Dorchester Town in Hendon stalemate

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


DORCHESTER Town played out an uninspiring 0-0 stalemate at Hendon’s Silver Jubilee Park in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier South.

Such a scoreline had seemed improbable given a blistering start to the game in which five chances were created in 14 minutes.

Hendon accounted for three of those, working goalkeeper Nick Hutchings just once, while visiting marksman Ben Seymour went close three times in the opening half.

Only a superb goalline block from the Magpies prevented Hendon from scoring in the second half before Seymour was denied from a free-kick as Dorchester claimed their first clean sheet in six games during manager Callum Brooks’ six-game tenure.

Dorchester made two changes to the starting line-up that began the 3-1 loss to Beaconsfield last time out.

James Granger came in for Dom Panesar-Dower, earning his first start, while Tom Blair replaced Aaron Rodriguez. Both outgoing players made the bench.

Joining Panesar-Dower and Rodriguez on the bench were goalkeeper Kingsley Latham and Neil Martin.

Luke Winsper recovered sufficiently from an ankle problem to take his place in the dugout at the expense of Josh Williams, who was replaced at half-time in Bridport’s 3-3 midweek draw at Cribbs with dizziness.

There was also a landmark for right-back Kyle Egan, who made his 100th appearance for the Magpies.

Egan, along with his fellow Dorchester defenders, were given a scare early on after what might have been a routine clearance.

Hendon floated in a cross that goalkeeper Hutchings appeared set to deal with until his unconvincing punch fell to a Hendon forward who could only blaze over on four minutes.

Dorchester sharply turned defence into attack when Nathan Walker’s pinpoint ball to Seymour played the Exeter loanee in, only to be thwarted by goalkeeper Chris Grace’s save – the Greens’ gloveman making just his second start for the club.

Hutchings atoned for his skewed clearance with a decent save before his opposite number Grace was worked by a second Seymour shot on 11 minutes.

A frenetic start saw the game’s fifth chance in under a quarter of an hour when a fluent move from the hosts created a headed opportunity that the Don once more spurned.

Understandably, both teams could not continue to create chances at such frequency and it took another 19 minutes for Dorchester to conjure an opening.

Excellent build-up play between Blair and captain Billy Lowes set up Seymour on a tight angle but the teenage striker failed to trouble Grace as Hendon survived in a goalless first half.

After the interval both sides were unchanged and, with a point seemingly suiting each team in their bid to stave off relegation, chances were once again at a premium in a continuation of the final moments of the first half.

When the first major moment did come it took a superb goalline clearance from the Magpies’ defence to thwart Hendon in the 61st minute.

As goalscoring opportunities remained infrequent, each side opted for a different approach with winger Ogi Obi going off for Lewis Toomey.

For Dorchester, Antonio Diaz was replaced by Rodriguez shortly before Hendon central midfielder Bayley Brown saw yellow for a foul in the 77th minute.

Seymour, busy as ever, then earned a free-kick after drawing a foul but for the third time in the match saw his effort handled by Grace, who was set to claim his second consecutive clean sheet after the Don’s 2-0 win at Poole last weekend.

Granger then made way for Panesar-Dower in the 83rd minute before manager Callum Brooks opted for his first defensive switch, bringing off Blair for Martin with 60 seconds of normal time left.

Dorchester were able to see out the remainder of the match as the Magpies settled for their fourth 0-0 of the league season.

However, results elsewhere meant Dorchester’s eight-point gap to Gosport in the first relegation spot became six after Boro pulled off a late 2-0 win at promotion-chasing Salisbury – the Magpies’ next opponents.

Former Magpies Charlie Davis and Sam Lanahan got the goals which hauled Gosport two points from safety, while Dorchester and Hendon remained in 14th and 15th respectively.

Hendon: Grace, Hammond, Smith, Chappell, Tingey, Brown, Hope, Gardiner-Smith, Calcutt, Hippolyte-Patrick, Obi (Toomey 76). Subs not used: Jonas, Cruz, McGleish, McCorkell.

Magpies: Hutchings, Egan, Jackson, Rose, Walker, Kite, Granger (Panesar-Dower 83), Lowes, Seymour, Diaz (Rodriguez 75), Blair (Martin 89). Subs not used: Latham, Winsper

Attendance: 271