John 73, Rees 77, 83,


Gwengwe 28, Koszela 90+10

DORCHESTER Town found missed chances costly as a ten-minute purple patch by Merthyr Town turned the game on its head on the Martyrs’ way to a 3-2 win.

On the opening day of the Pitching In Southern League Premier South season, Dorchester were good value for taking the lead through Shaq Gwengwe after a disallowed goal for Leighton Thomas.

The Magpies also hit the woodwork through Gwengwe and Thomas before Merthyr punished their profligacy.

Alex John’s arrowed low strike ignited the Welsh side before Ricardo Rees scored a well taken double to shellshock the Magpies.

READ MORE: Merthyr Town 3-2 Dorchester Town - report

Olaf Koszela netted a second for Dorchester 11 minutes into 13 added following a medical emergency in the crowd, but the Magpies could not salvage a draw.

Going into the clash, Dorchester had taken eight points in their last four visits to Penydarren Park.

Chances came at either end in an open start, Dorchester debutant Jordan Barnett hitting a 30-yard lob over the bar before Merthyr’s Jack Evans blasted a shot wide after a neat corner routine.

Dorchester felt they had cause for complaint in the 23rd minute when Leighton Thomas converted fellow debutant Ollie Haste’s fine cross only to be flagged for offside, the Magpies feeling the call to be dubious.

Frazer Thomas and new Dorchester captain Jordan Ngalo traded wide shots before the visitors deservedly took the lead on 27 minutes.

Centre-back Jack Wright marked his debut with an assist as Gwengwe headed home his cross for 1-0.

Merthyr nearly pulled a goal back through Noah Smerdon’s effort, squirming wide, before Ngalo’s surging run and shot fizzed past the post.

But Dorchester could and possibly should have made it 2-0 when Merthyr failed to clear their lines and Callum Buckley teed up Gwengwe, whose header struck the bar.

Lewis Waterfield, filling in at right wing-back with Jake Graziano, Jordi Foot and Harvey Bertrand all absent, then fired at goal in the last action of the half.

When the second half began there was a long pause to attend to a medical emergency in the crowd, with the affected supporter in everyone’s thoughts.

The break did little to quell Dorchester’s attacking appetite as Thomas charged down keeper Jaimie Cogman’s clearance, only for the ball to stick in Gwengwe’s feet and the chance to evaporate.

Merthyr survived another goalmouth scramble before Thomas thudded an effort against the post as Dorchester did everything but score a second.

And the Martyrs made them pay when John’s crisp strike ignited the 707-strong crowd, sparking ten minutes of mayhem.

Dorchester were indebted to keeper Thomas for denying Rees in a one-on-one but the forward made amends with his next chance, remaining cool to beat the advancing Thomas when clean through.

Magpies sub Koszela tested Cogman at the other end but worse was to come for his side.

Rees’s second, arriving on 83 minutes, came after he danced through several Dorchester tackles and beat Thomas with a neat finish for 3-1.

Buckley nodded wide and Leighton Thomas drilled off target as opportunities continued to come and go in Dorchester's quest for parity.

Due to the medical emergency and other stoppages, Dorchester were granted an extra 13 minutes to rescue a point.

And Koszela got the Magpies halfway there in the 100th minute with a typically predatory strike.

Dorchester mounted heavy late pressure in search of a leveller but came up just short in a match they did not deserve to lose after a largely positive display.

The Magpies are next in action at home to Harrow on Saturday (3pm).

Merthyr: Cogman, Davies, Handley, Angel, Smerdon, Evans (Harris 85), John, F Thomas (Ryan-Phillips 89), Stokes (Keeping 64), Rees, Mehew. Subs not used: Hillman, Livermore.

Magpies: Ll Thomas, Ngalo, Slough (Koszela 76), Moyse, Buckley, Wright, Barnett (Benjani Jr 65), Waterfield, Le Thomas, Gwengwe, Haste. Subs not used: Toms, Turner, Sa.

Referee: Ollie Taylor.

Attendance: 707.