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MAGPIES: Morgan and Simkin dismissed in Avenue defeat
Video courtesy of Dorchester Town FC
BISHOP’S STORTFORD 3
Johnson 26, Symons 45, Sykes 88
LEWIS Morgan was sent off and manager Phil Simkin dismissed to the stands as the Magpies’ winless run in Skrill South stretched to seven games.
Neil Martin put the hosts in front with just 45 seconds on the clock but it was all downhill from there for the county town side.
Keeper Tim Sandercombe had a day to forget with his mistakes costing Dorchester on two occasions, the latter gifting the Blues a third goal late on.
By that point the home side were down to 10 men following Morgan’s second-half dismissal for a foul.
Simkin also incurred the wrath of the referee for remonstrating too vociferously and he had to sit out the remainder of the game with the supporters.
As expected, Sandercombe replaced the suspended Alan Walker-Harris in the Dorchester goal while Nick Crittenden returned from injury with Jamie Gleeson’s shoulder problem keeping him out.
Charlie Clough’s departure gave Harry Bell a chance to impress and there was also a place on the bench for young Jack Twyford, who has caught the eye for the reserves this season.
Twyford had barely had time to take his seat on the bench before the Magpies took the lead inside the first minute.
Aristide Bassele made the most of a poor ball out to the right wing and when his cross brushed off the head of a Blues defender Martin was there to lunge forward and poke the ball home with his trusted left foot.
The visitors had a couple of half chances to draw level soon after. First, Matt Johnson surged clear on the right but dragged his shot wide and then Cliff Akurang blasted over after a great defensive block by Danny Green.
Sandercombe was kept busy early on and he needed to be on his toes to deny Callum McNaughton who was allowed a free header from a Johnson free-kick.
They may have been behind but the Blues were looking the more dangerous in front of goal and Steve Walker was in the right place at the right time to clear another threat.
However, there was no excusing Blues skipper Reece Prestidge for his miss that followed.
Right-back Ben Adams floated a cross to the far post and the visitors’ captain contrived to head the ball wide from just four yards out.
Fortunately for him, on 26 minutes dead ball specialist Johnson wasn’t so wasteful with his finishing, although there were big question marks over Sandercombe’s positioning.
Johnson was faced with a free-kick at least 30 yards from goal and with everyone, including Sandercombe, thinking he was going to cross the midfielder fired a superb shot into the roof of the net.
It was only what the Blues deserved for their play and the Magpies’ frustrations resulted in yellows for Martin and Ben Watson.
But just when it looked like the hosts would scramble their way to the interval at 1-1, the Blues went in front.
Akurang was given way too much space to head a ball to Kyle Vassell and although Sandercombe made a decent stop from him the ball found its way to Nicky Symons and he drilled in a powerful low shot.
The game could well have been put out of Dorchester’s reach within 30 seconds of the restart. Poor defending gave Johnny Herd space to run into and his cross was met by Johnson who could only shoot straight at Sandercombe from eight yards.
Chances kept coming for the Blues and Sandercombe was grateful to gather a George Sykes effort while at the other end Morgan tried his luck from long range.
Morgan was involved again on the hour mark but not in the way he would have wanted.
After Sean Francis got away with just a yellow for bringing down Bassele when the striker might have been through on goal, Morgan was shown a straight red card for going in too hard on Herd.
And not only did Morgan see red but Simkin was sent to the stands for taking his protestations too far with referee Ian Cooper. Steve Walker and Bassele were also cautioned in the aftermath of the incident for dissent.
Dorchester may have been a man down but they weren’t giving up by any means and they came within inches of levelling the scores when Martin swung over a corner and a combination of keeper and defender managed to keep Walker’s header out.
However, any hopes the hosts had of salvaging a point ended in the 88th minute and the blame, again, lay with Sandercombe.
Taking too long to distribute possession, he allowed Sykes to charge down his clearing kick, the ball hit the bar and the Stortford man had the easy task of heading in the rebound.
Magpies: Sandercombe, Green, Martin, Jermyn, Walker, Pugh (Beasley 84), Crittenden, Morgan, Watson, Bassele, Bell (Goodship 46). Subs not used: Way, Ramday, Twyford.
Stortford: Wright, Adams (Baker 74), Herd, Akurang, Francis, McNaughton, Symons (Church 83), Vassell (Asante 69), Sykes, Prestidge. Subs not used: Milbourne, Cowler.
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