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MAGPIES: Mark Jermyn's header keeps Dorchester Town's slim survival hopes alive
DORCHESTER Town live to fight another day in Skrill South after a thunderous header from returning captain Mark Jermyn sealed a hard-fought victory over Farnborough at the Avenue.
Jermyn headed in from Nick Crittenden’s pinpoint corner 11 minutes from time and, with other results going in their favour, the Magpies staved off relegation for at least a few days more.
Three more points will be needed against Hayes & Yeading next Tuesday, though they must try and do that without Warren Byerley whose loan spell has now come to an end.
However, today’s success came after it was announced that Jamie Gleeson, who won’t play any further part this season, has signed a new contract for next term.
Skipper Jermyn returned from suspension to lead the hosts against Farnborough, and both Dan Way and Nick Crittenden were back after injury.
Ryan Case and Jack Twyford dropped to the bench while Steve Walker was out of the 16-man squad altogether.
One familiar face in the Boro line-up was Fraser Colmer who played for the Magpies earlier this season while on loan from Southampton.
The visitors made the early running following an impeccably observed minute’s silence marking 25 years since the Hillsborough tragedy.
Dan Bennett and Phil Page looked lively in the early stages as Dorchester were a bit slow in getting out of the blocks.
The first shot on target came from the left foot of Boro striker JJ Hooper on 11 minutes. He made the most of Jermyn’s indecisiveness to fire a shot at goal which Alan Walker-Harris pushed away.
The Dorchester keeper needed to be on his toes soon after, and it was Hooper again who was the man to test him. On this occasion it was Sam Lanahan who was guilty of taking too much time on the ball.
Boro may have had two decent chances but the Magpies had come into the game more by that stage, with Charlie Losasso impressing down the left.
A lovely pass by Elliott Chamberlain found Losasso but his poor first touch took the ball away from goal and even though he went down in the box under a challenge the referee was having none of it.
The hosts then came within inches of taking the lead from a free-kick on the right. Nathan Walker got above his marker and his header, which Boro keeper Ross Fitzsimons got a hand to, was going in until Olly Treacher cleared off the line.
Minutes later a flowing move involving Crittenden and Chamberlain set-up Lanahan for a powerful drive that Fitzsimons pushed away.
Magpies’ fans thought their side had gone in front just before the interval when a dipping cross-cum-shot from Jermyn had Fitzsimons in all sorts of trouble. Luckily for him, the ball cleared his bar, but only just.
Boro then went even closer in first half injury-time as a ball in from Matt Ball was met by Hooper and his delicate effort clipped the top of the bar.
Hooper’s strike partner Page was in the thick of the action early in the second half.
He had a couple of great opportunities to break the deadlock and should really have put at least one of them away.
The first produced a block from Walker-Harris, the second he sliced from no more than seven yards out.
But while Boro appeared to be on top, Dorchester could quite easily have gone a goal up when Jermyn met a Crittenden corner with his head and, in trying to deflect the ball in, Byerley instead managed to divert it over.
It was a wonder how the game was still goalless approaching the hour mark, though it probably had something to do with a mixture of poor finishing and good goalkeeping.
Chamberlain went close for the hosts at one end, turning his man before firing at Fitzsimons, then Page latched onto a through ball but Walker-Harris was there again to save.
The visitors then went agonisingly close twice in the space of four minutes and the woodwork came to Dorchester’s rescue on both occasions.
Bennett smashed a piledriver against the bar then, with the aid of Walker-Harris’ fingertips, substitute Tyrone Berry saw his long-range effort come back off an upright.
Then, in the 79th minute, the stalemate was finally ended.
A Crittenden corner from the right was met perfectly by Jermyn and his header flew into the corner of the net.
The header was, quite understandably, met by a huge ovation from the home fans that have been starved of goals to celebrate of late, and throughout the season as a whole.
The number one objective for the home side then was to protect their lead.
And, other than a few dangerous balls into their box, they were never really troubled by the visitors.
In fact, Dorchester may well have added to their tally had they kept their composure a bit better when it mattered.
Magpies: Walker-Harris, Lanahan (Case 76), Way, Jermyn, Walker, McCarthy, Crittenden, Smeeton, Chamberlain, Byerley (Makoni 89), Losasso. Subs not used: Munday, Twyford, Murphy.
Farnborough: Fitzsimons, Huggins, Treacher, Fearn, Siaw (Berry 46), Bosch (French 83), Bennett, Ball, Page, Hooper, Colmer.
Yellow cards: Magpies – Walker (dissent, 38), Smeeton (foul, 82)
Farnborough – Ball (foul, 90+2)
Ref: Anthony Serrano (Hemel Hempstead)
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