“I remember Mark Morris fighting Matt Groves for the last beer at the back of the bus.”

With the Conornavirus robbing us of live sport, many outlets have had to speculate about outcomes of dream matches to fill column inches and air time. Arsenal’s invincibles or Manchester United’s treble winners? Prime Ali or prime Mike Tyson? Thirsty Matt Groves or a parched Mark Morris? Well, the first two we can’t help you with (Man Utd 99 and Ali are the correct answers, don’t @ us), but the last one we can reveal the answer to as we welcome you to players choice part 3.

This weeks dose of nostalgia includes cup classics, further derby day delight, DTFC’s master of the overhead kick, a rare double replay, league title glory and the battle of the last beer prior to the M25. We start with the second of the father and son pairings so far as we start back in the 1990’s.

Stuart and Scott Morgan:

After a professional career which saw him play well over 200 games for Torquay, Reading, Colchester and AFC Bournemouth, Stuart Morgan would move into management. Joining the club in 1993 after spells as both a manager and on the back room staff at clubs such as rivals Weymouth, Torquay and AFC Bournemouth, he would guide the club to our highest ever Southern Premier League finish (4th in 1997/98) as well as overseeing some memorable cup runs.

“Several good times and games at Dorchester. One in particular was the marathon FA Trophy v Slough when it went to a double replay and then we played holders Woking in last 16. The replay win at Slough, after extra time, was one of the most tenacious, guttsiest and determined performances I’ve had from any one of the sides I’ve ever managed. There was ice coming down all game and the lads just wouldn’t give up. 2 replays in the cold freezing rain away from home! The Woking game I think hinged on Tommy Killick hitting the post from 6 yds with a header that would have made it 2 nil just a few minutes after taking the lead!

Scott Morgan:

With well around 150 games for the club over two spells in the 90’s and 00’s, Scott never saw a 50/50 tackle, or indeed any other ratio, that he didn’t fancy. Committed and as tough tackling as they come, he is one of a select few to have played for Dorchester and in the Champions League qualifying rounds.

“It’s a tough one, I’d have to pick two. The first would be the fa cup 4th round qualifying game against Sittingbourne away in 1995 when we won 2-1 to get to the first round proper with goals from Owen Pickard and Tommy Killick. That was a very tense game with so much at stake and as a result we drew Oxford away and we all know what happened there. I was only 20 at the time, I don’t think Dorchester had got that far for a long time so it meant a lot to everyone to get there.

“My second game would have to be the 2006 Boxing Day game against Weymouth where we won 2-0. Special because it was against Weymouth, the Avenue was packed, Weymouth were flying at the time under Garry hill, they had unbeaten for a while and went on to get promoted that season. They were a full time club as well, had a very good side with a lot of big time players, so that was especially sweet to win that game, and I got man of the match so that was nice.

Justin Keeler:

230+ games and 90+ goals, Justin Keeler was a key player in his many seasons at the club. An obscene shot with his left foot and a habit of scoring stunning goals, he was a huge fan favourite who made many vital contributions to the club’s on pitch success.

“Would have to be beating Weymouth 2-0 at home. It was a huge game, packed ground, so much on the line for us so to win and for me to score, what a day. It meant a lot to the players and the manger, Mark Morris, was a good one. There were so many more games I could have picked, my first start in ages against Eastbourne, beating Weymouth in the Dorset Senior Cup. But smashing them on New Years Day, brilliant.”

Danny O’Hagan:

Two spells at the club for Danny, with 84 goals in 185 games in his first spell between 1998-2002 and a further 8 in 27 between 2002-03, his importance and popularity can’t be overstated. At the age of 44 and still playing a third spell may yet be on the cards!

“My Dorchester days are along time gone but loved every minute I played for them what a fantastic ground and the manger to the back room staff were amazing. One of my favourite games was a FA cup game away against our rivals Weymouth in 2000 which was always a hard game but not one you had to get motivated for as we all knew how important a game against them was and the atmosphere was always electric.

