FA Trophy 2nd Round November 27th 2021
Dorking Wanderers returned to Woodside Road for the first time since their Bostik League winning season. Their have been some epic battles in this fixture over the years, but this game was largely dictated by the high winds and freezing temperature. Any high balls were being blown off course, but the new 4G pitch was appreciated by the players.
With some respite from the recent injury crisis, Marc named a strong starting XI, and a solid looking bench, although some of those players were not match fit.
As expected the opening exchanges were fairly tense as the teams worked each other out, with a couple of early chances for Worthing and one effort by Alfie Rutherford, who looked lively. Two successive corners followed for the home side, with Racine putting into the side netting. Golding got an early yellow for a foul on Matt Briggs, who’s shot skimmed past the far post.
Then the injury curse reared it’s head again as Callum Kennedy broke down and had to be replaced by Nick Wheeler. This saw Niall Mc Manus take up a deeper role and Kane Wills moving out to left back. James McShane had a great effort on 25 minutes which was well saved by Male in the Worthing goal. Another effort from the home side was blasted over by Pearce and at the other end Stuart Nelson saved well from Armstrong.
The next injury blow was then to see Ed Harris succumb to a dead leg following a collision which saw former skipper David Ray return to the fold.
In an increasingly difficult wind a breakthrough finally came for Wanderers after 38 minutes when Alfie Rutherford unleashed a cracking shot from outside the box, burying past Male into the right hand corner.
Armstrong again missed a chance which would continue to be a problem for Worthing and at half time Wanderers took in a 1-0 lead.
Half-Time: Worthing 0 Dorking 1
Marc sent on Jason Prior for the second half in place of Calum Kealy to give us some height, the opening shot by an impressive Josh Taylor won us a corner and Wanderers looked like they wanted that second goal. The wind strengthened and the quality of football suffered, and one or two goalmouth scrambles ensued. Cox missed a chance for Worthing, and Armstrong again should have done better but Nelson was looking on top of his game. Then after 64 minutes a delightful ball from James McShane set Matt Briggs on a great run, who crossed into the box for Alfie Rutherford to tap in his second.
This pretty much knocked the stuffing out of the home team, and their poor finishing was going to cost them in the end.
Marc highlighted this in his post match interview, whilst bemoaning the injury situation, praised our boys quality and the finishing which proved decisive.
Male saved late efforts from Briggs and Prior, but with the weather getting worse, most people were glad to hear the final whistle.
Wanderers go into the hat for the 3rd round draw on Monday after safely negotiating a potentially difficult tie.
Worthing FC: 1 Harrison Male, 2 Joel Colbran, 3 Cameron Tutt, 4 Danny Barker, 5 Aarran Racine, 7 Dean Cox (20 Tom Chalaye 75'), 8 Reece Myles-Meekums, 9 Dajon Golding, 10 Ollie Pearce, 11 Jesse Starkey, 15 Marvin Armstrong
Unused Subs: 6 Luca Cocoracchio, 12 Will Seager, 14 Darren Budd, 16 Pat Webster, 17 Mo Jammeh, 18 Tyrese Mthunzi
Yellow Card: Golding
Dorking Wanderers: 37 Stuart Nelson, 5 Ed Harris (30 David Ray 31'), 6 Niall McManus, 8 Matt Briggs, 10 Alfie Rutherford, 11 James McShane, 12 Callum Kennedy (16 Nicky Wheeler 18') , 15 Kane Wills, 17 Josh Taylor, 22 Barry Fuller (c), 29 Callum Kealy (9 Jason Prior 45')
Unused Subs: 3 Bobby-Joe Taylor, 18 Luke Moore, 20 Dan Gallagher
Goals: Rutherford 38', 64'
Referee: Michael Ryan
Wanderers Man of the Match: Alfie Rutherford