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Tuesday 14th December 2021

National League South

Our last visit to Marsh Lane was in February 2020, just before we entered the first lockdown. Tonight’s visit finds a home team sitting top of the National League South, in what is shaping up to be a very exciting season. Wanderers gave another goalkeeper his debut with the first appearance between the sticks for Dan Lincoln who has recently joined the club. Dan Gallagher starts as centre back in place of the injured Ed Harris, with another new recruit Jordan Cheadle at the back along with captain Barry Fuller. Niall McManus started the game in fine form, showing his pace down the left side and creating some early opportunities.

There was early controversy when James McShane was floored and had Marc’s blood pressure rising. The opening 10 minutes showed some slick passing football from both sides, but Oxford never really created any openings. Cheadle was looking imposing and his long throw into the penalty area was headed on and following a blocked effort from McShane, Alfie Rutherford calmly slots home after 15 minutes. Asare crudely tripped McManus and the resulting free kick taken by Cheadle was met by the head of Dan Gallagher. The ball fell to the red boot of James McShane who fired home a sweet finish, 20 minutes gone and Wanderers looked like it was going to be their night. However, a rare foray into the Dorking area led to a foul by Gallagher which was converted from the spot on the half hour mark by Iaciofano. This sparked some life into Oxford and woke their fans up.

Prior had a shot saved by Dudzinski as Wanderers tried to reassert their authority.

Cheadle was providing some quality balls, and after 39minutes in form Alfie Rutherford tapped home from a congested 6 yd box to restore the two goal cushion.

McManus and Owusu were locked in constant combat both showing their pace and ability. Briggs was flattened by Matsuzaka and earned himself a yellow card just before the interval.

Half-Time Score: Oxford City 1 - 3 Dorking Wanderers

The second half started a little more niggly with several fouls and not much quality football as had been on display in the first half. After 54 minutes, the home side got their second goal after Briggs missed the ball on the edge of his own box and Ashby fired home with the help of a deflection. Nicky Wheeler came on to replace Jason Prior after 63 minutes, and Bobby Joe Taylor replaced Darren Oldaker. Oxford had a strong spell but without creating any clear cut chances, but the game was finely poised.

It all changed for Oxford when Bradbury was shown red for a crude tackle.

Wanderers were pressing again and McShane had a shot well saved by the Oxford keeper. Fuller was playing some lovely balls to Briggs who looked threatening as ever. A couple of successive corners saw Oxford push for an equaliser, but after 86 minutes another Fuller and Briggs combination saw Alfie net from the cross to get his hat-trick. A brief appearance from Isaac Philpott late on was a welcome sight as he makes a return from a long lay off.

Three points on the road, at the expense of the league leaders was a welcome reward for a battling performance

Oxford City: Ben Dudinksi, Zico Asare, Dan Matzuzaka, Jack Davies (Zac McEachran 45'), George Harmon, Canice Carroll (Alfie Potter 70') Reece Fleet, Josh Ashby, Nana Owusu (Jacob Bancroft 83'), Harvey Bradbury, Joe Iaciofano

Unused Subs: Lewis Coyle, Elliot Benyon Goals: Iaciofano 31', Ashby 54' Yellow Cards: Asare 33', Davies 43' Red Cards: Bradbury 70' Dorking Wanderers: Dan Lincoln, Jordan Cheadle, Dan Gallagher (Issac Philpot 89'), Barry Fuller (c), Niall McManus, Darren Oldaker (Bobby-Joe Taylor 65'), Josh Taylor, James McShane, Alfie Rutherford, Jason Prior (Nicky Wheeler 62') Unused Subs: Kane Wills, Luke Moore Goals: Rutherford 15', 39', 86' McShane 20' Yellow Cards: J Taylor 76'

Attendance 380 Man of the match: Alfie Rutherford

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