“I always loved the big games and I always remember this game because we won 1-0 and I scored the winner in the first 5 minutes, but also because my mum and Dad traveled all the way up from Cornwall for the weekend to watch me play but were late to the game and they had just got out of the car outside the ground and heard the crowd cheer (me scoring!). My mum couldn’t believe it. But it was a hard fought game and if I remember rightly David Elm our keeper saved a pen during the game. Other games I really enjoy were our FA cup game away at Wigan which I believe we lost 3-1 but what a great ground to play at and playing home on a Boxing Day against Weymouth in front of 4,000 fans. It doesn’t get much better than that. I will never forget my Dorchester playing days.”

Martin Shepherd:

64 goals in 146 appearances for another man who had two spells, Shep’s game comes from his first spell in 1997. Another popular player, his enjoyment of overhead kicks is still remembered by fans to this day.

“The game I have picked is perhaps not an obvious one, Gloucester away in the Dr Martens Premier League on the 18th October 1997. This season saw us finish in fourth after a tremendous season but was special to me as I had left neighbours Weymouth, a league below at the time and I was keen to prove a point and repay Stuart Morgan’s faith in bringing me to the club. As a striker goals are what you live for and the ones you remember the most are the ones you wish to score and hope you have the audacity to try. We had gotten off to a good start to the season and I was enjoying a good scoring run prior to this game so my confidence was high. The game was a tough and ill tempered affair with Gloucester just wanting to fight and battle. We were missing Ryan Cross and Neil Coates at the back and would have been content with a draw.

“My moment came in the 29th minute when Martyn Sullivan whipped in a right wing cross whilst I was hovering on the edge of the area with my back to goal. It was a great cross at the perfect height to try an overhead kick, fortunately I connected and it went straight in the top corner. Gloucester subsequently levelled a minute later but Toby Redwood grabbed the winner for us with a thundering header. That wasn’t it for the overhead kicks though with time ticking away I did another overhead kick that hit the bar and the follow up unbelievably came straight back to me, so I did it again just to watch it go agonisingly just wide. If you played football as a kid you would remember playing headers and volleys and how much fun it was, this goal and moment takes me straight back to those days when having fun and trying things can indeed come off if you try enough times!!”

Matt Hann:

Matt Hann had two very profitable seasons between 2002-04, before moving to St Albans. A key part of the supply line that kept Groover and others in the goals, he is a other member of the league winning side to feature in this piece.

“The first is Weymouth at home in the 2-2 draw.on New Year Day. After getting a stuffing on Boxing Day at Weymouth (was it 8-1) we had the return fixture less than a week later.There was a large crowd (around 3-4,000 I think) and after the embarrassment of Boxing Day I remember we were pumped up to make sure that didn’t happen again.

“At the time we were clear underdogs, they had a expensively assembled team. I remember it being wet, rainy and the pitch being very heavy. I played up front that day and remember the pace of the game being very frantic and we certainly were pumped up by Mark who let us know in no uncertain words that we needed to perform after the Boxing Day shambles. Jamie Brown and Clarridge were at each other the whole game (There were even rumours of a scuffle in the car pack which I couldn’t comment on!).

“I’ve got a great picture framed at home, after scoring the penalty to make it 2-2 of me celebrating in front of the Weymouth fans with Grovsey in the background. I love the picture as you see what it meant to us to get one back on them after the humiliation and also because we knew what it meant to so many of the amazing people at the club who lived locally.

“The other game was when we played away at Fisher and had to win to secure the title. My memory of the game itself isn’t that great, but I seem to remember it was won at a canter in the end and really comfortable.

“The celebrations after the game really were my favourite memory of that day – and summed up the amazing team spirit we had at the time. We were a team – but more importantly we’re a group of mates with a amazing team spirit. We used to go out every Saturday night together (and a few others nights most week) and even went on holidays.

