Horley Town 1 Dorking Wanderers 3
Surrey Senior Cup - First Round
November 3rd 2020
Dorking got back into the winning habit and progressed to the second round of the Surrey Senior Cup with a 1-3 win over Horley Town at The New Defense Stadium, the first competitive game for Wanderers in front of fans this season.
Marc White named a strong side for the opening round of the competition, which included Sam Howes coming in for Slav Huk in goal, Jake Gallagher returning from injury, and also a place in the matchday squad for trialist James Clark.
The hosts certainly weren't phased by the step up in opposition and strived to get on the front foot and compete with Wanderers, creating an evenly contest opening half hour. Midfielder Sean O'Toole was impressive throughout for the home side and epitomised the endeavour to push forward and forced a decent save from Howes in the opening minutes with a low drive, before neatly playing in Adam Grant to volley over the bar.
Sami El-Abd was unlucky there were no takers for his half-volley back across goal as Wanderers responded, Jake Gallagher then capping a nice move down the left involving Nick Wheeler and Alfie Rutherford, striking the cross bar with a fiercely struck effort from the edge of the box. O'Toole would have another shot at goal saved, before the Gallagher brothers would combine to play in Matt Briggs, his shot really well saved by George Hyde, adjusting his body at the last moment to get down to the strike.
Just past the half hour, it would be Horley who made the breakthrough. Ryan Brackpool angling a header home from Ryan Smith's corner ball and finding the far corner of the net despite some impressive last-ditch acrobatics on the goal line to try keep it out.
Five minutes later, in not dissimilar fashion (or timing) to Saturday's game at Hungerford, a sudden dismissal. Winger Mario Quiassaca had been adjudged to raise his hands to Sami El-Abd in an off-the-ball incident, and for the second time in four days, Wanderers opponents were reduced to 10 men.
Nicky Wheeler picked out Rutherford in the six-yard box but the forward could not direct his downward head header on target as Wanderers came close to levelling before the interval, Giuseppe Sole and Sam Beard also striking over the bar in the final few minutes of the half.
Half-Time: Horley 1 Dorking 0
With the competitive nature of the game diminished by the sending off, Wanderers were able to pin back their opponents early in the second half as they sat into a deeper shape looking to counter, enabling Marc White's men to lock in their passing game and dominate possession for the remainder of the game.
Several minutes into the restart, they got back on terms. Tidy link up play including a couple of flicks down the right set Jake Gallagher into the area, and his cross-come-shot would loop over Hyde and nestle into the far-left corner.
Approaching the hour White looked to refresh his side, making a triple substitution, bringing Kane Wills, Niall McManus and James Clark into play for James McShane, Matt Briggs and Sami El-Abd. The changes in midfield would be like for like, with trialist Clark going into the right side of defence and Isaac Philpot moving into the centre.
Within a minute of the changes, Clark would bomb forward and make an immediate impact. Showing a quick turn of pace to get into the area, he was brought down just in front of the touch line. Rutherford put the ball on the spot, but his effort crashed off the underside of the cross bar. The home side were unable to clear their lines in the aftermath though, and Wheeler was on hand to calmly guide the ball into the net from the left side of the area.
O'Toole and skipper Chevan Xavier impressively surged forward on separate occasions to try and pull Horley back into the game, but Wanderers remained in command of play, and went on to carve out further opportunities; McManus measured through ball to Rutherford couldn't quite be brought under control as the striker edged through one on one, and Sole would intercept play ruthlessly in the middle of Horley's half and strike narrowly wide of target straight after.
With only a few minutes of normal time remaining, Sole would go on to cap the win in style with a trademark free kick special, looping the ball into the far right corner beyond Hyde, to the delight of the travelling fans behind the goal.
We wait to find out who Wanderers will face in round 2 of this year's competition in due course. Next up is a return to league action on Saturday and an away trip to Dartford.
Horley Town: 1 George Hyde, 2 Brad Peters, 3 Ryan Brackpool (12 Kofi Quartey 70'), 4 Chevan Xavier (c), 5 Jack Poplett, 6 Ryan Smith (14 Russell Harvey 70'), 7 Mario Quiassaca, 8 Sean O'Toole, 9 Tony Halsey (15 Andy Hall 70'), 10 Adam Grant, 11 Kevin Moreon-Gomez
Unused Subs: 16 Richard Pineling, 17 Gavin Quintyne
Goals: Brackpool 32'
Red Cards: Quiassaca 37'
Dorking Wanderers: 1 Sam Howes, 2 Isaac Philpot, 3 Sam Beard, 4 Sami El-Abd (c) (22 James Clark 55'), 8 Matt Briggs (6 Niall McManus 55'), 10 Alfie Rutherford, 11 James McShane (15 Kane Wills 55'), 14 Jake Gallagher, 16 Nicky Wheeler, 19 Giuseppe Sole, 20 Dan Gallagher
Unused Subs: 21 Ben Dyett
Goals: Jake Gallagher 50', Wheeler 56', Sole 87'
Yellow Cards: Dan Gallagher 90'
Referee: Sean Farrer