, who saw yellow, and the delivery caused uncertainty in the Taunton box, the ball ricocheting around until landing for Bournemouth loanee Camp to sweep home his first Dorchester goal.

Taunton nearly found an instant riposte as the tricky Sullivan jinked into the area and crossed for the unmarked Wright to head wastefully wide.

However, it was Dorchester who came closest to scoring again before the break when Callum Rose’s header from a corner was cleared off the line.

Spurred on by their excellent finish to the half, momentum remained with Thompson’s men into the second as Seymour played in Sam Jackson only for the wing-back’s attempt to be smothered by the brave Hallett.

Taunton threw on Ryan Brett for Nelmes on 55 minutes but it was Dorchester who created the next chance, Blair twisting and turning past the home defence before firing over.

Dorchester’s good play had subdued the hosts until the Peacocks frittered away their best chance of the half when Brett’s corner was headed wide by the misfiring Wright.

Thompson replaced Diaz with Aaron Rodriguez in a positive change but Taunton carved out another headed chance, this time Ed Palmer nodding a Brett corner over.

Controversy descended on the Viridor when the officials elected not to issue Mitchell with a second yellow for grappling with and then bundling over Blair.

Thompson seemed upset with the decision and shortly after Kyle Egan curled a shot onto the roof of Hallett’s net, the Magpies’ boss was sent to the stands for berating referee Roberts.

Neither side could create a further chance of note as Dorchester earned a highly-respectable point.

Taunton, whose unbeaten home league record is now 12 games long, saw their lead cut to four points while Dorchester dropped a place to 19th after Basingstoke’s 2-0 win over Hartley Wintney.

Taunton: Taunton: Hallett, Mitchell, Hall, Nelmes (Brett 55), Palmer, Buse, Chamberlain, Sullivan (Veal 76), Wright, Emmerson, Neal. Subs not used: Adelsbury, Camilo, Davies

Magpies: Latham, Egan, Martin, Rose, Camp, Blair, Murray, Lowes, Seymour, Diaz (Rodriguez 72), Jackson. Subs not used: Hutchings, Carmichael, Panesar-Dower, Williams

Referee: Lee Roberts

Attendance: 732