Development Squad presented with Wyvern League trophy
Dorchester Town 1 Salisbury FC Development Squad 3 (played at Salisbury)
Wyvern Combination League Midweek Division
8th May 2018
Report and pictures by Alec Hayter
The young Whites finished their league campaign with a good win against Dorchester Town. It would have been easier for the visitors not to have travelled to fulfil the fixture after they were unable to host the match due to their pitch being replaced with a new 4G surface, but credit to them, they not only made the trip, but also put up a very good display in which neither side showed any characteristics whatsoever of an end-of-season affair.
The Dorset side had defeated Salisbury recently in the John Stimpson Memorial Trophy and there was an amount of pride at stake for the Whites, but things did not start well as on 9 minutes Dorchester took a fortuitous lead. Ben Sabine, in front of the Salisbury goal, seemed to have missed the target from 12 yards before a savage deflection wrong-footed keeper Tom Roberts and gave the Magpies the lead.
It took only seven minutes of mounting pressure, however, before Salisbury got back on level terms when Chae Sykes was brought down in the area. Captain Ryan Penny stepped up to plant the ball past keeper Taylor Hibbs and even things up.
In what was always an entertaining end-to-end encounter, Dorchester upped their game once more and Sabine was unlucky after latching on to a piercing ball, screwing his finish wide of the upright with Roberts beaten, and just before the interval, Sabine was again involved but this time was culpable, putting his far post effort wide from only eight yards.
Four minutes into the second period, an inviting cross from Eddie Perrett from the left created a chance for Charlie Cooper to give his side the lead for the first time in the match, and he did so with a glancing header across Hibbs into the corner. Dorchester would not lie down, though, and Jamie Rawlings nearly caught out Roberts with a speculative long-range shot from fully 35 yards which dipped just over the crossbar.
On 58 minutes Cooper, having scored Salisbury's second, was then instrumental in the Whites' third as he was brought down by Tom Blair as he made his way along the byeline into the box. Again there was no doubt as to the validity of the penalty appeals and this time Sykes took responsibility to blast the ball home and give his side a two-goal cushion.
Unsurprisingly in the context of the game, three minutes later it was Dorchester's turn once more but James Spring wasted probably the most clear-cut opportunity of the evening, hitting the side netting from very close in with only Roberts to beat, but it was Salisbury who finished in the ascendancy with Penny sending in a 20-yard effort which shaved the bar on 70 minutes. In the final goalmouth action of the evening, shortly afterwards, Josh Sommerton went past three defenders with ease and got into the box before seeing his toe-poked attempt whistle just the wrong side of the far post.
Thus ended a very successful season for the Development squad, managed by Chris Burden and Mike Easterbrook, and it was also a successful campaign for our Under 18 team, managed by Ritchie Rendall, who knocked out favourites Aldershot Town away from home en route to the Wyvern League Midweek Floodlit Cup final on 4th May, when they overcame Havant and Waterlooville in a comprehensive 4-1 win to lift the trophy.
Every Development squad game I have seen, with possibly only one exception, has been very rewarding and I am sure that the Under 18 games have been the same. Supporters will already be aware that Josh Sommerton, Charlie Rayfield, and Tom Roberts have all been given some first-team experience and I'm sure there are others from those squads who will follow in due course.
Dorchester Town: Hibbs, Hill, Payne, Brumble, Wall, Blair, Sabine, Spring, Ayunga, Rawlings, Hewitt.
Sub not used: Morray.
Salisbury FC: T Roberts, Ward (Harfield 68), Sommerton, Burden, Rutty, Wolfarth, Penny, Cooper (Clancy 85), Sykes, Perrett (J Roberts 73), Ellington.
Sub not used: Osman.
Attendance: 22 Referee: M Millard
BELOW: The Championship Shield is presented to Charlie Rayfield (centre) and Josh Sommerton by Wyvern League official Stuart Solly.