Balmer 55


Gwengwe 28

TEN-MAN Dorchester Town were pegged back by Winchester City for a 1-1 draw in a heated Pitching In Southern League Premier South clash.

Top-scorer Shaq Gwengwe continued his fine form by giving Dorchester a half-time lead but Will Spetch’s red card opened the door for ex-Magpies forward Ollie Balmer to equalise with a trademark free-kick.

Winchester dominated the latter stages but could not find a winner as Dorchester held on for a point.

Dorchester boss Tom Killick made just one change from the side that began the 1-0 win over Salisbury last time out.

READ MORE: Winchester City 1-1 Dorchester Town - how it happened

Luke Pardoe dropped to the bench, with striker Will Fletcher preferred.

There were no further changes on the bench, with Pardoe dropping down to join Jonny Efedje, Lewis Waterfield, Ieuan Turner and Drew Eccott-Young in the dugout.

There was no debut for Bournemouth loanee Harry Redknapp Jr, who signed on Thursday, or newly dual-registered goalkeepers Will Butler and Nick Hutchings.

Backed by a vocal and boisterous away following, Dorchester looked instantly at home against the Citizens, despite a lack of any chances in the opening 15 minutes.

The sides won two corners apiece, without conjuring a chance, before the first flashpoint of note.

Corby Moore stooped to head on a bouncing ball, tempting a high boot from City skipper Jamie Barron. His studs connected with the midfielder’s head, drawing blood and a long period of treatment.

After Moore’s head was bandaged, he could not continue and was replaced by Drew Eccott-Young, while Barron earned yellow.

Spectators had to wait until the 22nd minute to witness the first shot, coming as Will Spetch dragged wide after Marcus Daws, now on set-piece duty after Moore’s withdrawal, chipped a free-kick into the box.

And it took only six minutes longer for Dorchester to take the lead.

Fletcher was instrumental, collecting Jordan Ngalo’s long ball down the right, turning his man and firing at goalkeeper Luke Cairney. Reacting quickest to the parry was Gwengwe, who controlled and slammed home from a tight angle to send the Magpies’ fans into ecstasy.

Winchester could only muster a wayward Trevor Caborn header before the break, although James and Ollie Haste were called upon to make good blocks from Balmer.

Dorchester then ended the half strongly as Ngalo turned cleverly in the box only to fire tamely at Cairney.

Having been largely untroubled in the first half, Dorchester’s ill-discipline let them down in the second period.

Gwengwe was first booked for a late studs-up tackle, before their talisman Spetch was involved in an altercation with ex-Magpie Ollie Griggs, pinning the midfielder down, before earning a straight red.

City’s Max Smith saw yellow for his reaction but the biggest punishment was dished out by Balmer as his gorgeous 20-yard free-kick curled into the far corner for 1-1 in the 55th minute.

In response to the red card, Turner was introduced for Daws to restore Dorchester’s back four.

Meanwhile, Balmer was enjoying himself against his former club but spurned a huge chance for 2-1, volleying over after a poor headed clearance.

Magpies’ keeper Jameson Horlick was later called upon to deny Caborn, who snuck inside sub Turner, before the Luton loanee gathered the rebound.

Dorchester were hemmed in after the red card but did break out in the 69th minute when Ngalo’s quality pass down the right released the isolated Fletcher, who drove powerfully at Cairney.

In a final throw of the dice, Dorchester introduced Efedje for Fletcher, but the visitors still had no out ball, allowing City to maintain dominance as Caborn sliced wide.

In a rare Dorchester attack, Koszela curled a corner straight out of play before Griggs was involved in another incident, this time for a heavy challenge on Ngalo for which he received yellow along with Ed James for his reaction.

City continued to push for a winner as right-back Josh McCormick blazed over a good chance, but Dorchester also began to commit more numbers forward in added time.

However, after seven minutes of tension there was no winner for either side.

Winchester: Cairney, McCormick, King, Griggs, Rose, Nolan, Smith (Jones 76), Barron, Balmer (Ashton 83), Caborn, Hill (Mlambo 46). Subs not used: Mott, Wright.

Magpies: Horlick, Dickson, Haste, Spetch, Ngalo, James, Daws (Turner 56), Moore (Eccott-Young 19), Fletcher (Efedje 74), Gwengwe, Koszela. Subs not used: Pardoe, Waterfield.

Referee: Sean Phillips.

Attendance: 487.