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Bank Holiday Review: Braintree & Hungerford

Braintree Town 2 Dorking Wanderers 2 Vanarama National League South Saturday August 28th 2021

With the early run of injuries and continuing suspension of Josh Taylor, Marc White was forced into making changes to his starting eleven going into the Bank Holiday weekend. Niall McManus was welcomed back from injury, he and Jimmy Muitt started out wide as Dan Gallagher came into central midfield. Callum Kealy also came into the side, starting up top with Alfie Rutherford.

Bobby-Joe Taylor was instrumental to Wanderers making a strong start to the contest, spurring the side on with his forward runs from deep. Kealy went closest in the early going, his shot blocked after Gallagher nodded down to tee him up.

On 12 minutes, Wanderers managed to get reward. Luke Moore's free kick delivery was tapped home by Barry Fuller, the captain's first goal for the club.

As the game then opened up Ed Harris was key in keeping the hosts at bay as midway through the half they started knocking on the door. Arjanit Krasniqi looked to punish a sloppy pass out from the back by Lee Worgan, before Femi Akinwande went close in a scramble six yards out and Luke Holness then had an effort saved.

Just past the half-hour 'The Iron' did secure an equaliser. Krasniqi's measured pass with the outside of his boot finding Akinwande who drove into the box past a few bodies and confidently slotted home.

The game had evened out in the run to half-time, but Correy Davidson produced a superb volley to find the bottom corner after a long throw was cleared out, sending Braintree into the interval ahead.

Half-Time: Braintree 2 Dorking 1

Very quickly after the restart, Wanderers were presented with an opportunity to get straight back on terms. Ezra Ikebuasi was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area, Bobby-Joe Taylor stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way, tucking the ball into the bottom right corner. Braintree defended well to cut out a dangerous ball across the face of goal before Luke Moore was unfortunate not to get Wanderers back in front with a diving header, the effort cleared away.

The hard-fought contest continued to see-saw, 'The Iron' again getting on top again around the midway stage of the half, Holness with a good chance blasted over the top, Fuller with a superbly timed goal line clearance and Worgan producing an acrobatic save as well.

The nature of the contest was optimised in the closing moments as both sides spurned changes to win it, Rutherford forcing Preston Edwards into a save with his legs, the lively duo Krasniqi and Akinwande both also going close right at the end of the game.

with thanks to Les Freeland


Dorking Wanderers 1 Hungerford Town 2 Vanarama National League South Monday August 30st 2021

Marc White made just the one switch from Saturday's game, Nicky Wheeler coming in for Niall McManus out wide.

Alfie Rutherford was caught in a collision within the opening couple of minutes, thankfully good to play on after some treatment, and following a steady opening both sides registered their first efforts at goal approaching the ten minute marker. Hungerford skipper James Rusby combined well with Ryan Seager, Barry Fuller doing well to ultimately tread the ball away from target. On the counter, the Wanderers captain turned provider, finding Rutherford who from a tight angle forced Luke Cairney into diverting the ball away.

Nana Kyei tested Lee Worgan at his near post with a low save, but for much of the remainder of the half Wanderers established good passing patterns to get on top in the contest, but coming against strong resistance from 'The Crusaders' in the final third.

Jimmy Muitt picked up a knock through the course of the opening exchanges, Wanderers bad injury luck continuing and the winger was subbed midway through the half for Niall McManus.

Cairny showed good hands numerous times to prevent dangerous crosses landing, and Bobby-Joe Taylor was unfortunate his gallop right through central midfield couldn't be converted by Rutherford after the forward turned well to buy space initially.

Dan Gallagher tried his luck from 25 yards out, Keith Emmerson producing a stern diving header to defend the strike, before Seager channelled his inner Wayne Rooney with a lob attempt on Worgan, the stopper clawing the ball away as he scrambled back towards goal.

Wanderers general good play got reward right as three minutes of added time went up, Callum Kealy was brought down to the left of the six yard box, penalty awarded. After much protest from the visitors, Bobby-Joe Taylor put the ball on the spot and just like on Saturday, calmly tucked the ball home.

