DORCHESTER Sports salvaged a 4-4 draw from a manic Dorset Premier League contest with Shaftesbury Town Reserves at Cockrams.

Sports had enjoyed an immense first half, claiming a 3-0 lead after 30 minutes. However, the Rockies came back in extraordinary fashion to open up a 4-3 advantage.

But Jamie Rawlings headed home for Sports in stoppage-time before Jamie Samways saw a free-kick tipped onto the bar in a frenetic finale.

A pulsating finish had looked inconceivable as Sports flew out of the traps. Will Turland’s accurate cross enabled Ryan Ross to tap home into an open goal for 1-0.

Rawlings then netted from 15 yards on 20 minutes before Gareth Will rifled a 30-yard bullet into the top corner with half an hour gone as Sports capitalised on some of their best football of the season.

Shaftesbury then pulled a goal back just before half-time to begin their thrilling fightback.

Sports’ defending deteriorated at key moments in the second half and after 60 minutes the Rockies made it 3-2.

Rawlings then hit the bar with a header and missed a one-on-one chance – as did Joel Hewitt – as Sports squandered big chances to sew the victory up before Town equalised via a free header.

Sports conceded an 89th-minute free-kick and a remarkable comeback was completed when visiting keeper Antony frost was beaten directly from the set-piece.

Refusing to give up on a point, Sports stirred themselves for a barnstorming finish as Rawlings grabbed his brace in the 91st minute.

And Samways’ delightful effort from a free-kick with the final action of the game crashed into the woodwork via the home keeper’s glove as both sides came away with an enthralling point.

Speaking to Echosport, Sports’ boss Ashley James confessed the draw was “gut-wrenching”.

He said: “It’s gut-wrenching, but that’s the way it been this season. It doesn’t really surprise me, even at 3-0.

“Very frustrating but in the end we got a point and we could’ve won it – it was a brilliant save from their keeper.

“We were fantastic first-half, we went into a 3-0 lead going up the hill and played some of the best football we’ve played this season.”

Asked what led to relinquishing a 3-0 lead, James said: “It’s just key moments and switching off. We defended the game pretty well but we’re still conceding four goals – it’s crazy.

“Giving silly fouls away on the edge of our box, a couple of free headers. We’re conceding far too many and when you score four away from home you expect to come back with three points.”

Sports: Frost, P Thomas, Read, Amor, Hill, Samways, G Will, J Steele, Ross (Hewitt 46), Turland, Rawlings.


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