'A rampant Wrexham and injury to Rutherford compiles misery for Wanderers...'
Dorking Wanderers 0-5 Wrexham A.F.C
Vanarama National League Premier
September 3rd 2022
Dorking fell to eighteenth in the National League, following their third defeat on the spin. For in-form Wrexham meanwhile this would be their fourth win in as many games, climbing to a familiar second, the place they finished last season's campaign.
Post-match Marc White conceded top scorer from last term Alfie Rutherford, will be out for a “long time” following an innocuous, awkward landing which caused instant concern. Alfie’s injury came shortly after Wrexham hit their fifth, through Elliot Lee, following an Ollie Palmer brace, sandwiched between an own goal from Luke Moore and a sweet strike from Jacob Mendy, in what was a wretched day for Dorking at Meadowbank.
Captain Barry Fuller returned to the XI after a spell out injured, and completed 78 minutes of football as he return's to full fitness. Alongside Dan Gallagher, who, despite the score line, impressed throughout, and livewire Ryan Seager who created some good openings for himself. However, Wrexham’s strong foundation, and clinical nature at the other end, proved too much for Marc White’s team.
The visitors kicked off how they’d intend to continue; with a long ball up to Football League veteran Ollie Palmer. Palmer, despite his brace, was being kept relatively quiet by defender Ed Harris, who was forced off by a knock to his head in only the 15th minute. The Wanderers enjoyed a bright opening ten minutes, knocking the ball around assertively and nullifying any threat the high flying visitors posed.
It was on the twenty minute mark, five minutes after Harris was forced off, that Palmer opened the scoring. Wrexham left winger, Mendy, who had an impressive afternoon, lofted a cross into the imposing number nine, who got the better of Gallagher to head home Wrexham’s first of the day. It felt unfortunate for Dorking, who had held their own against the visitors in the opening period.
Wrexham’s second came as a result of some valiant defending from Gallagher, the centre back blocking Palmer’s strke well, but the ball landed at the feet of Murphy, who had time to pick his spot from the edge of the area. Slav Huk was left helpless as the ball was fired into the bottom right corner, and Dorking were left depleted as Wrexham began to boast their quality.
Despite being two down in twenty five minutes, Wanderers continued to create chances; the overlapping Fuller hit an inviting cross which was met by James McShane, but he who could only guide his effort wide, before Jack Jebb made the keeper work from a free kick.
Huk also contributed to the effort to keep the goal margin to two, making a great save to another Mendy effort, following a cutting through ball from Paul Mullin.
The visitors continued to utilise the physical presence Palmer posed; a long throw from Ben Tozer was aimed for the number 9, but after a scramble to clear the ball, Luke Moore ended up inadvertently finding his own net on the thirty-four-minute mark.
Wanderers maintained belief late on in the half, sustaining pressure on the Wrexham defence and enjoying possession in and around their penalty area. Dorking top scorer James McShane had the biggest chance, finding space following a strong period of possession, but his shot was deflected over.
Half-Time: Dorking 0-3 Wrexham
Nicky Wheeler replaced Niall McManus at half time, which White explained was, again, due to injury.
It was only three minutes after the interval where Palmer scored his second, and Wrexham’s fourth. The impressive Mullin picked up the ball just inside Dorking’s half, drove forward and found the overlapping Jordan Davies, his cross evaded the Dorking backline, and found Palmer at the far post who couldn’t miss. Less than ten minutes later, Palmer tried for his hattrick, from about 40 yards out, trying to catch Huk off his line. The failed attempt didn’t go down too well with his teammate, Mullin, who could’ve been clear one-on-one had he been slipped through.
Shortly after, Mullin was replaced by Elliott Lee, who went on to get the fifth. Courtesy of some further brilliant wide play from Davies, who picked the ball up on the flank, squared up Bobby-Joe Taylor and hit a gorgeously accurate cross with the outside of his boot to the back post, he found Lee who, again, couldn’t miss.
Dan Quick came off the bench for his home debut and enjoyed an impressive cameo in the late stages, but Rutherford’s injury overshadowed what was a professional and clinical Wrexham display. Rutherford did receive a standing ovation around the ground as he was stretchered off.
Dorking travel to Halifax Town next Saturday, who sit 22nd in the table, as they hope to end the recent losing streak.
Dorking Wanderers [3-5-2] – 1 Slav Huk, 3 Bobby-Joe Taylor, 22 Barry Fuller (25 Dan Quick 78’), 20 Dan Gallagher, 5 Ed Harris (7 Jimmy Muitt 20’), 6 Niall McManus (16 Nicky Wheeler 45’), 23 Jack Jebb, 18 Luke Moore, 11 James McShane, 10 Alfie Rutherford, 9 Ryan Seager
Unused Subs: 4 Sami El-Abd, 24 Harry Ottaway
Yellow Card: M. White 63'
Wrexham A.F.C [3-5-2] – 21 Mark Howard, 5 Aaron Hayden, 4 Ben Tozer, 32 Max Cleworth, 14 Anthony Forde, 7 Jordan Davies (3 Callum McFadzean 78’), 8 Luke Young, 30 James Jones, 19 Jacob Mendy, 9 Ollie Palmer (18 Sam Dalby 83’), 10 Paul Mullin (38 Elliot Lee 59’)
Unused Subs: 31 Rory Watston, 6 Jordan Tunnicliffe
Goals: Ollie Palmer 20’, 49’, Jacob Mendy 24’, Luke Moore (O.G) 35’, Elliot Lee 78’
No Yellow Cards
Referee: Gary Parsons
Sponsers Man Of The Match: Dan Gallagher
Stats (with thanks to Aaron)
Shots on target: 5 - 13
Shots off target: 3 - 7
Corners: 5 - 3
Offsides: 1 - 1
Fouls: 5 - 14
Yellow cards: 1 - 0
Red cards: 0 - 0