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The joint-busiest month of the campaign saw Wanderers pick up their most emphatic win of the season, bow out of the FA Cup and contest a thrilling Surrey derby...

Daggers Hit For 5 As Bowerman Hits The Ground Running...

A packed October run of games kicked off on the very first day of the month with Wanderers welcoming Dagenham & Redbridge to Meadowbank. Towards the end of September, Seb Bowerman became Marc White's latest addition to the squad, the winger arriving from Southern Premier Division side Bracknell Town, where he had featured prominently in the Berkshire club's recent ascent through the divisions, including being The Robins top scorer and player of the year the previous campaign. Unable to face Scunthorpe last time out due to ongoing recovery from injury, Bowerman was included in the matchday squad for the first time and watched on from the bench as Wanderers took early control against The Daggers. Approaching the half-hour, two goals in the space of five minutes gave Wanderers a deserved lead, and it was James McShane at the double; slotting home Ryan Seager's well placed central through ball before driving a clinical strike into the far left corner of goal after Bobby-Joe Taylor's initial hit came back off the post. Dagenham striker Josh Walker was dismissed shortly before the interval after receiving a second yellow card to make the East London side's task to get back in the game even harder, and before the referee blew up for half-time Bowerman came on to make his first appearance replacing the injured Nicky Wheeler. And it was some impact the winger made immediately after the restart; bagging a debut goal within five minutes after cutting inside from the left and firing the ball low into the bottom corner, and just moments later, turning provider for opposing winger Adam Mekki to glance home a header after running across the near post, his first for the club since arriving from Ebbsfleet United in the summer. On the hour, Seager made it five, heading home Harry Ottaway's shot-turned-cross keeping the ball in play from the left byline. An unfortunate Dan Lincoln own goal scuppered the bid for a clean sheet late on, but for Wanderers it was otherwise the perfect response to the previous weekend's bitterly disappointing defeat to Scunthorpe, the 5-1 victory the biggest winning margin of the season for Marc White' side.

Three days later, Wanderers were back on home soil to host Yeovil Town. Backed by impressive away numbers given the timing of the game and length of trip on a Tuesday evening, The Glovers stunned Meadowbank by opening the scoring with just 4 minutes on the clock; Sam Pearson the recipient of a misplaced Wanderers pass in the middle of the park and surging towards goal, going on to stick the ball away confidently into the bottom left corner. Coming into the game without a win in their previous six, despite the poor run of form the Somerset outfit had shown resilience in their results so far, often dropping points by virtue of the odd goal, and that clear defensive resolve was proving tough for Wanderers to break down. Behind at the interval, Marc White's men had slowly got back into the groove as the first half wore on, the quality of passing patterns improving and chances started to be created, and not long into the second period, got back themselves back on terms. James McShane and Barry Fuller combined well to set up Ryan Seager, and after his effort at goal was kept out, Jimmy Muitt was on hand to tap in the rebound. Unable to find a winner from there despite dominating play for the remainder of the game, Wanderers had to settle for a 1-1 draw and point which would keep them in the top half of the table in 10th place.

The FA Cup Curse Strikes Again...

After taking 4 points from their last 6 available at home, Wanderers returned to the road to face Altrincham at The J. Davidson Stadium. The Robins had edged a competitive first half, showing particular quality with their passing through the lines and the movement of their forward players. Goals just either side of half-time sucker-punched Wanderers to give Alty a quick 2-0 lead; Ryan Colclough rifling a free kick from a wide left position into the top corner before skipper Toby Mullarkey turned the ball home after Dan Lincoln had made an outstanding reaction save initially to keep out an effort from a corner ball. The Wanderers stopper had produced some fantastic saves throughout the match, but could not do anything about Altrincham's third of the afternoon, attacking midfielder Ryan Bennett bending the ball impressively from range to find the top right bins. Dan Gallagher scored a consolation for Wanderers with twenty minutes remaining, slamming the ball down the middle of goal after Sami El-Abd's header had been pushed out, but Marcus Dinanga did manage to add a fourth for the hosts late on, tapping home Bennett's cross from close range. Another difficult day on the road following on from the result against Scunthorpe a fortnight ago, 10 points from the 12 available before both matches had Wanderers still sat in mid-table as attention switched to the FA Cup.

