Due to a combination of circumstances, such as injuries, suspension and unavailable players, Borough’s resources were fully stretched for the trip to Dorchester, arriving in Tolpuddle country with just thirteen players.
In keeping with all other matches played today, the match kicked off at 3.07pm following a minutes silence, reverently observed, to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.
Dorchester Town: Alan Walker-Harris, Sam Lanahan (Case 75), Dan Way, Mark Jermyn (C), Nathan Walker, Jake McCarthy, Nick Crittenden, Jake Smeeton, Elliott Chamberlain, Warren Byerley (Makoni 87), Charlie Lossasso.
Subs not used:- Dan Munday, Jack Twyford and Shane Murphy (GK).
Farnborough: Ross Fitzsimons, Josh Huggins (C), Ollie Treacher, CJ Fearn, Darryl Siaw (Berry 45), Alfred Bosch (French 82), Dan Bennett, Matt Ball, Phil Page, JJ Hooper and Fraser Colmer.
Referee: Anthony Serrano – Assistants: Wayne Cartmel and Kieran Bailey.
Boro’ started at a good pace, mounting several early attacks which saw a shot from JJ Hooper saved by Walker-Harris, Dan Bennett work his way across the edge of the area, but fail to get a shot away, before Phil Page had a shot on target but deflected for a corner from which Darryl Siaw headed narrowly wide.
It was a good eight or nine minutes before Ross Fitzsimons got to handle the ball when the home side finally got beyond the Boro’ defence. Huggins slotted a good pass through to Matt Ball, but he was checked and the ball ran out for a goal kick.
The Magpies then attacked down the centre and Fitzsimons averted the danger by gathering the ball at the edge of his area. From the clearance, JJ won the ball and shot from 18 yards bringing a good save from Walker-Harris. Two further Dorchester attacks were brought to a halt by Siaw heading away a through ball and when Chamberlain looked dangerous on the left, Bosch did well to intercept and start another Boro’ attack which led to JJ Hooper’s shot bringing another diving save from Walker-Harris.
The Magpies had a penalty shout on 25 minutes, when Siaw appeared to handle, but Mr Serrano would have nothing of it to the dismay of the home fans. Frankly, it looked a good shout to me. When Matt Ball was fouled on the half way line he went forward and collected Bosch’s free kick only to be penalised for raising his foot too high.
Dorchester enjoyed a purple patch in the last 15 minutes or so which saw a series of fine saves from Ross Fitzsimons. First from a strong header by Walker, then a snap shot from Lanahan, followed by a Chamberlain effort on the right just after he had sent a previous shot just wide.
The last 5 minutes saw Boro’ renew their efforts and when Bennett put Matt Ball in possession, his looping shot was just too high. Then Bennett again did well to win the ball only to give it back with a poor final pass. The last action of the half saw Matt Ball feed JJ Hooper in the area but his shot bounced on top of the bar.
Half time Dorchester 0 – Farnborough 0
A keenly contested half which saw both sides rue missed opportunities and both keepers make several excellent saves. The 2nd half kicked off at 4.14pm with Boro’ replacing Darryl Siaw with Tyrone Berry. I suspect Siaw had only just made the starting line-up having been injured and was maybe feely the effects.
Boro’ continued attacking and when an attempt by Page was scrambled clear it fell to Berry whose shot was too high. Bennett then crossed well but Page just failed to connect. During this early period Boro’ were very much on top, but unable to finish off with a goal. When the Magpies won a corner the Boro’ goal had a lucky escape, then CJ did well to get back and block Crittenden before Chamberlain brought another good save from Fitzsimons.
Page had a shot deflected for a corner and Walker-Harris grabbed Berry’s cross. Play continued to swing from end to end and Treacher crossed from left only for Page to blast well over, then at the other end Fitzsimons was caught in the face jumping for a high ball and play was held up for him to receive treatment.
Back on the attack Page put Bennett clear but he shot wide only to see another shot, seconds later rebound from the crossbar. Byerley then shot wide for the home side before Berry suffered a poor bounce after a good approach and shot wide, then watched another shot from 25 yards, strike the post.
Dorchester brought on Case for Lanahan (75) and went on the attack in search of a break through. They didn’t have to wait long and from a corner on the right, skipper Mark Jermyn fired through a bunch of players to put his side ahead. Fitzsimons looked to have been impeded, but his protests fell on deaf ears. 1 – 0 79 minutes.
When Smeeton fouled Matt Ball and the free kick was scrambled clear, Alfred Bosch’s shot was too high. This proved to be his last action as he was replaced by Connor French on 82 minutes. Boro’ continued to bombard the home goal but simply couldn’t get the ball over the line.
Dorchester used a 2nd sub on 87 minutes when Makoni replaced Byerley before the last action saw Matt Ball put Tyrone Berry through only for his shot to be blocked for what proved to be a fruitless corner. In stoppage time, Matt Ball was booked for a foul on Jake Smeeton and that saw the last of the action.
Result Dorchester 1 Boro’ 0
A disappointing result for Boro’ forced to make changes after the fine win on Tuesday against Bishops Stortford, but there was no shortage of effort and but for the fine game Walker-Harris enjoyed, plus some stout woodwork, it could have been very different. We really must get into the habit of shooting more quickly when around the box.
Man of the match: Alan Walker-Harris (and I think he should have shared the accolade with Fitzsimons).
Match Report by Tony Duff.