Hopper 75 pen, Harding 81


Bayston 21

DORCHESTER Town were stunned by a late comeback from Yate Town as the Magpies were beaten 2-1 at the South West Interiors Stadium.

Dorchester had looked on course for only their third Pitching In Southern League Premier South away victory of the season thanks to Sam Bayston’s tap-in.

However, with 15 minutes left the visitors conceded a penalty from which Luke Hopper equalised.

His goal gave new life to a below-par Yate, and James Harding finished off an Olly Mehew pass following a slick team move to snatch the points from the Magpies.

READ MORE: Yate Town 2-1 Dorchester Town - how it happened

Defeat was harsh on Dorchester, who had been the better side for large spells.

Prior to kick-off there was an eye-catching squad selection from Dorchester boss Glenn Howes, who elected to play without a recognised striker.

Howes made three changes to the side that began the 4-1 loss to Poole on Monday.

There was no place in the squad for centre-back Thiago Caze da Silva, while Alfie Stanley and Billy Stedman dropped to the bench. 

Charlie Gunson returned from self-isolation, while Charlie Madden was recalled to the starting XI having been a substitute against Poole.

Bayston was the third alteration, the winger-come-striker’s versatility playing into the Magpies’ strategy.

Alongside Stedman and Stanley in the dugout were under-23 rising stars Ben Symes and Ashley Guppy, plus the returning Sam Davidson, who has been battling a non-Covid-19 illness.

Dorchester have been demonstrably more difficult to break down away from home under Howes.

And the Magpies again made a good start on the road as they frustrated a Yate side who reached the FA Cup first round this season, beating National League outfit Dover along the way.

Play had been fairly even until Dorchester struck midway through the half, taking advantage of a defensive lapse in the Yate ranks.

Dorchester clipped in a free-kick and Yate could not clear, with Bayston pouncing on the loose ball to tuck home from two yards.

Bayston’s seventh goal of the season moved him above Stanley in the Magpies’ goalscoring charts.

Meanwhile, Yate, who came into this game in seventh place, were struggling to get going as a lethargic display belied their league position.

And the hosts nearly went 2-0 down on the stroke of half-time when Billy Lowes fizzed a 25-yard strike against the post with Yate keeper Andrew Hannah beaten.

Dorchester were forced into an early substitution in the second half when Madden was replaced by Davidson.

The change did little to immediately alter the momentum but Yate did gradually gain a foothold as the half wore on.

Dorchester preserved their lead until the 75th minute when Yate won a penalty, Hopper converting expertly past keeper Harry Lee into the top corner.

And Yate completed the turnaround in the space of six minutes with a well-worked goal of high quality.

Sam Turl’s ball set ex-Dorchester loanee Olly Mehew on his way and, after beating his man, squared the ball on a plate for Harding to finish with nine minutes remaining.

Howes threw on Stedman for Gunson in search of an equaliser as six minutes of added time gave Dorchester late hope.

However, the Magpies could not fashion a stoppage-time leveller as Yate clinched a dramatic win.

Yate: Hannah, Turl, Tunnicliff, Adams, Angel, Bower, Tumelty, Williams (Hall 90+4), Hopper, Harding (Kamara 85), Mehew. Subs not used: Thuo, Brabham, Rhodes.

Magpies: Lee, Wells, Sa, Soares, Madden (Davidson 47), Buckley, Hanger, Purrington, Bayston (Guppy 75), Gunson (Stedman 84), Lowes. Subs not used: Symes, Stanley.

Referee: George Enever

Attendance: 431