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Dorking Wanderers 2 Gateshead 1

Vanarama National League Premier

August 20th 2022

'A James McShane first half brace sends Wanderers to sixth in the National League...'

Marc White named an unchanged side from the 2-4 win at Maidstone, with Ryan Seager’s two late goals at the Gallagher Stadium not enough to warrant a start. Gateshead, also newly promoted, came into the game still looking for their first win of the season, after drawing their first three.

The Wanderers captain made it four goals in two games, however he was unfortunately forced off at half time through injury, following his two quick fire goals on the twenty minute mark. The visitors pulled one back through Adam Campbell in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to inspire a comeback. As well as McShane, Marc White was forced to bring off McManus to injury, and revealed Jordan Cheadle was struggling with an injury towards the end of the game.

In a first half which White labelled “phenomenal” the hosts established the pace of the game from the outset. The first chance of the game fell for Alfie Rutherford, following a ball over the top from Jordan Cheadle, Rutherford smartly read the bounce and spun Kenton Richardson, however couldn’t take the ball in his stride to go one-on-one with Dan Langley. Despite their bright, sharp start, the home side did however lack the ability to maintain control in the opening encounters.

Gateshead would have thought they’d take the lead on the twelve minute mark when Paul Blackett found himself one on one with Slav Huk, following a clever through ball from Adam Campbell. Blackett, like Rutherford, couldn’t organise his feet when faced with the keeper, allowing Philpot to cover and produce two fine blocks to stop an almost certain opener. The ever-lively Campbell seemed to pose the biggest threat to Dorking, he frequently picked up the ball in pockets of space and evaded challenges well.

Despite Gateshead finding a foothold in the game, McShane found the opener after eighteen minutes. It came via some neat work from McManus down the right hand side, using a quick turn of pace to beat his man, the industrious midfielder found space to whip in a cross which Langley could only spill into the path of the captain who finished into an empty net.

Just the three minutes later, McShane doubled the score line, and his tally, with a sublime effort. A cross-turned pass from Cheadle found McShane on the edge of the penalty area, who controlled the centre backs pass, before volleying over a helpless Langley with his second touch. What followed, understandably, was an elated celebration from the Wanderers faithful, who witnessed what will surely be one of the contender's for goal of the season.

After struggling to maintain control in the first quarter of an hour, the two quick goals seemed to give the home side a flurry of confidence. The three midfielders, Jack Jebb, Luke Moore and Josh Taylor began to interchange with more fluidity and success, getting into Gateshead's final third at more ease. Behind them, the back three of Dorking stifled the little of which Gateshead were able to produce on the attack. Cheadle put on a fine display, the left-sided centre back looked accomplished on the ball and was able to evade the Gateshead press, whilst also producing passes which set Dorking on the attack.

McShane ought to have had a hat-trick within half an hour, after finding himself unmarked in the 6 yard box to meet a Bobby Joe Taylor cross, the number ten didn’t connect with his header properly, seeing a golden opportunity for his third go begging.

A couple of moments of brilliance from White’s men, alongside a growing control over the game allowed them to enjoy the two goal advantage, however Gateshead will feel they could’ve pulled a goal back sooner than they did. Blackett managed to find himself one-on-one with Huk after some persistent work from right back Dan Ward, but Huk produced a great stop to keep his side two goals to the good going into half time.

Half time: Dorking Wanderers 2-0 Gateshead

After the restart, there was an evident change in imputes from the visitors, who managed to pass the ball around with much more precision than in the first. Blackett, again managed to go one-on-one with Huk, but the Dorking number one continued his impressive display between the sticks to keep his side in the ascendency.

Despite Gateshead’s more accomplished look to their performance, Dorking’s ability to suppress any real threat was evident, one interception, from Luke Moore, nearly turned into a third goal. The midfielder cut out a pass, which substitute Ryan Seager latched onto and went one-on-one with Langley, Seager tried to chip his opponent but his effort lacked the height to beat the keeper.

Campbell looked the most likely player all game to pull a goal back for the visitors, and did so on the seventy minute mark, after finding space in the area following a smart pass into him from Greg Olley. Huk, after a number of good saves, lost his clean sheet. Not long before the goal, White had opted to take off Rutherford for Sami El-Abd, the manager admitted this was due to the number of injuries his team had suffered in the game. This did however invite more pressure onto his side, due to the abundance of defenders on the pitch.

Shortly after the change, with only around ten minutes to play, Gateshead nearly found their equaliser, Louis Storey ventured forward, playing a one-two with Olley and found himself one-on-one with Huk, who again produced a fine stop. The Dorking rear-guard dealt astutely with any further threat from the visitors, picking up their second win in a row.

Gateshead are still searching for their first win of the season, after drawing their first three, whilst Dorking face Solihull Moors away next Saturday, looking to continue their momentum.

Dom Bleackley

Dorking Wanderers (3-5-2): 1 Slav Huk, 2 Isaac Philpot, 20 Dan Gallagher, 14 Jordan Cheadle; 6 Niall McManus (15 Adam Mekki 60'), 17 Josh Taylor, 18 Luke Moore, 23 Jack Jebb, 2 Bobby-Joe Taylor; 11 James McShane (c) (9 Ryan Seager 45'), 10 Alfie Rutherford (4 Sami El-Abd 62')

Unused Subs: 16 Nicky Wheeler, 24 Harry Ottaway

Goals: McShane 18', 21'

No Yellow Cards

Gateshead (4-2-3-1): 1 Dan Langley, 2 Robbie Tinkler, 5 Kenton Richardson, 6 Louis Storey, 3 Ethan Pye; 8 Owen Bailey, 12 Dan Ward; 11 Adam Campbell, 10 Greg Olley (c), 7 Tom Allan 7 (14 Elliot Forbes 41'); 9 Paul Blackett (19 Will Harris 62')

Unused Subs 31 James Montgomery (GK), 32 Carl Magnay, 24 Mike Williamson

Goal: Campbell 70'

Yellow Card: Storey 73'

Referee: Sam Mulhall

Attendance: 1145

Sponsors Man Of The Match: James McShane

Match Stats (courtesy of Michael Smith) Shots on target: 7-10

Shots off target: 4-5

Corners: 5-6

Offsides: 4-2

Fouls Conceded: 13-9

Yellow cards: 0-1

Red cards: 0-0


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