Half-Time: Dorking 1 Hungerford 0

The opening moments of the restart set the tone for much of the remainder of the contest as Louis McGrory and Niall McManus both went into the referee's notebook for fouling each other just minutes apart. As both sides looked to settle, ten minutes into the second half Hungerford got back on terms. Callum Willmoth taking hold of the ball outside the box after good hold up play from Seager, and driving a pacey low shot in off the post.

Wanderers looked to get back ahead immediately; Kealy receiving a throw and turning well in the area, forcing Cairney into a stop at his near post, before Bobby-Joe Taylor had a header saved comfortably.

Against the surge though, Town managed to get upfield quickly and get ahead themselves. Nana Kyei with a composed finish lifting the ball over Worgan from the right side of the area. Seager went close again after further good hold up play, and forced Worgan into a save down to his left.

Entering the final twenty five minutes the game fell into further periods of disruption with the cautions stacking up, substitutes deployed and general break up's in play as players remained down after challenges. Wanderers took general command of play but were just not able to level the score for all their efforts, Hungerford well organised in their shape and the rear guard continuing to remain hard to break down. Bobby-Joe Taylor drove a direct free kick just wide of target, Rutherford couldn't quite wrestle the ball from Cairney as he struggled to keep hold of an initial strike, the Wanderers No10 then going close but no cigar with headed chances late on, glancing one wide and having a couple saved by Cairney. Fuller also went mighty close to making it 2 in 2 games, toe-poking a ball over the bar from close range as Hungerford couldn't clear their lines.

Seager had a strike deflected wide very late on, but his side hung on in the end through seven minutes of added on time to take victory.


Braintree Town: 1 Preston Edwards, 2 Ezra Ikebuasi, 3 Jay Porter, 4 Matt Johnson (c), 5 Kyran Clements, 6 Luke Powell, 7 Femi Akinwande, 8 Alfie Payne, 9 Luke Holness (15 Johnville Renee 90+'), 10 Arjanit Krasniqi, 11 Correy Davidson (17 Gianni Crichlow 89')

Unsued Subs: 12 Jamal Balogun, 14 Harry Hope, 16 Lionel Ainsworth

Goals: Akinwande 33', Davidson 42'

Yellow Cards: Johnson 79', Pennell 83'

Dorking Wanderers: 1 Lee Worgan, 3 Bobby-Joe Taylor, 5 Ed Harris, 6 Niall McManus (12 Callum Kennedy 55'), 7 Jimmy Muitt (16 Nicky Wheeler 55'), 10 Alfie Rutherford, 15 Kane Wills, 18 Luke Moore, 20 Dan Gallagher, 22 Barry Fuller (c), 29 Callum Kealy (4 Sami El-Abd 79')

Unused Subs: 13 Slav Huk, 14 Ben Dyson

Goals: Fuller 13', Bobby-Joe Taylor 48'

Assists: Moore 13'

Yellow Cards: Fuller 83'

Attendance: 461


Dorking Wanderers: 1 Lee Worgan, 3 Bobby-Joe Taylor, 5 Ed Harris, 7 Jimmy Muitt (6 Niall McManus 22'), 10 Alfie Rutherford, 15 Kane Wills, 16 Nicky Wheeler, 18 Luke Moore, 20 Dan Gallagher (4 Sami El-Abd 90+'), 22 Barry Fuller (c), 29 Callum Kealy

Subs: 2 Callum Kennedy, 13 Slav Huk, 14 Ben Dyson

Goals: Bobby-Joe Taylor 45+'

Yellow Cards: McManus 51', Harris 78'

Hungerford Town: 1 Luke Cairney, 2 Rhys Tyler (16 Matt Jones 74'), 3 Louis McGrory, 4 Matt Partridge, 5 Keith Emmerson, 6 James Rusby (c), 7 Simo Mbonkwi (12 George Smith 90+'), 8 Callum Willmoth, 9 Ryan Seager, 10 Jake Evans, 11 Nana Kyei (17 Sol Wanjau-Smith 74')

Subs: 14 Chris Flood, 15 Ty Ward

Goals: Willmoth 55', Kyei 61'

Yellow Cards: Tyler 23', Cairney 45+', McGrory 47', Rusby 64', Willmoth 83', Seager 90'

Referee: Steve Hughes

Attendance: 835

Stonegate Homes Man Of The Match: Bobby-Joe Taylor


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