Goodship 45+2 pen, McCreadie 86


Gwengwe 31, Waterfield 90

LEWIS Waterfield scored a brilliant 90th-minute goal for Dorchester Town as the Magpies rescued a 2-2 draw at Salisbury to officially secure safety.

Dorchester only needed a point to consolidate for the 2023/24 season but the Magpies were heading towards all three when Shaq Gwengwe netted his third goal in two games.

Salisbury then staged a fightback when Brandon Goodship levelled and Aaron McCreadie looked to have stolen the points with his 86th-minute strike.

However, Waterfield had other ideas and buried a superb finish to clinch the draw.

READ MORE: Salisbury 2-2 Dorchester Town - how it happened

The outcome was evocative of 12 months ago, when Dorchester preserved their Pitching In Southern League Premier South status with a 1-0 win at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium.

Pre-match, boss Glenn Howes made three changes to the side that began Tuesday’s 2-1 win at Harrow.

Harvey-Joe Bertrand, Jamie Howell and Jordan Ngalo all returned to the starting line-up.

Kieran Douglas (groin) and Bournemouth loanees Ferdinand Okoh and Baylin Johnson dropped to the bench.

Keith Emmerson joined the matchday squad, as did Alfie Stanley following concussion.

However, there was no place for skipper Callum Buckley (calf) but Jake Graziano retained his place in the 16.

When play began, Salisbury were straight on the front foot and the lively James Plant brought an early stop out of Ryan Hall.

Dorchester responded when Gwengwe headed wide a searching Howell cross, before ex-Dorchester defender Calvin Brooks nodded over for the Whites.

Salisbury conjured a trio of shots midway through the half when Plant worked Hall into a low save, prior to McCreadie heading wide and Brooks lashing off target again.

The sides were trading blows but Dorchester landed the first significant punch on the half-hour mark when stand-in skipper Gwengwe evaded his man and strolled in to beat keeper Mark Smith.

Dorchester were poised to lead at half-time until Plant proved his worth by winning a penalty, Goodship stepping up to score against his former side in the second added minute.

Salisbury rode the wave of momentum into the second half with numerous half-chances.

Dorchester changed Howell for Johnson and the Magpies created the next chance as Matty Neale’s shot was blocked after good work from Bertrand.

Salisbury’s own alteration, Devon Arnold, nearly worked a treat for manager and former Dorchester star Brian Dutton as Arnold’s shot was cleared off the line.

Howes later introduced Stanley for Alex Moyse on 74 minutes in an attacking change as both sides sensed a chance for three points.

Using the added impetus, Dorchester drew a good save from Smith as Neale let fly after combining with Gwengwe.

With both teams pushing for victory, Brooks missed a good headed chance and it was then Dorchester’s turn to be denied on the line as Jordi Foot’s header was repelled by Smith.

Salisbury needed a touch of fortune to take the lead, though.

With four minutes to go, a flick-on from a corner kissed the bar, the loose ball falling kindly for McCreadie to find the net from close range.

However, Dorchester equalised from a corner of their own in the final minute of normal time.

The delivery picked out new signing Waterfield and the midfielder still had plenty to do before unleashing a superlative effort beyond Smith to spark jubilant scenes on the Dorchester bench and among a vocal travelling support.

Dorchester complete a hat-trick of away days with a trip to play-off challengers Chesham on Good Friday (3pm).

Salisbury: Smith, C Brooks, Sommerton, McCreadie, Zabeli, Ogundega (Mealing 56), Yang, McDermott, Fitchett (D Arnold 56), Goodship, Plant. Subs not used: C Arnold, Roocroft.

Magpies: Hall, Bertrand, Sa, Moyse (Stanley 74), Foot, Slough, Waterfield, Ngalo, Gwengwe (Emmerson 82), Howell (Johnson 60), Neale. Subs not used: Okoh, Graziano.

Referee: Philip Staynings.

Attendance: 584