Town ground out victory at the Clayson Stadium in a game of two halves, leading at the break against the overall run of play before an improved performance in the second half ensured the points returned over the border.
Matt Wright was back in the Peacocks team following his suspension but Nuno Felix was absent due to work commitments, the only changes from the side which had lost at Poole and early indications were that it was going to be another difficult 90 minutes as the hosts took the game to Town from the off. Arron Rodriguez fired a shot wide inside the first minute, a precursor to a sustained spell of pressure which Town had to withstand as Dorchester attacked with pace on their 4G surface and got the ball in to the box at every opportunity. Lloyd Irish caught two Rodriguez crosses from the right while Brett Trowbridge cut out a Neil Martin centre at the near post, the ensuing corner ending with Harry Kite volleying just wide.
Josh Nelmes cleared a Martin cross for another corner before the Peacocks broke to take the lead with their first opportunity after 19 minutes. Wright played a pass down the right which Andrew Neal won the race for against Ross Carmichael and when Neal scooped the cross in Craig Veal rose to plant a header past Alhaji Sesay , the ball finding the net via the underside of the crossbar. Dorchester were then unable to clear Pierce Mitchell’s cross, allowing Neal’s intervention to set up Veal for a shot which was blocked by Callum Rose.
The goal only momentarily put the Magpies out of their stride as they quickly went back on the offensive. Cameron Murray burst in from the left to find Rodriguez whose left-footed drive was turned aside by Irish who then held a miscued effort by Billy Lowes. A neat build-up led to Dorchester’s equaliser after 32 minutes, three players being involved before Rodriguez put Luke Winsper through and a dink over the advancing Irish drew his side level.
The traffic continued to be primarily one way toward Town’s box but despite the influx of crosses there was no clear chance. The Peacocks then enjoyed a flurry at the end of the first half during which time they scored the clincher. Shane White crossed from the left for Mitchell to head against the post while the roles were reversed when White fired just wide after Mitchell’s cross was not cleared. The winner came a minute into stoppage time after White lofted a free kick in to the box and Rose’s attempted headed clearance flew towards his own net, Neal running in to make sure to claim his 12th goal of the campaign.
The second half saw Town up their game as they began to justify their lead. Wright charged between two defenders on the right flank before seeing his effort parried by Sesay, his follow-up being lashed across the face of goal. Ollie Chamberlain then headed narrowly wide from Keith Emmerson’s corner and Wright’s header was straight at Sesay following another cross from Man of the Match Mitchell while Neal’s attempted chip from the edge of the area was clutched by the Magpies keeper.
Dorchester continued to pose a threat despite not reaching the intensity of their first half performance. Chamberlain hacked clear as Rodriguez menaced before a corner from the Magpies striker was headed wide by Rose and a tidy bout of passing culminated in Murray failing to hit the target.
Overall though Town remained in the driver’s seat, with White surging in from the left to find Mitchell whose strike deflected off Martin to roll harmlessly to Sesay and then Veal’s pass setting up White for a cross to pick out Wright at the back post but his header was too close to Sesay. Josh Williams rifled over the top as the hosts mounted one last attempt to salvage a draw but Town had done enough to claim the three points to lift them back up to second place in the table.
Match: Dorchester Town v Taunton Town
Date: October 16, 2018
Competition: Evo Stik League | Southern Premier
Venue: Avenue Stadium
Kick Off: 7.45pm
Dorchester: Alhaji Sesay, Josh Bailey, Neil Martin (captain), Callum Rose, Ross Carmichael (Ashley Pope 78), Harry Kite, Cameron Murray, Luke Winsper, Arron Rodriguez (Dom Panesar-Dower 83), Billy Lowes (Josh Williams 71), Tom Blair. Unused subs: Callum Thompson, Mike Edgar
Taunton: Lloyd Irish, Pierce Mitchell, Shane White, Josh Nelmes, Keith Emmerson, Matt Buse, Ollie Chamberlain, Brett Trowbridge (Ben Adelsbury 54) , Matt Wright (captain), Craig Veal, Andrew Neal. Unused subs: Douglas Camilo, Harry Gardner, Matt Villis.
Referee: Sam Littlefair (Exeter)
Referee’s Assistant 1: Antony Smith (Christchurch)
Referee’s Assistant 2: Cihan Gecmez (Bournemouth)