October 25, 2014
Monkhouse 16, 85, Taylor 19, Mansell 47, Harrison 57, 79, 90+2
(Dorchester Town Chair Matt Lucas, is probably busily counting the gate receipts.)
DORCHESTER Town’s hopes of progressing in this season’s FA Cup were brought to a shuddering halt at the Avenue today.
An Ellis Harrison hat-trick and brace for Andy Monkhouse sent Bristol Rovers through to the first round proper at the expense of the hosts.
With players cup-tied and others missing through injury it was a difficult afternoon for the hosts, though they did have a Nathan Walker header to show for their efforts.
There were three changes to the Dorchester side that beat Burnham on Tuesday.
Out went the cup-tied Ryan Murray and Jack Odam, while Jake Smeeton failed a pre-match fitness test but took one of the seven places on the bench.
Like Smeeton, Ben Joyce also failed to recover from a hamstring problem – Tony Rolls, Oakley Hanger and Charlie Davis were the men to come in.
Walker skippered the home side and ex-Magpie Jake Gosling took his place in the Rovers’ starting line-up.
Dorchester actually made a fairly decent start to the tie, working hard off the ball in the opening stages to close down Rovers when they were in possession.
Monkhouse had the first real opportunity when the ball dropped for him six yards out, but Alan Walker-Harris was on his toes to smother the danger.
However, Rovers did go a goal up just before the game entered the 17th minute.
Ellis Harrison found Matty Taylor, he shipped the ball on to Monkhouse and the experienced striker did the rest, though Walker-Harris might feel he could have done better as the shot seemed to go straight through him.
The Magpies had barely had time to draw breath when they found themselves 2-0 down.
Harrison raced on to a through ball and squared a pass to Taylor who did the rest.
Just after that Taylor fed Gosling and he was only denied by an alert Walker-Harris.
Two efforts from distance, one for either side, failed to trouble Walker-Harris or opposite number Steve Mildenhall, then Harrison hooked over after Dillon completely missed a cross from the left.
Ploughing a lone furrow up front for the hosts, Dan Smith was doing all he could to get his side back in the game but it was proving to be a pretty fruitless task against a solid Rovers’ defence.
A third goal looked on the cards prior to the break and Gosling may well have got it at the same end of the ground that he scored his winner for Dorchester against Plymouth in 2012.
A cross into the Magpies’ box was won by Monkhouse and Gosling, no more than 12 yards out, blasted over.
Rovers needn’t have worried though as it was 3-0 two minutes into the second half.
Out of nothing, the ball dropped to Lee Mansell just inside the Dorchester area and the skipper let fly with a thunderous shot that flew past Walker-Harris.
And, like in the first period, one goal was quickly followed by another – but this time it was Dorchester who got it.
(Gary Kemp, the Magpies manager was hopeful that the consolation goal scored might be the start of a fight back.)
Andy Robinson swung over a free-kick from wide on the right and Walker leapt above his marker to power a header back across goal and into the far corner.
(Andy Robinson was credited with the Assist for the Magpies goal from Nathan Walker.)
Walker’s next involvement in the game was to receive a booking from referee Dean Treleaven after bringing down a rampaging Harrison.
The Rovers striker had been a real handful for the home defence all afternoon and he eventually got his name on the scoresheet on 57 minutes.
However, if it hadn’t been for the intervention of the man with the whistle it might have stayed at 3-1.
Left-back Lee Brown surged into the Magpies’ box, cut the ball back and Harrison steered it beyond Walker-Harris.
The linesman in front of the Rovers’ fans immediately flagged for offside, but his decision was correctly overruled by the Portsmouth official as the player in question wasn’t interfering with play.
Both sides made changes after that, though there was no let up for Graham Kemp’s men.
The away side had been defending when the ball was launched forward and Harrison coolly slotted his second.
There was still time for Rovers to inflict more damage.
(Last time out for Jake Gosling. This is his winning FA Cup goal against Plymouth when he was on loan to Dorchester.)
Monkhouse headed in a Gosling cross in the 85th minute and, in deep in injury time, Harrison completed his hat-trick with a left-foot finish.
Magpies: Walker-Harris, Rolls (Parrett 71), Hanger, Gleeson, Walker, Dillon, Crittenden (Godfrey 58), Lanahan, Smith, Robinson, Davis (Brookes 67). Subs not used: Brown, Williams, Smeeton, Murphy.
Rovers: Mildenhall, Brown, Lockyer, Parkes, Mansell (Thomas 84), Clarke, Taylor (White 64), Gosling, Trotman (McChrystal 72), Harrison, Monkhouse. Subs not used: Martin, Puddy, Cunnington.
Booked: Magpies – Walker (foul, 51)
Rovers – None
Referee: Dean Treleaven (Portsmouth)
(Dan Smith, the Man of the Match from the Dorchester Town point of view.)
(This report from the Dorchester Town perspective is adapted from the Dorset Echo with thanks.)