Frustrating performances and fine margins had deprived Wanderers of making the desired progress in the FA Cup over recent seasons, the long-term target of a tie in the first round proper of the competition prevented in the last two campaigns with agonising penalty-shoot out defeats to Eastbourne Borough and Hayes & Yeading United respectively. This year, fellow National League side Eastleigh were drawn to face Wanderers at Meadowbank as both teams entered at the 4th qualifying stage. Neither team could muster much quality in an often flat opening forty-five, but in stoppage time at the end of the half, Dan Gallagher headed home Bobby-Joe Taylor's free kick to give Wanderers the advantage at the break. Creativity was still lacking following the restart of play, but as the half went on and Wanderers gained a greater command of possession, a run of breakaway goals from the visitors put the game and the competition beyond Wanderers for another season. Tristan Abrahams deceiving strike inside the box had restored parity before two goals in the space of five minutes on the counter finished off by Ryan Hill and Danny Whitehall secured a 1-3 win for Lee Bradbury's team.

A Win, A Draw and A Defeat In A Week..

Without a win in three and reeling from an especially disappointing fortnight, the only other part-time side in the National League with Wanderers, Wealdstone, were up next as a bumper October finished with three games in seven days. Ryan Seager gave Wanderers the lead midway through the first half, the opening goal containing it's fair share of luck in both the build up as The Stones bench felt they should have been awarded a foul as play advanced down the left before the finish itself came about after Seager's initial shot span up in the air awkwardly off of keeper and former Wanderer Sam Howes, Seager with the simple task of then guiding the ball over the line from very close range. After making a strong start to the second half, the visitors, who had been up near the play-off places before kick off, got back on terms through Tarryn Allarakhia, the attacking midfielder cutting in from the left and firing a shot through a cluster of bodies to beat Dan Lincoln. Harry Ottaway and Ryan Seager spearheaded a concerted late effort as Wanderers pushed for all three points, and the two strikers managed to both get on the scoresheet to send Marc White's side back to winning ways. Seager found Seb Bowerman out wide and he in turn crossed to find Ottaway making a third man run, the striker making no mistake from several yards out for his first of the campaign, and Seager would wrap up the points in stoppage time sweeping home another assist laid on by Bowerman.

The following Tuesday evening, Wanderers made the short journey across Surrey to take on Woking at The Laithwaite Community Stadium. Just shy of 500 Wanderers supporters made the trip across the county to witness a thriller under the midweek lights as the sides contested a thoroughly entertaining 3-3 draw. Ryan Seager's confidently dispatched penalty gave Wanderers the lead with just 5 minutes on the clock after Jimmy Muitt was brought to ground, but Darren Sarll's team built momentum towards the end of the first half and equalised before the break through Padraig Amond, hammering the ball home after Wanderers failed to clear their lines from a corner. Shortly after the restart the striker tucked away his second of the night after being played through on goal with a tidy through ball by Rhys Browne, but Wanderers fought back impressively to reclaim the lead. Seb Bowerman continued his excellent form since making his debut at the top of the month by again setting up the goals; delivering a dangerous cross into the six yard box which was headed into his own net by Cards midfielder Rohan Ince, before then setting up James McShane, who not been on the field long before playing the ball into the channel for Bowerman to chase, and the Wanderers top scorer got on the end of the subsequent cut-back and finished with ice cold composure to make it 2-3. Into the final ten minutes the home side, who had made a great start to the season, battled to find an equaliser and got one; sub Ricky Korboa driving forward and crossing for the influential Browne to finish from six yards out.

It would be Woking's bitter rivals Aldershot who faced Wanderers next to round off the month's action on October 29th. Interim manager Ross McNeilly had led The Shots to back-to-back wins and extended the Hampshire's side overall unbeaten run to four matches ahead of the game, and his side would continue their recent good form by consigning Wanderers to a 0-3 defeat at Meadowbank. Inih Effiong's half-volley from several yards sent The Shots into the lead in the latter stages of the first half, and just past the hour roaming centre back Tyler Corner doubled the lead after getting up from the back to finish off a move worked down the left flank. Striker Tommy Willard punctuated the scoreline in stoppage time finishing off a swift counter attacking move.

Another month of high's and low's for Wanderers as acclimatisation to National League life continued, the competitive, hard fought nature of the division would show no sign of let up in a tough November which would see Marc White dip into the loan market to try and give his squad a boost...

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