Dorchester Town 0 AFC Wimbledon 3
Dorchester Town, reigning Doc Martens League Eastern Division champions against AFC Wimbledon, Seagrave Haulage League champions elect. Men against boys, you'd maybe be thinking. It turns out not far from the truth, although maybe not quite in the way you expected. Magpies' manager, ex-Don Mark Morris, described his team as crap and, although that was a little harsh, the Dons harried and closed down the home side players at every opportunity.
Although not too much should be read into the result - this was Dorchester's first game of this campaign - the Dons showed the character and commitment required to coast home once they'd found their feet.
The first twenty minutes were comparatively even, Gavin Bolger shooting wide after good work from Joe Sheerin on the quarter hour, and Danny Oakins having to stretch and nick the ball off the toe of an incoming forward a couple of minutes later. The ball stayed mostly in midfield until the 27th minute when Sheerin chased the Magpies' right back into a short back pass and then beat the keeper to the ball before sliding it into the empty net.
The second half saw Andy Sullivan replace Lee Sidwell on the right and Leon White roared into Dons action for the first time, replacing Kevin Cooper who had worked hard and held the ball well but with little reward. Almost immediately the two combined for Sullivan to go close, and on 53 minutes White was put through but slipped it wide of both the keeper and the post. An over-exuberant (and over the top) challenge from Simon Bassey soon after saw the ref produce a yellow card, and it seemed that Dons forceful approach was too much for their Dorset opponents. Just after the hour Sheerin found himself free twelve yards out at the back of the box and fired home through a melee of legs to double the lead. On 72 minutes Oakins got his head to a cross and substitute Darren Dobinson lashed the ball just over from ten yards. It was pretty much one way traffic by now and with ten minutes remaining Sullivan's corner to the far post was knocked back across by Paul Quinn and Oakins headed the ball into the bottom corner. 3-0 and game over. The only incident of note after that was the referee getting cramp with a few minutes to go. He was stretchered off and an assistant referee took over the middle with Dons kit-man Dennis Lownes running the line (and immediately giving a loudly cheered offside!).