Fletcher 79

TEN-MAN Dorchester Town beat all the odds to secure a priceless 1-0 victory at relegation rivals Didcot Town in the Pitching In Southern League Premier South.

Drew Eccott-Young’s red card, given after 12 minutes for committing a foul as last man, hampered the Magpies for the rest of the match.

However, Tom Killick’s men galvanised themselves and were actually the more threatening side thereafter.

They looked set to hold on for a point until Will Fletcher’s 79th-minute finish handed them all three, extending to 11 points the gap to bottom side Didcot.

READ MORE: Didcot Town 0-1 Dorchester Town - how it happened

Dorchester, who remain 20th and one point from safety, also kept in touch with the teams above them as Tiverton and Hayes won, while Supermarine drew.

Killick named a completely unchanged 16 from that fielded in the 0-0 draw with Plymouth Parkway last weekend.

Dorchester came into the game having earned seven points from a possible nine in their past three games, but that run looked in danger of extinction in the 12th minute.

Didcot forward Robbie Gallagher got the wrong side of right-back Eccott-Young and the ex-Hamworthy defender brought him down as last man.

It left referee Ollie Taylor with a decision to make and he brandished red to leave Dorchester facing the remaining 78 minutes one man light.

However, the situation galvanised Dorchester as they went on to create the bigger chances in the match.

First, Fletcher was denied by Diddy keeper Leigh Bedwell after collecting a lofted through ball, before the striker prodded a second chance at Bedwell after Will Spetch nodded on Corby Moore’s free-kick.

Olaf Koszela fired wide as Dorchester ignored their numerical disadvantage, the one worry to emerge in the opening half coming when Didcot’s Murphy Bennett skipped past three defenders only to overrun the ball.

Bedwell and Fletcher’s almost personal battle continued when the keeper saved again, before Marcus Daws blasted wide.

Bedwell had kept the scores level into the second half but Didcot improved at the other end in the second period, Magpies keeper Jameson Horlick intercepting Cameron McNeill’s low cross.

With passing difficult on a heavy pitch, Didcot continued to probe away but Dorchester’s defence remained firm.

The Magpies weathered the pressure and went close to 1-0 when Daws jinked past his man before Bedwell came to Diddy’s rescue again.

Dorchester looked a threat at set-pieces and had an Ed James header cleared off the line in the 70th minute, but Horlick had to be alert to keep out Sam Barder’s curling strike seconds later.

Barder blazed over a second chance for the hosts before Dorchester deservedly got their goal.

Koszela ran through and drew Bedwell out, rounding the keeper and squaring for Fletcher to slide into the muddy goalmouth and touch home 11 minutes from time.

Dorchester now had a lead to protect and did so fiercely, with Didcot raining crosses into their box.

The Magpies stood tall and subbed off Koszela and Fletcher for Ieuan Turner and Jonny Efedje to further wind down the clock.

With four added minutes to survive, Dorchester’s tired legs continued to defend bravely and denied Didcot any sort of clear chance as they locked in a massive three points.

The Magpies next visit Hanwell Town on Tuesday evening (7.45pm).

Didcot: Bedwell, Grant, McNeill, Barder, Carnell, Learoyd, Putland, Glover (Humphries 88), Gallagher, Bennett, Fox (Osborne 64). Subs not used: Smith, Noka, Elarfa.

Magpies: Horlick, Eccott-Young, Haste, Ngalo, James, Daws (Gwengwe 69), Moore, Fletcher (Efedje 83), Koszela (Turner 88), Dickson, Spetch. Subs not used: Waterfield, Roberts.

Referee: Ollie Taylor.

Attendance: 262.