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Clough completes Magpies' comeback
DORCHESTER TOWN 2 BASINGSTOKE TOWN 2
GOALS from Sam Malsom and Charlie Clough saw the Magpies recover from a shocking start to earn a point against fellow strugglers Basinsgtoke at the Avenue last night.
The hosts were 2-0 down inside the first 10 minutes as Stuart Lake and then Simon Dunn found the back of the net with left-foot strikes from just inside the area.
But Dorchester showed character to fight back and they deservedly claimed a share of the spoils as their battle to beat the drop from Blue Square Bet South goes on.
Conceding early goals has been a nasty habit the Magpies have picked up recently and it was the same last night as Jason Matthews, back in goal in place of Alan Walker-Harris, didn’t have long to wait before he was picking the ball out of the net.
However, before the visitors took the lead it had been a fairly even start with Malsom forcing Basing-stoke captain and keeper Ashley Bayes to tip over for a corner.
Basingstoke came back and Rob Rice stormed down the right, found Manny Williams and he set-up Dunn but the midfielder could only fire over the bar.
But his side did go in front in the seventh minute when, out of nothing, the ball broke to Lake just inside the Magpies’ box and he lashed a left-foot shot past Matt-hews.
And two minutes later it was 2-0.
Delano Sam-Yorke put the Magpies defenders on the back foot, shipped the ball on to Williams and just when it looked like the chance had gone he managed to find Dunn and his effort took a deflection and clipped the underside of the bar before nestling in the net.
Things could well have got a whole lot worse for the hosts soon after when an awful Neil Martin corner led to a Basingstoke break. Harry Bell’s slip allowed Williams to play in Wes Daly and when he pulled the ball back for his team-mate, Williams’ attempt was blocked by Jamie Gleeson.
Sam-Yorke was then given too much space to turn and shoot but fortunately for the Magpies his effort went well wide but the home side hit back and Malsom fired straight at Bayes.
Sensing the next goal would probably determine the outcome of the match, Gleeson was a bit too eager to get his side going and he was booked for a foul on Shaun McAuley as the two went into a full-blooded challenge.
However, 60 seconds later Gleeson and the rest of Phil Simkin’s men were celebrating as Malsom pulled a goal back to make it 2-1 on 28 minutes.
And it was Malsom who started the move that led to it. A surging run down the middle saw him find Clough, he beat his man, pulled the ball back and Malsom, who had continued his run, slid in to convert from a couple of yards out ahead of defender Ross Adams.
A foul on McAuley earned Martin a booking then Jake Smeeton replaced the unlucky Lewis Morgan who went off with a groin strain. Martin moved into midfield and Smeeton fitted in at left-back.
There was almost a second for Malsom when Bayes completely missed Nicholls’ through ball but the Dorchester man couldn’t turn it into the empty net.
Just before the break that man Malsom tried to curl a shot past Bayes but the Basingstoke skipper pushed the ball away.
Referee Nigel Lugg evened up the yellow cards within the first seven minutes of the second half, booking Lake for his constant nagging and Sam-Yorke for one misdemeanour too many.
Basingstoke always looked dangerous in attack and the Magpies needed to rely on Nathan Walker and Arran Pugh to get them out of trouble on more than one occasion.
A long ball down the middle then set Williams free but last defender Bell timed his tackle to perfection to save the day for the hosts.
Down at the other end Clough was cautioned for taking his remonstrations with a linesman too far but a couple of minutes later he came up with the equaliser, burying a header from eight yards following good work down the left from Watson.
And had it not been for a superb defensive header by Rice on 76 minutes Clough would have completed the Dorchester come back.
Basingstoke’s Lake was then ruing a great chance missed as he could only shoot into the arms of Matt-hews.
With the stakes so high Malsom let the occasion get the better of him and he was booked for a dive in the Basingstoke area before Matthews spilled a Sam-Yorke shot at the other end and Dunn fired over from six yards.
Magpies: Matthews, Bell, Martin, Pugh, Walker, Gleeson, Morgan (Smeeton 35), Nicholls (Mutch 83), Watson, Clough, Malsom. Subs not used: Way, Brooks, Walker-Harris
Basingstoke: Bayes (capt), Rice, Jefford, Adams, Gasson, Lake, Daly, McAuley (Holder-Spooner 78), Williams (Sills 70), Sam-Yorke, Dunn. Subs not used: Smart, Ogunbote, Warner