BURNHAM 1 DORCHESTER TOWN 5
NICK Crittenden gave a vintage show as the Magpies romped to a stunning 5-1 victory at the Gore last night.
The 35-year-old winger hit a hat-trick as Phil Simkin’s men notched five goals to earn their first Southern Premier Division points of the season.
Ben Joyce had given the county town side the lead in the first minute before Dan Cann and a double from Crittenden had earned a four-goal lead inside 24 minutes.
The hosts did hit back before the break to close the deficit, but Crittenden sealed his treble on the hour.
Dorchester boss Simkin made two changes from Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Arlesey as midfielder Jamie Gleeson returned to replace injured Cherries’ loanee Mason Walsh, while on the bench, Sam Smith was named instead of Ryan Woodford.
The visitors enjoyed a dream start when they took the lead after just 32 seconds.
Dan Smith burst down the left and dragged the ball back to Joyce who swept the ball home from six yards despite home keeper James Reading getting a touch.
The Magpies then doubled their lead a minute later when striker Cann, with his back to goal, hooked the ball into the net after a cross from Callum Buckley.
Crittenden then made it 3-0 after finishing from six yards on eight minutes after Joyce made a strong run down the left wing on the counter-attack before finding Smith, who crossed for the winger to score.
Before that, visiting keeper Alan Walker-Harris, who was looking to make amends after his mistake cost the Magpies on Saturday, pushed Zak Joseph’s curling free-kick over the crossbar and, after Crittenden’s goal, Gleeson saw an effort charged down.
Crittenden then bagged his second goal after 24 minutes. Jake Smeeton’s free-kick rebounded from the wall and went out for a throw-in. From Cann’s long throw, the former Yeovil man finished superbly with a fiercely-hit shot.
Burnham reduced the deficit on 29 minutes when Jon Munday rose at the far post to score after a cross from Brad Hewitt.
As the Magpies pressed just before the break, Smith saw his free-kick hit the hosts’ wall twice as Crittenden, who was looking for a first-half hat-trick, was lurking in the box.
Meanwhile, home captain Nathan Poulton saw his looping header go over the crossbar, while Kofi Lockhart-Adams had his shot comfortably saved from Walker-Harris in the closing stages of the first period.
The Blues thought they had scored a second moments into the second half but Romaine Walker’s shot, curled from the edge of the box, was touched into the net by a team-mate, who was in an offside position and the effort was ruled out.
The hosts then upped the tempo when Hewitt hit the post on 55 minutes with a header and, from the rebound, Adams was forced wide and could only hit the side-netting.
However, the Magpies struck again on the hour as Crittenden sealed his hat-trick when firing home a low shot from the edge of the box to give his side a 5-1 lead.
Poulton then curled an effort just wide of Walker-Harris’ goal from 25 yards.
Simkin made his first change when Sam Lanahan replaced Will Agbo on 73 minutes as the Magpies looked to see the game out.
The Blues never looked like closing the deficit and Hewitt’s 25-yard effort was an easy catch for Walker-Harris.
Joseph then fed a ball through for Romaine Walker to hit but his 25-yard shot swerved wide of the far post and out of play.
Alex Godfrey replaced Critten-den after 86 minutes and the veteran winger received a standing ovation from the travelling Magpies’ fans.
The only sour note on a superb evening for the Magpies was a yellow card for Smith for a foul in the last minute, but that couldn’t dampen the county town celebrations as the final whistle blew.
Burnham: Reading, Sackey (Walker 46), Phillips, Hewitt, Munday (Ajanlekoko, 46), Christian, Webb, Poulton, Adams (Butt 58), Joseph, Hutchinson. Subs not used: Dean McDonald, Aaron Couch
Magpies: Walker-Harris, Hangar, Buckley, Smeeton, S Walker, Agbo (Lanahan 73), Crittendon (Godfrey 86), Gleeson, Cann, Joyce, D Smith. Subs not used: S Smith, Brooks, Murphy
Referee: Jonathan Hollier
Bookings – Burnham: None
Magpies: D Smith (foul, 89)