“I remember that before we got to out of the M25 we had to stop for a refill on beers as we had drank the supply dry as they were already gone! I even remember Mark fighting Grovsey for the last beer at the back of the bus (only one winner there). Great memories, of the football, yes, but of the lads much more.”

Neil Coates:

Another fan favourite who after more than 550 games was rewarded with a testimonial in 2001. Neil was an almost ever present during much of his time with the club and wore the captains armband for much of that.

“I’ll go for the FA Trophy 3rd round game, Woking at home. We had a great team that year, the game stands out for me as the closest we could of come to a major trophy we played 7 games to get there 4 away and 3 home, a double reply v slough and a local derby v Salisbury. The game v woking was very well supported I think nearly 3,000 attended. Before hand we had heard the goalie was out and they didn’t have a reserve keeper but we found out on the day they actually loaned the ex Wimbledon goalie. Who just happened to play a blinder as well. We got off to a great start with Tom Killick scoring after about 5 mins I think they equalised mid 1st half so 1-1 at half time.

“Second half was an epic game. We took the lead midway through and I sure we had a couple of chances to kill it off but the goalie was on top form. I remember they literally scored 2 in the last 8 mins and the winner right on full time. We were gutted as we had gone so far and ran a very experienced Woking side with England non league players and ex pros.

“Woking actually went on and won the trophy that year. We lost in the 3rd round of the FA Trophy only 2 games away from Wembley, what a dream that would of been.”

Tommy Killick:

Long before his move into management, Tommy was a vital part of the Stuart Morgan managed Magpies. Another man who scored some vital goals, he once scored the winner at Rushden and Diamonds but left his bag in the players bar, having to pay to have it couriered back the next day!

“I loved my time at Dorchester, its a part of my football career that i will always cherish. I got the opportunity to play with some exceptional players and under a great manager in Stuart Morgan who had contacts in the game that were second to none and lead to us recruiting some of the best players I have ever played with.

“As an example my strike partner Owen Pickard was in my view far and away the best forward to have played as a permanent player for Dorchester in the last 25 years . You then had the mercurial Darren Garner who was an exceptional talent and others such as Russell Coughlin and Craig Taylor . We also had a great team spirit and had as many (if not more ) memorable moments off the pitch as we did on it. People like Skunk ( Andy Harris, Martin Shepherd, Mark Lisk and Taffy were not just great players but part of the social glue that is so important at non league level.

Tommy is fouled by Hans Segers to earn the Magpies a penalty.

“In terms of matches l would have to pick out fixtures against Weymouth as always being special because of the atmosphere that used to be generated with real hostility between players and supporters alike. I also particularly remember the FA Trophy game we had against Woking as a great occasion although the frustration of losing a game which should of won still rankles to this day. I remember Hans Segers being in goal who was at the centre of a match fixing scandal and our supporters took delight at showering him in Monopoly money. As l have said my time at Dorchester FC was special to me and a part of my life that l will always remember with great fondness.

Regan Coward:

A youth product who went full time with the club in 2008, Regan was a rarity of a young homegrown keeper. Learning as the backup to Gareth Stewart, Regan would establish himself as number 1 following Gareth’s departure.

“So its a toss up between Havant away in 2009 and Braintree at home 5-0 that same season. I remember the Havant game very well as was my first game at that ground and people told me it was intimidating and they weren’t wrong! You can imagine the abuse I got as a 19 year old keeper, but I had one of those games where I just saved everything. We got the classic smash and grab with Glees smashing one in from edge of the box low and hard! I remember Manny Williams shaking my hand at the end and saying “you fucker couldn’t you have let one in?” Think he must have had a nice goal bonus!

“The best Dorchester side I was involved in was under Shaun Brooks when Gaz Stewart was obviously number one and I only played a couple games when he was ill / injured, this side was a bit less gifted but harder working for each other for sure. We’d often out work sides and against Braintree we were under the cosh a lot and somehow managed to win 5-0! I had a collision with their striker George Purcell, through ball, hit nipped it round me marginally of his toe and I took him out as the last man and we collided ankles, which really hurt, and I don’t think they even got a free kick! I saved a penalty from him that day as well and after we had a classic home win night out in weymouth after I remember that very well as my ankle was knackered but the alcohol really helped!”

