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Match report | Hartley Wintney (H)


Bath, Blair


Albert, Ball, Bird

Match Report:

By: Neil Walton – Dorset Echo Sport | @EchosportNeil

Dorchester Town suffered their fourth straight defeat as Hartley Wintney survived a late tidalwave of pressure to claim a 3-2 win at The Clayson Stadium in the BetVictor Southern Premier South.

A dreadful first half saw Alexandru Albert head Hartley ahead, the visitors doubling their lead through Jack Ball on 48 minutes.

Tom Bird’s swerving 30-yarder looked to kill off Dorchester but sub Tom Blair pulled one back with a fine finish.

With 10 minutes of stoppage-time due to injuries, Tom Bath swept home in the 99th minute but Dorchester could not find a leveller on a disappointing afternoon.

Dorchester made three switches to the side that began the 2-1 defeat at Blackfield & Langley.

Tiago Sa, Sam Lanahan and new loanee signing Tom Purrington came in, the latter making his debut after joining from Plymouth Argyle yesterday.

Tom Blair and Luke Winsper dropped down to the bench, where Purrington’s Argyle teammate Cameron Sangster, who signed alongside Purrington, also bagged a place in the matchday squad.

Sean Wright (dead leg), Dom Panesar-Dower (bruised ankle) and John Ross were omitted from the squad completely.

Slow first-half getaways have been a feature of the Magpies’ first halves this season and this game was no exception as the Row dominated possession from the off.

A dubious free-kick, given by referee Robert Cockle despite Sa seeming to win the ball, saw Neil Martin head away for a corner which was swung straight out by midfielder Tyron Smith.

Seconds after Lanahan had a shot on target chalked off for offside, Antonio Diaz spun in the area and shot at a covering Hartley defender, before the visitors exerted their control on the game.

A smart one-two between Smith and Joshua Webb culminated in another wasted corner after the former’s shot had skimmed a defender, before more good play created an opening for Albert 12 yards out, only for the defensive midfielder to poke wide of the near post.

Magpies’ boss Callum Brooks opted to start regular right-back Kyle Egan on the wing and push captain Dan Strugnell out to fill in, and it was from the skipper’s cross that Bath headed weakly at goalkeeper Thomas Williams from 12 yards.

Smith was lucky to escape punishment for a cynical swipe at Diaz but was finally cautioned midway through the half when a wretched late tackle on Purrington’s ankles required attention from physio Emma Tonkin.

From the free-kick, Diaz curled the delivery straight out of play from 40 yards as the hosts’ poor start continued.

Lanahan spurned Dorchester’s best chance when a patiently constructed move saw Diaz bend in a cross, only for Williams to deny the former with a superb flying stop.

Williams was rewarded for his efforts when Albert nodded home a Webb corner via the palm of home keeper Shane Murphy one minute before half-time.

Hartley deserved their lead at the interval and a bright start to the second period, seconds after Salhin Abubakar curled wide, resulted in another goal.

In truth, Dorchester’s poor marking was to blame as Ball stole in with an untracked late run, nodding home into the far corner from Smith’s corner.

Wintney now looked exceptionally dangerous on the counter and Abubakar’s pace created trouble for Sa, who could not stop a low cross making its way to Webb at the far post, the winger rifling wide.

Diaz then raced forward on the break but selfishly hogged possession before skying a 20-yard shot well over.

Egan had been Dorchester’s greatest threat and the Magpies’ number two headed past a defender before attempting to nod past Williams, who was alert enough to block.

Dorchester had finally stirred themselves into life, Williams forced into a superb reaction stop from a Callum Rose effort, but went 3-0 down courtesy of a thunderbolt from Bird, whose 30-yard shot wobbled in the air, deceiving Murphy who could only watch it fly into the top-left corner.

Rose then went off injured after a lengthy stoppage and his replacement, Winsper, helped get the Magpies back into the game, supplying Blair with a diagonal ball before the winger cut inside and slammed past Williams with 10 minutes left.

Hartley were now clinging on amid intense Magpies pressure, with two last-ditch tackles preventing goalscoring chances, while Billy Lowes curled a tame free-kick at Williams.

With 10 minutes of injury-time, Mickel Platt rifled at Murphy before Bath finished off from a deflected Diaz shot in the 99th minute to give the Magpies hope.

More time beckoned as Sa had gone down for treatment earlier in added time, but the referee blew for full-time as Dorchester were ultimately punished for another lacklustre start.

Magpies: Murphy, Egan, Sa, Martin, Strugnell, Diaz, Lowes, Bath, Lanahan (Sangster 65), Rose (Winsper 76), Purrington (Blair 46). Subs not used: R Smith, Brookes

Hartley Wintney: Williams, Smart, Bird, Ball, Drage, Albert, Abubakar, T Smith (French 66), Platt, Rule (Hollamby 79), Webb (Duff 69). Subs not used: Paget, Abraham-Barlow

#WeAreDorch ⚫️⚪️

Starting XI:
Shane Murphy
Kyle Egan
Tiago Sa
Neil Martin
Dan Strugnell ©
Antonio Diaz
Billy Lowes
Tom Bath
Sam Lanahan ⤵️
Callum Rose ⤵️
Tom Purrington ⤵️

Luke Winsper ⤴️
Tom Blair ⤴️
River Smith
Cameron Sangster ⤴️
Jason Brookes


Robert Cockle

Stacey Ford
Scott Robertson