We finish the season at home vs Chesham
A third clean sheet in the final four league games of this historic season was enough to earn that vital point which secured Wimborne’s place in the Southern League Premier Division. The home side played most of the second half with ten men after central defender Sam Davidson was sent off by referee Harris.
Manager Matty Holmes included Sam Bayston and Luke Holmes in his starting XI.
Luke Holmes set Luke Burbidge free on the right in the first minute but his low cross-cum-shot was grasped by keeper Charlie Taylor, who made a comfortable save ten minutes later when Burbidge cut in from the left. In a cagey opening, it was clear that Chesham’s defence was well-organised and that clear-cut chances would be at a premium. But one of those came just before the quarter-hour mark – Burbidge lofted a ball over the back-line for the galloping Toby Holmes but his effort from an acute angle on the right found the side-netting.
On 18 minutes the busy Burbidge created a central opportunity for himself but dragged his shot wide of the post; Franklyn Clarke’s shot from 20 yards took a deflection before Taylor made the save; and after good inter-play down the right, Jordan Lee deceived the covering defender before driving the ball across the face of the goal from the by-line.
Chesham’s mobile mid-field and attack combined well with Ronny Nfinda shooting over on 7 minutes, Gerard Benfield making a catch at full-stretch from a flicked header on 22 minutes, and Dave Pearce firing wide from a short-corner routine two minutes later.
The Magpies’ best chances of the half came just before the break. Luke Holmes inviting cross from the right of the penalty box was met by a leaping Toby at the far post, but, heading back across the goal, he beat both the keeper and the post. Then, after a free-kick was half-cleared to the edge of the box, Bayston’s volley was blocked on the line by a well-positioned defender.
Now with the wind at their backs, Wimborne’s plans for the second period were thrown into disarray on 48 minutes when Davidson was sent off for something he’d said to the referee. The versatile Clarke joined the back-line with skipper Billy Maybury, who had an excellent game, joining Matt Oldring in central defence, and Lee moving over to the left.
A minute later keeper Taylor made a sprawling save at the feet of Toby, but, apart from some typical Burbidge trickery on the right, most of the play was towards the home goal as Chesham began to exert pressure. Pearce headed wide from Bradley Clayton’s cross; Lee hacked the ball away after Benfield made a good save from Billy Adcock’s long shot; Maybury made a vital stretching interception; Nfinda’s cross evaded everyone; and substitute Luke Heneghan’s shot from 20 yards went wide.
The last good chance of the game fell to substitute Aidan Shepherd. After a fine individual run, Burbidge slipped the ball through to the youngster but keeper Taylor made another sprawling save at his feet.
After two minutes of added-on time, Wimborne had that vital point thanks to another determined team performance epitomised by unsung hero Carl Pettefer in midfield. But everyone put in a shift and deserved their lap of honour in front of an appreciative crowd.
Matty’s men finished three points clear of relegation, above Dorchester, in a remarkable 14th place. Given Matty had only three weeks’ notice that we’d be playing our first ever season at Step 3, this is an amazing performance.
Bring on next season!!
*Basingstoke Town joined Staines and Frome Town in relegation to the Evo-Stik Southern Division.
Wimborne: Benfield, Lee, Maybury, Davidson, Oldring, Pettefer, Clarke, L.Holmes, T.Holmes (Shepherd 84), Burbidge, Bayston (Stokoe 56)
Unused subs: Collins, Francis
An equalising goal in time added-on at the end of the first half transformed the game, as the visitors took control after the break to run out comfortable winners.
Franklyn Clarke was available again, so manager Matty Holmes restored him to the back-line with Curtis Young joining a strong home bench. With both sides needing points to move away from the relegation battle, there was a scrappy, nervy start to the game.
A Billy Maybury free-kick on 7 minutes was well defended by the Basingstoke wall, keeper Tom McGill made a good save from Toby Holmes after Matt Oldring’s shot was deflected, and Sam Davidson made an incisive tackle on the edge of the box, as play moved from end to end.
Then, just after the mid-point of the half, Wimborne grabbed the initiative. Billy Maybury’s inch-perfect diagonal ball was headed by Luke Burbidge into the path of Clarke. His first shot was blocked, but he stroked the rebound beyond McGill low into the far corner.