Gary Borthwick:

A decade at the club with over 300 appearances, a league winners medal in his first season, a first round FA Cup appearance and part of the side that played the first season in the new Avenue Stadium, Gary was as hard working and loyal as they come.

The 1986/87 league winning side.

“3 games really stick out. Ashford away in 1987, the championship winning day, Chelsea game for opening of the new stadium in 1990, and finally Bromsgrove away semi final game 2nd leg. A game I will remember for the rest of my life for so many reasons.

“I think we won 4-1 at home, but they were right up there in the league and expected to beat us. We lost 2-1 away I believe but we were a bit short that night I think, but believe me they tried everything possible and got away with it but we all dug in and didn’t cave. Really proud of the lads that day and soo happy for the directors and great supporters. They were on the pitch before we left it directors and all. It was a long, late and great journey home.”

The Dorchester squad in the first season at the new ground in 1990.

Tony Chutter:

161 appearances and 10 goals in his six year spell at the club before moving to Yeovil, Tony was a part of the league winning side of 1979/80 and as well as key part of the side that came so close to beating Bournemouth in the FA Cup second round in 1981/82.

“It’s easy going for the Bournemouth game, although sadly we went from a side that could score to one that couldn’t when Trevor left also the side broke up at the end of the season. There were several games against Wealdstone who were a good side with Alan Cordice up front who was a good player – think Brian Hall who later managed Yeovil was the manager and Stuart Pearce was there at the start of his career. We drew 2-2 midweek on a cold night in March 1982 with Trevor Townsend and myself scoring. I remember significant points like when Dave West got spotted at Welling away and the scout missed Tony Agana and Andy Townsend!

“I once had my nose smashed at Slough away, had six stitches after a clash of heads Leytonstone. Playing for Dorchester meant a lot, after leaving the club I returned with Yeovil in a pre season friendly and won 3-0 , I scored got a lot of stick from Chairman Peter Aitken! I returned the following season with Poole and got beat 2-0. I always enjoyed local derbies with the competitive nature and nasty verbal side, I was always ready for them.”

Martyn Sullivan:

250+ games over two spells at the club between 1996-2003, Sully was a popular with fans and players alike. Ever wondered what the deal was with the celebration in the the empty stand at Wigan in the FA Cup? Sully has the answer…

“Thinking back to my time at Dorchester, what a great period of my life that was. I loved every minute of it! I have so many fond memories and made so many good friends thinking back to my time playing for Dorchester. There are so many games that stick out in my head; on a personal level, the first being my debut playing against Gresley Rovers on my 21st birthday, I had to go into the press box for an interview after the match along with Gary Birtles who was their manager at the time. Being a life-long Manchester United fan I was so chuffed, Stuart Morgan signed me up on the coach home! The second personal memory was scoring a 25 yarder in off the crossbar and setting up the other goal against Weymouth in a 2-1 win (I think it was a Dr Martens Cup Semi Final?!?).

“However, the obvious one from a team point of view was playing in the first round of the FA cup against Wigan at the JJB stadium, Wigan were two seasons from reaching the Premier League and flying high in League One, Roy Carroll was watching in the stands as he was about to sign for Man United and the whole experience was really memorable. I remember travelling up on the coach on the Friday; the banter and excitement was quality. A few of us went for a walk on the morning of the game, bought the local newspapers that were reviewing the game and picking out a few of our team members that they felt presented a threat (it wasn’t a long read).

“Then, when we arrived at the stadium which was immense compared to what we were used to playing at; there were chandeliers in the entrance area, and when Mark Morris did his team talk he had to gather us all at one end of the changing room as they were really big and we were all too spread out. The game began and they started slightly better but we grew in confidence and in first half Matty Holmes’s free kick sailed straight in.

