RELEGATED Dorchester made fellow strugglers Whitehawk sweat in a tense affair on the South Coast.

But a sixth defeat in seven for Phil Simkin’s side confirmed why their tenure in Conference South is coming to an end.

Whitehawk, who are battling to avoid relegation themselves, eventually ran out comfortable 3-0 winners and it would have been more had Alan Walker-Harris not saved Dominic Green’s penalty in the closing stages.

However, for long periods there was not too much in this game, certainly in terms of the scoreline, and things could have been so much different if the Magpies had taken the lead inside the first minute as they threatened to do.

Jack Twyford, one of two changes from the side that lost to Hayes and Yeading in midweek, burst into the penalty area but fired the wrong side of the far post.

With Whitehawk’s confidence fragile as they fight to beat the drop, it would have been interesting to see how they would have responded.

As it was, it came down to taking chances. That proved to be the Magpies’ best of the game, although Steve Walker had a second-half header cleared off the line and Twyford had another effort deep into stoppage time tipped around a post.

By contrast, Whitehawk were more clinical with their opportunities, certainly in the second half when Dorchester got on top for a while, forcing the home side to abandon their own passing game and hit the ball long.

That is something Simkin will have to work on as he prepares for next season but at least his players stuck to the passing game he preaches – a style which will serve them well as they look to put this season behind them.

The Magpies did not have the best of preparations for the game as traffic problems meant they only arrived an hour before kick-off.

Simkin brought in Twyford and Steve Walker for Jake Smeeton and Warren Byerley and had the advantage in the first half of the Enclosed Ground’s notorious slope.

They threatened to go ahead after just 53 seconds with a fast break which ended with Twyford bursting into the box only to shoot left-footed past Chris Winterton’s far post.

That proved to be Dorchester’s best chance of the first half and arguably of the game.

Just before half-time, Charlie Losasso – hungry to impress against a side where he has enjoyed two loan spells – crossed from the left but defender Tom Cadmore blocked Steve Walker’s attempt to shoot at the expense of a corner.

In between those two efforts, it was all the home side, who grew in confidence as the half wore on.

A powerful header from Danny Mills was acrobatically clawed away for a corner by Walker-Harris then David Da Silva dragged a shot wide after a flowing move.

Neither Cadmore nor Fairhurst could force home a Da Silva corner on 31 minutes but the deadlock was broken two minutes later.

Mills, who scored five in the win at Dorchester earlier in the season, did well to get past left-back Dan Way and cross invitingly for Fairhurst to steer the ball home from close range.

On 69 minutes Steve Walker out-jumped goalkeeper Winterton to head Mark Jermyn’s free-kick goalwards but Lee Hills comfortably cleared off the line.

Four minutes later the hosts went 2-0 ahead when Fairhurst teed up Mills and that was effectively game over.

Way brought down Mills for a penalty on 78 minutes, earning himself a booking in the process, but Walker-Harris saved Green’s spot-kick.

A third goal did follow on 83 minutes when Hills threaded a pass for Mills to run on to and poke the ball past Walker-Harris for a 3-0 scoreline which slightly flattered the home side.

Whitehawk: Winterton, Rose, Cadmore, S Robinson, Hills, Green, Forbes, Fraser, Da Silva (Smith 60), Fairhurst (Nangle 81), Mills (Addai 90). Subs not used: J Robinson, Hustwick.

Magpies: Walker-Harris, Case, N Walker, McCarthy, Way, Twyford, Jermyn, Lanahan (Smith 90), Losasso, Chamberlain (Makoni 71), S Walker. Subs not used: Munday, Byerley, Murphy.

Bookings: Whitehawk – None Magpies – Way (foul, 78) Referee: Paul Harris (Maidstone) Attendance: 199