The Return Of The Trophy
Dorking return to weekend action for the first time in a fortnight as they enter the second round stage of the FA Trophy with a visit to Worthing FC on Saturday.
After being the designated ‘odd one out’ for last weekend’s set of National League South matchday fixtures, Wanderers returned to action after a ten day lay off this past Tuesday with a 3-2 victory over Horley Town in the Surrey Senior Cup first round. A Callum Kealy brace inside the opening ten minutes was pegged back by the spirited visitors just past the hour mark, but Dan Gallagher proved to be the match winner midway through the second half to send Wanderers into the next round, likely to be played in the new year.
For manager Marc White the evening also presented the opportunity to welcome back captain Barry Fuller and Jason Prior into the starting eleven after the duo had been absent through injury over recent weeks, and also get valuable minutes to Kane Wills, James McShane and Nicky Wheeler as they continue working back to full fitness. With several first team absences, reserve players David Ray, Ben Dyson and Conan Torpey also featured as the work in progress continues in getting the squad back to full availability, Marc White re-iterating the hope to get through Saturday's game 'unscathed' ahead of another full week of recovery and training.
This past Monday the club announced the signing of midfielder Darren Oldaker, unfortunately Wanderers fans will have to wait at least another week for the former Gillingham, Billericay and Welling man to make his debut as he is cup-tied for Saturday’s game.
Having already faced opposition competing at the top end of Step 3 in the cup this season, Wanderers will face another in the form of Worthing, who currently sit top of the Isthmian Premier Division. Adam Hinshelwood's side had been on an unbeaten league run since the beginning of September, curtailed just last time out with a 1-2 defeat away at Cheshunt who currently sit in third place. Sat two points clear at the top, 'The Rebels' will be hoping to continue their fine form and complete the unfinished business left over from the 2019-20 season, where they were sat at the summit before Covid-19 brought the campaign to an early close.
The second highest scorers in their divison, goals have been well spread across the side, but striker Oliver Pearce is the top scorer with 15 in all competitions. Defender Will Seager may be familar to Wanderers fans having made over 100 appeareances down the road at Leatherhead prior to joining 'The Rebels' in May of this year. Fellow defensive team mate Aarran Racine and midfielder Dean Cox boast vast experience of the national and football league respectively, whilst among the goals with Pearce are fowards Reece Myles-Meekums, a graduate of the Brighton academy, and Mo Diallo, a product of the Arsenal and Stoke youth set-ups.
Worthing defeated Chertsey Town away in the final qualifying round of the Trophy with a 0-2 win, before impressively overcoming Wanderers FA Cup conquerors Hayes & Yeading 0-3 on the road in the first round proper.
Wanderers last faced Worthing in the title-winning 2018-19 season of the Isthmian Premier Division. In the game contested at Woodside Road in January 2019, Wanderers ran out 1-4 winners. At half-time the scores were level at 1-1, Giuseppe Sole opening the scoring before current Wanderer Callum Kealy equalised, but goals in the second half from Lewis Taylor, Niall McManus and Reece Hall secured the win. In the return fixture at Meadowbank in April, Wanderers again ran out winners, this time 3-0, the goals courtesy of Jason Prior, Luke Moore and Lewis Taylor.