Dr. Martens Southern Premier League

Dorchester Town

Keeler (3), (83) (penalty), Browne (66)

Hednesford Town

Lamey (11), (22), C. Palmer (14), Anthrobus (42)

(1) 3

(4) 4




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Ryan Young



Bromsgrove Rovers (H) 27.9.03

A tremendously entertaining game at the Avenue Stadium this afternoon goes the Pitmen's way as they edge out hosts Dorchester Town by the odd goal in seven to make to back-to-back wins for Barry Powell's side

The Pitmen made the long journey down to Dorset buoyed by their excellent 3-1 win over Worcester City on Tuesday night, with Nathan Lamey finally notching his first goal for the club after a number of blank games in front of goal. Powell was able to bring skipper Steve Palmer back into the side in place of Anthony Maguire in one of two changes, the other being Chris Brindley's return to the starting XI in place of the injured Stuart Ryder. Stuart Lake returned to the substitute's bench after missing the midweek game through a slight knock

Dorchester's season had been one of inconsistency so far, with the Magpies sitting just below the Pitmen in the Dr. Martens league table in seventeenth place after a narrow defeat at home to Eastbourne Borough last weekend had left Mark Morris's side with only two wins from their first ten games. Morris made two changes to the side that had lost to Eastbourne, bringing in Mark Jermyn and Matthew Groves for Jamie Brown and the injured Martin Shepherd

It was scorchingly hot late summer's day in Dorchester, with the mercury touching 30 degrees at kick-off time. Both teams made light of the hot conditions to produce a memorable encounter that started with a bang and never really relented for the next ninety minutes. An early corner kick from Justin Keeler was missed by everyone charging into the six yard box before the ball dropped wide of Ryan Young's far post

With only three minutes on the clock, Dorchester took the lead as a slide-rule pass from former West Ham man Matty Holmes found Matt Hann down the right wing - his inch-perfect cross found the head of Keeler, whose glanced the ball past Young from eight yards out with a little help from a deflection off the thigh of Ashley Williams en route to goal

The Pitmen made light of going a goal down so early in the game and reacted well with a great chance of their own on eight minutes; Steve Palmer's pass found Williams out on the right, with the youngster cleverly slipping the ball into the path of Steve Anthrobus. The big man turned well and returned the ball to Steve Palmer, whose low shot was deflected wide of goal by a timely block from Mark Rawlinson

Three minutes later, a corner kick from Les Hines led to a Hednesford equaliser, although Dorchester felt that there was a touch off offside about it as Hines' ball in was flicked on at the near post by Anthrobus and turned home at the far post by Lamey, with the home defenders appealing for offside against the former Moor Green man as he prodded the ball home. Assistant referee Ms. Kingwell and referee Mr. Curtis were content that Lamey was onside after a brief glance across at each other and the goal was given

The Pitmen had their tails up and took the lead with their next attack three minutes later through the excellent Carl Palmer; Hines was involved once more with a fine pass into the feet of Lamey, who did well to lay the ball off into the path of Palmer, who made a run from midfield into the inside-right position. He did well to brush off a challenge from Andy Harris before driving across goal and into the far corner of the net past Dorchester keeper Mark Ormerod

The game was snappy and lively, with the home side going close to an equalising goal on eighteen minutes as Hann's free-kick was deflected inches wide of Young's right-hand post by Steve Palmer. At the other end, Ormerod required lengthy treatment for a cut after he had momentarily dropped a Williams cross at the feet of Lamey before claiming it at the second attempt and making contact with the striker's boot

Ormerod was in action again on twenty-two minutes diving full-length to his left to palm Lamey's long-range effort away for a corner kick. Hines sent over another superbly-struck corner kick from the right, finding Brindley this time with another great delivery. The veteran defender's flick-on found Lamey lurking at the far post once more, turning the ball goalwards in much the same way as his goal. Hann was positioned on the line and appeared to clear the ball off the line, although there was a suspicion of handball in his clearance. The referee appeared to award the away side a penalty kick for Hann's handball, but was overruled by Ms. Kingwell as she stated that the ball had already crossed the line before Hann had made contact with the ball so the goal was given instead

Dorchester continued to press for goals against a nervy-looking Hednesford defence, with Young coming to his club's rescue on the half hour mark to turn Rawlinson's thunderous drive from the edge of the penalty area over the crossbar

Two minutes later, a fine run from youngster Matt Tubbs saw him get to the bye-line and pull the ball back into the path of Keeler, who lifted his shot just over the crossbar form ten yards out

