Mousehole AFC vs Dorking Wanderers
July 15th 2023
Dorking will continue pre-season preparations this weekend with a trip to Penzance to face Mousehole AFC, the destination of choice for this year's annual summer fixture further afield.
The journey down to the most south-westerly part of the country will serve as Wanderers first away fixture of their 23/24 pre-season schedule, and Marc White will no doubt be looking for his side to build and improve upon the back-to-back home results of the past week against Walton & Hersham and Leatherhead.
A competitive 2-2 draw against the newly promoted Swans last Saturday afternoon was followed up by the highest-scoring Advertiser Trophy match to date this past Tuesday evening at Meadowbank, Wanderers running out 5-4 winners in a thrilling encounter under the lights to re-gain the Trophy from their Mole Valley Rivals after defeat at Fetcham Grove last year.
First half goals from Jack Jebb and Joe Cook plus a Ryan Seager brace had put Wanderers well in command at the break with a 4-1 lead, Dan Hector pulling a goal back for The Tanners just moments before Seager bagged his second and Wanderers fourth. Jason Prior added a fifth with his first touch shortly after coming on as a sub at half-time, but a well taken finish from Brian Garzon proceeded a couple of nightmare moments for young Wanderers keeper Callum Backhurst which enabled The Tanners to further reduce the deficit, Trevan Robinson punishing the consecutive errors to score twice and set up a grandstand finish, but Wanderers ultimately held on to record their first win of pre-season and claim the 'El Clasimole' bragging rights until next year.
After missing out last weekend due to personal commitments, Luke Moore and Matt Briggs both returned to the matchday squad for Tuesday night's fixture, a night where alongside Callum Backhurst, Jack Saunders made his first appearance for the senior side after being awarded a first team squad number earlier in the summer. Fellow academy midfielder Matt Hay and B team midfielder Spike Steggall again featured in the second half as they had done against Walton & Hersham.
In his weekly update broadcast on Friday afternoon, Marc White confirmed that Josh Taylor will be included in the matchday squad for the first time this pre-season after recovering from a hip injury sustained towards the end of last term. Expectation is that Niall McManus (achillies) and James McShane (calf) will return to action in the next week to ten days, Jimmy Muitt (stomach) will remain side-lined for a bit longer.
Opposition Focus: The Seagulls
Mousehole AFC will compete in Step 4 of non-league for the first time in their history in 23/24 after winning the Western League Premier Divison last term, and in the process becoming just the second Cornish side to reach that level in the football pyramid following Truro City. Only promoted to Step 5 in 2021/22, Mousehole finished third in their first season competing at that level before going on to win the league championship the following season, the achievement made even more special by the fact it's taken place in the club's centenary year.
Manager Jake Ash has been at the helm through Mousehole's recent rise after being appointed as manager in 2019. As a player, Ash was a versatile defender who played for and became captain of the Truro City side which achieved remarkable success winning five promotions in six years between 2005 and 2011, as well as winning the FA Vase in 2007.
Taking their place in the Southern League Division One South for the very first time this upcoming season, Mousehole have looked to strengthen their squad in recent weeks, with defender Josh Storey and forward Tim Nixon both re-joining the club, in addition to 18 year old defender Morgan Lewis signing following his recent release from Cardiff City, and fresh off the presses, versatile wing-back Ryan Barrett becoming the club's latest signing in the last couple of days, leaving Newcastle United after spending a decade rising through the youth ranks and featuring in The Magpies U23s side.
Like Wanderers, Saturday's pre-season fixture will be Mousehole's third match of the summer. The Seagulls got off to a winning start by defeating local side Hayle FC 0-3, last season's top scorer Hayden Turner opening the scoring before midfielder Jude Boyd and striker Mark Goldsworthy added further goals in the second half to round out the win. Back on home soil this past Tuesday night, League One side Exeter City were the visitors and came away with a comprehensive win in front of a bumper crowd of over 600 at Trungle Parc.
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Visiting Fans Information
See below for a guide on how to get to Trungle Parc, where to eat and drink, and how to make a weekend of your visit..