Dorking Wanderers 3 Barnet 1
Dorking secured their place in Monday's FA Trophy 4th Round draw with a 3-1 victory over National League Premier outfit Barnet at Meadowbank. With the game unfortunately switched to being behind closed doors following altered Covid regulations announced earlier this week and with Tim Flowers making his managerial debut in 'The Bees' dugout, Wanderers ensured there was at least continuity on the pitch, picking up from where they left off in the previous round midweek with another good performance.
Marc White would make two changes to the side which started that game on Tuesday night, Sam Howes coming in for Slav Huk, who picked up a knock towards the end of the game, and captain Barry Fuller returning to defence in place of Callum Kennedy. Niall McManus and Alife Rutherford returned to the matchday squad after serving their respective three match suspensions. James McShane would again start in behind Jason Prior up top.
After an even opening few minutes, Wanderers began to pick up where the left off against Hungerford, shifting the ball well in midfield and becomingly increasingly dominant in possession., the visitors often looking for the longer ball. Jimmy Muitt and Nicky Wheeler fired a couple of threatening deliveries across goal from their respective channels, and just after the quarter-hour Wanderers opened the scoring. Wheeler would pick out Prior from the left, the striker's header coming back off the underside of the bar, McShane reacting fastest to stab the ball home, making it three goals in a week for the midfielder.
JJ Hooper headed over midway through the half for 'The Bees' after good work from Jack Connors getting to the byline on the left, but Sam Howes had otherwise not been troubled, such was Wanderers command of possession. So it was against the run of play when the visitors got back on terms just past the half hour. Ben Fox finishing clinically first time from the edge of the area after the ball was swiftly moved inside from the left channel.
However, just over five minutes later, Wanderers would re-take the lead. That familiar combo linking again; Wheeler finding Prior at the back post with another pinpoint delivery, the forward this time thundering his header home through a crowd of defenders at the back post.
Jerome Binnom-Williams had to be on his toes in the six yard box to avert another menacing delivery from Wheeler shortly after, and before the interval the defender would head just wide of target at the other end.
Half-Time: Dorking 2 Barnet 1
The visitors started better after the break, shifting the ball forward with more urgency. Ephron Mason-Clark delayed getting his shot off in space inside the area, the chance then fading away, ahead of half-time sub Alexander McQueen flashing a measured first effort just past the top left corner of goal.
Matt Briggs had come on at half-time for Jimmy Muitt, and with Nicky Wheeler and Jason Prior then withdrawn around the hour, Wanderers were set up more with counter play in mind for the remainder of the game. Luke Moore revisiting his days as a striker supporting McShane up top, subs Niall McManus playing on the left side of midfield and Dan Gallagher slotting in centrally.
Briggs would be dangerous with every venture forward; a couple of troubling balls across the six yard box not met, and a strike of his own forcing an awkward low stop from Scott Loach. With fifteen minutes to go the wing-back would miss a golden opportunity to put the game beyond doubt; cutting in centrally from the right, dribbling well to maintain the ball and pulling off a tidy one-two, his eventual effort on goal just rolling agonisingly past the far post.
Barnet goal scorer Ben Fox had been cautioned a bit earlier for bringing down Briggs, and just over five minutes later he received his marching orders, a straight red card issued for a heavy challenge just in front of the dug outs.
Briggs did get reward for another surging run forward in the last minute of regulation time, Loach bringing down the wing back down as he tried to round him, yellow card issued to the stopper. Luke Moore took on spot-taking duties, and confidently dispatched the penalty to the keeper's right to seal the victory.
Marc White spoke to Gary Pascoe after the game:
'I thought we started really well, felt they were fortunate not to be more than a goal down after half an hour. Felt we didn't look like a team from a level below today, we're playing increasingly better football, performances are improving which is great.'
On Jason Prior's substitution:
'He had a tight calf, hence the change at that point in the game.'
Dorking Wanderers (3-5-2): 13 Sam Howes, 2 Isaac Philpot, 5 Ed Harris, 7 Jimmy Muitt (8 Matt Briggs 45'), 9 Jason Prior (6 Niall McManus 63'), 11 James McShane, 15 Kane Wills, 16 Nicky Wheeler (20 Dan Gallagher 63'), 18 Luke Moore, 22 Barry Fuller, 23 Wes Fogden
Unused Subs: 3 Sam Beard, 4 Sami El-Abd, 10 Alfie Rutherford, 19 Giuseppe Sole
Goals: McShane 16', Prior 38', Moore pen 90'
Yellow Cards: Fogden 54'
Barnet (5-3-2): 1 Scott Loach, 2 Dwight Pascal (7 Alexander McQueen 45'), 3 Jack Connors (14 Muhammadu Faal 86'), 6 James Dunne (c), 11 JJ Hooper (22 Josh Walker 72'), 16 Harry Taylor, 17 Inih Effiong, 25 Ben Fox, 26 Jerome Binnom-Williams, 27 Ephron Mason-Clark, 31 Ben Nugent
Unused Subs: 24 Aymen Azaze, 15 Bilel Mohsni, 20 Dean Parrett, 33 Antonis Vaslilou
Goals: Fox 35'
Yellow Cards: Pascal 32', Fox 69', Loach 89'
Red Card: Fox 73'
Ref: James Durkin
Sponsors Man Of The Match: Ed Harris
Stats: provided by Olly Wyse (@Olly_Wyse)
3 Goals 1
7 Shots (on target) 3
5 Shots (off target) 8
5 Corners 3
9 Fouls. 12
19 Crosses. 22
2 Offsides 1
1 Yellow Cards 2
0 Red Cards 1
54% Possession 46%