CHICKERELL United’s free-scoring winning streak was brought to an end after a 2-1 home defeat against Corfe Mullen in the Dorset Senior League.

The hosts fell behind after 11 minutes before Corfe doubled their lead to round off a first half of frustration for the Chickens. Matt Stickland then halved the deficit, but the visitors rode out waves of late pressure to earn the victory.

Just two minutes after Jake McCarthy had nodded narrowly wide for Chickerell, Corfe swept into a fortunate lead.

Dave Johnston was afforded space to stride forward and shoot from 20 yards, and the strike took a wicked deflection before flashing past keeper Ian Bickerstaff.

Chickerell immediately went in search of a leveller, with Matt Harvey coming close after glancing a header wide from an inviting delivery. Neil Dewey’s bending effort then veered the wrong side of the top left-hand corner.

The visitors came close to moving further ahead on 27 minutes, but could only squander a clever pull-back 12 yards from goal by firing over the crossbar with Bickerstaff beaten.

Corfe did eventually score again, after thundering home following loose Chickerell marking from a corner kick.

Stickland, the Chickens’ top scorer last season, was heavily involved for the hosts once again but could only rifle an effort straight at the visitors’ goalkeeper on the stroke of half-time.

The interval saw Marcus Heggie replaced by Gavin Daniels.

Dylan Ellis then could only unleash a strike straight at the Corfe shot stopper from a tight angle.

The Chickens were soon handed a lifeline however, after Stickland’s burst forward was halted inside the penalty area.

The referee awarded a spot-kick but Etherington, who had bagged a hat-trick last time out, saw his effort from 12 yards well saved.

Both Shane James and Dewey went close with headers for the hosts, before the Chickens finally hit back when Stickland cut inside from the left and bent an unstoppable strike into the bottom right corner.

But the effort proved to be a mere consolation for Chickerell, who were left further frustrated as several golden openings were squandered late on.

The Chickens visit mid-table Cranborne on Saturday (2pm).

Chickerell: Bickerstaff, Carter, Miller, Janes, McCarthy, Dewey, Harvey, Etherington, Ellis, Heggie (Daniels 45), Stickland. Subs not used: McLucas, Sandeman


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