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Dorking Wanderers 3 Notts County 1

Vanarama National League

September 17th 2022

Dorking made it back-to-back wins and brought Notts County's unbeaten start to the season to an end after claiming a dramatic late victory at Meadowbank on Saturday afternoon.

James McShane took his season tally to 8 goals by netting a hat-trick, lobbing Sam Slocombe to give Wanderers a half-time lead that was cancelled out shortly after the restart by Cedywn Scott, but two poacher's finishes from 'Macca' in stoppage time ensured Wanderers took all three points on a truly memorable day for the football club.

Marc White made two changes to the side which started against Barnet on Tuesday evening, Niall McManus and Josh Taylor both returning to the starting line-up after recovering from injuries to replace Bobby-Joe Taylor and Jack Jebb respectively. Whilst Jebb would be included on the bench, Bobby-Joe was absent from the matchday squad due to family commitments.

A minute's silence and playback of the National Anthem to mark the recent passing of Her Majesty The Queen was well observed by all in attendance before kick-off.

Wanderers looked to stun their visitors very early on, carving out a couple of opportunities inside the opening three minutes. Fuller's cross found Ottaway several yards out but the striker could only side-foot straight down Slocombe, before Wheeler drifted in from the left flank and arrived on to another cross from the right side, his volley not generating enough power though and leading to a comfortable save.

Despite the early push back, Notts quickly began to show their qualities getting forward, capitalising on a surprising amount of space being vacated in central midfield and started creating chances. Jim O'Brien swerved an effort from range with the outside of his boot, forcing Lincoln into a diving save to his left shortly before producing one of many outstanding saves throughout the afternoon, a low one-armed parry round the post to deny Macauley Langstaff from the edge of the area after good build-up play from the influential Ruben Rodrigues.

The Wanderers front-line were getting joy with their high-press as Notts looked to play out from the back, and approaching the midway point of the half managed to get reward. Slocombe's short pass out arrived at the feet of McShane, who kept his composure to coolly lob the advanced keeper from 25 yards out.

Marc White made a couple of substitutions in the wake of the opening goal, with Alfie Egan coming on to replace Luke Moore who had been cautioned not long before, and Sami El-Abd replacing Nicky Wheeler. As a result, Wanderers were set up in a 4-3-3, looking to narrow their shape and regain control in the midfield areas.

In the main Luke Williams side were still seeing more of the ball and ramped up the pressure in the lead up to half-time. Matt Palmer's free kick found skipper Kyle Cameron who glanced a header wide, ahead of Scott forcing Lincoln into a brilliant tip-over save at point blank range and Gallagher providing a crucial headed clearance in front of goal after the ball was hooked over Lincoln from the left channel by Adam Chicksen and Langstaff was closing in at the back stick.

Geraldo Bajrami and Cedywn Scott were both denied by Lincoln prior to McShane spurning an opportunity to double his tally and Wanderers lead right before the interval. Fuller threaded a neat through ball from the right side of the half-way line and released 'Macca' through on goal, but he sent his low shot just wide of the far post.

Half-Time: Wanderers 1 Notts County 0

The visiting side very much picked up where they left off after the restart, Aaron Nemane's threatening crosses from the right byline evading good contacts inside the six yard box, and within five minutes the scores were levelled up. Scott received the ball from the left side of the area and drove home a clinical strike which flew in between Lincoln and his near post.

Lincoln was wiped out for several minutes after denying Chicksen brilliantly with a reaction save shortly after the goal, the stopper deemed ok to play on after receiving treatment for what was later confirmed as a knock to the head.

The pace of the game was starting to steady up and despite Notts continuing to push forward with attacks, the quality of their chances were diminishing as Gallagher continued to win his battles and turn in a thoroughly deserved man of the match performance, supported well by Philpot and centre back partner El-Abd since he came on in the first half. Rodrigues was continuing to pull the strings and Chicksen was getting involved more frequently from the left side, but it would be at the end of regulation time where Notts forced Lincoln into further stops, Langstaff firing straight down the keeper before he magnificently turned Chicksen's effort over as it looked destined for the top corner.

With 9 minutes of added time indicated by the fourth official, largely due to the knock suffered by Lincoln, Wanderers remained lively on the counter attack and flipped the game completely on it's head by finding two goals in stoppage time to clinch victory.

Fuller advanced forward into the right channel and Seager cut the ball back to McShane just inside the area, his initial strike looping on to the top of the post and bouncing out at an angle which caught Slocombe off guard, and as the keeper scrambled to track the ball 'Macca' reacted fastest to stab home from close range.

Then, two minutes later, Jebb's diagonal through ball allowed Seager to progress to the edge of the area, his low shot could only be palmed away by Slocombe and McShane was again quickest on the scene to poke the ball home, to absolute rapture from the home stands behind the goal and a wall of noise around Meadowbank.

Holding out to take maximum points, the win sees Wanderers edge into the top half the table after two wins and excellent defensive display's in the space of a week, and McShane move to second in the goal scoring standings with 8 for the campaign so far at this still very early stage.

After a week's respite, Wanderers return to league action next Saturday as they travel up to North Lincolnshire to face Scunthorpe United.

Dan Stobbart

Dorking Wanderers (3-5-2): 1 Dan Lincoln, 22 Barry Fuller (c), 20 Dan Gallagher, 2 Isaac Philpot; 6 Niall McManus, 18 Luke Moore (29 Alfie Egan 20'), 17 Josh Taylor, 11 James McShane, 16 Nicky Wheeler (4 Sami El-Abd 33); 24 Harry Ottaway (25 Jack Jebb 85'), 9 Ryan Seager

Unused Subs: 12 Callum Kennedy, 15 Adam Mekki

Goals: McShane 19', 90+3', 90+5'

Yellow Cards: Moore 16', Philpot 26', J Taylor 28', Egan 90+5'

Notts County (3-5-2): 1 Sam Slocombe, 4 Kyle Cameron (c), 16 Geraldo Bajrami, 5 Connell Rawlinson; 11 Aaron Nemane, 18 Matt Palmer, 6 Jim O'Brien (7 Kairo Mitchell 71'), 20 Ruben Rodrigues, 23 Adam Chicksen; 19 Cedwyn Scott (10 Quevin Castro 66'), 9 Macauley Langstaff

Subs not used: 13 Brad Young, 14 Ed Francis, 21 Tobi Adebayo-Rowling

Goal: Scott 50'

Yellow Card: Bajrami 37'

Referee: Jason Richardson

Attendance: 2402

Sponsors Man Of The Match: Dan Gallagher

Match Statistics (with thanks to Archie Collins):

Shots on target: 8-13

Shots off target: 3-7

Corners: 5-4

Offsides: 5-0

Fouls: 12-2

Yellow cards: 4-1

Red cards: 0-0

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