Solihull Moors vs Dorking Wanderers Vanarama National League Saturday 19th August 3pm KO Dorking will head up to the Midlands this weekend for their second away fixture of the season, travelling to The Armco Arena to face Solihull Moors on Saturday afternoon.
Following back-to-back defeats and contrasting performances against Chesterfield and Maidenhead United, Wanderers picked up their first win of the campaign this past Tuesday night at Meadowbank, defeating Southend United 2-1. An action-packed affair under the lights saw Wanderers come from one goal behind, Ryan Seager and Jason Prior leading from the front and ultimately facilitating the comeback with a goal each.
Seager and Prior’s goals were the first that Southend had conceded in the National League this campaign as Kevin Maher’s side enjoyed a strong start, beating Oldham Athletic and Dagenham & Redbridge, netting six times along the way. They didn’t waste any time continuing their fine scoring form on Tuesday; Harry Cardwell finishing off an impressive counter attack just three minutes into the affair. Following the goal, Southend enjoyed a promising opening half an hour, and could have found themselves more than one goal up. Dean Milton admitted post-match that Wanderers suffered a “slow start” suggesting the direct approach in the first half an hour was to their detriment, “once we stopped going direct and got the ball down and played, we were good value for the win”. Incidentally, it was just beyond the half hour mark where Dorking found themselves level, Seager instinctively pouncing on a stray back pass from Noor Hussin and assertively finished first time to get Wanderers on level terms. Seager’s partner up front, Prior, found the winner with ten minutes to play, rising highest at the back post to nod home Tony Craig’s header back across goal from Aaron Kuhl’s free kick. Prior’s winner was his third goal in as many games to kick-off his campaign, Milton spoke highly of Prior and Seager post-match, saying the front men “ran their legs off” as they both look to build on impressive early season form. Team News Matt Briggs was forced off in the latter stages of Tuesday's game with an injury, Marc White confirming in his weekly update on Friday that the winger would be out for four to five weeks with a hamstring problem. The Wanderers manager also provided updates on the other injuries currently hampering the squad; with Jimmy Muitt (stomach concern) set to be out for a further four weeks, George Francomb (groin) facing another two weeks on the side lines and Isaac Philpot (hamstring) also ruled out for a further four weeks. Callum Kennedy is back in training but unavailable for selection this weekend, whilst Luke Moore is likely to return to matchday squad having been absent since the pre-season friendly with Horsham.
Opposition Focus: The Moors This season marks Solihull Moors’ eighth in the National League, they finished just a point above Wanderers in 15th position last season, following a winless run of eight games at the end of the campaign. Their performance last season was a significant drop off to the season before (21/22), where they finished third, giving them a chance of promotion via the playoffs. They beat Chesterfield 3-1 in the semi-finals before agonisingly being beaten 2-1 after extra time by Grimsby Town in the final. Following Neil Ardley’s departure on 25th June, 38-old Andy Whing, previously manager of Banbury United, has taken charge and they have recruited eleven new players over the summer. The most notable of all is the highly experienced Richard Stearman. The defender, who spent last season at Derby County, has accumulated 77 Premier League appearance and 450 football league appearances across a remarkable career, bringing a wealth of experience to The Moors dressing room. Along with experience, there has been a clear emphasis on youth recruitment at The Armco Arena, with full back Joe Newton arriving from Havant and Waterlooville, as well as Jay Benn, who has joined from Lincoln City on a season long loan. Whing will be pleased with his new-look Solihull sides start to the season, they remain unbeaten with seven points from a possible nine. They opened the campaign with a 1-1 draw to Eastleigh, before picking up impressive two wins on the road to Ebbsfleet United and Boreham Wood.
Last Time We Met The two sides met at The Armco Arena just a week shy of exactly one year ago, The Moors running out 3-0 winners courtesy of goals from Joe Sbarra, then-skipper Callum Howe and a late free kick from Josh Kelly. After going a goal down Wanderers task to get back in the game was made harder following the dismissal of Isaac Philpot, the defender given a straight red card for bringing down Andrew Dallas as he was closing in on goal, the card downgraded to a yellow card the next day though after acknowledgement Philpot was not the last man.
Words: Dom Bleakley
Tickets for Saturday's game are available online, priced at Adults £18, Cons £12, U18 £7.50 & U12 Free.
Seats are still available on the Wanderers supporters coach, priced at £25 return! Leaving Dorking High Street at 10:30am:
Visiting Supporters Guide: