Vanarama National League South
April 2nd 2022
Dorking got back to winning ways after a comprehensive victory over Slough Town at Meadowbank.
Marc White made two changes to the side which started at Ebbsfleet United last weekend, Luke Moore and Jimmy Muitt coming into the starting line up for Darren Oldaker and Callum Kennedy. Muitt would be positioned wide left as Bobby-Joe Taylor dropped back to the left side of the defensive trio. James McShane retained the captain's armband in the continued absence of Barry Fuller.
Wanderers got off to the perfect start, opening the scoring inside the first sixty seconds. With their first venture forward, space opened up on the left for Muitt to advance into, cutting inside he took aim for the bottom right corner, and got enough on his strike to guide it beyond the diving Jonathan North.
And not long after, the advantage was doubled. A long throw in from the right wasn't cleared at the near post and dropped for Philpot, who struck a volley low through the cluster of bodies to find the back of the net.
In spite of the early goals, possession was fairly even and the tempo of the game steady. Slough began to show threat and a response to the opening setback around the mid-point of the half; consecutive aerial deliveries were well intercepted by Gallagher and the covering Muitt, ahead of Aaron Kuhl impressively dummying the ball to buy space and advance down the right wing. His cut back found Imran Kayani who's initial attempt at goal was blocked, spilling out to Kurtis Cumberbatch who whistled an effort just wide of target.
At the half-hour mark, Wanderers were presented with a golden opportunity to further extend their advantage. A giveaway of possession allowed Rutherford to break into the right side of the box, only to be curtailed by North coming out from his goal, penalty awarded. Not guilty of being the last man, a few eyebrows were still raised however when the referee didn't appear to award the keeper with a yellow card. As recent penalty taker Darren Oldaker was not on the field, Luke Moore stepped up, but sent his kick just the wrong side of the post.
Shortly after the miss, Lee Togwell strike brushed the side-netting from range, before another great chance for Wanderers went begging. Muitt was released down the left via a lovely Fogden through ball, cutting in and with the right side of the net opening up for him, the winger tried to curl his strike into that top corner, but over-measured it and put it wide.
Minutes before the interval Gallagher again made a couple of key blocks, George Hunt then going as close as Slough would come all game in the midst of this, seeing his shot cannon back off the foot of the post after receiving the ball from the left flank. Gallagher was then involved up the other end, playing a neat one-two with Josh Taylor who showed quick-feet to find space before having his attempt at goal blocked at the near post.
Half-Time: Dorking 2 Slough 0
Just like the first half, Wanderers made a lively start to the second, and did extend their lead within a couple of minutes. A corner ball flicked towards the back post fell for Gallagher, who calmly steered a volley into the top right hand corner, dispatching the finish with the precision of a striker.
The rapid approach following the restart continued, and two minutes later, Wanderers made it four. Josh Taylor lifted the ball out to Muitt on the left wing, advancing forward he then found Fogden who stabbed the ball through to Rutherford. The striker managed to stayed onside, and coolly slotted home his 22nd league goal of the season right in front of the packed out AD Williams stand.
Rutherford was replaced within a few minutes of getting on the score sheet by Jason Prior, returning to action at Meadowbank for the first since November having made his come back from the bench last Saturday at Ebbsfleet.
And with one of his first touches of the ball, it was 'JP9' who sent Wanderers into a five goal lead with less than an hour on the clock. McShane found space just outside the box and took aim at goal, his decent effort saved by North but only parried onto the post. The ball fell down and rolled across the goal line, Prior arrived hottest on the scene to tap home.
Muitt was frequently involved in Wanderers good work getting forward, his directness and nimble feet causing Slough problems down the attacking left. After skipping into the area he cut back for Fogden who was unfortunate not to make it six as his half-volley came back off the cross bar. Moments later, Muitt's cross didn't quite sit for either Fogden or Prior to get a shot off, but did find McManus approaching from the far side of the box, and he did manage to fashion a shot at goal, but Slough skipper Scott Davies slid in well to make the block.
Subs Alfie Anderson and Eitel Gueth helped Slough get further up the pitch towards the late stages, the latter taking advantage of some loose play in the Wanderers left back area and poking an effort towards the far post but getting too much on it. Prior was then unlucky not to double his tally on his home return, Muitt getting to the by-line with an excellent turn of pace and flashing a ball across the face of goal, Prior arriving on it just too late as it drifted beyond the back post.
As the revolving weather conditions turned to sleet for the closing minutes, Wanderers continued to keep the Slough goal threat down to a bare minimum, seeing out the game and maintaining a clean sheet. With five goals from five different scorers, Wanderers got back to winning ways in style and with a real ensemble performance having dropped points in their last three matches, and keep up the pressure on the leaders Maidstone who also won their game today.
With a two week break from competitive action now ahead, Dorking return to league matters on Good Friday as Chippenham Town are the visitors to Meadowbank.
Dorking Wanderers: 34 Dan Lincoln; 2 Isaac Philpot, 20 Dan Gallagher, 3 Bobby-Joe Taylor (5 Ed Harris 70'); 6 Niall McManus, 18 Luke Moore, 17 Josh Taylor (45 Davide Rodari 62'), 23 Wes Fogden, 7 Jimmy Muitt; 11 James McShane (c), 10 Alfie Rutherford (9 Jason Prior 53')
Unused Subs: 26 Darren Oldaker, 16 Nicky Wheeler
Goals: Muitt 1', Philpot 10', Gallagher 47', Rutherford 49', Prior 55'
No Yellow Cards
Slough Town: 1 Jonathan North; 3 Freddie Grant, 4 Edon Pruti, 6 Lee Togwell, 16 Sean Fraser; 14 Scott Davies (c), 12 George Hunt; 8 Matt Lench (9 Ben Harris 46'); 15 Aaron Kuhl, 7 Kurtis Cumberbatch (17 Eitel Goueth 66'), 19 Imran Kayani (18 Alfie Anderson 82')
Unused Subs: 5 Joe Dandy, 20 Manny Williams
Yellow Card: Fraser 74'
Referee: Kirsty Dowle
Sponsors Man Of The Match: Josh Taylor