TONBRIDGE ANGELS 2
Suarez 49, Bell og 54
Dorchester TOWN 1
IN the proverbial game of two halves, Dorchester led at the break but ultimately slipped to a third straight defeat in Blue Square Bet South.
The Magpies were by far the superior side in the first 45 minutes, twice being denied by the frame of the goal before Sam Malsom gave them a deserved lead at the Longmead Stadium.
But the second half was a completely different story as Tonbridge Angels turned the tables in a five-minute spell, equalising through Mikel Suarez and then edging ahead via a Harrison Bell own goal.
And the outcome means recently-appointed boss Phil Simkin has yet to taste victory in the league since taking the reins earlier this month.
Dorchester have now dropped to 10th in the table after being overtaken by their opponents.
Following the midweek Dorset Senior Cup triumph, Simkin made two changes to his starting XI and they both came at full-back with Bell and Jake Smeeton replacing Kyle Critchell and Neil Martin respectively.
The latter dropped to the bench while Critchell missed out through illness.
Dan Floyd, 19, continued in goal with Nic Jones (dislocated finger) only fit enough to be named among the substitutes.
Keen to record their first league success since the departure of former manager Alan Knight, the Magpies made a positive start to proceedings.
However, they suffered an early setback when frontman Ryan Dovell, already carrying a thigh problem, went off with a head injury.
But moments before the change, which saw Martin enter the fray, Max Worsfold embarked on a solo run, beating a number of home defenders before seeing his shot come back off a post.
Worsfold was then moved into a more advanced role, allowing substitute Martin to occupy the left flank, and the county town side continued to enjoy the better of the first half.
Having scored his first goal for almost two years last Tuesday night, midfielder Jamie Gleeson went extremely close to finding the net in successive matches.
Unfortunately for him and the travelling contingent, the crossbar came to the Angels’ rescue.
The hosts did have their moments in the first period and Floyd had to be at his best to keep out a quickly-taken free-kick.
But, having already twice hit the woodwork, it was no surprise to see the visitors grab the opening goal.
Good work from Martin and Worsfold helped create an opportunity for Malsom to let fly and the latter duly fired home from the edge of the penalty area.
The Magpies should have doubled their advantage minutes before the break but after Malsom beat the offside trap and delivered a superb cut back, Worsfold could only blaze over when it seemed easier to score.
For all their dominance in the first half, Dorchester were pegged back not long after the restart as Suarez was afforded a free header from a 49th-minute corner.
And they found themselves trailing soon after courtesy of another set-piece – this time a Smeeton clearance rebounded off the unfortunate Bell and flew into the Magpies’ net.
Tonbridge were now very much in the ascendancy and the league’s leading scorer, Frannie Collin, stung the palms of Floyd, who was fortunate to gather at the second attempt.
The Magpies managed to weather the storm without conceding a third but they struggled to recapture their first-half form at the other end of the field, and the hosts went on to grab a welcome win – their first in six outings.
Magpies: Floyd, Bell, Smeeton, Jermyn, N Walker, Gleeson, Crittenden, Nicholls, Dovell (Martin 5), Worsfold (Carlile 80), Malsom. Subs not used: Goodland, Tennant, Jones.