With last season’s drawn play-off final between these two teams still lingering in the memory, there was little to choose between them again until Franklyn Clarke volleyed home from 12 yards on 71 minutes.
In a cagey first half, clear cut chances were few and far between. Visiting keeper Josh Hill was relieved to see Billy Maybury’s free-kick on 9 minutes clear the bar as well as his defensive wall, and was then well positioned to save from Toby Holmes and twice from Luke Burbidge.
Marine came back strongly as the half ended, with Stuart Fleetwood’s low cross on 45 minutes eluding every one. On 54 minutes, after a defensive slip, Wimborne’s keeper Gerard Benfield raced out to clear from Fleetwood, Marine’s central defensive pairing of Matthew Coupe and Matthew Williams continued to deny ace marksman Toby Holmes with well-timed challenges and interceptions.
But there was little they could do to prevent the game’s only goal. Burbidge’s corner from the right was half-cleared to Clarke who crashed a stunning volley into the roof of Hill’s net.
Wimborne almost doubled their advantage on 76 minutes when Holmes climbed to head Clarke’s right-wing cross inches over Hill’s cross-bar, before Burbidge’s cross from the by-line needed the slightest touch as it flashed across Hill’s goal.
Wimborne: Benfield, Lee, Maybury, Davidson, Oldring, Pettefer, Francis, Clarke (Stokoe 82), T.Holmes, Burbidge, Penny (L.Holmes 90). Unused subs: Collins, Shepherd, Pope
Full report by Max Emes to follow.