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Match Previews


27 November 2012

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Our guide to the Town's trip to Dorset


After Saturday's postponement the Town are on the road once more as they try again at Dorchester to face the side known as the Magpies in the first round of the FA Trophy. 

Where? Dorchester is the county town of Dorset and the town’s football team has been kicking a round thing about since 1880. That makes the Magpies five years older than the Hatters.

How do I get there? For the sat-nav savvy punch in DT1 2RY and that’ll get you to Dorchester’s Avenue Stadium home. In a nutshell, the route is longer than one expects, taking anything between two-and-a-half to over three hours. Take the M1 south, M25 anti-clockwise and then the M3 towards Southampton and then M27 across to Bournemouth. It’s a case of keeping heading west along the A31 until you reach Dorchester...
...then – deep breath – At Junction 1, the M27 becomes the A31. Remain on this road for approximately 25 miles, until Bere Regis roundabout. Here you take the A35 Tolpuddle Bypass to Dorchester. After the dual carriageway section of the bypass, you will come to Kingston Maurward roundabout. Continue across the roundabout along the A35. Turn right at the next roundabout and right again into the Tesco complex. At the roundabout inside the complex, turn right again past the entrance to the petrol station and take the left hand fork to the stadium parking area. Terrace entrances are situated adjacent to this, whilst the bar and stand entrances are on the opposite side of the ground. 

All told that’s 143 miles. Sounds a lot further doesn't it?

Erm, I’ll pass on the driving. That’s fair enough – as you’d expect the Bobbers Travel Club will be making their way down to Dorchester, and if you fancy joining them be quick and give them a call on 01234 856542 to book your seat. The coach leaves the Maple Road car park at 2pm and the fare is £22 for adults and £19 for concessions.

Get off my land. As you might have seen on the telly the other week when Dorchester beat Plymouth in the FA Cup - and from the aerial pictures plastered over this website - the Magpies’ Avenue Stadium is a tidy little ground. Opened in 1990, it was built on land owned by the Prince of Wales. Naturally interested in what was being built on his land, HRH had a role in the design of the ground.

Bring a brolly. With it forecast to chuck it down it’ll be a good idea to take an umbrella. Town fans had the chance to buy covered seating tickets in advance but terracing spots are now available and admission is pay on the day only. And guess what? The terrace has no roof. So pack the waterproofs – our photographer Gareth Owen has!

Beware, beware. Dorchester have won 10 of their 11 home fixtures this season, losing just the once, to Tonbridge Angels in the Blue Square Bet South. Their most notable scalp was a 1-0 FA Cup giant killing over Plymouth Argyle which was beamed around the globe on ESPN.

Are you Beckham in disguise? Erm, kind of. Keep an eye out for Magpies midfielder Jamie Gleeson. The midfielder is a spit for David Beckham and, when he’s not strutting his stuff in the Blue Square Bet South, he’s earn a few bucks impersonating the former England captain.

Prodigal sons. A lot of famous faces have been on the books at Dorchester, including, um, Harry Redknapp, back in the late 1970s, and Matt Tubbs. who before scoring 4,000 goals in the Conference, was on trainee forms with Dorchester prior to signing for Salisbury.

Don’t mention. Paul Buckle. Whoops. As the Town boss said at his press conference on Thursday, he once scored a winner for Dorchester’s arch rivals Weymouth in the local derby between the two sides.

We’ve met before. While the Hatters take on the Magpies for the first time in a competitive game the two sides have played each other once before. The Town travelled to Dorchester’s old ground – know as The Avenue – in April 1960. The game, and programme of the match, will be featured in next Saturday’s FA Cup programme by our knowledgeable historian Roger Wash.

Luton link. The sole link between the two clubs was the transfer of David Noake from Dorchester to Kenilworth Road in 1960. The winger went onto make 21 appearances for the Hatters. He’ll also be popping up in next weekend’s issue of Talk of the Town. John O'Rourke, another former Town favourite, also went onto play for the Magpies.

Trophy Tales. This will be the Town’s 16th fixture in the FA Trophy. The Hatters’ record reads played 15, won eight, drawn four and lost three. Two of those defeats came in first leg semi-finals in the past two years as the Hatters were defeated on aggregate by York and Mansfield. 

Keep in touch. Remember they’ll be live commentary on Hatters Player and live text updates on our social media platforms Twitter and Facebook during the game. After the 90’s up log back onto for a full match report, post-match reaction, photographs and video interviews with the men that matter.

What’s next? Well, if it’s a draw we’re all coming back to Kenilworth Road to battle it out for a place in the last 32 next Tuesday, 4th, December. Click here for ticket prices for Saturday’s game and a potential replay. Should the Hatters progress they will be on the road once more with either a trip to Matlock or Mansfield the prize in round two following Monday's draw.

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