Wanderers Back At Meadowbank To Face The Magpies
Dorking return to league action this weekend and welcome another established side to Meadowbank in the early stages of the season, the oldest professional club in the country in fact, as Notts County make the journey down from the East Midlands.
Following a run of three straight defeats, Wanderers got back to winning ways this past Tuesday night and earned a first clean sheet of the campaign with a 0-1 win over Barnet at The Hive. Backed once again by excellent support on the road, Wanderers weathered an early spell of pressure from the hosts before getting a foothold of possession and turning in a resilient and spirited display; Bobby-Joe Taylor scoring the match winning goal just past the half-hour mark on a night where Dan Lincoln and Harry Ottaway contributed much to the cause in their first appearances and starts of the season. Alfie Egan came on to make his Wanderers debut from the bench with just under half an hour to go, also impressing on an evening of top performances.
Marc White was without a number of personnel for the trip up to London and is likely to be without most of the same player's on Saturday, with Ed Harris, Jimmy Muitt and Josh Taylor all doubtful as they recover from injury. Isaac Philpot did play on Tuesday after recovering from a back problem, but defensive colleague Barry Fuller came off during the second half and the skipper may also be a doubt for the weekend.
Fresh off the presses, it was confirmed earlier today that Wanderers away fixture with Halifax Town, postponed last weekend due to the passing of Her Majesty The Queen, has now been re-arranged for Tuesday November 1st, scheduled for a 19:45 kick off.
To find out more about Saturday's opponents, take a read of our 'Opposition Focus' piece, reflecting on 'The Magpies' narrowly missing out on promotion last term, their key players and new recruits.
The Fan's View
with Colin Sisson (@colin_sisson)
This week's 'Fan's View' come's from Colin Sisson, a brilliant writer and analyst for Notts County Stats (@notts_stats), the Notts County Fanzine 'Gerrit Forward' (@GerritForward) and all things National League on Analysts Bar (@AnalystsBar).
Thank you for taking the time to speak to us. This is Notts County's 4th season in the National League after relegation from the football league back in 2018/19. The three previous season's have seen the club get into the play-off's each year but not get over the promotion line. Reflecting back on last season, where do you think the club came up short?
Notts have worked tirelessly since relegation to establish and maintain a style of football that now feels truly embedded. Both Notts supporters and opposition fans now know what to expect from our side - a refreshing change from what felt like violent lurches in approach during our final few seasons as a Football League side. That said, it hasn't been a smooth process! Last season, the approach felt one-dimensional at times. We looked susceptible when we lost possession and teams seemed to pinpoint this with often brutal consequences. The playoff eliminator against Grimsby was probably the most obvious example of this. Fans hoped that, with the unexpected departure of Ian Burchnall, we'd see some of these issues addressed and the early signs are promising.
Where have the club looked to strengthen in the summer and of the new signing's has anyone already caught the eye?
Notts make no secret of their desire to identify talent that they can develop and progress, with Cal Roberts' move to Aberdeen the most recent example of this. Notts have maintained this approach by recruiting Langstaff, Scott, Austin and Bajrami after their standout performances in the National League North last season. Their transition has been seamless so far, and all four have added to the overall quality of the squad but also offer the exciting possibility that they will get better, too...
It's hard not to be impressed by Macaulay Langstaff. Strikers often struggle under the spotlight at Meadow Lane and he arrived with much to live up to as both National League North top scorer with 32 league goals and Player of the Season last season. Yet with ten goals in eight National League games already, with an average of a goal every 64 minutes, he has certainly maintained those impressive standards. It will be interesting to see how he copes with the increasing awareness of his undoubted ability as teams try to stem his frightening start to this campaign.
Who are the key players from last season we should keep an eye out for?
Most of us are still pinching ourselves with delight that Ruben Rodrigues remains a Notts player after being such a dominant force for several seasons now. He's a delight to watch but also has the tactical and technical ability to be a threat from a number of different roles. Matt Palmer also deserves a mention. Last season's Supporters' Player of the Season and and Players' Player of the Season has continued where he left off as the consistently-available and reliable distributor in midfield, making Notts' determination to dominate possession a reality.
What do fans make of new manager Luke Williams and the club's start to the season so far?
Williams deserves an awful lot of credit for his management of both on and off-field issues. He has seemingly addressed the weaknesses from last season, ensuring that Notts are more aggressive in their press and aiming to win the ball early in the opponents' half. There has also been a deliberate effort to understand the fans and their viewpoints, appearing on both Notts County Talk and The Magpie Circle podcasts as a way to share his vision, but also to understand the unique challenge of managing Notts and the expectations that go with it.
We are looking forward to welcoming Notts County fans to Meadowbank on September 17th. What was the most memorable away day for the club last season?
Away form was a particular sticking point in last season's campaign, but it all started so well on opening day vs Barnet, with Rodrigues scoring twice in a performance that promised an exciting season ahead. Looking back, it is probably also a timely reminder of how perilous life in the National League can be and not to get too carried away with early season form. Is there anything else you would like to add? Like many fans of National League, it was gutting to read about Alfie Rutherford's injury. Despite the natural sense of competition between clubs at this level, it is never nice to see a player of such quality get a serious injury and I wish him well on his road to recovery.
KEY INFO Entry: Adults £16 / Concessions £13 / U18s £8 / U8s £4
FAMILY OFFER! A family of 4 (2 adults, 2 U12s) can watch the Wanderers against Notts County for only £35.
https://dorkingwanderersfc.ktckts.com/event/dor2223h05/notts-county Location: Meadowbank Football Ground, Mill Lane, Dorking, RH4 1DX Kick-Off: 15:00 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... https://www.dorkingwanderers.com/visiting-supporters