Hart 68

Dorchester TOWN 4

Wilson 39, Nichols pen 45, Crittenden 66, Walker 80

LIFE on the road is proving a cinch for the Magpies at present as they racked up their third league win on the spin at Eastbourne Borough.

The victory stretches Dorchester’s unbeaten run away from home in Blue Square Bet South to six games and this was perhaps the most convincing showing on their travels yet.

A niggling hamstring injury saw Andy White drop to the bench for the county town outfit who also had to do without Kyle Critchell and Jamie Gleeson due to illness and a medial ligament problem respectively.

That opened up starting spots for Harrison Bell, Neil Martin and Exeter City loanee Tom Nichols while Dan Floyd and Steven Walker were promoted from the reserves to provide cover.

Having won their last two, the visitors started the game full of confidence and they were very unfortunate not to be awarded an early penalty when Rico Wilson appeared to be tugged down in the box.

Steve Devlin and Ashley Nicholls were combining particularly well in Town’s midfield and with Nichols also looking lively up front it appeared a breakthrough was not far away.

However, Eastbourne were also carrying a threat on the break and by the half-hour mark the clash had developed into a bit of a stalemate with both teams competing well and playing some fine football.

It was still Dorchester that looked the more likely side to break the deadlock though and the goal finally arrived on 39 minutes when keeper Gary Masters’ weak punch from Devlin’s corner led to Wilson scrambling home his sixth goal in his last seven games.

Having failed to pick up a win in their previous five outings, Borough now looked edgy and just six minutes later they handed the Magpies a second when Steve Brinkhurst clumsily brought down Nichols in the box.

It looked a clear penalty and the 18-year-old picked himself up and converted it with consummate ease to give the county town outfit a commanding lead at the break, which would have been more had Nicholls’ late header not been cleared off the line.

After a rare rush of blood by keeper Alan Walker-Harris which saw him rush out of his box and nearly gift the hosts a lifeline early in the second half, Dorchester soon regained their composure and added another.

Nichols, who had threatened with a mazy run just moments earlier, this time turned provider, combining with Wilson on 66 minutes to set up Nick Crittenden for the easiest of tap-ins.

It looked like game over but just two minutes later Eastbourne got one back through Gary Hart following a rare lapse by the visiting defence.

Suddenly the hosts fancied their chances of a late comeback but the Magpies soon fought off the challenge by going on the offensive once again.

Nicholls was upended in the box, only for the referee to wave away frantic appeals for a second penalty, before Nathan Walker rose to head in another corner from Devlin on 80 minutes to make it 4-1.

That finally killed off Borough’s resilience and it could have got even better for the Magpies when Nichols saw another late effort cleared off the goal-line.

Dorchester have now lost just one of their last 11 league games – an incredible turnaround considering they began the season with 10 losses in their first 15.

Eastbourne: Baker (Crabb 75), Cole, Smart (Camara 75), Rowe, Austin, Brinkhurst, Johnson, Watson, Hart, Treleaven. Subs not used: Elphick, Charman, Rook.

Magpies: Walker-Harris, Bell, Smeeton, Jermyn, Walker, Devlin, Crittenden, Nich-olls, Wilson (Dovell 89), Nichols, Martin. Subs not used: Floyd, St Walker, Symes, White.

Referee: A Crysell

Attendance: 564