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Non-league: Wimborne topple promotion rivals in Cuthbury conquest
WIMBORNE Town’s upturn in fortunes continued as a hard-fought 2-1 victory over play-off contenders North Leigh kept alive their hopes of a late promotion charge.
Resolute Magpies put to the sword their rivals with a gritty display at Cuthbury with the visitors, dominant in possession, restricted to precious few efforts on goal.
And after Mark Gamble had cut back for George Webb to drill home from close range within five minutes, Steve Cuss’s men largely took control.
Top scorer Gamble should have added to his assist with a glanced header, while Sam Griffin’s scrambled effort from Jamie Davidson’s centre was eventually gathered by visiting custodian Adam McHugh.
Millers had their moments but full-back Stuart Hole’s fizzing free kick forced the only save of note from home keeper Jason Harvell as anchor man Jon Blake snuffed out any danger with a near faultless display in front of the back four.
Wimborne were content to play on the break in a tepid second half in which North Leigh saw everything of the ball but little of the goal, and the home side reaped the rewards for their game plan midway through the second half.
A high, deep, swinging ball from the left saw James Stokoe tangle with McHugh and with both men grounded, Sam Griffin was on hand to steer home from the edge of the area.
The visitors stuck to their passing principles but struggled to find a way past the bustling Blake, while Harvell and left-back Billy Maybury threw themselves into crucial blocks.
Substitute Brian Bowles eventually set up Conor McDonagh to grab a consolation two minutes from time but there was to be no late flurry as Wimborne sealed a comfortable victory.
Boss Cuss told the Daily Echo: “I was delighted with the performance. We have been hard to play against of late and how we defended without the ball was key.
“There was some anxiety in the last 20 minutes when we went kicking the ball instead of putting our foot on it and picking a pass but there was a real determination to win the game.
“We were disappointed to lose a few games by the odd goal lately and you could see that the players didn’t want that to happen again which helped us over the line.
“It was a strange game for us because not many teams come to our place and dominate possession but we had a cutting edge and could have scored more goals.”
The victory was Wimborne’s third in five league matches against teams chasing the top five but Cuss was keen to play down any talk of a late charge.
“There is a good spirit in the camp and we’re enjoying our football,” he added.
“We’re just trying to win the next game at Guildford on Wednesday without looking at the play-off places or anything else.
“If we can keep performing like we did against North Leigh, who knows where it will take us.”
Magpies: Harvell, Arnold, Maybury, Costello, Phillipson-Masters, Blake, Griffin, Davidson (Kemble, 75), Stokoe, Gamble (Burton-Hemmings, 87), Webb. Unused subs: Roast, Grose.
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