Dorking Wanderers 1 Boreham Wood 4
Vanarama National League Premier
August 29th 2022
Dorking were consigned to back to back defeats across the Bank Holiday Weekend as Boreham Wood came away with maximum points from Meadowbank on Monday afternoon.
Alfie Rutherford had given Wanderers an early lead with a composed finish inside the box, carrying that advantage through to the interval Wanderers were good value for their lead and could have made it a more commanding one late in the half. Boreham were always in the contest though, and having raised their urgency after the restart their physicality and persistence wore down Wanderers through the course of the half, a brace each from forwards Lee Ndlovu and Tyrone Marsh securing the win for the Hertfordshire side.
Marc White made two changes to the side which started against Solihull on Saturday; Ed Harris and Jack Jebb both coming into the starting eleven in place of Dan Gallagher and Ryan Seager respectively. With Jebb deployed in central midfield, James McShane would push upfield to play behind Alfie Rutherford up top.
Wood forward Lee Ndlovu had a couple of early sighter's at goal in the steady opening exchanges, showing his strength to get past a couple of Wanderers before striking a rising effort over the top. With their first real venture forward though, it was Wanderers who opened the scoring.
An attack had broken down in the right channel, but McManus reacted brilliantly to quickly intercept the ball as Boreham tried to come out with it, showing great agility to keep his balance before passing to Rutherford. With defenders around him he remained ice cool before turning and directing the ball accurately into the bottom right corner of goal.
Both side's lacked that bit of cohesion in their play around the mid-point of the half, the even, steady pace continuing, although The Wood did go close on the counter a couple of times, Ndovlu hitting the bar but deemed to be offside at the end of a rapid move forward, Erico Sousa then pinching the ball from Philpot and advancing forward, his low effort well saved and held on to by Huk.
Wanderers grew into the game and started to push Boreham back with a tighter a grip on possession, and in the lead up to half-time generated some good chances to extend their advantage.
Rutherford was alert to keep an Ed Harris header alive near the touchline, his cross found Josh Taylor who tried to fizz the ball into the far corner, but keeper Nathan Ashmore just about read it. Rutherford and Taylor would combine again in not dissimilar fashion a moment later, Taylor's first-time strike whistling just wide of the post. The midfielder would win a hard 50/50 impact challenge with Sousa in the middle of the park and instigate an attack that he would get into the box and dummy, setting the ball up for Bobby-Joe to strike just inside the box. Connecting with serious pace, Ashmore produced an outstanding reaction save to claw the ball away low to his right.
Sousa would be replaced by Dennon Lewis in the aftermath of the challenge just before half-time, the sheer impact of both he and Taylor making strong contact with the ball seeing the Boreham player come off worse, we wish him a speedy recovery.
Half-Time: Dorking 1 Boreham 0
Luke Garrard introduced Tyrone Marsh for Danny Newton at the break, and in tandem with the fresh legs of Lewis providing energy from out wide this gave the visiting side an evident boost after the restart and they began to apply greater pressure up the pitch, and pulled Wanderers into complying with their more direct approach. Luke Moore and Jordan Cheadle produced timely blocks during a particularly scrappy period inside the home box, Wood skipper Mark Ricketts forcing Huk into a comfortable save from range and Lewis striking one wide.
Wanderers lost Rutherford near the hour mark after he went down off the ball following a run towards the box. Ryan Seager came on as his replacement, and not long after entering the field of play took the ball down beautifully in midfield ahead of setting up Jebb, who tried to swerve a volley into the top corner, but slightly over-cooked it.
The hosts were still carrying a threat up the other end, and two goals in the space of two minutes turned the contest on it's head. Rees had gone mighty close, striking Ndlovu's chested through ball with a first time strike and forcing Huk into a brilliant reaction stop. The subsequent corner ball was delivered flat but with accuracy, allowing Ndovlu to plant a header beyond Huk.
Then, with the next attack forward, Lewis showed a great turn of pace to get past his man on the left flank, cutting into the box his shot aiming for the neat post was diverted into the back of the net by Marsh.
Wanderers sought an immediate equaliser, Cheadle's cross just too high for Josh Taylor to meet, but McManus re-directed the effort back toward goal, somehow scrambled away in front of the goal line before Bobby-Joe's fierce strike cannoned straight off Ashmore, who didn't seem to know too much about it.
Ndlovu would be a thorn in Wanderers side throughout the match with his presence and movement, forcing a corner after cutting in from the right before getting the better of Cheadle and teeing up the arriving Stefan Payne, who's low strike bobbled through to Huk. Keeper Ashmore then gave his opposite number Huk a big scare as his knack for delivering an end-to-end goal kick nearly paid off, the bounce on one particular restart of play coming back off the crossbar!
The full complement of substitutions and a couple of stoppages enforced six minutes of extra time being added on, and as Wanderers struggled to get forward The Wood put the game to bed with two further goals in the additional time.
Ndovlu would bag his second of the afternoon latching on to a ball dropped into the right channel; shrugging off Bobby-Joe he rifled the ball into the roof of the net in clinical fashion from a tight angle. Towards the end of the allotted time substitute Zac Brunt managed to just about edge the ball beyond McShane as he went to close the midfielder down, and it sat up perfectly for Marsh in the area to make sure he too would come away with a brace, slotting the ball into the bottom right corner one-on-one with Huk.
A tough Bank Holiday weekend for Wanderers after suffering back to back defeats against two of the division's more prominent sides from recent years, a reminder in the still very early part of the season of the quality this division boasts and those increased fine margins within matches.
Next up for Wanderers will be another test against an established side as last season's runner's up in the division, Wrexham, make the visit down to Meadowbank.
Dorking Wanderers (3-5-2): 1 Slav Huk, 2 Isaac Philpot, 5 Ed Harris, 14 Jordan Cheadle (16 Nicky Wheeler 78'); 6 Niall McManus (15 Adam Mekki 78'), 18 Luke Moore, 17 Josh Taylor, 23 Jack Jebb, 3 Bobby-Joe Taylor; 11 James McShane (c), 10 Alfie Rutherford (9 Ryan Seager 58')
Unused Subs: 4 Sami El-Abd, 20 Dan Gallagher
Goal: Rutherford 8'
Yellow Cards: Harris 62', Cheadle 76', Wheeler 84'
Boreham Wood (3-4-3): 1 Nathan Ashmore, 5 Will Evans, 12 Jamal Fyfield, 3 Femi Ilesanmi; 2 Dion Kelly-Evans, 4 Mark Ricketts (c) (20 Zak Brunt 55'), 17 Jack Payne, 19 Erico Sousa (15 Dennon Lewis 43'); 11 Danny Newton (10 Tyrone Marsh 46'), 9 Lee Ndlovu, 7 Josh Rees
Unused Subs: 6 David Stephens, 14 Danny Elliott
Goals: Ndovlu 64', 90+', Marsh 65', 90+'
Yellow Cards: Marsh 49', Ilesanmi 77', Rees 90'
Referee: Paul Johnson
Sponsors Man of The Match: Luke Moore