Dorchester TOWN 1
DORCHESTER Town ended a rollercoaster season on a relative high as they avoided a fourth straight defeat in Blue Square Bet South.
And the home side had to come from behind to secure their best points tally in seven years – 56 from 42 outings – with Sam Malsom’s sixth goal in county town colours cancelling out Danny Waldren’s fortuitous opener.
Bromley were forced to play the final 37 minutes with just 10 men after Albert Jarrett was dismissed for kicking out at county town captain Mark Jermyn but they held on to ensure it ended honours even at the Avenue Stadium.
As revealed last Friday, the Magpies went into the clash with a distinct lack of firepower following Ryan Dovell’s failure to overcome the head injury that saw him withdrawn just minutes into the 2-1 defeat at Tonbridge.
That meant versatile full-back Kyle Critchell, fit again following a bout of illness, was named as a makeshift striker.
The only other change to the starting XI saw Neil Martin replace Jake Smeeton at left-back.
The Magpies were only able to name four fit substitutes, with just one of them – Antony Carlile – having previously made a first-team appearance this season.
Both sides mustered early sights of goal with Ashley Nicholls heading wide for the hosts and Bromley’s Waldren lashing wide from just inside the box, but the first major chance fell to the visitors.
Young gloveman Dan Floyd, making his home debut, flapped at a Jarrett cross but made amends with a super tip-over save after the loose ball was fired goalwards by captain Ali Fuseini.
Malsom was enjoying a bright start to proceedings and midway through the half he got the better of Marlon Patterson down the right before sending in a teasing delivery.
After a spot of pinball, Critchell went for goal but saw his close-range effort palmed away by keeper Joe Welsh.
Having gone close to taking the lead, Dorchester found themselves trailing just three minutes later.
Floyd made an unsuccessful attempt to claim Jarrett’s free-kick and the loose ball struck Waldren before rolling into an unguarded net.
It was almost 2-0 shortly after but Michael Malcolm failed to find the far corner after being set up by fellow ex-Terra Pierre Joseph-Dubois.
Back came the Magpies and only a smart stop from Welsh denied Malsom, with Tutu Henriques pinching the ball off the toe of Nicholls as the rebound dropped into the midfielder’s path.
The hosts ended the half in a positive fashion with Martin’s 20-yard free-kick narrowly missing the top corner and his injury-time corner being nodded over at the near post by Critchell.
The county town side continued in the same vein as the second half got underway and their reward was a 48th-minute equaliser – Malsom following up his own deflected cross to volley into the bottom corner.
And Dorchester’s cause received a further boost when Jarrett saw red five minutes later.
The visiting winger sent a petulant kick in the direction of Jermyn following a strong but fair challenge from the home skipper. However, the referee’s decision to issue a red card appeared harsh to say the least.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, Bromley went close to restoring their lead in a frantic 60-second spell.
It took a last-ditch tackle from Jermyn to halt Fuseini’s jinking run before the former produced another vital block to keep out Joseph-Dubois’ goalbound effort.
Floyd appeared to have the resulting corner covered but the ball dropped on to the crossbar before bouncing to safety.
The away side continued to create the better openings with substitute Aaron Rhule blazing over when well placed and another mazy foray from Fuseini being halted at the last by Nicholls.
But it was Dorchester who, like in the first half, finished the stronger.
A neat exchange between the home forwards saw Critchell play in Malsom and the latter poke into the side netting with Welsh advancing at a rate of knots.
Bromley’s number one then dived to his left to keep out another attempt from Malsom with Jermyn’s effort, from the subsequent corner, being cleared in front of goal before Harrison Bell was unable to divert Worsfold’s low centre goalwards – all in the same attack.
The final action saw Jamie Gleeson’s volley blocked bravely by Liam Harwood and with Martin’s corner successfully cleared by the visiting defence, the final whistle blew on another eventful season for the Magpies, who narrowly missed out on a top-10 finish.
Magpies: Floyd, Bell, Martin, Jermyn, N Walker, Gleeson, Crittenden, Nicholls, Critchell, Malsom, Worsfold. Subs not used: Carlile, Tennant, Goodland, Way.
Bromley: Welsh, Henriques, Patterson, Fuseini, Swaibu, Harwood, Joseph-Dubois (Rhule 70), Waldren, Araba, Malcolm, Jarrett. Subs not used: Jones, Ibrahima, Williams, Thomas.