Gleeson 52

A SECOND-HALF strike from Jamie Gleeson was enough to secure Dorchester Town’s place in today’s draw for the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup.

The tenacious midfielder fired home his second goal in successive home outings in the 52nd minute to earn a £7,500 prize for his club and send Blue Square Bet South rivals Basingstoke Town crashing out of the competition.

Gleeson has now scored more goals in the space of eight days than in the previous two seasons put together.

But the Magpies were also indebted to manager Phil Simkin, who made a brave double substitution with only 26 minutes on the clock to help dilute the influence of dangerman Delano Sam-Yorke.

And the move ultimately paid off as Simkin, who collected his September manager of the month award prior to kick-off, watched his men go on to maintain their 100 per cent record on home turf.

The county town chief said: “We have beaten a very good side. Although there wasn’t a great deal of football played, if you’ve got Tim Sills up front you will always look to hit him.

“I thought we dealt with him eventually but it was Sam-Yorke who was causing us problems, he was so strong.

“Once we made the early changes we got a hold of the game. Charlie Clough moved to left-back and was absolutely outstanding, Arran Pugh came on and looked like he’s been there all season for us and we won the game with another goal from Jamie Gleeson.

“Jamie Symes also did a great job coming on but we also had to thank Jason Matthews for an excellent save to keep us ahead.

“We are delighted to have won and got some more prize money for the club. Hopefully we will get another home draw in the next round.”

Despite falling to their heaviest defeat in 14 months last time out, courtesy of a 4-0 loss at table-topping Salisbury City, Simkin saw fit to only make one change to his county town line-up with Sam Malsom coming in for Nick Crittenden.

The visitors were the first to settle at the Avenue and only a decent block prevented Stefan Brown handing his side an early advantage.

Boss Simkin highlighted Sam-Yorke as a potential threat in Fri-day’s Echosport and he was right to be wary of the powerful forward.

Sam-Yorke was a constant thorn in the Magpies’ side early on, winning several corners inside the opening 20 minutes.

And from one set-piece, which was taken short, Tim Sills – another man singled out by Simkin in his pre-match preview – headed wide from Callum McNish’s centre.

Prior to that chance, Brown was booked for simulation following a challenge by Supporters Club player of the month Nathan Walker right on the edge of the home box.

In an attempt to break Basingstoke’s hold on the match, the Dorchester chief made a bold switch in only the 26th minute with Arran Pugh and Jamie Symes replacing Neil Martin and Lewis Morgan.

Charlie Clough was moved to left-back in an attempt to deal with the pace and power of Sam-Yorke, and Pugh partnered Walker at the heart of the defence.

The move did at least provide some respite for the hosts as Symes mustered their first attempt of any note 35 minutes in, albeit a fairly routine stop for gloveman Ashley Bayes.

Malsom doubled the shot tally soon after, forcing Bayes into a low save at his near post after Clough had won the Magpies’ first corner of the afternoon.

Jason Matthews was alert to gather Sills’ chipped effort three minutes into the restart and from the resulting break, Jamie Reid somehow headed over from inside the six-yard area following a great cross from Gleeson.

The Magpies had made a much brighter start to the second period and they got their reward four minutes later with the opening goal.

Symes’ fierce strike from 20 yards was expertly parried by Bayes but Malsom was on hand to gather the rebound and lay the ball into the path of the onrushing Gleeson, who gleefully fired home.

Pugh was forced to clear in front of his own goal from Nathan Campbell’s 63rd minute header as the visitors sought a swift response.

And they went even closer midway through the half with Sam-Yorke’s 20-yard curler being met by an equally impressive save from Matthews.

At the other end, Reid failed with two efforts, one kept out comfortably by Bayes and the other flying high and wide.

As it was, the Magpies didn’t require the luxury of a second goal as their narrow lead proved sufficient to book their place in the fourth qualifying round for the first time since 2008 – the year they went on to meet Oxford United in the first round proper.

Magpies: Matthews, Jermyn, Martin (Pugh 26), Clough, Walker, Gleeson, Morgan (Symes 26), Nicholls, Watson, Reid, Malsom. Subs not used: Crittenden, Bell, Garcia, Gosling, Floyd.

’Stoke: Bayes, Rice, Warner, Paterson, Gasson, Campbell, Daly (McAuley 81), McNish, Sills, Sam-Yorke, Brown (Holder-Spooner 65). Subs not used: Little, Smart, Dunn, Maylen, McDonnell.

* Dorchester will host Hamworthy United, a side formerly managed by Simkin, in the second round of the Dorset Senior Cup on October 30.