A goal 6 minutes from time was enough to deny Hayes and Yeading of what may have been a valuable point, but that was not the key talking point from an evening where there was little goalmouth action but a controversial moment that changed the game.
In the 56th minute Anthony Edgar appeared to be fouled by Matt Oldring at the edge of the Dorchester box but with the majority the stadium expecting a free-kick and an opportunity for the visitors to have a strike at goal, referee Lamport amazed and enraged United by not only giving a free-kick to Dorchester but by further rubbing salt in the wounds by sending off the United goal scorer.
All credit must be given to the United players though as they actually had more possession and took the game to their hosts after going down to 10 men. Whilst chances on either goal were limited, particularly in the second half United certainly deserved something for their positive approach.
The conditions had a big factor on this game as United struggled to play on a pitch that could best be described as just about playable, a number of players were slipping and sliding and turning quickly could be a lottery for players.
To be fair to Dorchester they certainly played the conditions better in the first half using long balls pumped from defence to get the United defenders turning and long balls into the box to aim for big strong players and avoiding the need to use the surface as much as possible.
It definitely was not United’s night as they went into the game without several players from the Cirencester win, Tom Broadbent and Darren Locke (work commitments), and Graeme Montgomery (unavailable). This lead to a reshuffle of the defence with Callum Adebiyi moving to centre back, Connor Toomey moved to left back and being replaced in midfield by Ryan Hope with new signing David Hutton filling the number 10 role.
With the changes to the side and difficult conditions the worst thing that could have happened was to concede an early goal but when you are down the bottom these things happen, after just 70 seconds in fact. An attack down the United left saw Toomey unable to block a cross that was only partially cleared by a Solomon Sambou header and it reached Dorchester’s Jake Mawford whose fine low drive from the edge of the penalty area skimmed along the surface into the bottom left hand corner of Danny Boness’s goal.
The hosts had a stranglehold on the first half more physical and stronger as more and more heavy challenges came in on United players before the referee finally lost his patience and started handing out cards with 4 magpies receiving yellow cards between the 22nd and 50th minutes.
With the hosts in control they should have doubled their lead in the 10th minute, Sambou was dispossessed and Tom Blair’s pinpoint cross found an unmarked Nathan Walker and the big centre half headed over when he should have scored, in this time United had just one sight of goal when Hutton’s low shot was easily saved by ‘keeper Shane Murphy.
With United finally getting a foothold into the game they managed to create a 35th minute equaliser. Anthony Edgar who was beginning to look threatening won the ball at the edge of the box he pushed the ball past Neil Martin who tripped him in the penalty area giving the referee no choice but to award a penalty. Edgar picked himself up and dispatched a brilliant penalty to the keeper’s right giving him no chance.
With half time approaching it was United, buoyed by the goal, that looked the better team with home keeper Shane Murphy making an outstanding save to keep out Edgar’s 25 yard free-kick.
However the hosts nearly took advantage of a mistake when Frankie Jones was dispossessed on the halfway line giving Phil Ormrod a free run on goal three minutes before the half ended and just as he appeared to shoot at goal Jones himself chased down and made a fantastic recovering tackle just inside the box.
The second half started off in very bizarre circumstances with United out first and then Dorchester both teams went into pre second half warm ups. When United came off their warm up sprints, Toomey remained in a squat position, with fears that he may have pulled a muscle but as he remained in the position for a period of time it was obvious there was something different wrong. With the referee ready to recommence proceedings Toomey was physically sick on the pitch which saw the game delayed while the player was checked. Bravely Toomey played on and, in fact managed to survive the whole game. Seeing a teammate in distress had an impact on the United players and again they started the half slowly and an Oldring shot in the 47th minute required a low smart save from Boness.
In terms of goalmouth action, the Oldring shot was the last effort on target from either team until the late goal. Cole Brown looked dangerous throughout and threatened to score and create chances all through the second period but never really got his just rewards, the very heavy pith definitely having an impact on United’s slick passing game.
It was perhaps slightly against the run of play when Dorchester scored but the manner of the goal was not surprising. A long Dorchester ball found a space between the left back position and centre half and Ormrod ran onto the ball and rounded the onrushing Boness to poke into an empty net.
Despite having plenty of the ball late United were unable to create any chances but the players definitely gave their all and deserved more.
Report by Nick Griffith.
United Man of the Match: Cole Brown.