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Dorking Wanderers vs Leatherhead

The Advertiser Trophy

July 11th 2023

7:45pm KO

Pre-season preparations continue for Dorking this Tuesday evening as Mole Valley rivals Leatherhead make the short trip over to Meadowbank for the annual Advertiser Trophy match.

Landing earlier in the summer schedule by comparison to previous years, the 2023 edition of the Advertiser Trophy will serve as The Tanners opening fixture of their pre-season run, and it will be the first time the match has been played under the midweek lights since it's re-launch in 2019.

Wanderers returned to action this past Saturday afternoon, contesting a 2-2 draw with newly promoted Walton & Hersham at Meadowbank. Ryan Seager's opening goal just inside the first quarter of an hour was cancelled out by Stefan Illic's close range finish just before half-time, George Francomb restoring Wanderers lead shortly after the restart but The Swans again managed to find a leveller late in the half, Shkyler Burrowes finishing a rebound after a good initial save from Slav Huk. Post-match Marc White acknowledged that a lack of available central midfielders had a knock-on effect on selection and balancing minutes across his squad, contributing to a more disjointed performance than ideal against confident, well-coached opposition who, like Wanderers, commit to playing possession based football.

Summer signings Harrison Male and Jaevon Dyer both made their Wanderers debuts on Saturday afternoon, and in the second half B team and Academy midfielder's Spike Steggall and Matt Hay also got minutes, Hay making his first senior appearance for the club after finishing top scorer for the leading Academy U19 side last term.

Team News

Niall McManus (achillies) and Josh Taylor (hip) will remain unavailable for selection as they continue working their way back to fitness after recovering from injuries sustained at the back end of last season. James McShane (calf) and Jimmy Muitt (stomach) are also ruled out having picked up injuries on return to training, whilst Bobby-Joe Taylor may be a doubt for Tuesday night's game after taking a knock during the second half against Walton & Hersham.

Marc White confirmed Luke Moore and Matt Briggs will both likely feature against Leatherhead after missing out due to personnel commitments over the weekend.

Opposition Focus: The Tanners

Words: Zac Welshman

It was a season of gradual improvement for Leatherhead in 22/23, with four points from their first five games leaving The Tanners precariously close to the bottom of the table, and the threat of successive relegation's beginning to loom. But a run of confidence-boosting draws stopped the rot and after Luke Tuffs’ resignation in early October, ex-Merstham boss Hayden Bird took over and secured a first league win in five games away to his former club on October 22nd. Spotty patches of form followed, but Bird’s side began to pull away from the drop zone in the new year after a thrilling 4-3 win against Sutton Common Rovers and with safety beginning to look likely, consistency became the key focus. Finishing the season with an eight-game unbeaten run that began with a 3-1 victory away to Chipstead on March 11th and ended with a 2-2 draw at home to Binfield on the final day, Leatherhead concluded the season just six points off the play-off places. With a full pre-season to work with this year, Bird’s side will be one of the favourites for promotion from Step 4 next term.

Wasting no time in the close season, The Tanners have snapped up two midfielders with experience of working under Bird previously in former England-youth international and penalty expert Gus Sow, alongside the experienced Fabio Saravia, who last season featured for Chatham Town. The pair will be looking to aid Dave Tarpay’s goalscoring exploits as the club captain finished the most recent season at the top of both the club’s appearance and goal-scoring charts, netting 20 times across 40 games after signing from Bracknell Town last summer. As well as retaining the likes of defender Louis Collins and Paul Chalobah, plus signing Aldershot Town midfielder Bradley Manning on a permanent deal following his loan spell at Fetcham Grove last term, The Tanners have also recruited former Southampton defender Ollie Cook and Sutton Common Rovers captain of last term Tyler Cox to their squad ahead of 23/24.

Last Time We Met...

Leatherhead 3-2 Dorking Wanderers

July 23rd 2022

The Tanners produced a brilliant comeback win last summer to win the Advertiser Trophy for the first time since it's re-launch in 2019.

Ryan Seager showed great agility to volley Wanderers into the lead on 12 minutes, Bobby-Joe Taylor doubling the advantage not long after by jamming a fierce strike between the keeper and his near post. Dave Tarpey had spurned a couple of chances for the hosts despite Wanderers dominance throughout the first half, and the striker did reduce the deficit just past the half hour, angling a header impressively beyond the reach of Slav Huk after meeting a cross from the left. Shortly after the restart, Tarpey nodded home player/coach Jermaine McGlashlan’s delivery to level the scores, and from there on Luke Tuffs side took control of the game, finding a late winner through Will Heatherstone, the player named as a trialist on the day guiding a composed finished beyond Huk after good hold up play from Tarpey in the build up.

Matchday Info


Available online or at the turnstiles from 6pm, tickets for The Advertiser Trophy are priced at Adults £6, Cons £4 & U18s £2.

Save time on the gate by purchasing online!

Pre-Season Programme

Our digital matchday programme for all pre-season home games is available to read now, please click the link below to view:

The FanZone Is Back!

The FanZone will be open from 6pm on Tuesday, with both sets of supporters welcome to soak up the atmosphere and join us for drinks and food before kick off.

Match Updates

Can't get to Meadowbank on Tuesday night? We will be providing action and score updates throughout the evening via Twitter (@DorkingWDRS)

Visiting Fans Information

Getting to Meadowbank, where to grab a pre-match drink beforehand and more...


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