Wilson 10


Waite 41, Knowles 45+6, Laird 53

DORCHESTER Town opened their Pitching In Southern Premier South campaign with a disappointing 3-1 loss to Weston-super-Mare at the Avenue Stadium.

Fortunes had looked promising for the Magpies when Rubin Wilson slid in for a debut goal in the 10th minute.

But keeper Will Buse's error led to James Waite arrowing home before sub Chris Knowles headed Weston into a half-time lead.

Sloppy defending cost Dorchester from another corner as Scott Laird finished the scoring.

Magpies' boss Leigh Robinson named no fewer than six new signings in his first starting XI of the season.

Bristol City loanee keeper Will Buse donned the gloves while right-back Oakley Hanger, centre-backs Josiah Dunstan and Sam Poole, Plymouth loanee striker Wilson and winger Sam Bayston also made their league debuts.

Dorchester last night announced three new signings as Cayman Islands winger Leighton Thomas, French centre-back Joel Kiwobo and former Weymouth club captain Ashley Wells all joined.

Of that trio, only two made the matchday squad with Thomas and Wells both named on the substitutes' bench.

Robinson has yearned for greater ball retention in pre-season and in the early stages of this contest Dorchester gave the ball away far too easily.

One man who did not was Blair as the winger jinked past two defenders before using his searing pace to fly down the right, supplying Wilson to tap home from two yards in the 10th minute.

Wilson’s debut goal had given Dorchester the perfect start but six minutes later the Seagulls were nearly level as Lloyd Humphries’ deflected 20-yard shot clattered the right-hand post.

Weston menaced Dorchester at every corner and set-piece in the opening half, right-back Kieran Thomas heading wide at the far post.

However, Weston suffered their own moment of worry when midfielder Nick McCootie came off worse in an aerial dual with Charlie Madden.

After receiving treatment for an apparent neck injury, McCootie groggily limped off aided by two of Dorchester’s backroom staff and was replaced by Knowles after a lengthy stoppage.

With Weston continuing to monopolise possession, Dorchester’s pace on the counter became their go-to threat and the Magpies nearly extended their lead in the 33rd minute.

Madden, facing his former club, stepped up sharply to intercept a pass and release Blair on the left, allowing the winger to cut inside and curl narrowly over the far angle.

Dorchester did not deal with corners well all game and Josiah Dunstan was rushed into hacking clear the third of three quick corners.

Weston were level soon after as their pressure finally yielded results.

Buse was culpable, his poor ball out finding Seagulls’ striker Waite who controlled and arrowed in a deadly finish from 20 yards.

In the final minute of six additional, Weston took the lead through more hesitant Dorchester defending at a corner.

Left-back Ryan Jones’ inswinging corner was allowed to float to the sprinting Knowles who headed home from two yards, he too joining the ball in the net as he collided with Dorchester’s static defenders.

Eight minutes after the resumption, Weston punished the Magpies for yet more slack defending from a corner as Laird bundled home from six yards, although Humphries spun away to claim the goal.

Robinson reacted by throwing on Tom Bath for the ineffectual Bayston and the striker was soon involved, heading just over from a Blair free-kick.

Weston, in contrast to Dorchester, attacked any delivery into their box and Laird headed out before the Seagulls swept up sharply to atone for a dropped catch by Purnell.

Chances had come at a premium for Dorchester but a rapid counter by Wilson and Blair on the left allowed the latter to switch play to Oakley Hanger on the opposite flank, only for the right-back to bend a cross at Purnell.

As Weston’s primary threat at corners produced more results, Dorchester were grateful for the attentiveness of Tiago Sa who lashed clear on the line from Thomas’ header.

Dorchester could not take advantage of an unconvincing punch from the nervy Purnell as the hosts' search for a route back into the game never got going.

Instead, Weston twice went close to a fourth in stoppage-time as Waite wasted a clean-through chance on the counter before Buse produced a fabulous stop to deny Laird his brace.

As it was, Dorchester were ultimately penalised for their poor defending – a theme which seems to have continued from last season.

Magpies: Buse, Hanger, Sa, Dunstan, Poole, Madden (Hodges 71), Lowes (Wells 77), Clarke, Wilson, Bayston (Bath 59), Blair.

Subs not used: Ngoy, L Thomas.

Weston: Purnell, K Thomas, Jones, Humphries (Griffith 83), Avery, Tindle, McCootie (Knowles 29), Laird, Waite, Grubb, Jagger Cane

Subs not used: Parsons, Jones