Mehew 8, 72, Jackson 28


Bradbury 50

DORCHESTER Town came up against a Weston-super-Mare side destined for the Pitching In Southern League Premier South title, losing 3-1 at the Optima Stadium.

Creating a flood of chances throughout the game, the Seagulls demonstrated their obvious quality in the first half as ex-Magpie Olly Mehew put them 1-0 up.

Marlon Jackson tapped in a second before the break but a spirited Dorchester rallied in the second half when Harvey Bradbury pounced on keeper Luke Purnell’s spill for 2-1.

However, Mehew sealed his brace to inflict defeat upon a side he spent a month on loan at in the 2016/17 season.

With the play-off dream now 11 points away with 11 matches to go, Dorchester’s more pressing concern will be their form.

READ MORE: Weston-super-Mare 3-1 Dorchester Town - how it happened

This was a fifth defeat in six league games for Glenn Howes’ men, who remain ninth but vulnerable to teams behind following this reverse.

Howes made two changes to the side that began the 2-1 loss to Bracknell Town last time out.

In came Harvey-Joe Bertrand and Keith Emmerson to the starting line-up, with Alfie Stanley benched.

Injuries to Ferdinand Okoh and Tiago Sa (knee) meant Dorchester only fielded three substitutes, Charlie Gunson returning from a hamstring problem and rising star Lewis Toms called up.

Dorchester threatened early on through Jordan Ngalo’s free-kick from a tight position, Purnell pushing his effort away.

However, in a move illustrating their slick play, Weston sliced open the Magpies in the eighth minute.

Mehew collected an aerial ball and exchanged passes with Jackson, slotting home a good finish to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.

His fellow ex-Forest Green teammate Dayle Grubb then shaped a shot wide, while Dorchester made two good blocks before Scott Laird headed a corner over.

Weston’s assault continued when Grubb worked Hall into a solid save, and the Weston captain hit the post in the 19th minute after Dorchester could only half-clear a corner.

Brief respite came for Dorchester when Bradbury saw a header smuggled clear but Elis Watts came back at the Magpies when working Hall following a one-two with Grubb and blazing over a second chance.

Watts would play his hand in Weston’s second goal, though, his ball releasing Jay Murray on the right.

With Jackson lurking near the six-yard box, Murray delivered his cross on a plate for the striker to sweep home a tap-in on 28 minutes.

Mehew was denied by Hall after surging into the box but Dorchester threatened on the break only for Shaq Gwengwe to be tackled within sight of goal.

Dorchester made it into the break two goals down but needed only five minutes of the second half to eat into their deficit.

Ngalo was at the heart of the Magpies’ goal, first winning a corner with a deflected shot.

He then forced Purnell into an error with a stinging drive, Bradbury quickest to react for his fourth league goal since joining Dorchester mid-season.

Sensing an opportunity, Howes removed Emmerson for Stanley on 56 minutes in an attacking change.

Instead, Weston hit back when Hall repelled a Sam Avery shot and Jackson pulled an attempt wide.

Grubb then rifled wide after a solo run from halfway, but Weston sealed the points 18 minutes from time when Hall’s parry from Laird’s fierce 25-yarder allowed Mehew to score from close range.

Gunson was introduced for Bertrand shortly afterwards and Weston escaped a goalmouth scramble before Gwengwe glanced a header wide as Dorchester chased a second.

Spurred on by Dorchester’s resistance, Weston hunted a fourth goal as Hall gathered from Grubb and later produced a top save to deny Jackson’s snapshot.

But Weston completed victory with ease, ticking off an unbeaten February and extending to five points their lead after Truro lost 3-2 at Swindon Supermarine. Weston also possess two games in hand.

As for Dorchester, their fighting qualities were on full display but they are now closer to the bottom half, rather than the play-offs.

Dorchester host Mark Molesley’s Gosport on Saturday (3pm).

Weston: Purnell, Murray, S Laird, Jagger Cane, Pope, Avery, Mehew (Coppin 84), Dodd, Jackson (Thomas 84), Grubb, Watts (Bastin 60). Sub not used: Williams.

Magpies: Hall, Foot, Slough, Emmerson (Stanley 56), Buckley, Douglas, Moyse (Toms 84), Ngalo, Bradbury, Gwengwe, Bertrand (Gunson 74).

Referee: James Tewson

Attendance: 826