Dorking retained the Dorking & Leatherhead Advertiser Trophy for the third consecutive year after an emphatic victory over local rivals Leatherhead at Meadowbank. On the hottest day of the year so far, pre-season preparations continued as Wanderers secured the 'El Clasimole' bragging rights for another season, Jason Prior and Wes Fogden both scoring twice to seal victory.
Marc White was still without Alfie Rutherford and Nicky Wheeler heading into today's game, with Matt Briggs also confirmed to be ruled out through injury. Callum Kealy was welcomed back to the matchday squad, along with fellow new signing Josh Taylor, available to make his Wanderers debut after missing the first couple of pre-season fixtures. Jimmy Muitt and Niall McManus started out wide, as James McShane played in behind Jason Prior up top.
There was a minute's applause before the game in honour of former Leatherhead player Micky Cook, who sadly passed away earlier this week.
The hosts were on the back foot inside the opening minute as 'Tanners' skipper Will Salmon had a shot blocked from close range following a dangerous free kick delivery from wide.
Wanderers quickly recovered though and began to assert themselves on the game, finding their passing rhythms and moving well on and off the ball to exploit space being afforded to them as Leatherhead struggled to get into shape.
Bobby-Joe Taylor forced George Bentley into action with a well-struck free kick after Muitt was curtailed approaching the edge of the area. McManus dragged an effort wide after Fogden unselfishly laid the ball off inside the area, before Muitt cannoned a shot off the outside of the post after slick build up play, instigated by a pin-point long range pass out from Lee Worgan.
A very early Alfie Rutherford double was enough for Dorking to win the corresponding fixture at Fetcham Grove last year, and in similar fashion, striker partner Prior set Wanderers on their way today with a quick-fire brace of his own. Leatherhead couldn't clear their lines in the six-yard box, and after a couple of miss-hits from arriving midfielders in red and white, Prior made no mistake on his turn at the back post. He would be there again three minutes later, quickest to react and slot the ball home as George Bentley could only parry another Bobby-Joe Taylor dead ball effort.
At the half-hour Kweku Lucan showed good feet to beat his man down the right, cutting in but unable to direct his powerful strike on target. Wanderers continued to be on top though; Fogden glanced a header wide, and after patient build up play Bentley got off his line well to deny McShane who was through on goal and deemed to be just about onside. Bobby-Joe Taylor was instrumental in the build up, again bombing forward emphatically, and struck a fierce effort straight down Bentley straight after.
Nikki Bull reacted with a triple change in the lead up to half-time and his side did begin to weather the Dorking pressure and look more resolute, but with the very last action of the first half, Fogden put Wanderers three goals to the good, the midfielder getting the decisive touch just over the line as Prior headed back across goal.
Half-Time: Dorking 3 Leatherhead 0
Josh Taylor came on for the second half to make his Wanderers debut in the heart of midfield, as Marc White otherwise made similar changes to the last couple of games, Bobby-Joe Taylor again pushing further forward as Callum Kennedy came into the left side of the back three.
Leatherhead made further changes at the break, and subs Jamie Harwick and Franc Bakalli both looked to make an instant impact, having consecutive strikes at goal closed down shortly after the restart.
Fellow sub Amari Morris, who impressed for 'The Tanners' during the second half, squandered a good set piece opportunity, his tame effort comfortably saved by Slav Huk, who then got Wanderers on the move quickly and on their way to a fourth goal. Barry Fuller finished the swift counter attack with an overlapping run and cross from the right channel, finding the arriving Fogden, who deftly guided the ball home.
The pair would combine again with a quarter of an hour to go; Fuller this time finding Fogden with a long throw, the midfielder showing excellent close control before unleashing a volley just over the top left upright - it would have been some way to land the hat-trick.
Amari Morris and Jedd Smith had speculative efforts go over the bar after both showed good strength and control to get their respective strikes off, the duo looking the most likely to grab a consolation goal in front of the travelling support during the latter stages.
With the sun continuing to beat down and the subs coming and going, the tempo of the game naturally faded, but entering the final ten minutes Wanderers did have opportunities to add further gloss to the score line. Muitt drove an effort into the side netting before having a similar effort saved by a combo of keeper and post, as Callum Kealy nearly made it two in two games for him, denied at close range by Jacob Bennett late on.
Pre-season preparations continue for Marc White's side with the visit of Horley Town to Meadowbank this Tuesday evening, before his team head out got a run of fixtures on the road.
Wanderers: Worgan (Huk 46'); Bobby-Joe Taylor (Muitt 70'), Harris (El Abd 62'), Fuller (c) (Wills 80'); Muitt (Kennedy 46'), Wills (Gallagher 46'), Fogden (Manning 80'), Moore (Josh Taylor 46'); McManus; McShane, Prior (Kealy 72')
Goals: Prior 12', 15' Fogden 45', 53'
Assists: Prior 45', Fuller 53'
Leatherhead: Bentley, Lema, Massini, Kareem, Nnamani, Salmon (c), Briggs, Diemalli, Adier, Lucan, McGee
Subs: Bakalli (37'), Bennett (GK - 46'), Ryan Green (46'), Adam Green (80'), Reece (58'), Okechukwu (72'), Hardwick (37'), Ahorlu (46'), Smith (58'), Morris (46')
Referee: Dele Solimrin
Stats (courtesy of @ollie_wyse)
4 Goals 0
10 Shots on 5
8 Shots off 9
9 Corners. 9
12 Fouls. 14
19 Crosses. 12
2 Yellows. 1
0 Reds. 0
64 Possession (%) 36