“We had pre-planned a goal celebration to dive into the stand whilst Holmesy pretended to take a picture of us all. I think we thought that was our best chance of getting on ‘Match of The Day’ but only a few followed through with it and the rest of us (myself included) decided against it. The scoreboard read 1-0 to us and was a great feeling for all of about 2 minutes until they equalised; and not long after we were 2-1 down. We went in at half time still in the game and Wigan were only marginally the better side in the first half.

“However, the second half was a different story; we were pushing on, asking most of the questions and with about 15 or so minutes left threw on another forward at the expense of a defender (we had to go for it!). It was after one of our many second half attacks that Wigan then broke away and, as we were now lighter at the back, they got their 3rd and the game was over. A great memory even though the result was not!”

Craig Bradshaw:

Joining the club after a successful loan spell from Portsmouth, Craig would establish himself as number 1 under Mark Morris and be a part of the side that would come so close to making the Conference South playoffs.

“I absolutely loved my time at the club, some of the friendliest people I’ve met in football. Mark Morris commanded respect and got it, Benji was a top man always gave me little chats to motivate me before the games, Eddie belt could never do enough for me and my family. The games that stick out are a FA Trophy game against higher league Cambridge that we won 3-2 (goals from Justin Keeler,Jamie Brown and Mark Robinson) in 2005. I was just buzzing, the lads were outstanding, we dug in massively that day and the fans were chanting my name all game “Craig Bradshaw my lord Craig Bradshaw”. That will always stay with me.

“The other memorable one was a 0-0 draw at home to Stafford Rangers. They had Ben Foster in goal for them on loan from Stoke and we both had great games. I got man of the match but he got a £1 million move to Manchester United!”

So there you have it, part 3 done and there are plans for a fourth instalment to come at some point. You never know, there might be some current football to write about again someday. SV.

Thanks once more to all the players who have contributed thus far.

Photo credit: Idris Martin and his superb galleries of bygone years. https://idrismartin.wordpress.com/2015/05/29/last-historic-images-for-a-while/thesameoldfewUncategorized1 Comment

“It was during the miners strike when electricity was rationed so, we couldn’t play under the floodlights “

After last week’s successful part 1 of ‘players choice’, welcome back for part 2 of our look back at current and former Magpies favourite games and memories. When we say successful, we mean better received than a summary of a depressing day out in suburban London documenting another away defeat.

This weeks instalment sees us go back to 1972 when the miners strike impacted kick off times, a pair of strikers who were written off by Weymouth managers who would respond in predicable yet memorable fashion, and one game where the player choosing it actually ended up getting sent off. 12 players with over 3,000 games and around 600 Magpies goals feature in this week’s edition. We’ll start with the most prolific of this particular bunch…

Matt Groves:

With 444 appearances and 151 goals over his two spells at the club, Groover has plenty of games and memories to chose from. We’re pleased to say he’s chosen exactly the game we hoped he would.

“My favourite game was against Weymouth on Boxing Day 2004. It was obviously the biggest game of the season and biggest crowd, we had a good team and definitely felt favourites going into the game. I was having a good season and there was something in the press where their Manager said none of our players would get in their team so, we had added motivation. Not that we needed any.

The game itself went quickly with first half being fairly equal and I was pleased with my goal, then second half we absolutely battered them. Grabbing a hat trick was just perfect in such a huge derby and was the highlight of my playing career as people still talk to me about it now and it’s what I’m best remembered for at Dorchester.”

