Pope 33


Black 51

DORCHESTER Town were pegged back by a stunning Charlie Black lob as Dunstable Town earned a vital 1-1 draw at the Avenue Stadium in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division.

Ashley Pope had given the Magpies a 33rd-minute lead but Black’s superb second-half leveller gave the scrapping Blues a deserved point - extending the gap to bottom side Gosport to four points.

Dorchester made three changes to the side that lost 2-0 at Stratford Town last Saturday.

Callum Rose and Gary Bowles returned, while Ed Bastick was fit again to take a place in the starting XI after a hip injury.

Meanwhile, Billy Lowes dropped to the bench and there was no place in the squad for Kyle Egan or David Jerrard.

Jason Brookes returned to the bench after a thigh injury, as did Dom Panesar-Dower, who was given the all-clear by doctors following an extended time out with a head injury.

Amidst a scrappy start at the Avenue, Dorchester won two free-kicks on the left, the second of which when Ryan Young was penalised for a high boot on Neil Martin, but Tom Blair’s delivery was just too high for Ross Carmichael at the back post.

The Magpies looked threatening when using the ball down the right, with Blair spearheading their moves on that flank, and when Bowles found the winger with a superb lofted pass, the teenager nutmegged Daniel Trif before seeing his low cross cut out for a corner.

Bastick then saw a deflected effort loop into the hands of Blues’ goalkeeper Will Hunt from the set-play, before Blair saw another corner cleared by the visitors.

Dorchester gave themselves a brief scare when Archie Collins, playing at right-back, passed back to Chris Weale, whose casual return pass was blocked by Andrew Osei-Bonsu for a goal-kick.

Collins then turned provider at the other end, shuffling the ball to Martin to strike a firm 25-yard effort that Hunt beat away, before Peter Kiosa let a deep cross bounce 20 yards from goal, allowing Pope to poke an effort at the advancing Hunt, who smothered the danger.

Dorchester were gradually increasing the pressure on the league’s most porous defence and they found a breakthrough on 33 minutes.

Bastick put Blair clean through and his powerful shot was parried by Hunt back into play. Blair, who seemed certain to tuck home the rebound, then slipped and Sam Lanahan’s effort was blocked superbly by a sliding Trif.

From the corner, Pope took advantage of the half-clearance to nail a deflected half-volley past Hunt from 18 yards.

Dunstable then created their best opportunity when Osei-Bonsu nutmegged Collins and passed to Ethan Lamptey, whose scuffed shot was stabbed wide by the unmarked Arel Amu.

The Magpies saw Collins and Rose shoot wide from distance as they failed to add to their tally before half-time.

However, after the restart it was Dunstable who scored next through Black’s brilliance.

A booming clearance downfield played in the half-time substitute, who appeared close to handballing before deftly lobbing Weale.

Collins then embarked on a mazy dribble to set up Blair, but the winger’s effort was blocked 12 yards out, before Black replied by nodding a Kiosa cross wide.

Soon afterwards Dorchester were given a big let off when Ryan Young’s exchange with Osei-Bonsu allowed him to find Amu, but the forward’s backheel was blocked before Weale palmed over a Young cross.

Tempers flared between Bowles and the fiery Kiosa, before the latter flicked a Young corner wide as Dorchester began to live dangerously in a sloppy second-half display.

Pope then flashed a 12-yard shot over before Hunt was booked for catching the ball outside his area. The Blues subsequently soaked up Magpies pressure and broke with four on one, but Black elected to shoot rather than pass as he bore down on goal, wasting the opportunity.

Dorchester had a similar situation with Pope in the dying stages but could not fashion a winner in what was a poor-quality match.

The Magpies next face a tough away assignment at fourth-placed Kettering on Saturday (3pm).

Magpies: Weale, A Collins, Martin, Rose, Carmichael, Bowles (Lowes 71), Blair, Winsper, Pope, Lanahan (Ayunga 85), Bastick (Leigh-Gilchrist 58). Subs not used: Brookes, Panesar-Dower

Dunstable: Hunt, Kiosa, Okito, Ward, Trif, Ogden, Young, Lamptey (Lapido 46), Sonuga (Black 46), Amu, Osei-Bonsu (Williams 90+2). Subs not used: Ward, B Collins

Referee: Colin Hubbard (Wimborne)

Attendance: 383


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