IT WAS late heartbreak for Dorchester Town as their Ability Counts side was knocked out in the semi-finals of the FA People’s Cup to Plymouth Warriors at St. George’s Park.

The Magpies started the day with a 0-0 draw against Worcestershire-based Aspie Avengers.

Captain Bren Butcher led Dorchester with aggressive runs through the opposition but could not find a finishing product. Goalkeeper Jordan Pitman kept the Magpies in the game with a succession of saves with his feet.

Their next fixture was a 2-0 loss to Swale Tigers, hailing from Kent.

Tigers had rattled the bar from the kick-off and shortly after were awarded a penalty due to Kieran Pitman entering the box.

Swale converted this and doubled their lead soon after as Dorchester’s carelessness in possession gave their opponents a one-on-one with the goalkeeper.

Carlisle were the next opponents and Dorchester scored a goal almost immediately from kick-off.

Defender Kevin Williamson had his shot saved by the goalkeeper however Butcher pounced on the opportunity to score into an open net.

Jamie Bown and Danny Kiy linked up well but Kiy’s shot pinged off the post and could not double the Magpies lead as the game finished 1-0.

Wigan Athletic Ability Counts Team was the following game and the Latics squeezed a 1-0 win.

Athletic were awarded a contentious penalty however could not convert it, despite the referee making the striker take the kick three times.

Pitman heroically stood his ground and held the ball, fired at him. All Dorchester players were pinned back and could not find a way through.

Although Dorchester were resilient at the back it took a special effort to score as the Wigan striker rifled the ball at Pitman who could only parry the ball onto the bar, however the ball had bounced behind the line and in.

Defeat put Dorchester’s chances of qualification to the semi-finals in the balance.

Their last group game was against Plymouth Warriors, and Dorchester had to win to ensure qualification which they did in dramatic fashion.

The Magpies started strongly and got the first goal after Williamson and Butcher combined for the captain to slide it past the keeper’s left.

Kiy doubled the lead as he charged through the whole team with the ball looping over the goalkeeper.

Dorchester were down to four players for the remainder of the game as Butcher was sin binned for misconduct.

Plymouth took advantage of the extra man, pulling a goal back as their striker caught Pitman out from range but Dorchester held on for a 2-1 win.

Dorchester’s victory saw them face a rematch with Plymouth in the semi-finals, televised on the BBC.

Dorchester had applied pressure early on, with Kieran Pitman, Kiy and Butcher all forcing the goalkeeper into some dramatic diving saves.

Plymouth then got into the game, with Jordan Pitman tipping the ball onto the bar.

However, Plymouth broke the deadlock when their striker broke through into space and curled an effort with his right foot into the top-left corner across the goal to break Dorchester hearts.

After the game captain Butcher said: “We were overjoyed to progress further than last year and I am proud of the squad.

“It was tough to lose out to Plymouth and in such a tight game. But both teams played well and showed why it is exciting to be part of inclusion sport.”


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