Hampton & Richmond Borough 1 Dorking Wanderers 1
Vanarama National League South
January 2nd 2021
Dorking began the new year with a share of the spoils as they drew against Hampton & Richmond Borough in a thoroughly entertaining contest at The Beveree Stadium.
With injuries to Jason Prior and skipper Barry Fuller, manager Marc White was forced to shuffle the line up that started in last weekend's Boxing Day reverse. Callum Kennedy would return to the back three in Fuller's place, Alfie Rutherford coming in for Prior up top, and the final switch seeing Jimmy Muitt replace James McShane, who dropped to the bench. Muitt would start wide right, Matt Briggs coming inside to the central position of playing behind Rutherford. Kane Wills took the captain's armband in the absence of Fuller and Prior.
Wanderers certainly started the more aggressive and on the front foot, retaining the ball and combining quickly to get forward inside the opening quarter of an hour. Matt Briggs having a strike go just wide of the far post from the left side of the area, ahead of he and Rutherford pulling off a neat one-two in close proximity in the middle of the park, sending Rutherford clear through on goal. Perhaps thinking he didn't quite have the time and space, the striker took on the shot early, and it drifted wide. Rutherford would get forward himself to a similar position shortly after, opting to lay off for Wheeler this time, the winger sending his effort narrowly wide of the far post.
The hosts were showing increasingly quality in speed of attacking transition, but were ultimately having to go from distance in the final third, Niko Muir having their first proper strike at goal blocked, before the lively Ryan Gondoh struck over the bar.
Skipper-for-the-day Wills was desperately unlucky not to make it an even more memorable afternoon for himself; following a corner being cleared he struck a swerving effort from 30 yards that cannoned off the inside of the post, and with Alan Julian yards off his line, could have easily hit the unknowing keeper from behind and deflected in.
Kyron Farrell's dangerous delivery right across the face of goal was unlucky not to find a recipient, and the former Oxford City man would crash consecutive set pieces from ideal striking range into the wall as 'The Beavers' cranked up the pressure in the run up to half-time, Wanderers collecting a couple of cautions in the process.
Ed Harris got a couple of decisive blocks in, one to deny a good strike from last week's match winner Tyrell Miller-Rodney, but the centre half would end up catching David Fisher late in the box to giveaway a penalty just as first half stoppage time was announced. Gondoh stepped up, and dispatched the effort with composure after starting his run up facing away from goal.
Half-Time: Hampton & Richmond 1 Dorking 0
Marc White freshened his side up at the break, introducing James McShane and Niall McManus for Kane Wills and Jimmy Muitt. The subs took up central positions, McShane playing behind Rutherford and McManus slotting into midfield, as Briggs went back to his usual position wide right.
The winger turned on the afterburners to produce an effort inside the opening couple of minutes, dragging just wide of goal. The pattern of the game started to become more frenetic after the restart as both sides looked to counter and get forward at pace.
Dean Inman would clip the bar from Luke Ruddick's cross, and Fisher would have a strike well blocked after a good run, but approaching the hour Wanderers began to get forward with more conviction, particularly through the left channel.
Good link up play by Wheeler and McShane led to a run of corners, Harris unlucky with a header, before forcing a point blank save from Julian after arriving on the ball at the back post to hook it goal bound. Wheeler would catch a dipping volley and force another stop, before in the flurry of penalty box activity Hampton would give away a penalty for a late challenge in almost the identical position as Wanderers had conceded on the stroke of half-time. Luke Moore put the ball on the spot, but he couldn't catch out Julian as opted to drive his effort down the middle, the keeper making the save with his legs as he dived right.
However, within a couple of minutes, Wanderers shook off the set back and got back on terms. Wheeler did brilliantly well to manoeuvre the ball and carve out space on the left against a couple of defenders, cutting inside he curled a shot which came back off the foot of the post. Like a true fox in the box, Wes Fogden was rapid in meeting the rebound and guided the ball home with a diving header.
The game continued to go back and forth, but Hampton rallied going into the last ten minutes and had the Wanderers back line under pressure. Gondoh forced a good stop from Howes and the rear guard stood up brilliantly to back-to-back efforts from close range shortly after. Sub Razzaq Coleman de Graft cut in from the right and drove an effort just wide, before Howes had a moment of redemption in a mad few minutes of play. Having over-committing to head the ball clear in no man's land just outside the box, the stopper produced a terrific diving save after a shot from distance took a seismic deflection and looked set to nestle in the bottom left corner, the stopper getting down low to claw it away. Inman drove the final kick of the game just wide from a corner as Wanderers survived the late charge to keep hold of a point.
Marc White commented after the game:
'In isolation it was a very good point, in really difficult conditions on a dreadful pitch. Good character was shown - any point in this division against a top 8 team would be a good point. Also considering its our first game without Jason all season, lots of adjustments were made and of course having gone a goal behind as well.'
Hampton & Richmond Borough (4-2-3-1): 1 Alan Julian, 2 Luke Ruddick (c) (7 Wilson Carvalho 75'), 3 Ru Donaldson, 4 Dean Inman, 6 Sam Cox, 10 Jake Gray, 12 Niko Muir, 14 Ryan Gondoh, 15 David Fisher ( 21 Razzaq Coleman de Graft 86'), 17 Tyrell Miller-Rodney, 18 Kryon Farrell
Unused Subs: 9 Nathan Minhas, 13 Myles Bowman, 19 Christian Smith
Goals: Gondoh 45'
Yellow Cards: Miller-Rodney 68', Muir 75'
Dorking Wanderers (3-5-2): 13 Sam Howes, 2 Isaac Philpot (20 Dan Gallagher 64'), 5 Ed Harris, 7 Jimmy Muitt (6 Niall McManus 46'), 8 Matt Briggs, 10 Alfie Rutherford, 15 Kane Wills (11 James McShane 46'), 16 Nicky Wheeler, 18 Luke Moore, 23 Wes Fogden
Unused Subs: 3 Sam Beard, 4 Sami El-Abd
Goals: Fogden 67'
Yellow Cards: Wills 32', Philpot 37', Moore 45'
Ref: Jason Richardson
DWFCTV Man Of The Match: Nicky Wheeler
Stats: (provided by Olly Wyse @Olly_Wyse)
Hampton & Richmond Dorking
1 Goals 1
8 Shots (on target) 8
14 Shots (off target) 7
7 Corners 11
15 Fouls. 13
16 Crosses. 24
1 Offsides 1
2 Yellow Cards 3
0 Red Cards 0
42% Possession 58%