Woking 3 Dorking Wanderers 3
Vanarama National League Premier
October 25th 2022
Dorking came away from the Surrey derby with a share of the spoils after a breathless 3-3 draw with Woking at The Laithwaite Community Stadium, on a night where a record number of Wanderers away support witnessed the occaision.
Ryan Seager's early penalty got Wanderers off to the ideal start, but a Padraig Amond brace scored just either side of the interval put the hosts ahead. Wanderers rallied and themselves back in front though, Seb Bowerman adding more assists to his name by setting up both an own goal turned in by Rohan Ince and James McShane's 11th goal of the season ahead of Rhys Browne, making his first start for The Cardinals after recently signing from Wealdstone, restoring parity from close range with less than ten minutes to go.
Marc White made a couple of changes to the side which started in the win over Wealdstone on Saturday. James McShane started on the bench, and Dan Gallagher was not included in the matchday squad due to suspension having collected a fifth yellow card of the season at the weekend. Wanderers lined up in a 4-3-3 formation, with Sami El-Abd and Dan Quick coming in at centre back and right back respectively, Jimmy Muitt and Seb Bowerman pushing further up field to provide support either side of Ryan Seager.
The home side started like a team coming into the game in good form, pushing Wanderers back in the opening minutes as they shifted the ball quickly and moved forward at pace albeit without causing any real threat in the final third. Completely against the run of play, it would be Wanderers who opened the scoring with their first venture forward. Muitt drove forward down the right, and upon cutting into the penalty area was curtailed with a firm push by Joe McNerney, penalty given. Seager stepped up, and struck his spot kick confidently down the middle.
The Cardinals would again get back on the ball in the wake of the goal but were succumbing increasingly to sloppiness in possession, enabling Wanderers to counter quickly and gradually build up their own command of the ball. Bowerman's deep cross from the left was impressively nodded back across the face of goal by Muitt, the ball just drifting beyond the far post, before patient, well-worked passing switching sides opened up chances for Bobby-Joe to strike just wide of the top stantion and Muitt to have a central effort deflect over the bar.
In the lead up to half-time the hosts started to look more like they had done in the opening minutes and were getting success in the final third; James Daly hitting a shot wide before the lively Browne, often dropping deeper from the front-man role and proving to be very effective in doing that, turned well and unleashed a shot that cannoned off the inside of the post from 25 yards out. Lincoln then produced a top reaction save to deny Jake Vokins after he cut into the box from the right flank straight after.
Darren Sarll's team managed to get back on terms in first-half injury time; Daly's cross from the left forcing a corner where the resulting delivery was ultimately not dealt with towards the back post, and Amond was there to lash the ball into the back of the net from six yards out. Naturally a very disappointing time to concede, the goal was particularly hard on a Wanderers back line that, with not so much game time recently and playing in a four, had been organised and battled well from the outset.
Half-Time: Woking 1 Dorking 1
The hosts again began the half at a fast pace, and got swift reward within five minutes of the restart to edge in front. Browne again dropping deeper and showing good agility to get past a couple of Wanderers players before sliding the ball into the path of Amond, who tucked home his second of the night coming in from the right side of the penalty area.
Marc White immediately responded to the setback with a triple substitution, introducing Jordan Cheadle, James McShane and Harry Ottaway for Dan Quick, Bobby-Joe Taylor and Harry Ottaway, pushing to get back in the game by reverting to their more recognised shape with an extra midfielder.
And it was not long after the changes that Wanderers got back level, Bowerman fleet footed in making his way to the byline down the left, before producing a dangerous cross into the six yard box which midfielder Rohan Ince inadvertently headed into the back of his own net.
El-Abd did well to nod away Vokins strike as Woking sought an immediate response, Wanderers weathering the storm as multiple shots from range were blocked in the penalty area. The tempo did drop as both teams were guilty of racking up fouls and cautions in the middle of the park, Browne suddenly bringing the game back into sharp focus though as we entered the final twenty minutes, a pacey, rising effort superbly tipped over the top by Lincoln.
Shortly after, Wanderers managed to get back in front in the contest through a brilliantly worked goal by McShane and Bowerman. 'Macca' curled the ball into the channel which Bowerman did exceptionally well to keep alive and progress with to the byline, looking up and picking out the on-running McShane who slid the ball beyond Craig Ross from several yards out.
A flair up in the Wanderers left full back position slowed down the pace again as players from both teams came charging in, Cheadle receiving a caution in the aftermath after a good few minutes had passed, the referee and linesman trying to get control of the situation.
With several minutes remaining and clear fatigue creeping in, The Cardinals managed to get back on terms, lively substitute Ricky Korboa carrying the fresh legs to accelerate into the left channel after play broke down in the Wanderers attack, his ball into the six yard box arriving into the feet of Browne who buried the chance from the close range, netting his first goal for Woking in his first start for the club.
After a nervous five minutes of stoppage time where Woking looked the more likely to grab another goal, the referee blew his whistle, both sides coming away from the first Surrey derby of the season with a share of the spoils.
For Wanderers attention now turns to another local engagement on Saturday afternoon as Aldershot Town are the visitors to Meadowbank in a 3pm kick off.
Woking (4-2-3-1): 13 Craig Ross, 12 Dan Moss, 5 Joe McNerney, 6 Luke Wilkinson (4 Scott Cuthbert 26'), 3 Josh Casey (c); 23 Jermaine Anderson (17 Jim Kellerman 62'), 24 Rohan Ince; 29 Jake Vokins (7 Ricky Korbea 68'), 10 Padraig Amond, 8 James Daly; 14 Rhys Browne
Unused Sub: 1 Ethan Wady (GK) (four subs named from the outset)
Goals: Amond 45+1', 51', Browne 83'
Yellow Cards: Anderson 58', Moss 66', Daly 90+1
Dorking Wanderers (4-4-3): 1 Dan Lincoln, 25 Dan Quick (14 Jordan Cheadle 53'), 4 Sami El-Abd (c), 5 Ed Harris, 3 Bobby-Joe Taylor (11 James McShane 53'); 6 Niall McManus, 17 Josh Taylor, 23 Jack Jebb; 7 Jimmy Muitt, 9 Ryan Seager (24 Harry Ottaway 53'), 30 Seb Bowerman
Unused Subs: 16 Nicky Wheeler, 18 Luke Moore
Goals: Seager pen 5', Ince og 57', McShane 74'
Yellow Cards: McManus 18', Josh Taylor 65', Cheadle 79'
Referee: Aaron Bannister
Att: 2923 (493 Wanderers Fans)
Man Of The Match: Padraig Amond (Official Home Selection)