We finish the season at home vs Chesham
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 Premier history, table-toppers Weymouth travelled to Dorset rivals Wimborne for a league game with both teams keen to add to their points total. The opportunity to compare the league’s leading goalscorers, Toby Holmes and Brandon Goodship, attracted a large crowd. But the weather proved to be an integral part of the match with the wind howling down the pitch; and defences held firm.
The first incident came on the 16th minute when Luke Burbidge whipped in low free kick towards midfielder James Stokoe who just headed the ball wide to the left.
Luke Holmes fired a low menacing shot towards goal but the visitor’s keeper, Tom McHale, managed to parry out the ball over his head on the 32nd minute. On the 70th minute the wind took a toll on Weymouth’s Yemi Odubade as his shot was caught by the wind and headed towards the corner flag.
However, the home side used the wind to their advantage as they continuously fired towards McHale throughout the second half. Despite the torrential rain and the strong wind, both sides gave everything but neither team were able to fire the ball in the back of the net.
Playing 50 minutes with 10 men, Salisbury ended Wimborne’s 12-match home unbeaten run to maintain their chase for promotion.
An emphatic 3-0 Win puts Wimborne 10th in the table!
Coming from an entertaining 3-3 draw against Hendon the previous weekend, the Magpies continued their brilliant form in their first campaign in the Southern Premier League. Toby Holmes scored twice increasing his season total to 27 goals in the league, on par with Weymouth’s Brandon Goodship as they battle for the prestigious “Golden Boot” trophy. Gerard Benfield was unwell to play, so Chad Collins took over between the posts and kept another clean sheet. Juxtaposed to the wet conditions against Hendon, the Koolpak Stadium was shone alight with an attendance of 343 who saw Wimborne drill 3 goals to extend their home record to 12 games now unbeaten.
The Magpies started impressively when marksman Toby Holmes was played through by Luke Burbidge, who thumped in a low cross to Toby as he slotted the ball perfectly in the bottom right corner to open the scoring on the 8th minute. Only minutes later, as the last man running towards the goal, Toby was brought down by Walton’s defender Gradi Milenge in the penalty area. Up stepped Stefan Penny who struck the ball towards the bottom corner, whether he had watched the England squad during the world cup the keeper Denzel Gerrar responded with an impressive save.
Chad Collins made his first impression in goal when he saved a menacing shot which came from the Stag’s no 11 Mahrez Bettache on the 27th minute. Despite missing a penalty earlier on, Stefan Penny added to the scoresheet when Toby crossed the ball across goal and allowed the fullback to give Wimborne a 2-0 lead on the 31st minute.
Five minutes after the interval Toby Holmes ran around the keeper and tried to finish from a tight angle but, unfortunately, he hit the right post. Regardless of missing that effort, Toby found himself one on one with the keeper, he perfectly chipped the ball over Gerrar but with a fingertip save, the ball descended back to Toby as he put the ball away to extend Wimborne’s lead to a comfortable 3-0 score for the Magpies on the 53rd minute.
On the 70th minute, midfielder Luke Holmes also chipped the ball over Gerrar as he produced another crucial fingertip save, Luke headed the rebounder but was immediately denied when Gerrar magnificently scooped the ball off the line despite of the ongoing onslaught by the Magpies and a determined Toby Holmes of getting a hat trick.
Ten minutes later, Luke Holmes dribbled effortlessly past Walton’s defence but fired wide and an ambitious attempt by Toby Holmes saw the striker fire above the top right corner on a mission of obtaining another hat trick for his side which he didn’t manage to achieve when the referee blew the final whistle of the game.
A convincing 3-0 victory over Walton Casuals sees Wimborne move up to 10th place in the Southern Premier league, as well as Toby Holmes still obtaining the position as joint top goal scorer so far in this season. The Magpies are set to play Salisbury at the Koolpak Stadium this Saturday and all support is needed at this exciting fixture as currently Wimborne are seven points away from the top five in the league to gain a playoff spot. We hope to see as many of you there cheering on the Magpies during this important game.
-Max Emes Reporting