Dorchester Town 1-2 Stratford Town
Evo-Stik Southern Premier
LOYISO Recci netted a late winner and Louis Connor produced a man-of-the-match display to help Stratford to a fourth win in five outings.
Connor made five vital saves as the first half ended goalless but Dorchester managed to get the breakthrough via Billy Lowes on 61 minutes.
Ben Stephens levelled within a minute, and then Connor again came to the rescue to save an 82nd-minute penalty from Phil Ormrod.
There was still time for more drama as defender Recci nodded home the winner from a corner.
With Town having to omit the unavailable Edwin Ahenkorah and Jaz Luckie, Town boss Carl Adams included FC Stratford’s Dean Poulson and Academy youngsters Daniel Purvin and George Dawson on the bench.
Town started brightly with Dorchester keeper Chris Weale having to claw away a Lee Thomas effort and Justin Marsden dragged a shot wide.
But the home side sparked into action and created a number of chances, only to find Connor in imperious form.
A double save kept out Sam Lanahan’s shot and the follow up from Ormrod. Minutes later Antonio Diaz was put through and Connor denied him twice from point blank range.
With Dorchester well on top, Lanahan was denied again by Connor diving full stretch to his left and shortly after he brilliantly turned and shot but was inches wide.
Having weathered the storm Town struggled to maintain any meaningful possession playing to many hopeful long balls up to Mike Taylor.
The best chance fell to Marsden but as he bore down on goal he was denied by a last- gasp tackle.
Stephens then outpaced the Dorchester defence but keeper Chris Weale forced him wide.
Town showed more intent in the second period and inside the first minute Taylor fed Stephens who squared it to Dan Summerfield but he blazed over from 10 yards.
But with Town enjoying most of the possession they were nearly undone when Lanahan’s header from Gary Bowles’ deep smacked the top of the crossbar.
But there was no escape when Dorchester went ahead on 61 minutes. Blair’s shot was blocked but fell to Lowes who smashed home.
Within a minute, however, it was 1-1. Bowles completed missed a clearance from Marsden’s cross and Stephens slotted into the bottom corner past Weale.
Dorchester had the ideal chance to regain the lead on 84 minutes when Mo Baghdadi’s shot was saved by Connor and Thomas was adjudged to have fouled fellow substitute Ed Bastick to concede a penalty. But Connor capped a great performance and saved Ormrod’s spot-kick diving to his left.
A draw looked the likely outcome, especially when Marsden’s cracking drive was tipped around the post by a diving Weale. But from the resulting Will Grocott corner, Recci rose highest to send a towering header into the net.
Dorchester: Weale, Bowles, Martin, Rose, Carmichael, Lanahan (Baghdadi 69), Diaz, Lowes, Ormrod (Ayunga 90), Panesar-Dower, Blair (Bastick 69). Subs : Davies, Brookes
Stratford: Connor, Sommerfield, Thomas (Poulson 89), Gallinagh, Recci, Fry, Marsden, Hancocks, Taylor (Bako 87), Grocott, Stephens. Subs: Dawson, Purvin