Blair 2 Web

Match report | Beaconsfield Town (H)

By: Terry Spracklen for Dorset Echo Sport

DORCHESTER TOWN 1 (Blair)
BEACONSFIELD TOWN 0

A sensational 10th-minute curled strike from Tom Blair proved to be enough for the Magpies to open their BetVictor Southern Premier South campaign with a 1-0 victory over Beaconsfield Town at the Clayson Stadium.

Visitors, the Rams, pushed hard for an equaliser but the Magpies held firm to clinch maximum points.

Dorchester, whose sole change from the side that defeated Winchester 5-3 last Saturday was to include Blair at the expense of the benched River Smith, conceded a third-minute free-kick but the offside flag was raised as Luke Heneghan’s set-piece was driven forward.

Play quickly swung to the other end where Tom Bath chased a long clearance but was beaten to it by the alert Andrew McCorkell in the Rams’ goal.

A sweeping three-man Dorchester counter involving Charlie Davis, Antonio Diaz and Tom Bath resulted in Davis accepting a lay-off from Diaz but firing just over from 25 yards.

That reprieve for Beaconsfield proved short-lived. When the next Dorchester move appeared to fizzle out, Blair picked up the ball on the left wing and cut inside towards the edge of the penalty area before unleashing a curling shot of pinpoint accuracy to find the far corner leaving McCorkell rooted to his line.

Beaconsfield tried to hit back quickly but David Manu overran the ball at a crucial time resulting in a Dorchester goal-kick.

Kyle Egan exchanged passes with Davis before finding Bath whose shot was blocked.

At the other end, Jon-Jo Bates saw a shot deflect for a corner and from Heneghan’s delivery, Jordan Ajanlekoko glanced wide.

A foul on Blair gave Davis the chance to strike a free-kick from 20 yards which looped up off the Beaconsfield wall but Bath was adjudged to have fouled in his attempts to force home the loose ball.

Another Davis free-kick, this time awarded for handball by Manu, created a far post chance for Callum Rose who failed to find the power needed to trouble McCorkell at his near post.

An impressive charge by Diaz won Dorchester a corner which was delivered by Davis to Sam Lanahan who headed wide at the far post.

On the half hour Beaconsfield were forced to substitute the injured William Fazakerley with Alex Nolan.

Blair tried his luck again with a near-post shot which McCorkell saved. At the other end, Heneghan sent a low effort wide having been played through by Brendan Matthew.

A long ball from Diaz was chased by Bath but the former Tiverton Town striker was shouldered off the ball by Luke Neville. Magpies’ keeper Shane Murphy was then forced to race to the edge of his box to punch clear following a long upfield ball from visiting skipper, Reece Yorke.

Substitute Nolan found himself cautioned for a foul on Blair following which Davis forced a fine tip over save from the Rams’ keeper with the resultant free-kick.

A right-wing corner from Davis fell kindly for Rose who unleashed a venomous volley which McCorkell did superbly well to claw aside.

The follow-up Davis corner was headed wide under pressure by Bath. A shot from Matthew was intercepted on the six-yard line by Billy Lowes in first-half stoppage-time.

Early second-half efforts from Bath and Matthew cleared the crossbars before indecision from Murphy nearly proved costly.

The Dorchester keeper seemed surprised when his defence left a harmless looking ball for him to gather and was late coming off his line.

Bates raced through and tumbled to the ground but Murphy’s challenge was deemed fair and Bates was booked for simulation.

A poor backpass from Heneghan then gifted Bath a great chance but with the angle becoming more acute, McCorkell was able to make an unexpectedly comfortable save.

A fast, flowing move from Beaconsfield was initiated by Bayley Brown whose pass picked out the impressive Mayowa Balogun but Murphy pulled off a fine double save to keep out his effort and the follow up from Matthew.

Diaz sent a low drive wide after being played through by Bath while Yorke headed straight at Murphy.

Bath and Diaz sent further efforts off target while Murphy saved from Yorke and Ajanlekoko and punched clear a dangerous cross from substitute, Dean Morgan.

Blair forced another save with a 25-yard strike but was then booked for his 77th-minute foul on Ajanlekoko. An 84th-minute free-kick from Davis found Blair who again forced a fine save from McCorkell who beat aside his fierce shot.

Dorchester comfortably saw out the four minutes of stoppage time to claim a hard-fought victory.

Magpies: Murphy, Egan, Sa, Strugnell, Diaz (Martin 79), Lowes, Bath, Davis, Lanahan (Panesar-Dower 71), Blair (Winsper 88), Rose. Subs not used: Smith, Wright.

Beaconsfield: McCorkell, Fazakerley (Nolan 30), Balogun, Yorke (McCluskey 83), Neville, Brown, Manu, Ajanlekoko, Matthew, Bates, Heneghan (Morgan 63). Subs not used: Taylor, Guy-Seifert.

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