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Additional Friendly Set For Tuesday Night

Dorking continue pre-season preparations this Tuesday evening by welcoming Hanwell Town to Meadowbank for a 7:45 kick off.

Following defeat to Sutton United a week ago, Farnborough FC were next up for Wanderers in pre-season, making the short trip across from Hampshire this past Saturday afternoon. In piping-hot conditions, an eventful match concluded with Wanderers securing a 5 - 2 win. Ryan Seager netted his first goal for the club, on an afternoon where strike partner Alfie Rutherford got off the mark for pre-season with a brace, and superb individual goals were scored by Josh Taylor after a mazy solo run and Jordan Cheadle with another free kick special following his effort against Roffey FC. Hisham Kasimu and Michael Fernandes got on the scoresheet for Farnborough, who could have reduced the goal difference further had they converted from the penalty spot - missing two kicks in the end as Mitchell Parker's effort was saved by Slav Huk and Paul Hodges blazed over.

In his post match interview Marc White said he was very pleased with the first half display but frustrated by the drop-off in the second half as loss of shape and sloppiness ebbed into the performance. The manager hinted about adding an extra friendly to the schedule to continue bringing along fitness, and Tuesday's game provides a swift opportunity to do just that.

Hanwell Town - Interview with Gareth Chendlik

Despite being a last-minute addition to the pre-season schedule, the visit of Hanwell Town continues the trend of Wanderers facing summer opposition who, like themselves, enjoyed a highly successful campaign last term. Roffey, Sutton and Farnborough all tasted promotion and/or record breaking finishes in the season just gone, and Tuesday night's visitors Hanwell Town managed to achieve both in the 2021/22 campaign. Finishing 4th in the Isthmian South Central Division (Step 4), a 1-3 away win at Bedfont Sports in the play-off semi set up a final away at league runner's up, Chertsey Town. A highly dramatic match finished with a 2-3 win to Hanwell after extra-time, securing a place at Step 3 level for the first time in the club's history as they enter the Southern League Premier South next year.

We spoke to former Wanderers and current Hanwell striker Gareth Chendlik about his time and success at both clubs:

Thank you Gareth for taking the time to speak to us. You joined Wanderers in 2016 - where had you played your football before joining the club?

​"My pleasure! I signed for Dorking Wanderers from Walton & Hersham, and had previously played for Tooting & Mitcham United and Hemel Hempstead Town." How did the move to Wanderers come about?

"I got a call out of the blue from Gary Pascoe, who was Assistant Manager at the time! After speaking to himself and Marc about the plans for the club it was a no brainer for me." It was quite the dramatic first season, getting promoted to the Isthmian Premier (Step 3) from the Ryman South Division One (Step 4) via the play-offs! What are your memories of that season?

​"The dramatic win in the playoffs almost shadows the incredible title race that season! We ended the season on 105 points, tied with Tooting & Mitcham, and lost out on goal difference! We actually played Tooting on the final day of the season and had we beaten them by 5 goals, we'd have won the title! Saying that, there is no better way of getting promoted than through the playoffs, and keeper Slav Huk's heroics saw us into the Isthmian Prem!"

The following season was Wanderers first at Step 3 in the Isthmian Prem and you infamously scored the last ever goal at Westhumble! Were there any other favourite goals or fond memories from that campaign?

​"I think the first season in the Isthmian Prem was always going to be about consolidation, and we achieved that comfortably! The final game at Westhumble will certainly live long in the memory, along with scoring a last-minute winner away at Brightlingsea Regent, and a convincing 4-0 win against local rivals Merstham! I think that season we went further than ever before in the FA Cup as well at the time, so it was definitely a season of unchartered waters!"

You signed for Hanwell Town in 2018 after leaving Wanderers - how did the switch to London come about?

"I actually live in Ealing so very close to Hanwell. ​I remember speaking to Marc in the summer of 2018, about the impending arrival of Jason Prior! I knew that my playing time would be numbered and Chris Moore had told me he had just got the Hanwell Town job, and being 5 minutes down the road from me, would I be interested? I felt like it was the right time for me to move on, but I feel honoured to have played a small part in Dorking Wanderers' journey through the leagues!" You were the club's top scorer with 17 goals in the 19/20 season and have recently marked 100 apps for the club, but it's not been an easy few years with the Covid disruption and you had the misfortune of rupturing your Achillies Tendon in May '21. How have the up's and down's of those years been for you personally?

​"The COVID disruption hit us hard in 19/20 as we were joint top with just 8 games to go! We felt to Null & Void the season when over 3/4 of matches had already played was very unfair! However we got to make up for it a couple of years later... Rupturing my Achilles Tendon was really tough, especially as we had had such a disrupted year of COVID restrictions with limited football being played. I was told I wouldn't play football for 12 months and that I would miss the whole season. To make it back early and play a part in the climax to the campaign was really special!" Many congratulations on the success with Hanwell Town getting promoted to Step 3 last season. The play-off final win over Chertsey Town was dramatic to say the least! What was it like to come back from the injury and then be part of that?​

"Thank you! As I mentioned earlier, it felt like the culmination of the previous 3 or 4 years and to do it the way we did it, was amazing! I don't think I had ever seen such a dramatic end to a football match (maybe until the Wanderers v Ebbsfleet final a few weeks later!!). I worked really hard to come back from my injury early and managed to start the final 8 league games, as well as both playoff matches, which made it even more special! We're looking forward to testing ourselves in the Southern Premier League next season, in the clubs first foray into step 3!"

Key Info

Location: Meadowbank Football Ground, Mill Lane, Dorking, RH4 1DX

Kick-Off: 7:45pm

Entry: Adults £5 / Concessions £3 / U18s £1 / U8s Free

Tickets: Not available online, pay on the gate


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