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Magpies soar to second
SUTTON UNITED 1 DORCHESTER TOWN 2
ASHLEY Nicholls and Ben Watson both found the net for the first time in county town colours as the Magpies soared to second spot in Blue Square Bet South.
Making his 44th appearance for the club, Nicholls struck with a quarter of an hour gone.
And the visitors’ lead was doubled just two minutes later as Watson opened his account for the club from close range.
Sutton United replied in the second half with a Gareth Gwillim spot-kick and despite laying siege to the Magpies’ goal, there was to be no late leveller for last season’s play-off semi-finalists.
The result leaves Phil Simkin’s troops level on points with early leaders Bath City, who they defeated last Monday, but trailing on goal difference.
The delighted boss said: “We were 2-0 up at half-time and it could have been four or five – we should have been out of sight by half-time.
“They made some substitutions and changed their shape and they really pressured us in the second half.
“We had to do some last-ditch defending and fair play to Sutton as they are a good side and they don’t lose many games at home.
“They got a penalty, which was a penalty, to get it back to 2-1 and it was like the Alamo in the last 10 minutes, but the lads were throwing their bodies in the way and we deserved to win.
“Jason Matthews also pulled off an incredible save and it just goes to show that a good goalkeeper is worth a lot of points.”
Following the fine victory over Bath, the Magpies named an unchanged XI for the first time this season.
Their opponents entered the clash still looking for their first win of the campaign.
And the search seemed destined to continue as the county town side made a dream start.
With just 17 minutes gone at Gander Green Lane, the Magpies were two goals to the good.
First, Nicholls broke the deadlock after being set up by Watson before the latter also opened his account for the club just two minutes later, turning home Neil Martin’s corner.
Dorchester did suffer a blow towards the end of the half as Jamie Symes limped off with a groin injury, but it was the visitors who continued to look the more dangerous of the two sides and they should really have extended their lead before half-time.
Fortunately for the home side, gloveman Kevin Scriven made a superb save from Watson’s goalbound effort before Charlie Clough headed over from the subsequent corner.
Sutton made a double change at the break in a desperate attempt to rescue something from the game.
And the alterations appeared to have the desired effect as the Us made a much brighter start to the second period.
The home improvement eventually yielded a goal in the 59th minute as Martin upended Harry Beautyman in the box and Gwillim converted to reduce the deficit.
United piled on the pressure as they went in search of an equaliser.
Substitute Connor McLaren hit a post and Craig Watkins saw a header cleared off the line by Nicholls in the final minute but the Magpies stood firm to record their third win of the campaign – and their first on the road.
United: Scriven, Riviere, Gwillim, Stuart, Telfer (Dundas 46), McKoy (Ibe 26), Kavanagh (McLaren 46), Watkins, Vassell, Beautyman, Rents. Subs not used: Abnett, Jones.
Magpies: Matthews, Jermyn, Martin, Clough, Walker, Gleeson, Symes (Ward 31 (Crittenden 87)), Nicholls, Watson, Reid, Morgan (Malsom 64). Subs not used: Bell, Wannell.
Booked: Magpies – Jermyn Attendance: 420