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Pre-Season Continues Back At Meadowbank

Dorking continue pre-season preparations this Tuesday evening as Sutton United are the visitors to Meadowbank.

Marc White's side began their pre-season schedule with a local trip to Roffey FC this past Saturday. The trip to Sussex was a positive afternoon, Wanderers going on to win 0-5 with virtually the whole first team squad getting game time. Debuts were given to new signings Jack Jebb, Adam Mekki, Ryan Seager and Joe Rabbetts, with Jebb and Rabbetts getting on the scoresheet alongside Jordan Cheadle, Jimmy Muitt and Harry Ottaway. Recent Wanderers 'B' side addition, midfielder Spike Stegall, was also part of the matchday squad and played the whole of the second half.

It was confirmed after the game that Niall McManus was absent from Saturday's squad due to continuing recovery from an achilles injury. James McShane, Nicky Wheeler and Bobby-Joe Taylor were also absent due to family commitments, but will link up again with the squad for Tuesday's game, Marc White indicating this will be more for fitness and preperation with game time unlikely until later in pre-season. The manager confirmed there were no new injury concerns following Saturday's game.

Sutton United - U's Look To Continue Recent Success

Two year's ago, Dorking faced Sutton United at Meadowbank in the final game of pre-season ahead of the 2020/21 campaign. The visitors took the lead just before the half-hour courtesy of a well-placed effort from midfielder Will Randall. Wanderers managed to equalise early in the second half, Wes Fogden getting the goal back, and that's how the game finished, 1-1. It was noted in the Wanderers preview ahead of that game that Sutton would look to 'kick on' in the forthcoming campaign under new manager Matt Gray after falling away from the top half of the National League Premier table in the 2019/20 season, finishing 15th. This was the club's lowest finish since promotion as champions of the National League South in 2015/16.

Well, it's been some journey for The U's and their supporters in the last two seasons. The 2020/21 campaign was difficult for all non-league side's with the impact of Covid-19, but the National League Premier continued to a finish despite a mid-season break. Sutton remained consistent throughout and went on to win the division, taking top spot by four points and earning a place in the Football League for the first time in their history.

With largely the same set of players, Matt Gray's side went on to have a brilliant first year in League Two. They took the race for promotion right to the final day of the season, unfortunately just missing out on a play-off place by a single point, finishing the campaign in 8th.

In their inaugural campaign in the EFL Trophy competition, they made it all the way to the final. Defeating Portsmouth away in the group stages and high-flying Wigan Athletic in the semi-final's, they came up just short against Rotherham United in the final after a valiant display. Leading 2-1, the Yorkshire side equalised late in stoppage time, and went on to win 4-2 in extra-time.

In the close season Matt Gray has had to content with departures of a few key players, with highly-rated winger David Ajiboye moving to Peterborough United, goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis joining Reading and striker Richie Bennett moving up north to join Barrow. Left back Ben Wyatt has also become a free agent following the expiration of his contract.

Over the last week new additions have been brought in, the first of those being experienced football league left-back Sam Hart following his release from Oldham Athletic. Goalkeeper Jack Rose has joined after leaving Walsall and forward Kwame Thomas, who had a brief loan with the club a few season's back, has come in following his release from Wrexham.

Traditionally Wanderers have tested themselves against higher level opposition towards the end of pre-season campaign's, so tomorrow's earlier test should be an intriguing and exciting contest as first team football make's it's return to Meadowbank.

Dan Stobbart

Key Info

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

Kick-Off: 7:45pm

Entry: Adults £8 / Concessions £6 / U18s £4

Matchday Programme: Available Free Digitally


View all 3 home pre-season games for just £20

(Sutton United/Farnborough/Horsham):


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