|Shep to the rescue for Terras as points shared in Boxing
By Dorset ECHO
MARK Jermyn and Nick Crittendens final game at the helm
of Dorchester Town ended in a 1-1 draw against arch rivals Weymouth
at the Avenue.
In front of a bumper crowd of 2,033, Nathan Walkers
first-half penalty looked to be the difference maker for the
home side before a sublime strike from Chris Shephard on the
hour mark left both teams taking home a point apiece.
The result means the Magpies stay five points ahead of the
Terras in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division, although
Jason Matthews Terras have played six games fewer than
their Dorset counterparts.
The big team news for Dorchester ahead of kick-off was the
return of Franklyn Clarke to the starting XI, just a month
after having his appendix taken out.
Clarke, the derby hero for the Magpies at the Bob Lucas Stadium
last Boxing Day, was listed in the starting line-up alongside
Yeovil loanee Ollie Bassett, who was featuring in the final
game of his loan spell at the club from Yeovil.
Dorchesters Matt Oldring was suspended Jermyn
and Crittenden were named on the bench in their last game.
For the Terras, there was a return for Chris Shephard and
Ashley Wells from illness and Jake Wannell from a calf injury
the latter came back in to replace Stephane Zubar,
who was serving a one-match ban.
The first nervy moment of the contest came on just three
minutes. After a frenetic start, Walker played a routine pass
back to Magpies keeper Shane Murphy.
After a poor first touch, he almost gift wrapped the opening
goal to Weymouths Stuart Fleetwood but eventually managed
to hack the ball away.
After that, it was the home side who tried to impose themselves
on the game. A ball from the left was picked up by Bassett
at the back post, he cut it back to Clarke on the edge of
the box, who saw the first shot of the contest charged down.
At the other end, it was then Weymouth keeper Tom McHales
turn to show his nerves on the derby stage. He sliced a routine
pass to nobody, but luckily for him, was under no pressure
and could pick the ball up again.
With not a lot of quality on show in the opening 15 minutes,
chances then came at either end.
Dorchesters Ben Wood was played through against his
former club and, after cutting inside, saw his effort blocked
by Calvin Brooks.
At the other end, Jordan Copp got down the left and delivered
for Shephard, whose strike was charged down by Nathan Walker.
The games first booking then came as boyhood Dorchester
fan Tom Blair got a little carried away and fouled Terras
full-back Mark Cooper. Weymouths Dean Evans was then
cautioned for dissent after pulling back Lewis Morgan in the
middle of the park.
Two chances then fell to the away side to break the deadlock
in a matter of minutes. Ben Thomson forced Murphy into a save
at full stretch diving to his left, before Fleetwoods
quick feet in the box created him a shooting chance in which
he hit the side netting.
But it was the Magpies who took the lead in the second minute
of stoppage time at the end of the first half. Superb work
from Blair down the right allowed him to beat Cooper and square
Looking to get past his man, Morgan went down under a challenge
by Brooks inside the area and referee Scott Jackson pointed
directly to the spot.
Up stepped Walker, who held his nerve to slot home - he then
made his way to Jermyn on the bench to celebrate.
Following the break, the home side had two big chances to
double their advantage.
Bassett skipped past Wells on the left and rolled the ball
to Clarke. The former York City man struck a sweet drive at
goal which squirmed through McHales gloves and just
over the bar.
Clarke then held the ball up for the hosts to play in Bassett
once again, he worked McHale at his near post and the keeper
But, with the Magpies on top, the Terras then got back in
it on the hour mark. A neat move on the right was capped off
by Shephard, who worked his way into the box and bent a sublime
effort past Murphy and into the top corner for 1-1.
Looking for a second, Fleetwood and Shephard then combined
for the Terras to set Copp free, he forced a sharp stop from
That came before Crittenden was introduced for his final
appearance for the Magpies, he replaced winger Blair with
just more than 20 minutes left.
But it was then Thomsons turn to try and win it for
the visitors and spoil an emotional day for the Magpies. He
raced through and powered an effort on the angle, but it was
well beaten away.
Jermyn then introduced himself for the last time in his tenure
at the club as he came on to replace Walker, who appeared
to be suffering with a calf problem.
Weymouth threw on Conor Jevon and Stewart Yetton late on
in a bid to find a winner but, deep into stoppage time, a
last-ditch challenge from Jermyn meant both sides were left
to settle for a point.
A guard of honour was given to the departing duo at the final
whistle, as well as skipper Jake Smeeton, who Echosport understands
is leaving to sign for Poole Town.