Peter Poore:

The first of our father and son pairings (next pair in part 3) come with a combined Magpies appearance count of over 600, as well as both having league winners medals to show for their time at the club. Peter (476 appearances and 110 goals) for his part in the 1979-80 Southern League title win, Carl (132 games, 1 goal) for Dr Martens Eastern Division triumph in 2002-03. Peter recalls his most memorable game first;

“The 1981 fa cup 2nd proper against AFC Bournemouth, to get a home tie against the only professional club in Dorset was great for the club. We were many leagues below them, but the first game at home we were so unlucky and should of won, for us it was 11 v 11, they had more ability than us but it was about who wanted it more. We got the draw and went to Dean Court for replay only to lose in last few minutes of extra time, being so close to that 3rd round was hard to take. We got a standing ovation from the home crowd and that was something I and many others will treasure”

Carl Poore:

“The 2-2 draw at home to Weymouth New Year’s Day 2004 was the best game for the team I played in. Four days before we had been humiliated away from home by our local rivals and probably the best team in the league at the time. To try and pick yourselves up after the worst game I can ever remember for the club against a team that just dished out a hiding took balls and courage not just from the players but the backroom staff and supporters to give it their all. Everyone played their part, the game had everything you could want from a local derby, 4 goals, 2 penalties, 2 sending offs in front of a few thousand and then a scrap in the car park! Maybe Weymouth were a bit complacent coming in to it after what had happened just days prior.

That game kicked our season in to gear and we won the play-off games against Bath City and Tiverton respectively to get to conference south for the 1st time and Weymouth had bad run after that result against us and for them probably chucked the league away.

Kevin Hill:

60+ Dorchester appearances with many of those wearing the captain’s armband, Torquay legend Kevin Hill was a key component of the Magpies side between 2008-10, playing a key role in the memorable FA Cup run that saw us come agonisingly close to eliminating Oxford in 2008.

The away draw at Oxford stands out form a team point of view from my time at Dorch. Playing infront of a good crowd with plenty of travelling support, playing so well and almost getting the win with Mossy’s header which was disallowed, it was a great occasion just a shame we didn’t get the win I felt we deserved. We also put in a great effort in the replay falling just short against a higher ranked side.

“From a personal point of view a game that sticks in my mind is an away game against Newport which is always a difficult place to go, where I managed to get a couple of goals in a 4-4 draw, we had an away win in a cup replay there one year which was also a great game to be part of.

Peter Morrell:

After joining the club from rivals Weymouth for a £500 fee in June of 1984, Pete would go on to become a vital part of the side and would proudly play for and captain the club, making 398 appearances and scoring 85 goals. One of the players to have played at both the new and old Avenue grounds, Pete was a fan favourite and a scorer of some key goals with his dead ball prowess winning many games in his time at the club.

Peter Morrell and Jeremy Judd, who both feature in this article, line up for the club photo call in 1991.

“The one that sticks out for me is a 3-2 win over Gloucester as the Avenue ground on New Years Day in 1990. It was wet and we were 2-1 down after Will Flint had scored our first , then I’d managed to get the equaliser. It was late on and I picked the ball up and played a one-two with the wide man and then another one to get me to the edge of the box. It was me and one of their players trying to get to the ball and I just got there first and got in a right foot shot. It went into the far corner of the net about a foot off the ground and as I was falling a bit as I’d stretched to hit it and were shooting down the hill at the old ground, I ended up sliding right into the advertising boards and the other players bundled on top of me! We lost to them five times in all competitions that season so it was nice to get one over on them!”

Simon Radcliffe:

220+ games and a pair of goals in Radders’ six seasons at the club saw him and Justin Keeler form a formidable left side partnership, in what was one of the clubs most enjoyable and successful periods in recent history.

“The Derby games over Christmas and New Years were always great to play and in. Watching the ground fill as we warmed up feeling the anticipation from both sets of supporters. One in particular was the 4-1 win at home when Groover scored a hat trick. I think that was the complete team performance from start to finish. 1-to-11 was on their game and we swarmed all over them.

Back then both Dorchester and Weymouth had well established settled sides and the nucleus of ours under Mark Morris had been together for 6 or 7 years when I finally left. The majority of us younger players had signed around the same time with the likes of Jermyn and Browner the following season so we spent the best part of our 20’s playing alongside each other so you become very good friends on and off the field and we are all still good mates now.

