Dorking continue pre-season preparations this weekend as recently promoted National League South side Farnborough are the visitors to Meadowbank on Saturday afternoon.
After kick-starting pre-season with a 0-5 win last weekend away at Roffey, Wanderers welcomed a sterner test in the form of League Two Sutton United to Meadowbank this past Tuesday evening. Wanderers had taken the lead early in the contest courtesy of a Jon Barden own goal, the defender directing an Alfie Rutherford low cross into his own net after being put under pressure by Ryan Seager in the six yard box. Within three minutes though, the visitors were level, striker Donovan Wilson capitalising on a mix-up at the back and going on to slide the ball into an unguarded net. Both sides made a number of changes for the second half, and it was The U's who went on to take victory, the lively Will Randall scoring the winner after going on a great solo run cutting in from the left wing and firing the ball emphatically into the bottom left corner. Marc White certainly took the positives from the game in his post-match interview, acknowledging the introduction of players who've not been involved in the limited pre-season training sessions so far like Bobby-Joe Taylor and James McShane, and praising a number of good individual performances and football played in spite of the result.
Marc White didn't confirm any new injury concerns in his weekly update broadcast earlier today. The manger did indicate again that two separate Wanderers sides are likely to contest each half, with extra consideration to be taken for the projected hot weather forecast. Niall McManus is likely to remain absent as he continues recovery from a tendonitis injury.
Away from the field, the fixtures for the upcoming National League campaign were released this past Wednesday. Wanderers will host Chesterfield on the opening day at Meadowbank, with the first away visit coming the following weekend at Oldham Athletic. It was confirmed early today that this game will be broadcast live on BT Sport.
Tickets are now on sale for Wanderers first ever home games in the National League Premier, secure yours now at:
Farnborough FC - Back In The National League South
Like Wanderers, Farnborough also begin pre-season preparations following a dramatic promotion-winning campaign.
Competing in the Southern Premier Division South (Step 3), Spencer Day's side were in the thick of the promotion race right throughout the campaign, ultimately finishing in third spot behind champions Taunton Town and runners-up Hayes & Yeading. Entering the play-off's, Farnborough welcomed fourth-placed Met Police to Cherrywood Road in the semi-final. Despite the visitors taking the lead in the 85th minute through Herson Alves, CJ Fearn equalised in the last minute to force extra-time. Striker Mitchell Parker put the hosts ahead in the 96th minute and his side held out, setting up a play-off final with Hayes & Yeading at the Skyex Community Stadium. Again, 'Boro went behind as Moses Emmanuel gave Hayes the lead early on, but Parker again came good, equalising on the stroke of half-time. With the prospect of another extra-time period looming, midfielder Sam Deering managed to score in the 86th minute, breaking Hayes hearts and sending Farnborough back to the National League South for the first time since relegation in the 2014/15 season.
Manager Spencer Day has managed to retain the majority of his key player's involved in getting the club promoted last term, the likes of reliable defender CJ Fearn, influential and experienced midfielder Sam Deering, plus Step 3 team of the year attacking midfielder Paul Hodges. Former Woking and Slough Town man Hodges was also the club's top scorer in all competitions last year with 18 goals.
In terms of new signing's, the club have recruited Liam Ferdinand from Met Police, the striker arriving in Hampshire after netting 22 goals in the Southern Premier Division South last year. Lively full back Freddie Grant re-joins the club after spells in the National League South with Bath City and Slough Town, and midfielder Omar Rowe, who impressed against Wanderers in the FA Cup last term, has signed from Hayes & Yeading. 'Boro have just in the past week added substantial National League experience in the form of central midfielder Kenny Davis, who has recently left Sutton United after a five year spell.
So far in pre-season Farnborough have been banging in goals for fun. They began last weekend by racking up a hugely emphatic win over Cove FC at home, 9-0, before defeating Badshot Lea 0-7 away in midweek.
A side very much in the ascendancy at the moment, the visitors from Hampshire will pose another strong test for Marc White's men this Saturday, in what should be another intriguing contest as the team's meet each other for the very first time.
Location: Meadowbank Football Ground, Mill Lane, Dorking, RH4 1DX
Entry: Adults £8 / Concessions £6 / U18s £4
Matchday Programme: Available Free Digitally