For the first time in eight matches, Wimborne scored just once, but, with a rare clean-sheet, it was enough to take the points in this first-ever clash between the Magpies and the Swans.
Manager Matty Holmes brought Stefan Penny and Toby Holmes into his starting line-up. Staines, led by their second new manager of the season, had signed another five players during the week.
The opening minutes of the match were like a game of chess as the teams probed for openings. Franklyn Clarke fired a low cross into the goalmouth following a quick throw-in down the left on 6 minutes, Curtis Young did likewise from the right following a spell of good possession, and Luke Burbidge’s cross from the left was well caught by visiting keeper Louis Dixon on 12 minutes.
But with a quarter of the game gone, play opened up and chess gave way to tennis as both sides counter-attacked at pace. After Young had a shot blocked for Wimborne, Staines’ full-back Makhosini Ryan Khanye found space on the left to fire inches wide, and then his fellow defender Finley Tapp tested the home defence with a slaloming run from deep. At the other end visiting stopper Dixon made a great save to keep out Toby Holmes before Sam Davidson headed Luke Holmes’ cross agonisingly wide.
It was breath-taking fare as play flowed from end-to-end, with both teams keeping the ball on the ground and displaying their full repertoire of skills.
The only goal of the game came on 44 minutes. James Stokoe managed to get something on Franklyn Clarke’s whipped-in cross from wide on the left.
After the break, Staines’ Joseph McEvoy had a vicious shot blocked on 51 minutes before Matty Oldring’s diving header from Burbidge’s free-kick was inches away from doubling Wimborne’s lead.
However, the defences, marshalled by Oldring and Tapp, stood firm as chances were created at both ends. Behind them the keepers were in great form. Dixon once more denied Toby Holmes after Luke Holmes’ perfectly-weighted pass had played him in on the left, and Gerard Benfield made a brilliant diving save to turn McEvoy’s goal-bound shot round the post.
Manager Holmes had made a double substitution with 20 minutes to go, withdrawing his two wide men and bringing on new addition Steve Flynn and, recovering from injury, Billy Maybury. Flynn has been banging in the goals for Poppies this season and looks to be a handful for defenders.
With strong performances throughout the team, this was a hard-earned three points for the Magpies which lifts them to 15th in the table. With surprising results elsewhere, it sends the Swans to the bottom, but, on this display, not for long.
Wimborne: Benfield, Penny, Hester, Davidson, Oldring, Clarke, Stokoe, L.Holmes, T.Holmes, Burbidge (Flynn 70), Young (Maybury 70)
Unused subs: Arnold, Collins, Lee
Stats: Shots on target W-4 ST-7, off target W-5, ST-5, blocked W-3, ST-2, corners W-9, ST-9.
Graham Dunn reports.