Koszela 34 pen, Fletcher 90 pen


Parker 73

WILL Fletcher’s last-gasp penalty handed Dorchester Town an incredible 2-1 victory over relegation-threatened Tiverton Town, having played 84 minutes with 10 men.

Three points gave Dorchester a giant step towards securing their safety in the Pitching In Southern League Premier South, the Magpies now nine points above the drop zone with six games to go.

Olaf Koszela put Dorchester ahead with their first penalty of the day but Joe Parker equalised for Tivvy and ex-Magpies boss Leigh Robinson with 17 minutes left.

However, a nerveless 90th-minute spot-kick from Fletcher extended Dorchester’s remarkable run of form to one loss in 14 matches.

READ MORE: Winchester City 1-1 Dorchester Town - report

The Magpies sit 12th on 48 points, only behind Winchester on goal difference.

Coming into the game, boss Tom Killick decided upon one change as Luke Pardoe replaced Fletcher in the starting XI.

Dorchester were otherwise unchanged, with Corby Moore starting despite requiring stitches for a serious head wound sustained in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Winchester.

Will Spetch also started, using the seven days’ grace rule, as the Magpies mull over an appeal against his straight red card in the same game.

But just six minutes in, Dorchester had another red card incident to deal with as Jack Dickson was dismissed for an altercation on the far side.

It gave Dorchester 84 minutes to play with 10 men, having played 37 minutes when one man down just 48 hours earlier.

Tiverton could not break a resilient Magpies side down and saw a penalty shout of their own turned away by referee Iain Parsons as Jordan Ngalo tackled Alfie Moulden inside the box.

Meanwhile, Dorchester conjured the first shot in anger as Moore set up Pardoe in the 25th minute, only for the ex-Poole man to fire wide.

Dorchester were then appealing for a red card against Tiverton, claiming goalkeeper Zak Baker to have handled outside the box, although Parsons waved play on.

In what was a fractious first half, top-scorer Shaq Gwengwe drew a rash tackle from Josh Jones in the box in the 34th minute.

To Dorchester’s delight, Koszela made no mistake from the resulting penalty, beating Baker before the sides shared more handbags in the aftermath.

Tiverton nearly equalised three minutes later as Luton loanee keeper Jameson Horlick took the sting out of Parker’s fierce effort and was fortunate to gather as the ball squirmed through his footing.

In response, Robinson made a double change at half-time, bringing on Alex Fletcher and Javan Wright for Jack Rice and Carlo Garside in an effort to pressurise Dorchester’s cohesive 10.

The sides traded shots after the break, Horlick making a good stop before Gwengwe nodded over Moore’s glancing header.

Dorchester appeared to be expertly managing the game as Baker saved a Marcus Daws free-kick but with 17 minutes to go Tiverton hauled themselves level.

Sub Fletcher was the spark for the Devon side, combining well with Parker who lashed past Horlick for 1-1.

Tiverton were now applying serious pressure to the Magpies and a major flashpoint occurred six minutes from time when Niall Thompson went down in the box.

Parsons gave a corner, while the linesman flagged for a goal-kick, but crucially no penalty was given and Dorchester escaped.

Dorchester bravely came forward in the closing stages and were rewarded with their second penalty of the afternoon, again conceded by Jones.

The Tiverton centre-back, already on a yellow card, was adjudged to have upended Fletcher in the box and saw red for his troubles.

Fletcher then faced a long wait before stepping up and nervelessly converting the penalty into the bottom-right corner, Baker diving the wrong way as the Magpies’ faithful went berserk.

Horlick still had one big save to make as Tiverton threw all their resources at the Magpies, who held firm despite playing nearly the entire match with a numerical disadvantage to claim an astonishingly gritty victory.

Dorchester next travel to Hayes & Yeading United, who are 20th following a 0-0 draw with Hendon.

Magpies: Horlick, Dickson, Haste, James, Spetch, Moore, Ngalo, Koszela (Eccott-Young 89), Pardoe, Gwengwe (W Fletcher 73), Daws (Efedje 75). Subs not used: Waterfield, Turner.

Tiverton: Baker, Thompson, D Jones, J Jones, Thomas, Britton, Allen, Garside (A Fletcher 46), Parker, Moulden, Rice (Wright 46). Subs not used: Gerring, Neves, Veale.

Referee: Iain Parsons.

Attendance: 710.