On thirty-four minutes, Dorchester had the ball in the net as Rawlinson's right-wing cross was turned into the net from close-range by Tubbs, only for an offside flag to deny Tubbs his goal

Dorchester were doing everything possible to try and get themselves back into the game, with Young making a fine save on thirty-nine minutes to deny Groves after the midfielder was played through one-on-one with the Hednesford keeper by Hann

A minute later, Steve Palmer was forced off with what appeared to be a recurrence of the thigh injury that had kept him out of the previous two games and was replaced by Maguire

Despite being second-best for much of the last fifteen minutes, the Pitmen put clear daylight between themselves and the hosts with a fourth goal on forty-two minutes. Hines, perhaps predictably, was involved in the goal as his long, rangy free-kick from just inside the Dorchester half was met by Anthrobus at the far post, who managed to get the better of Alex Browne and head beyond the desperate dive of Ormerod to find the far corner of the net

It had been a hugely entertaining first-half from both sides, with the Pitmen pleased at their application in front of goal after a number of games this season where they had struggled to take their chances. However, Dorchester were to come storming back into the game in the second half and pressed the Pitmen from the off as they looked for a route back into the contest

A succession of early corner kicks from the Magpies tested Young and his defence, with a header from Browne on forty-nine minutes clawed off the line by a last-ditch save from Young down to his right hand side

A quick break from the hosts on fifty-four minutes saw Keeler's long pass sending Groves in behind the Hednesford defence, only for Groves to toe-poke his effort just over the crossbar as he stretched to reach Keeler's long ball

The Pitmen responded through a counter-attack from Karl Brown on the hour mark, racing past two challenges in midfield and playing Lamey in down the left, only for the two-goal striker to get his angles all wrong as he fired well over the crossbar with a wild effort

Dorchester got themselves back into the game on sixty-seven minutes as Hann's quickly-taken free-kick found Groves unmarked inside the Hednesford penalty area. Groves showed great feet to jink his way past Young and cross for Browne at the far post, who in turn did well to compose himself before firing into the net from twelve yards out with a number of Hednesford defenders attempting to block his shot

The hosts were firmly on top at this point and continued to press the retreating Hednesford defence for more goals. Tubbs fired over on sixty-eight minutes with a rising shot from twenty yards out, followed a minute later by a header from Rawlinson from Keeler's corner that was straight into the arms of Young

Lake made his welcome return to the side on seventy-four minutes, coming on in pace of the tiring Brindley who had had the runaround by the lively Tubbs all afternoon

Tubbs was again denied by Young on eighty minutes, having sent three Hednesford defenders the wrong way with an outrageous dummy on the edge of the penalty area before striking a firm shot that Young parried away from goal

However, Young's commanding performance was blotted slightly as he handed Dorchester a chance to set up a grandstand finish on eighty-two minutes as he sent Rawlinson sprawling inside his penalty area after the midfielder had taken advantage of the keeper's fumble to rob a Jermyn pass off him.  The referee awarded Dorchester a penalty kick, which Keeler fired past Young from twelve yards out to make it 4-3

It was all Dorchester in the final minutes as they camped out in the Hednesford third in search of what had looked an unlikely equaliser half an hour earlier. A late offside flag denied Groves a leveller on eighty-seven minutes as he nipped in to fire past Young from twenty yards out


In the first minute of added time, Tubbs created enough room for himself at the near post to turn and fire goalwards, but was again denied by Young, who stood firm to push Tubbs' angled dive away from goal

A breathless game of football was finally brought o an end after five minutes of added time, with the Pitmen able to finally celebrate a hard-fought win that they should have made easier for themselves after an indifferent second-half display. This win moves Hednesford into the top ten of the league table in the process, with Powell's men taking a well-earned rest from league action next weekend as they face Southern League Western opponents Bromsgrove Rovers in the F.A. Cup at Keys Park 

Dorchester Town: Ormerod, Jermyn, Walker (Radcliffe 57), Rawlinson, Browne, Harris (White 74), Hann, Holmes, Groves, Tubbs, Keeler       Subs Unused: Brown, Moore, Cooper

Hednesford Town: Young, Williams, Hines, Dodd, Simkin, Brindley (Lake 74), C. Palmer, S. Palmer © (Maguire 40), Anthrobus, Lamey (Swann 90), Brown       Subs Unused: Danks, P. Evans

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