Wimborne’s away-day woes continued on a soggy Tuesday night on Walton’s 3G pitch. Only a master-class in goalkeeping by Gerard Benfield kept the visitors in the game.
Manager Matty Holmes started with versatile Lee Francis at right-back.
Full of confidence from putting five past Hendon on Saturday, the home side were quickly into their stride. Man-of-the-match Taurean Roberts was first thwarted by Benfield’s spectacular tip-over in the top corner on 2 minutes, then again in the 9th minute, before his third attempt from 20 yards went inches wide five minutes later.
Having survived a difficult opening quarter-hour, the visitors began to get a foothold in the game. Toby Holmes’ pull-back from the by-line was cleared on 16 minutes; Toby and Curtis Young combined well down the left; and defenders were quick to clear when Toby broke into the area two minutes later. Luke Burbidge’s shot from 25 yards went wide, and Franklyn Clarke’s curler was easily saved.
But it was the Casuals who looked the more dangerous as they found space to play the ball around on the ground, and were quickest to seize on any loose balls in midfield. On 29 minutes the home side came closest to opening the scoring when a header from a left-wing corner crashed against Benfield’s bar, and the rebound went over it.
However, 6 minutes later they did score. Receiving a throw-in in mid-field, Roberts made himself space to slip the ball through the middle of the defence for Ewington to finish coolly.
Things got worse for the visitors on 40 minutes when Paddy Hester limped out of the game. But almost immediately, after tenacious work by Luke Holmes in midfield, Clarke laid the ball back to Young and his thumping drive took a deflection before hitting the post. James Stokoe’s effort from the corner just missing the target. The half ended as it began, with Benfield making a terrific point-blank save.
At 1-0 the next goal is often crucial, and it went to the home side just 2 minutes after the break. Sheckleford skipped down the right wing before his low cross found Bennett who had time to turn and rifle past Benfield.
Wimborne rallied, and Clarke and Stokoe has shots from distance blocked and saved by home keeper Gerrar. But it was the Stags who sealed the points on 66 minutes. Following an attack down the left, Benfield made another amazing point-blank save, but Roberts was quickest to react and score from the rebound.
Toby’s header on 75 minutes went straight to Gerrar, and Burbidge’s lob from Luke Holmes delicate pass went over, after Benfield made one more fabulous diving save from a free-kick. But the home side saw out the game to deservedly claim the points.
A bright spot for the visitors was the return of Will Prior, who came on for the last ten minutes.
However, the search for that first league away win … continues.
Graham Dunn reporting.
Wimborne: Benfield, Maybury, Hester (Shah 40 (Oldring 74)), Davidson, Francis, Clarke, Stokoe, L.Holmes, T.Holmes, Burbidge, Young (Prior 79).
Unused subs: Collins, Owen