Racing back across his goal on 37 minutes, Gerard Benfield made a brilliant instinctive save to keep out Dan Bayliss’s volley. As Wimborne looked to reach the interval in the lead, Basingstoke were awarded a soft free-kick ten yards inside their own half in the final seconds of the two minutes additional time. The home defence failed to clear the lofted ball, and, when it bounced, Yvan Jourdan pounced to steer it past Benfield.
With ears still ringing from their manager’s half-time tongue-bashing, Basingstoke seized the initiative from the first whistle of the second period. On 51 minutes a long throw from the left was flicked on to Ben Wright who found himself unmarked on the edge of the goal area to easily beat Benfield.
Three minutes later, a missed clearance let in Wright but, as he tried to round the keeper, Benfield stuck out a long, strong arm to push the ball away, and Wimborne somehow cleared the ball. On 55 minutes, skipper Sam Deadfield somehow lifted Sam Smart’s cross over the bar when directly under it.
With Bayliss and Jack Wakely marshalling Toby, chances for the home side were few and far between. But a big one came on 70 minutes when Toby got ahead of his defenders and headed Burbidge’s free-kick inches wide.
Almost immediately the Dragons doubled their lead when the unfortunate Maybury, trying to intercept a pass, could only deflect it wide of Benfield. Substitute Sam Argent further increased the lead with a spectacular overhead from Smart’s cross on 75 minutes.
Wimborne did get one back on 81 minutes when Toby connected with Burbidge’s delicate through ball. But the visitors saw out the remaining minutes.
Wimborne : Benfield, Clarke, Maybury, Davidson, Oldring (Lee), Pettefer, Stokoe, Penny (Young), T.Holmes, Burbidge, L.Holmes
Unused subs: Francis, Collins, Bayston
Graham Dunn reports.
Manager Matty Holmes found the right balance in sending out a team to win the game, rest key personnel, and give game time to squad players as goals by Luke Burbidge, Luke Holmes and Curtis Young at the Koolpak Stadium saw the Magpies reach the Dorset Senior Cup final for a second season running.
With Sam Bayston, Carl Pettefer and Ashley Pope cup-tied, and Gerard Benfield, Toby Holmes and James Stokoe rested, Manager Holmes gave starts to Chad Collins, Kieran Douglas, and Aidan Shepherd.
Wimborne came out in attacking mode. On 2 minutes Billy Maybury hit a brilliant through ball for Curtis Young on the right, but the winger was flagged off-side. In fact, that was the first of three off-side decisions for the hosts in the first 8 minutes as they made clear their intention to play balls behind the visitors’ defence. Franklyn Clarke flashed a ball across the face of the Bridport goal on 9 minutes, before Burbidge tried a speculative drive from wide on the left, and Shepherd ran onto Young’s flick before Bridport keeper Jason Hutchings made the first of many good saves from his angled shot.
But it wasn’t all one-way traffic, and 20 minutes in, the visitors enjoyed a good spell. The skillful and speedy Edward Butcher, on the left wing, was a constant source of danger, and the home defence were grateful to scramble away his cross from the by-line.
However, the opening goal was scored by Wimborne on 26 minutes from a well-worked corner. Burbidge played the ball to Maybury, instead of an expected shot, he returned it to the winger who came inside and beat Hutchings at his near post.
Bridport responded well to going behind. Three minutes later Butcher raced on to a defensive slip but blasted wild and wide when one-on-one with Collins. But he had his revenge on 32 minutes when, coming in from the left wing, he beat the keeper from just inside the box with a sumptuous shot to equalise.
As play flowed from end to end, Bridport’s centre-forward Mark Salter flashed a header just wide, and Ben Morris had Collins scampering across his goal. Lee Francis was playing balls into the inside-right channel for Shepherd. From one of these the youngster drew a sprawling save from Hutchings. And then, on 37 minutes, racing on to another well-weighted ball from Francis, Shepherd cut the ball back for Luke Holmes to head home in the goal area to put the hosts ahead again.
Then, just before the break, Wimborne nearly increased their lead. Burbidge’s corner was headed back across the goal to Clarke but his header was cleared off the line.
