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Magpies suffer Williams woe
BASINGSTOKE TOWN 2 DORCHESTER TOWN 1
KIEFFER Moore bagged his first goal for the Magpies but it proved to be in vain as the county town side were unable to do what they had done against the same opponents earlier this month and come back from two goals down to earn a point.
In a match low in quality, Manny Williams netted a brace for the hosts – his first goals for the club – before Moore replied with a close-range header to set up a tense final few minutes at the Camrose in Hamp-shire.
And Dorchester could well have snatched a draw and stretched their unbeaten run to four Blue Square Bet South games had Neil Martin’s late effort not struck an upright.
If there were positives for the Magpies to take from the 90 minutes it was that both Ashley Nicholls and club captain Mark Jermyn were introduced to the action in the second half after spells out through injury.
Boss Phil Simkin will be hoping that the two of them felt no after effects as his attention now turns to tomorrow’s trip to Truro City, Moore’s former club.
On Saturday, Simkin chose to make no changes in personnel to the side that started the win at Bath City and there was little to excite both sets of supporters during a pretty drab first half.
But it was the Magpies who arguably had the best of the few chances there were and Moore fired over after some good play from Ben Watson early on.
Then with 15 minutes on the clock Moore returned the favour, outstripping Jay Gasson down the right only for his strike partner to head wide from just six yards out.
After that the match turned into a scrappy affair with forwards on both sides feeding off scraps.
Home striker Delano Sam-Yorke couldn’t make the most of a lucky ricochet as he scuffed wide then the same man beat two Magpies players but his pull back failed to find Stuart Lake on the edge of the area.
A Sam Malsom corner was headed just past an upright by Arran Pugh, chasing a second goal in as many games, and Basingstoke keeper Ashley Bayes needed to be alert to stop Moore getting on the end of a through ball from midfield.
It was the hosts’ turn to go close moments later when Charlie Clough almost turned the ball past his own keeper following a clever piece of play by Sam-Yorke.
The resulting corner found the head of Lake but his looping effort was dealt with by Matthews. The opening period ended with Malsom finding his range from distance, one shot going very close, the other end-angering those outside the ground.
An early goal was desperately needed to bring the game to life as the second half got under way and, despite Watson making way for Nicholls and the Magpies packing the midfield, Basingstoke found the net first.
The ball bobbled around in the Dorchester area and when the chance fell for Dunn he poked an effort at goal, Matthews saved it, but Williams was the quickest to react and he drilled home.
Williams, whose goal was his first for his club, almost got a second as he twisted and turned in the area before forcing Matt- hews to make a superb reaction save, that after Sam-Yorke had seen his claims for a penalty waved away.
Pugh was a constant threat at set-pieces and Bayes was thankful the centre-back headed straight at him on one such occasion.
At the other end, the Magpies were riding their luck at times and they should have conceded a second when the dangerous Sam-Yorke worked more magic on the flank and Shaun McAuley found row Z from inside the six-yard box.
In an attempt to get that all-important equaliser, Clough was ordered up front but after Sam-Yorke and Williams wasted half-chances the latter did get his and his side’s second of the match with seven minutes left.
Wes Daly smacked a post from 18 yards, the ball dropped invitingly for Williams and he took a touch before slotting past Matthews.
However, just as the Basingstoke fans were savouring a welcome three points, Smeeton fought his way past a couple of defenders and crossed to the far post where Moore was waiting to head in from a yard out.
With the game just about to enter injury time there was an almighty scramble in the Basingstoke area and when the ball fell to Martin he cracked a shot against the outside of a post.
The Magpies laid siege to the home goal in time added on but other than one weak header straight at Bayes sadly there was to be no dramatic ending.
Basingstoke: Bayes, Smart, Warner, Rice, Gasson, Lake, Daly, McAuley (Sills 73), Williams (Holder-Spooner 86), Sam-Yorke, Dunn. Subs not used: Ray, Ogunbote, Paterson Magpies: Matthews, Bell, Smeeton, Pugh, Clough, Gleeson, Malsom, Morgan (Jermyn 64), Watson (Nicholls 45), Moore, Martin. Subs not used: S Walker, Carlile, Way