Barnet break Dorchester Town hearts with late goal

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


A COURAGEOUS Dorchester Town exited the FA Trophy second round as National League side Barnet edged a 2-1 victory at the Hive Stadium.

The Magpies battled away in a goalless first half in which Charlee Adams hit the post from 30 yards.

After the break, Shaq Coulthirst fired home before a valiant Dorchester equalised through Ben Seymour.

But Craig Robson popped up nine minutes from time to deservedly send Barnet into round three.

Dorchester, who showed plenty of grit in defence throughout, made two changes to the side that began the 1-0 win at Poole Town on Tuesday.

Harry Kite shrugged off an ankle injury to start his first game since Boxing Day, while Kingsley Latham returned to the starting line-up after sitting out the derby win over Poole.

Keeper Nick Hutchings, who kept a clean sheet against his former side, and winger Tom Blair dropped to the bench where they were joined by Ross Carmichael, Aaron Rodriguez and Luke Winsper.

In the first meeting between the sides since March 1979, Barnet began the brighter in windy conditions.

Full-time professionals the Bees, unchanged from beating Sheffield United 1-0 in the FA Cup third round, picked up the ball in midfield and Adams rifled a low shot against the base of Latham’s upright from 30 yards.

Right-back Cheye Alexander then tried his luck from distance, shooting powerfully at Latham before another major chance went begging for the hosts.

FA Cup hero Coulthirst had a strike deflected wide before Robson saw his header cleared off the line by an increasingly busy Dorchester defence.

After weathering the early Barnet pressure, Dorchester went upfield and won a free-kick in a dangerous area, Seymour then firing over having been fouled by Bees’ skipper Callum Reynolds.

For all of Barnet’s possession, the hosts struggled to work Latham into a serious save as a deflected Jack Taylor free-kick looped up off the wall and into Latham’s mitts.

Dorchester had defended well but were suddenly caught outnumbered on a break, leading to a late challenge from Kite, who earned a booking for halting the move with a foul on Ephron Mason-Clark.

In a rare foray forward for the Magpies, Antonio Diaz arced a header goalwards before a nervy moment for the visitors.

Captain Neil Martin put too much weight on a backpass, forcing Latham into a slice behind for a corner.

Barnet caught Dorchester asleep, quickly taking the set-piece to Mason-Clark who somehow headed over from six yards.

Dorchester were regularly being beaten in the air and it came as no surprise when Barnet fashioned their next two chances through headers, Reynolds’ deflected attempt leading to a corner from which Taylor nodded over at the near post.

There was late promise for the Magpies in first-half stoppage-time when a lovely move saw Diaz fire into the side-netting.

That optimism swiftly evaporated five minutes after the restart when Coulthirst notched his second cup goal in six days.

Dorchester were undone by a long ball from Adams which connected with Coulthirst, allowing the striker to compose himself before bending his attempt beyond the dive of Latham.

The Magpies responded when Diaz flicked a tame header wide before Coulthirst wasted two quick chances as the game opened up.

Boss Steve Thompson replaced Sam Jackson with Blair and the winger made an instant impact as a battling Magpies levelled.

Moments after Taylor had drawn a good save from Latham, a Cameron Murray corner was cleared by Adams to Blair, whose cross to the back post picked out Brennan Camp to head across goal for the predatory Seymour to tap in from a yard.

Camp was then fortunate to see the offside flag deny Medy Elito a goal, but with nine minutes left Barnet broke Dorchester hearts.

Elliot Johnson’s excellent cross from the left picked out Robson who headed home past a despairing Latham.

A brave Magpies’ side continued to battle but their efforts were in vain as their extraordinary FA Trophy run came to an end.

Barnet: Cousins, Alexander, Johnson, Reynolds, Robson, Adams, Coulthirst, Taylor, Elito (Tutonda 84), Sweeney (Fonguck 75), Mason-Clark (Akinola 57). Subs not used: Matrevics, Harrison

Magpies: Latham, Egan, Martin, Rose, Camp, Kite (Winsper 86), Murray, Lowes, Seymour, Diaz (Rodriguez 82), Jackson (Blair 65). Subs not used: Hutchings, R Carmichael

Attendance: 878 (157 Magpies fans)