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Another Milestone Match In The Trophy

Dorking return to FA Trophy action this weekend, taking on Southend United in the third round.

Following on from last weekend's win at home to Welling, Wanderers hit the road this past Tuesday night to take on newly crowned league leader's Oxford City at Marsh Lane. The evening turned into one of the more memorable away days in recent times as Wanderers produced an excellent performance to come away with a 4-2 win. Alfie Rutherford's top form in front of goal showed no sign of let up as the striker bagged his first hat-trick in a red and white shirt, and James McShane also got his name on the score sheet with a superb strike from outside the box, another goal of the season contender this week after Niall McManus effort against Welling. In addition to taking maximum points, Marc White will have also been pleased to have come through the encounter with no fresh injury concerns as the squad continues to gradually build back up fitness levels and availability.

Wanderers will carry the momentum of back to back league wins into Saturday's cup fixture, set to be another landmark occaision for the club in a competition that's already provided a few in recent seasons. Fans will fondly remember the victories against Bromley at home and Stockport County away in the season before last, plus the win over Barnet at Meadowbank last term. Can Wanderers collect another National League Premier scalp this weekend? Marc White confirmed that Jimmy Muitt is likely to return to the matchday squad for the game after making good progress overcoming injury. The manager also confirmed that defenders Ed Harris and Sami El-Abd will remain absent, and Darren Oldaker won't feature this weekend as he is cup tied.

Alfie Rutherford's brace on a very windy day in Worthing enabled Dorking's passage out of the second round in front of good travelling support, and the team will be well backed once again on Saturday as Wanderers look to make further progress, and hopefully create another day that will live long in the memory.

The Shrimpers

After a number of years of financial difficulty, Southend United's 101-year stay in the football league came to an end last term as they faced relegation for the second consecutive season. Former Premier League manager Phil Brown returned to the Essex side where he had enjoyed success between 2013-2018 last year to try and turn fortunes around, but it was not to be, and after a disappointing start to their first season back in non-league football, Brown was relieved of his duties in early October. Former long serving player and U23s manager Kevin Maher has since taken the reigns at Roots Hall, but the club are continuing to battle at the lower end of the table, currently sat 17th having won just one in the last five games, suffering a 4-1 defeat at Notts County last time out. After the recent appointments of former Premier League striker Stan Collymore as Senior Football Strategist and veteran manager John Still as Head Of Football, the club are clearly looking to reset the structure in the hope of achieving a better second half of the campaign and beyond.

A more youthful side on balance with a number of academy prospects in the squad for this term, 'The Shrimpers' still carry much experience, including the loyal trio of defender Jason Demitriou and midfielder's Will Atkinson and John White (captain), who have featured for the club across the last several campaigns. The loan market had been used in the close season to bring in young Sheffield United duo Zak Brunt and Kacper Lopata, the latter unfortunately forced to return to Yorkshire in the past week after picking up an injury. One permanent arrival in the summer was striker Rhys Murphy, who after prolific recent spells at Chesterfield and Yeovil has been the main man again so far this season with 8 goals in all competitions. Having lost out to Murphy's former side Chesterfield at the FA Cup 4th Qualifying stage, 'The Shrimpers' will certainly be looking to make more of a mark in their first ever appearance in the Trophy this weekend.

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