Safe Dorchester Town lose to Row recovery

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


DORCHESTER Town ended their season with a difficult 3-1 defeat at Hartley Wintney, to wrap up their Evo-Stik Southern Premier South campaign.

A early second-half strike from Ben Seymour saw the Magpies take the lead, before goals from Steven Duff, Matt Drage and Jack Ball.

The 6-0 win over Tiverton last week had secured safety for the Magpies, and instead the final relegated team became Basingstoke Town, while Dorchester finished 15th.

The victory enabled the home side to finish in a very creditable eighth place in their first season in the division.

Dorchester had the wind advantage in the first half, but it was the Row who created and missed several chances.

The Row forced three early corners and on four minutes should have gone ahead.

A free-kick from Drage found the head of Dan Stewart, whose header across goal saw Mitchell Parker just fail to connect in front of an open goal.

In the 14th minute, a long ball from Ball found Marley Ridge free but the midfielder’s shot across goal hit the post.

Four minutes later, a long pass from Drage found Stewart free behind the Magpies’ defence.

However, the striker was unable to get control of the ball which was collected by the alert Dorchester Town goalkeeper Kingsley Latham.

The visitors struggled making use of the wind, and a number of forward passes were overhit.

The main threat from the Magpies came from some intelligent play from Antonio Diaz.

Hartley continued to dominate the match and after 25 minutes, a Parker cross saw Ridge just fail to get his header on target.

After 33 minutes, a Parker corner saw a Nathan Smart shot blocked and Jack French’s follow up shot brought out a good save from Latham.

The two sides went in at the break level, but it did not take long before the scoring got started.

It was the Magpies who opened the scoring on 47 minutes after a fine move.

When defending a set piece, Harry Kite sent a measured pass to the impressive Diaz on the right.

Diaz made good progress and set up Tom Blair before the winger’s shot was parried by Row goalkeeper Paul Strudley into the path of Seymour who scored from 10 yards.

Hartley responded well and drew level on 62 minutes.

Duff came on as substitute and his first contribution was to head home unchallenged an accurate free-kick from the right delivered by Nathan Smart.

The Row remained on top and edged ahead after 75 minutes.

A free-kick from Josh Webb on the left was only partially cleared by the Magpies defence to Drage, who volleyed home from the edge of the box.

Hartley should have gone further ahead soon after when Duff set up Ball who saw his close range effort parried by Latham.

The Magpies pressed towards the end but it was the home side who scored the decisive goal.

On 89 minutes, Sal Abubakkar made good progress down the left before being hauled down in the penalty box.

Ball then stepped up and scored from the resultant penalty to wrap up the contest.

The Row: Strudley, Smith (Abubakar 60), Ball, Drage, Paget, Smart, Albert, French, Ridge, Stewart (Webb 65), Parker (Duff 60) Subs not used: Newton, Zapata Montes

Magpies: Latham, Egan, Martin, Rose, Jackson, Walker, Kite, Winsper (Lowes 75), Seymour, Diaz (Rodriguez 65), Blair (Panesar-Dower 65) Subs not used: Edgar, Morris

Attendance: 288