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Leatherhead 3 Dorking Wanderers 2

Surrey Advertiser Trophy

July 23rd 2022

Dorking lost their second game of pre-season as Mole Valley rivals Leatherhead won the Surrey Advertiser Trophy at Fetcham Grove.

Jordan Cheadle, Callum Kennedy, Ed Harris and Alfie Rutherford were all back in the squad for today's game after not being involved last weekend in Wales.

Wanderers made a fast start, getting joy particularly down the left-hand side early on as Cheadle and Bobby-Joe Taylor were able to get forward. The former delivered a cross which Seager was a whisker away from making contact with just outside the six-yard box, shortly before the latter would have the ball in the back of the Leatherhead net, chalked off for what looked like a narrow offside.

Muitt was starting to get involved from the opposite flank, laying the ball off for McShane to test the keeper from just outside the box, and assisted Wanderers taking the lead in the 12th minute. Latching on to an aerial ball the winger raced to the byline and crossed for Seager, who, with the ball arriving slightly behind him, managed to demonstrate great agility to volley the ball home from several yards out.

Dave Tarpey spurned an immediate opportunity for the hosts to level up, driving the ball over the bar in space after good work from Jermaine McGlashlan bombing forward down the right.

Unfortunately Muitt picked up a knock and had to be substituted approaching midway through the half, Nicky Wheeler coming on as his replacement and swapping flanks with Bobby-Joe Taylor. Marc White confirmed post-match that Muitt had suffered a groin injury and would now likely miss the start of the league campaign.

Moments after making that switch to the right wing, Bobby-Joe Taylor doubled Wanderers lead. Surging forward, he cut into the box and unleashed a firm low effort which managed to get between the keeper and his near post to find the back of the net.

A flash of deja vu swiftly followed the goal as Tarpey again went close in the aftermath, getting onto a long ball over the Wanderers back-line and aiming to lob Huk, but he lifted his effort over the bar. Back up the other end, Cheadle nearly made it three, unlucky striking the outside of the post with a free kick opportunity from 25 yards out.

Wanderers dominated play for the majority of the first-half, but through Tarpey Leatherhead did have opportunities on the break, and pulled a goal back just past the half-hour mark. The Trialist left back for the home side got forward well down the left flank, and pulled out a decent cross which Tarpey headed home, angling the ball impressively into the bottom right corner.

In the lead up to half-time Seager raced on to a Josh Taylor through ball and held off two defenders before trying to curl the ball into the far corner of goal, saved comfortably by the keeper. Strike partner Rutherford had a couple of opportunities right at the end of the half, including producing a deft touch to bring down a Fuller aerial ball, taking on the strike early he hit the top of the stand behind the goal.

Half-Time: Leatherhead 1 Dorking 2

Marc White explored his tactical options by opting for a back four after the restart, with Rutherford playing as lone striker up top but supported by Josh Taylor and McManus advancing from central midfield.

It was a steadier beginning to the second half as Wanderers re-adjusted, and within five minutes of the restart, 'The Tanners' equalised. McGlashlan got forward in the right channel, and crossed accurately for Tarpey to head home his second of the afternoon.

Mekki had come on as part of the changes at half-time, and nearly got Wanderers back in front straight after the Leatherhead equaliser, unable to generate a strong enough contact on the ball as got across the penalty area. The former Ebbsfleet man then cut inside from the right to collect Josh Taylor's lay off, firing a shot from outside the box which was comfortably saved by the keeper.

Tarpey forced Huk into a low diving save from a free kick, but the rhythm of the second-half dropped off notably around the mid-point as a pair of Leatherhead defenders had to receive treatment for knocks. Wanderers made a triple change at this point as Jebb and McShane re-entered the fray and Ottaway replaced Rutherford up top.

Leatherhead had remained organised and quick to counter through the course of the second-half whilst Wanderers struggled to find their rhythm, too many sloppy passes creeping into their play and a drop-off in end product. Ottaway hammered the ball over the bar after receiving the ball at the edge of the box and keeping defenders off with a couple of feints, before Tarpey squandered a chance from a similar position up the other end after good counter-attacking play from the hosts down the left wing.

'The Tanners' man of the match Tarpey would play a key role in his side grabbing a third goal with just under a quarter of an hour remaining. Battling well to shake off Josh Taylor, the striker poked a through ball into the path of a Trialist, who himself stood up well to the Wanderers centre-halves before guiding a composed finish beyond Huk.

Naturally Wanderers raised their tempo in response to being behind for the first time in the game, but couldn't find a way back. After patient play moving the ball left to right, Philpot fired a dangerous cross through the six-yard box, no takers, before Mekki found Ottaway from the same position, the striker wasting a great opportunity as he couldn't generate enough power on his strike from close range. Harris got on the end of a free kick and headed at the back stick in the dying minutes, but it was a straight forward save for the keeper.

Leatherhead ultimately held on to win the Surrey Advertiser Trophy for the first time since it's re-introduction in 2019.

Wanderers return to Meadowbank next Saturday for their final fixture of pre-season, as Horsham FC are the visitors.

Dan Stobbart

Wanderers 1st Half XI: Huk, Fuller, Gallagher, Cheadle; Muitt (Wheeler 18'), Jebb, J Taylor, McShane, BJ Taylor; Rutherford, Seager Wanderers 2nd Half XI: Huk, Philpot, Harris, El-Abd, Kennedy; Mekki, Gallagher (Jebb 68'), McManus, J Taylor (McShane 68'), Wheeler; Rutherford (Ottaway 68')

Goals: Seager 12', BJ Taylor 20'

Leatherhead: Team not officially announced due to number of trialists and unannounced signings, but confirmed players included Max Worsfold (Mid), Jermaine McGlashlan (Winger) & Dave Tarpey (striker).

Goals: Tarpey 32', 50' Trialist 77'

Referee: Phil Crichlow

Att: 540

Surrey Advertiser Man Of The Match: Dave Tarpey


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