Gwengwe 29


Platt 27, Harris 36

TWO Bracknell Town goals in nine first-half minutes consigned Dorchester Town to a fourth defeat in five Pitching In Southern League Premier South matches.

Mickel Platt put fourth-placed Bracknell ahead before Shaq Gwengwe ran clear to bag an equaliser, delighting the majority of a 533-strong crowd in the 29th minute.

However, Ben Harris netted what proved to be the winning goal in the 36th minute and both teams hit the uprights in the second half as Dorchester’s own play-off push took a hit.

Glenn Howes’ Magpies are now ninth and six points adrift of Poole in fifth, having played twice more.

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

Freshening up his side after the 3-0 defeat at Plymouth Parkway on Tuesday, Howes made four changes.

Charlie Gunson (hamstring) was rested as a precaution after lasting only 20 minutes of that game.

Matty Neale began a three-match suspension, while Tiago Sa and Harvey-Joe Bertrand were benched.

In came the returning Harvey Bradbury after his four-match suspension, while Jordi Foot, Louie Slough and Alfie Stanley were all promoted from the bench.

Keith Emmerson returned after missing two games through unavailability, while Lewis Toms was recalled after featuring in the Magpies’ under-23s win at Stoneham on Tuesday.

Dorchester had the first sight of goal in the second minute as Kieran Douglas directed a header straight at Michael Eacott from a Ferdinand Okoh corner.

Bracknell then settled and Douglas had to be alert to block a shot before Darryl Sanders blasted a good chance wide ten minutes in.

Action ebbed and flowed as Douglas went to ground in the box under close attention from his marker, referee Iain Parsons waving play on.

Bracknell then produced their first shot on target when Ryan Hall was forced to make a flying stop.

Back came Dorchester as Bradbury’s excellent link-up play set Stanley into space and the forward beat his man before also beating the target, whistling a shot over.

However, Bracknell landed the first blow 27 minutes in when Platt’s venomous strike proved too hot for Hall to keep out.

Dorchester were behind for fewer than two minutes as Bradbury gave a further example of what the Magpies had been missing in recent weeks.

His neat touch set Gwengwe free into space and the pacy forward made no mistake by beating Eacott for 1-1.

Parity lasted just seven minutes for Dorchester as the Robins claimed a second through a fine individual effort from Harris.

Picking the ball up outside the area, he charged at the Dorchester defence, rode a tackle and lashed home into the bottom corner.

After what was the last serious action of the half, Dorchester introduced Emmerson for Okoh at the break and felt aggrieved with two decisions on the hour.

Gwengwe and Eacott crashed into one another in the box when the keeper came out to collect a through ball, before Gwengwe ran in behind to score only to be pulled back for what the Magpies protested was a marginal call for offside.

Dorchester had to survive two scares of their own when Gary Abisogun forced an excellent save from Hall and sub Joe Grant cracked an effort wide in the 71st minute.

Seconds after Howes brought on Bertrand for Stanley, Bracknell’s Liam Tack was involved in a goalmouth scramble that saw the ball ping off the bar.

With an equaliser there for the taking, Dorchester dominated the final portion of the match and were unlucky to see Jordan Ngalo’s searching free-kick drift wide of the woodwork.

The pressure ratcheted up for Bracknell when Douglas thumped a header against the bar in the 90th minute.

Into four added minutes, the Robins were hanging on as Jordi Foot was denied and Gwengwe’s ambitious overhead kick was dealt with by Eacott.

Try as they might, Dorchester could not force an equaliser and slipped one place ahead of a daunting match at leaders Weston on Saturday, February 25.

Magpies: Hall, Foot, Slough, Moyse, Buckley, Douglas, Okoh (Emmerson 46), Ngalo, Bradbury, Gwengwe, Stanley (Bertrand 77). Subs not used: Sa, Toms.

Bracknell: Eacott, Dean, Burden, Hollis, Bayliss, Tack (Fraser 86), Abisogun, Knight, Harris (Grant 60), Sanders, Platt. Subs not used: English, Osu.

Referee: Iain Parsons

Attendance: 533