“And because the Weymouth side we faced on a regular basis had a similar settled side we got to know them quite well….the banter in the tunnel would always be good natured with a bit of needle and it added to the build up. Hearing the fans in the tunnel would certainly get the adrenaline pumping it was never hard to be up for these games and that day the team just did everything right.

“Weymouth had threats all over the pitch and were easily favourites with their lineup but we knew on our day we’d beat anyone and everything that day went well especially for Groover. Over the years I think our secret was a great team bond and the gaffer instilled that. He got hungry youngster who wanted to work their socks off surrounded by experienced players who could direct them if require and with Matty Holmes in the middle pulling the strings you had a group of players who would be very hard to play against.

Matty Holmes:

Four years at the club, 170+ games, 19 goals league titles, cup wins and FA Cup runs saw Matty Holmes cement his status as one of the best players ever to wear the shirt. Between 2000-04 Matty would be a vital part of the Mark Morris led Magpies, retiring after the playoff victory over Tiverton in 2004.

“The play off game v Tiverton was an incredible day. That season Mark Morris managed to bring Paul Wood and we had a good balance to the team with some real spirit, we managed to beat Bath City away 2-0 in the semi final play off to set up the final at Exeter Citys ground. The day was incredible, our supporters packed in behind the goal were brilliant, we all played so well that day, I managed to score 2 goals in the 3-1 win, the first I headed over the keeper then second half I hit one that deflected in.

“It was also my very last game for Dorchester that day, I decided to retire a month before but told nobody, so for us to get through the Bath City semi and then a final farewell appearance at Exeter with a win and two goals was an incredible finish for me. After the game we did the final lap of honour and I threw all my kit into the supporters, boots, top, shin pads, Del the kit man was not happy, I believe he got the shirt back!!”

Keith Kellaway:

If you’ve ever been to a game at the Avenue, you’ve met Keith Kellaway. If he wasn’t front of house or pouring a pint, he’s was in the office or making sure things were running smoothly. What not everyone knows is that between 1969-74, Keith made 81 appearances and scored 10 goals as the club transitioned from the Western league to the Southern league.

“My most memorable game(s) during my playing days were the two F.A.Trophy matches against Telford in 1972. We were drawn at home to play the current holders of the competition Telford on Saturday 26th February 1972 in the Third Round, (the last 16 countrywide) the furthest the Club had ever reached at that time, and only twice since equalled.

“With the game finishing 1-1 after 90 minutes a replay was needed and this is where the story really starts. However all the following circumstances would not have happened if I had taken a chance to score the winner near the end of the game, having just come on as a substitute, the only one sub allowed in those days. Our late Chairman Peter Aiken always reminded me during my early time as the Clubs General Manager that if I had scored that chance we would have gone into the Quarter Final of the Competition and only 2 games from a Wembley final, a point he made to various managers and directors over the years. I can’t remember the chance so I won’t comment!

“This period was during the miners strike where electricity was rationed and we could not play the replay under floodlights, so we had to kick off at 2pm to finish the game in daylight and it was arranged for the following Monday. The arrangement of planning an overnight trip in those days with transport and accommodation needed with just a days notice and all the players having to arrange time off work was difficult to say the least. As a 21 year old at the time the whole experience of an overnight team trip was an exciting prospect,although my boss at the time was not keen on me going with such short notice. Travel in a Bere Regis bus at this time was considerably different from the coaches we use these days and took a long time as I remember.

Riding in style on a Bere Regis coach.

“I can recall walking around the town the morning of the game and coming across a snooker hall which said Members Only. Our captain at the time Roger Bazeley managed to persuade the owner that we were a famous professional football team and he allowed us all in. Unfortunately the story ends here as we lost the replay 3-1 but happy memories indeed. It was 25 years later until we reached the 3rd Round again – just think what could have happened if I had scored that goal in the first game!”

