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Lowe point for Magpies
DORCHESTER TOWN 2 HAYES & YEADING 2
THEY say lightning never strikes twice in the same place.
Sadly for the Magpies at the Avenue on Saturday it did as just a few days after conceding in injury time to miss out on a precious victory, the same thing happened again.
A first half own goal and Ben Watson’s cool finish 13 minutes from time put the hosts in total control before substitute Jamal Lowe’s brace salvaged a point for Hayes & Yeading.
It was a case of déjà vu for everyone associated with the Magpies, who had also thrown away two points on New Year’s Day when Truro City forced a 2-2 draw in the closing stages.
However, with Bromley arriving in Dorchester tomorrow night at least Phil Simkin’s men won’t have the chance to dwell on Saturday’s disappointment for too long.
A surprising name on the Dor-chester team sheet was that of Jake Gosling, who it was thought had played his last game for the club against Truro.
But after Simkin confirmed his loan spell from Exeter had come to an end earlier in the week it was discovered he was actually eligible for one final match in Magpies’ colours.
He started in midfield alongside Sam Malsom with Nick Crittenden and George Colson dropping out while Richard Logan replaced Dan Thompson up front.
In a reshuffle at the back, Charlie Clough returned at centre-half but Arran Pugh, who was expected to regain his place after suspension, was not in the squad because of a groin strain.
Skipper Mark Jermyn moved to right-back in place of Jamie Symes and Nathan Walker continued at the heart of the Dorchester defence next to Clough.
Clear-cut chances were not in abundance in the early stages but Hayes’ defender Adam Bygrave came to his side’s rescue on a couple of occasions when blocking efforts from Watson and Logan.
The first real opportunity fell to the hosts on 17 minutes when Watson used his strength to hold the ball up in the Hayes & Yeading box and his lay-off was met by Jamie Gleeson whose left-foot drive went just past a post.
Not long after, Gosling sent Logan away, he teed up the ball for the arriving Malsom at the far post and the wide man took it first time on the volley only to see it fly inches over Brandon Hall’s crossbar.
Dorchester’s semi-dominance paid off on 26 minutes and Logan and Watson were involved again.
This time, Jason Matthews’ long clearance up field was flicked on by Logan, Watson made space on the left for a low cross and the unlucky Pedro Monteiro sliced the ball into the roof of his own net as he attempted to clear.
The away fans had to wait until the half-hour mark to see their side’s first effort on goal though Tom Cadmore’s shot was high and wide of the target.
It might well have been 2-0 to the Magpies just before the break but with the goal in sight, Ashley Nicholls was denied by a last-ditch tackle from Coskun Ekim.
At the other end, Nicholls did exactly the same when the speedy Daniel Wishart bore down on goal.
A scrappy start to the second half was brought to life by the dynamic Watson whose pull back was dragged wide by strike partner Logan before Nicholls fed Malsom and his shot was comfortably saved.
At the other end, there was only the occasional threat on Matthews’ goal and the Magpies’ keeper put himself under pressure by picking up a booking for kicking the ball away after referee Dan Cook had blown his whistle.
Watson was shining as the home side’s biggest threat going forward and, with a little under 20 minutes left, he twisted and turned his way past his marker and forced Hall into a smart save with his legs.
A pinpoint through ball from Logan then found that man Watson but Hall collected his effort, however, seconds later and the centre-forward was in on goal again, this time making no mistake as he coolly side-footed into the far corner.
Game over? Not quite.
Three minutes later and Dorch-ester’s lead had been halved when almost out of nothing the visitors levelled. Lowe latched on to a ball over the top of the Magpies’ defence, Matthews came out but could only grasp at thin air and the Hayes & Yeading substitute gleefully tapped in.
The Dorchester nerves were now clearly evident and it could well have been 2-2 in the final minute of normal time when Daniel Brath-waite’s corner was headed against the bar by Bygrave.
There was still time left though and as the visitors piled forward Clough’s attempted tackle on Calum Butcher sent the ball into Lowe’s path, he took it around Matthews and calmly slotted into an empty net.
Magpies: Matthews, Jermyn, Martin, Clough, Walker, Gleeson, Gosling, Nicholls, Watson, Logan, Malsom. Subs not used: Colson, Thompson, Smeeton, Brooks, Way.
Hayes & Yeading: Hall, Spence, Brathwaite, Cox, Bygrave, Monteiro, Cadmore, Bentley (Lowe 45+2), Oyenuga, Ekim (Harris 67), Wishart (Butcher 88)