First Of Two Home Games In A Week For Wanderers
Dorking return to Meadowbank this weekend for the first of two quick succession home games, hosting Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday afternoon before welcoming Yeovil Town on Tuesday evening.
For Wanderers it's an opportunity to get back into the winning habit and put points on the board following last week's disappointing defeat away at Scunthorpe United. Leading 0-2 at half-time and looking comfortable after well taken goals by Ryan Seager and Niall McManus, the combination of a fired up home side and Wanderers opting for a more conservative approach in the second half led to 'The Iron' overcoming the two goal deficit to go on and win the game 3-2, the goals scored by Caolan Lavery, Jacob Butterfield and George Taft. Marc White acknowledged post-match that following Scunthorpe's adjustment of shape after the restart his side's own tweaks to how they set up were 'wrong', but also lamented the manner in which the goals were conceded as well. It was a tough defeat to take in the circumstances and also given that Wanderers came into game following back-to-back wins with particularly strong defensive performances against Barnet and Notts County.
A friendly away to Farnham Town was organised for the first team this past Tuesday night, Wanderers were a goal down at the break but finishes from Adam Mekki, Ed Harris and Jude Salmon in the second half secured a 1-3 win. The purpose of the friendly was to give the likes of Ed Harris, Jimmy Muitt and new signing Seb Bowerman game-time as they return from injury, in addition to including some of the Wanderers 'B' team players within the first team squad, as goal scorer Salmon, Spike Stegall, Ben Aubrey and Trevor Caborn all featured on the night.
In his weekly update broadcast on Thursday evening Marc White confirmed that Luke Moore would miss out on a place in the matchday squad for the second week running as he recovers from injury, whilst Jack Jebb is also unlikely to be involved through sickness. After playing in Tuesday's friendly Ed Harris, Jimmy Muitt and Seb Bowerman will all be pushing for involvement on Saturday afternoon.
Opposition Focus To find out more about Saturday's opponents, take a read of our 'Opposition Focus' piece, reflecting on 'The Daggers' narrowly missing out on the play-offs last term, their key players and manager Daryl McMahon.
The Fan's View
with Keane Handley (@Keanehandley1)
For this week's 'The Fan's View' we speak to Keane Handley, who produces great written content for his own blog diggerdaggermatchday.com as well as for 'The Barking & Dagenham Post'.
Thank you for taking the time to speak to us. Dagenham & Redbridge missed out on the play-offs by a point last campaign finishing 8th, the best placed finish since reaching the play-offs back in 2016/17. Reflecting back on last season, where do you think the club came up just short? Yes, it is great to see improvements being made which are getting us closer to our aim of the play-offs but getting agonisingly close was a source of great frustration. It was a culmination of things really, but mainly an inability to find consistency in our performances - something which sets the best teams apart from the good teams. There were defensive issues, which you could argue we are still yet to iron out, but ultimately, it was the inconsistent performances and subsequent results that were our downfall. Manager Daryl McMahon has been with the club approaching three years - what do fans make of him and the job he has done so far? Daryl came in with high expectations and full-backing from the ownership so he is rightly heavily scrutinised, however there is an acknowledgement that things have improved under his leadership - only every other club has made big improvements too it seems. The task is only going to get more difficult as the quality of the teams and investment in the league increases, all the while expectations remain high. So, he is certainly not in an enviable position with the task at hand, especially as our form does not reflect our ambition. There are always divides in the fanbase, however we are all united in our expectation to see us break into the top 7, hopefully Daryl is the man that can get us there. But as you say he’s approaching three years and some are growing tired, patience is a rare thing these days in football. Where have the club looked to strengthen in the summer and of the new signings has anyone already caught the eye? There have been a few incomings that have looked to replace some outgoings and also bolster our chances of play-off football this season. The likes of Omar Mussa and David Longe-King have been brought in to strengthen the existing spine. However, our recruitment has continued into the season as it so often does with reinforcements at the back looking to lessen the impacts of injuries. It appears the new signings have followed the form of the team as a whole and are yet to make a big impact on results, though injuries have played their part. Hopefully, their impact is felt more consistently as the season goes on and they settle into the team. Who are the key players from last season we should keep an eye out for?
The main threat that provided our resurgence and an outside chance of the play-offs last campaign was Junior Morias. The attacker always has a goal in him and is one of those players who can get something out of nothing. Elsewhere, any player is capable of stealing the limelight on their day in this team, speaking to the quality that we possess. Only, it is so often down to who turns up on the day that decides if we can reach our full potential as a team. On paper it's been a mixed start to the season so far with 4 wins, 2 draws, 4 defeats - what do the fans make of it?
It’s been frustrating to say the least, the inconsistency that marred last campaign’s play-off pursuit appears to have returned. There have been performances that have been unacceptable by the manager’s own admission; signs of regression from last campaign. Then, you get the response that shows we can beat any team on our day, beating teams by the same margin by which we were defeated just a few days prior. The fans are all too wary that this inconsistency was our downfall last season and know things have to change if we are to make the play-offs this time round. One thing that is certain however, is a belief in this team and the quality and character it possesses, they just need to show it more often! We are looking forward to welcoming Dagenham & Redbridge fans to Meadowbank on October 1st. What was the most memorable away day for the club last season? There were a few in the league, like battering Southend and Barnet in their own backyards. But for me it is the last gasp FA Cup comeback, having played with ten men for nearly 90 minutes at Wealdstone. It wasn’t the best performance by any means, but when you win in that fashion it is always special. Hopefully the Daggers can continue their winning streak on Saturday and find some much-needed consistency, seeing us climb the table! Come On You Daggers!
Entry: Adults £16 / Concessions £13 / U18s £8 / U8s £4 FAMILY OFFER! A family of 4 (2 adults, 2 U12s) can watch the Wanderers against Dagenham & Redbridge for only £35!
Tickets: https://dorkingwanderersfc.ktckts.com/event/dor2223h06/dagenham-redbridge Location: Meadowbank Football Ground, Mill Lane, Dorking, RH4 1DX
Join us for a drink in the FanZone, open to supporters from 1pm!
Matchday Programme: £3 (physical copies only, available at ground) Not attending Saturday's match? Gary Pascoe will be providing matchday commentary via Mixlr, stay tuned to our social media channels for more information.
We will be providing action and score updates throughout the afternoon via Twitter (@DorkingWDRS)
VISITING FANS INFORMATION: Getting to Meadowbank, where to grab a pre-match drink beforehand and more...