Jeremy Judd:

Over 100 games in two spells at the club (1983, 1989-92) for goalkeeper Jeremy Judd and some key games among them. Now residing in Gibraltar, Jeremy has fond memories of his time at the club, all the way from youth team to first team, via the Dorset Combination League.

Jeremy Judd saves from Chelsea’s Kerry Dixon in the official opening game at the Avenue Stadium. Note the unfinished terrace roof in the background.

“One of the most memorable games for me is against Worcester City first game of the season, new ground and a new professional foul rule. They were also favourites to win league that year. After 20 minutes, in one on one out side box, I basically took player out, got sent off, Peter Morrell went in goal we actually won the game 3-2! I think it was probably the most nerve racking game I watched from the stand and cost me a round of drinks for everybody in lounge after! The other game was Chelsea opening the new ground. The most memorable night for all of us. but all in all I think my best game was my first game back for Dorchester beating Weymouth at their ground: Boxing Day, 1-0, big crowd. Keith Miller – our manager at the time – and Pete Aitken – our chairman – I’ve never seen him so happy! Best win of the season.”

Owen Pickard:

Another man with two spells at the club, Owen’s record over all was 219 games with an excellent return of 121 goals. Another huge fan favourite, his first spell yielded 102 goals in 151 games, which is quite frankly ridiculous. On the subject of that first spell…

“So many good memories and games! It would probably be the 3-2 FA Cup win at Weymouth in front of a big crowd in the local derby. I scored a hat trick, It was 2-2 near the end and I scored the penalty to complete my hat trick and the win. We had a great bunch of lads and I still keep in touch and meet up every year if possible.

“There was an amazing atmosphere on the day. I believe that the Weymouth management thought I was overated and easily marked. So I had a focus, but all the lads love the challenge of Weymouth and I certainly proved them wrong. I’ve always enjoyed a hostile atmosphere and that definitely helped all of us.

“One memory was of a fan putting a police helmet on me. Finally a great moment for Stuart Morgan and what a great manager and person he is. He was a top manager!”

Neil Martin:

402 games and 13 goals in 10 seasons for the club before his move to Tiverton towards the end of last season, Neil is another man who has seen many highs and lows in his time at the club. His favourite game is shared by one other player in this piece, Neil has his shirt from this game framed at his home.

“I’ve got so many good memories but has to be the Plymouth game for me. Big occasion, on tv, big crowd and winning the game. In the dressing room before that game there were a few nervous faces, but in my career at Dorchester I loved the big games, the Derby days and the big grounds, I loved them. Even after Plymouth, the follow up game at Luton, even though we lost it was so big for the club to go to Kenilworth Road.

“On a personal note for me playing for a club the I held really close up my heart meant a lot. Every time I put on a shirt it was massive for me, obviously there were highs and lows, but that’s football. I’ve played with good players that have gone onto do amazing things in their careers. Of the many seasons I’ve had at Dorchester, this was by far the best team I played in.”

Nathan Walker:

330+ games and 49 goals in more spells at the club than we can actually count, Nathan’s no nonsense (put lightly) playing style and sheer hatred of Weymouth help make Nathan a popular player among fans. Once scored the perfect hat trick away at Frome but no footage of it exists.

“It’s got to be the Plymouth game. 1st round of fa cup and live on tv towin that was just amazing! That year has to be the best team I’ve played in we never knew when we’re beat great team togetherness on and off the pitch! I get nervous playing in every game so must of sat on the toilet 3 times before the game! At breakfast the boys were bantering and we was in good spirits we believed if we kept it 0-0 we could nick a goal & what a goal it was.”

And there ends part 2 of Players Choice. Still to come in part 3 is another father and son pairing that includes our first manager, the left footed scorer of some stunning goals, ex-skippers and a derby debut that went pretty well. By the way, anyone know how to get a hold of Mark Morris? We’ve got a question for him. SV

Thanks once more to all the players who have contributed thus far.

Photo credit: Idris Martin and his superb galleries of bygone years. https://idrismartin.wordpress.com/2015/05/29/last-historic-images-for-a-while/