Wimborne Town 1 Dorchester Town 1 – FA Cup 1st Round Qualifying – 8 Sept 2018
In this clash of Dorset’s Magpies, Toby Holmes broke the deadlock in the 87th minute, only for Wimborne’s hearts to be broken late into added-on time when Callum Rose equalised with a header to send the tie to a replay on Tuesday night.
With Jordan Lee unwell, manager Matty Holmes restored skipper Scott Arnold to the heart of his defence.
Just three weeks earlier, Dorchester had scored four first half goals in the league clash at the Koolpak Stadium. This time the home side came out determined to prevent a recurrence.
After the ball had crossed from one side of the pitch to the other, Luke Burbidge’s first minute shot was scrambled away at the foot of the post. Curtis Young exemplified Wimborne’s attitude, twice dispossessing the opposition in the first few minutes.
Tom Blair had Dorchester’s first attempt on goal with an instant volley forcing home keeper Gerard Benfield to make a fine diving catch.
Goal chances came at both ends. From a quick throw-in, Holmes laid the ball back to Jack Lovell but he fired over the bar, while the visitors’ central defender Callum Rose had a volley blocked following a free-kick.
It was that man Rose who provided the outstanding moment of the game shortly after. He discombobulated two Wimborne players wide on the left with a clever turn before thumping a 20 yard shot against Benfield’s cross-bar. More chances came Dorchester’s way. Billy Lowes’ shot came at a nice height for Benfield, but the keeper had to be helped out by Billy Maybury who cleared Ross Carmichael’s header off the line.
But Wimborne had their chances too. Rose dispossessed Holmes with a perfectly-timed sliding tackle, and visiting keeper Kingsley Latham got down well to save Maybury’s 30yard free-kick by the post.
With the wind at their backs, Wimborne started the second period brightly. Lovell’s early shot was blocked, and Latham showed assured handling dealing with Burbidge’s floated free-kick.
As Wimborne began to take control of the game, Dorchester’s task became harder when, with a quarter of the game still to play, Blair was sent for an early bath after receiving 2 yellow cards in quick succession.
Latham dived bravely at Holmes’ feet following Burbidge’s clever overhead pass; Rose made a blocking challenge on Holmes; and Latham denied Holmes after the striker was played through. Sam Davidson dragged his shot wide of the post from a corner before Burbidge’s determined effort won another corner on the right, only for Lovell to place his header wide.
Finally, as the game seemed to be heading towards a stalemate, Wimborne made the breakthrough in the 87th minute. Young set Holmes down the left. The long-striding striker bided his time before passing inside to Burbidge whose shot was blocked. But Holmes was quickest to react and fired through Latham’s legs to give the home side the lead. But that was only the start of the dramatic finale. There was still time for Burbidge to trick his way along the by-line before his cross was cleared, and for Dorchester to have one last free-kick in the 5th minute of added-on time. Dorchester sent everyone, including keeper Latham, forward. As Benfield came to claim the high ball, Rose leapt in front of him to head into the unguarded net.
So the teams must meet for the third time in 4 weeks on Tuesday to decide who will take the £6,000 prize money and a place in the next round.
Wimborne: Benfield, Tallack (Penny 73), Maybury, Davidson, Arnold, Kellaway, Stokoe (Francis 90), Young, Holmes, Burbidge, Lovell. Unused subs: Walsh, Owen, Shepherd, L.Holmes
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