Thomas 10, Gwengwe 67 pen

DORCHESTER Town barely got out of second gear as they beat Portland United 2-0 at the Camp & Satherley Stadium.

The Magpies scored a goal in each half, Leighton Thomas mugging goalkeeper Harrison Bruton to score before Shaq Gwengwe won and netted a 67th-minute penalty.

Portland deserved a goal for their efforts, going close numerous times in the second half, but the Magpies preserved their clean sheet.

With Portland playing two divisions beneath their opponents, they could not afford to gift-wrap chances to the Magpies.

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However, that is exactly what unfolded in the tenth minute as Bruton’s heavy touch from Shaun Bessant’s backpass allowed Thomas to tackle the ball into the net from six yards.

After what was an extremely poor goal to concede, the Blues failed to settle with rushed passing and rash tackling, one instance coming in the 25th minute when Bessant needlessly bundled Olaf Koszela over.

Louie Slough, wearing the captain’s armband, nodded the resulting free-kick down for Lewis Waterfield to blast well over into the clubhouse windows.

Portland had to wait until the 27th minute for their first meaningful shot, sliced wide by Greg Borthwick on the counter.

That would be the striker’s last involvement as he pulled up with a leg injury, replaced by Liam Sayers.

When play resumed, there was a miscommunication in Dorchester’s ranks as Koszela did not give the ball back and crossed for Thomas, who headed wide unmarked from 12 yards.

Brin Doyle, against his former club, and Thomas blazed over at either end before another former Magpie in Ben Morris lashed wide after good hold-up play by Bailey Rowe.

Approaching half-time, Koszela then nicked the ball from Jack Steele only to slice across the box.

Dorchester brought off Koszela, Trialist C, Jordi Foot and Waterfield for Jordan Ngalo, Alex Moyse, Jake Graziano and Gwengwe while Portland were unchanged.

In a much improved second half for the Blues, the scores should have been levelled when Doyle had a volley cleared off the line and Rowe, put through by Josh Williams, rifled wide of the far post.

Doyle later blasted wide from 20 yards after working the ball into space, but Dorchester’s greater threat told when Gwengwe won a penalty after a barge in the box.

He picked himself up to slot clinically past Bruton into the bottom-left corner despite the keeper guessing the right way.

Portland continued to push for a consolation as Morris dragged another shot wide and sub Troy Walbridge planted inches off target after good work from sub Archie Woolford.

Woolford was lively after coming on and earned Portland an 81st-minute corner, headed wide under pressure by Bessant.

However, the goal Portland probably merited on balance did not come as Dorchester eased home and could have added a third but for Gwengwe hitting the bar.

Blues: Bruton (Moggeridge 72), Steele (Harvey 72), Stuttle (Diaz 72), Williams, Gadsby, Bessant, Doyle, Delves (McKechnie 54), Borthwick (Sayers 31), Rowe (Walbridge 72), Morris (Woolford 72). Sub not used: Symes.

Magpies: Ll Thomas, Bertrand, Trialist A (Trialist E 63), Foot (Graziano 46), Trialist B (Trialist F 63), Slough, Trialist C (Ngalo 46), Waterfield (Moyse 46), Le Thomas (Trialist G 63), Koszela (Gwengwe 46), Toms.