Wimborne started the second half brightly. The ever-willing Shepherd forced a corner after chasing a through ball, Burbidge crossed from the by-line, Young had a shot deflected wide, Douglas was just off target with a header, and Hutchings saved Burbidge’s low shot. Bridport had an effort cleared off the line before Wimborne scored their third on 54 minutes. Luke Holmes played Young through with a peach of a pass, and although Hutchings half-saved his effort, the ball rebounded off the winger and into the net.
With Burbidge in full flow, further goals seemed inevitable. But the Western League side dug deep, and it was they who scored the final goal on 71 minutes. After a Bees’ corner was half-cleared, Morris rifled a 20-yard shot past Collins via the inside of the post.
Chances came at both ends, but none changed the scoreline. Sam Davidson headed wide from a corner, Burbidge’s inviting cross found no takers, Davidson had two more decent attempts – a header cleared off the line, and a shot over the bar, and Shepherd was thwarted when one-on-one with the keeper. At the other end, Butcher’s lob over Collins went inches wide, and Salter had a shot cleared off the line.
After a game of 5 goals, 44 goal attempts, and 14 corners, it was Wimborne who claimed their place in the final against Poole. Bridport made light of the two-league difference between the teams and played their part in an entertaining game.
Wimborne: Collins, Francis, Lee (Penny 63), Davidson, Douglas (Hall 85), Clarke, Maybury, Young, Shepherd, Burbidge, L.Holmes. Unused subs: Benfield, Traynor, D.Holmes
Report by Graham Dunn
For the first time in Southern League history, Weymouth travelled to Dorset rivals Wimborne to play a league game. Just ahead of Taunton Town, the visitors looked to maintain that prestigious spot at the top of the table. However, the difficult conditions on the day prevented both sides from scoring with the wind continuously howling over the Koolpak Stadium on Saturday. Matty Oldring and Franklyn Clarke unavailable.
Many in the 697 crowd came to see Toby Holmes and Brandon Goodship battle it out to achieve the leading goal scorer spot in the league. They also witnessed Wimborne’s draw against league leaders Weymouth who pressed Gerard Benfield throughout the game. Obtaining a point has left the Magpies 13th in the table, only 5 points above the relegation zone.
The first incident came on the 16th minute when Luke Burbidge whipped in a low free kick towards midfielder James Stokoe who just headed the ball wide to the left inside the penalty area. Weymouth responded with a header of their own when Josh Carmichael headed the ball wide from a corner to the left on the 24th minute.
Luke Holmes fired a low menacing shot towards goal as the visitor’s keeper Tom McHale managed to parry out the ball over his head on the 32nd minute. Only minutes later did Weymouth’s midfielder Yemi Odubade fire convincingly towards goal but the wind hijacked the ball’s trajectory as it was pushed out wide.
Coming out of the changing rooms, both sets of fans were phenomenal when cheering on their respective teams despite the ongoing weather taking a huge toll in the game. The Magpies immediately tested McHale when they fired the ball from the half way line as it just glided over the bar as soon as the second half started. Throughout the second half, Wimborne took advantage of the wind blowing towards the hospital end as they continuously fired towards the Weymouth net.
Toby Holmes was taken down by Weymouth’s defender Stephane Zubar on the 58th minute as the home side was awarded a free kick. Luke Burbidge stepped up and curled the ball just wide. One of the best incidents came on the 77th minute when Stefan Penny struck the ball from outside the box as McHale impressively saved the ball as the wind made it more difficult to get an understanding of the ball’s expedition towards goal.
Both sides were unable to achieve a goal during the 90 minutes, but it was clear that the weather was one of the main reasons. As a result, both teams can take comfort from gaining a point which helped towards their ambitions this season.
Wimborne: Benfield, Francis, Penny, Davidson, Maybury, Pettefer, Stokoe, Young, T.Holmes, Burbidge, L.Holmes
Unused subs: Owen, Collins, Bayston, Shepherd
Max Emes reporting.
Playing 50 minutes with 10 men, Salisbury ended Wimborne’s 12-match home unbeaten run to maintain their chase for promotion.