EASTBOURNE 0 MAGPIES 1
A FINE second-half strike from Sam Lanahan saw the Magpies celebrate a superb away victory against play-off chasing Eastbourne Borough.
With a stiff wind at their backs, Borough enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in the first half but a combination of sloppy passing from the home side and resolute defending from Dorchester kept chances to a minimum.
The best opportunity to open the scoring fell to the hosts on 30 minutes and stemmed from an inviting ball from the left by ex-Birmingham City youth player Jack Deaman.
Simon Johnson flicked on the cross and full-back Sam Cole, back in favour at Priory Lane after his loan spell at Lewes, powered a firm header against the post.
Dorchester were camped in their own half for large chunks of the first period but on the occasions they did foray forward they attacked with purpose.
Winger Charlie Losasso provided a useful outlet on the left and he caused a few problems for Borough right-back Lewis Tallack.
In the 43rd minute it was Losasso’s good run and cross that teed up Jack Twyford, however, his flashing header across the goal was an inch wide of the far post.
After the interval, and now assisted by the elements, Dorchester began brightly and Nick Crittenden tested Craig Ross in the Borough goal with a fizzing effort that the keeper gathered safely low to his right.
The all-important breakthrough arrived on 57 minutes. Ross’ clearance following a Dorchester corner held up in the wind and bounced off the back of Simon Johnson’s head as he ran away from goal just inside his own half.
Losasso found Lanahan and he took full advantage, easily wrong-footing Tallack on the edge of the box before curling an excellent effort beyond Ross and into the bottom corner.
Veteran Gary Hart was thrown into the action to replace Deaman – the defender hadn’t fully recovered from a first-half injury – as the hosts searched for an equaliser.
Striker Darren Lok, so often a match winner when coming off the bench for Eastbourne, offered fresh legs up front to relieve the hard-working Elvis Hammond, and Cole was given licence to bomb forward at every opportunity.
Giant centre-half Ian Simpemba headed a cross just wide after a brief spell of pressure but it was Dorchester who came closest to scoring next.
Twyford tried his luck from the edge of the box with a left-footed effort but the drifted just wide of the target.
Four minutes of stoppage time were added but although Borough lumped a couple of hopeful balls into the box, none of them troubled the under-worked visiting keeper Alan Walker-Harris.
A small but noisy Dorchester contingent celebrated a rare victory on the road when the full-time whistle blew, while Borough fans headed for the exits grumbling about the wind, the rain and a poor performance from their side.
Speaking after the game, Dorchester striker Warren Byerley said he felt his side deserved the win.
“We worked very hard today,” he said. “We created some decent chances and were good value for the three points.”
Eastbourne: Ross, Tallack, Gorman, Cole, Simpemba, Watts, Derry, Raymond, Hammond (Lok 62), Johnson, Deaman (Hart 52). Subs not used: Aldred, Levy, Rowe.
Magpies: Walker-Harris, Case, Smeeton, Jermyn, N Walker, Lanahan, Twyford, Gleeson, Crittenden, Byerley (Munday 90), Losasso. Subs not used: Makoni, Ward, Way, Brooks.
Bookings: Eastbourne – Raymond
Magpies – Case
Referee: Ryan Atkin (London)