Dorking's pre-season continued with another competitive contest and late win, coming from behind to defeat Horsham at Meadowbank. Shamir Fenelon gave 'The Hornets' an early lead, but goals from Wes Fogden and James McShane sealed victory for Wanderers in the second half.
Following last weekend's pre-season opener with Kingstonian, Marc White's squad plan's have already faced early disruption. Nick Wheeler and Cameron Black have unfortunately picked up injuries, and Covid-19 protocols have also ruled out Alfie Rutherford, Callum Kealy and Josh Taylor, who will have to wait at least another week before making his Dorking debut.
Kane Wills, who looked set to go out on loan for the upcoming season last weekend, has come back into the squad, as has David Ray, part of the matchday collective today having recently signed on to play and coach for the reserve side next season. Wills and Luke Moore, ruled out last week through injury, both came back into the starting eleven for Dan Gallagher and Nick Wheeler, the only changes from the side that started last Saturday.
For Horsham, former Wanderers Sam Howes, Ben Dyett and Tom Kavanagh would all start for the Isthmian Premier side in their first pre-season outing ahead of the new campaign. In the reverse pre-season encounter last year, a late Jake Gallagher goal was enough for Wanderers to take victory on a scorching day at The Camping World Community Stadium.
Bobby-Joe Taylor picked up where he left off last week in the opening minutes, driving forward and firing a shot wide of the far post, but the visitors did start the better side, hungry in chasing down and quick in moving the ball forwards, Wanderers struggling for sharpness in possession.
A warning had already come through the left channel, Charlie Harris flashing a dangerous ball right across the face of goal. Working the ball via the same channel Dominic di Paola's side took the lead on ten minutes. Lucas Rodrigues cross was laid off neatly by Alex Laing into the path of Shamir Fenelon, who side-footed an excellent first time strike into the top right corner.
Horsham kept up the momentum immediately after the goal as Charlie Harris forced Lee Worgan to tip a 25-yarder over the bar, before the stopper had to get down low to keep out a Trialist's effort from the edge of the box. Fenelon nearly bagged a second at the end of a quick-fire counter from 'The Hornets', and Wanderers survived a rare indirect free-kick conceded inside the penalty area, Ed Harris putting too much on a back pass to Worgan, who had to handle the ball to get it away.
A knock to Wills midway through the half led to an impromptu water break, and the refresher talk from Marc White during the respite seemed to prompt Wanderers into getting forward and creating more chances for the remainder of the half, although lacking cutting edge with the final ball.
Matt Briggs volley was well held by Howes, and McShane will be disappointed he couldn't direct his own volley on target after Moore's chip found him in space in the area. After patient build up play Barry Fuller's cross found Jason Prior at the back stick, but the Wanderers No9 nodded wide. The striker would however bring out an excellent low diving save from former team mate Howes, tipping Prior's measured effort around the post, and the stopper would deny him again just before the break.
Half-Time: Dorking 0 Horsham 1
A triple change during the interval saw Slav Huk take over in goal, Dan Gallagher coming into midfield for Moore as Wills pushed further forward, and Callum Kennedy coming on for McManus, the 'utility man' Taylor pushing forward into left wing having moved into central midfield last week.
There had been a harder edge to the competitive nature of the contest compared to last week, in non-friendly conditions a few yellow cards may well have been awarded against both sides. Referee Steven Hughes did finally lose patience and cautioned Briggs just beyond the hour mark, a late tackle optimising the Wanderers frustration as they couldn't quite get going after the restart.
In tandem with Horsham beginning to introduce a number of trialists, the moment and timing seemed to serve as a catalyst and Wanderers began to take control of the match and started to threaten particularly down the right. With just over a quarter of an hour remaining, Taylor showed great feet near the byline to get past a couple of defenders, before crossing for the lively Fogden, who despite having his initial effort well saved by Howes then reacted sharply to stab home the rebound.
Charlie Harris' long range curler drifted wide of target and Tom Day's ball across goal was unlucky not to find a yellow shirt. Fuller and Briggs combined well again down the right to pick out Prior, his effort comfortably saved by Howes.
With ten minutes to go Dorking managed to get ahead; Fogden's measured cross-field pass deftly controlled by Taylor, who then nudged the ball into the path of McShane, who calmly slotted home inside the area.
Taylor capped off another impressive display with a brilliantly timed interception late on down the left flank, laying off for the tireless Fogden, Howes again producing a top save to deny his former colleague. Day headed over a set piece at the death, but Wanderers held out to make it two wins on the spin, coming through another test against strong local opposition. Attention now turns to 'El Clasimole' and the annual Surrey Advertiser Trophy contest next weekend.
Wanderers: Worgan (Huk 46'); Bobby-Joe Taylor, Harris (Ray 75') Fuller (c), McManus (Kennedy 46') , Moore (Gallagher 46'), Fogden, Briggs; McShane, Prior (Manning 82')
Goals: Fogden 74', McShane 81'
Assists: Taylor x2
Yellow Cards: Briggs 68'
Horsham: Howes, Sparkes, Dyett (Trialist 87'), Brivio (Trialist 76'), Day; Trialist (Trialist 61'); Kavanagh, Laing (Trialist 77'), Rodrigues (Trialist 61'); Harris (Trialist 88'), Fenelon (Dsane 55')
Goals: Fenelon 10'
*All Subs Used By Both Sides
Referee: Steven Hughes