Medford-Smith 48


Le Thomas 34

DORCHESTER Town were pegged back for a share of the points at Hungerford Town, drawing 1-1 in their Pitching In Southern League Premier South encounter at Bulpit Lane.

Leighton Thomas saw his first-half goal cancelled out by a blistering strike from Ramarni Medford-Smith on 48 minutes.

Dorchester’s defence held firm among a barrage of throws and deliveries into the box late in the game, ensuring they moved up one place into 16th, with Hungerford up to 14th.

Searching for a hat-trick of league wins, Dorchester Town boss Glenn Howes made five changes to the side that beat Swindon Supermarine 2-1 on Saturday.

READ MORE: Hungerford Town 1-1 Dorchester Town - how it happened

New signings Corby Moore, Will Spetch and Jack Dickson all made their debuts, while Jordi Foot and Alex Moyse were recalled to the starting XI.

Ollie Haste and Louie Slough missed out completely, while Harvey-Joe Bertrand has left the Magpies. Jack Wright and Lewis Waterfield dropped to the bench.

Dorchester named just four substitutes, with Waterfield and Wright joined by the returning Lewis Toms. Yeovil loanee striker Benjani Jr retained his place on the bench.

Ieuan Turner and Callum Buckley were the other substitutes from Saturday but both men missed the cut.

Dorchester came into the game having won five of their past six competitive matches against the Crusaders.

However, the first half was split into two distinct pieces with Hungerford enjoying the better of the opening quarter.

Slavi Spasov tested Dorchester keeper Lloyd Thomas with a stinging drive in the fourth minute.

Elis Watts, who won the league with Weston-super-Mare last season, tested Thomas further from a free-kick that had the keeper stretching to keep the goalbound effort out.

Hungerford were bossing the early exchanges and a cheeky chipped attempt from Rhys Tyler sailed over on 11 minutes.

Dorchester were kicking down the slope in the first half and deployed a 4-3-3 formation with Dickson at right-back and Alfie Saunders pushed forward on the right wing.

When they settled, the Magpies looked dangerous and went close thanks to Jordi Barnett’s free-kick, bringing a strong save from home keeper Ryan Clarke.

Dorchester missed good opportunities for Leighton Thomas and Shaq Gwengwe, who raced clean through only to be denied.

Profligacy would not prove costly though, as Leighton Thomas put the Magpies ahead on 34 minutes against his former club with a lovely one-on-one finish past Clarke.

Dorchester were on top now and Tyler had to be alert to deny Thomas a shooting chance before Gwengwe drifted inside and curled against the post with Clarke beaten.

Spetch then rose highest to head another opening just wide and the only negative in Dorchester’s half came when Gwengwe was booked for a foul on Tyler just a minute from the half-time break.

Hungerford felt compelled to sub Sean Moore off for Nathan Davis at half-time and the change nearly worked within two minutes as Lloyd Thomas caught Luke Carnell’s header from Davis’ cross.

The Crusaders would draw level less than 60 seconds later as Medford-Smith’s firmly-struck 25-yarder sped into the top corner past the despairing dive of Lloyd Thomas.

Hungerford goal ignited the hosts and Medford-Smith looked for a second goal only for his cross-shot to fly wide.

Corby Moore then went into the book on debut, felling the tricky Spasov when a counter looked possible.

Hungerford were denied two penalty shouts after Wright replaced Saunders in the 68th minute as Dorchester looked to change the tide.

Dorchester made a second alteration three minutes later as Waterfield came on for Moyse in the engine room.

Hungerford opted for a hugely direct approach in the latter stages but Dorchester, marshalled by Spetch, resisted the pressure.

Entering the final five minutes, a draw looked likely but Hungerford threatened a late winner when sub Curtis Angell blazed over from a Davis long throw.

Jack Alexander smashed an 89th-minute shot into the crowd but Dorchester held firm and took a creditable point, extending to three games their unbeaten league run.

Dorchester currently have a bye weekend on Saturday before hosting Didcot Town on Saturday, September 23.

Hungerford: Clarke, Medford-Smith (Angell 80), Berry-Hargreaves, Carnell, Tyler, Alexander, Shepherd, Watts, McDonagh, S Moore (Davis 46), Spasov (Tarpey 78). Subs not used: Fernandes, Hooper.

Magpies: Ll Thomas, Saunders (Wright 68), Barnett, Spetch, Ngalo, Foot, Moyse (Waterfield 71), C Moore, Le Thomas, Gwengwe, Dickson. Subs not used: Benjani Jr, Toms.

Referee: Daniel Lamport

Attendance: 314