Dorking Wanderers 1 Yeovil Town 1
Vanorama National League
October 4th 2022, 7:45pm K/O
In a game full of ‘nearly’ moments for Marc White’s side, it was Town goalkeeper, Grant Smith, who was largely to credit for the visitors going home with a point. Sam Pearson’s early opener was cancelled out by Jimmy Muitt shortly after half time. White, keen to credit The Glovers’ defensive record in big games, described them as “really well organised”, as his side failed to build on the five goal triumph of Dagenham and Redbridge at the weekend.
White named just one change from the side who performed so impressively against the Daggers, as Seb Bowerman made his full debut, following his goal off of the bench on Saturday.
It was the visitors, who started the day in nineteenth, that begun on the front foot, with no win in their last six, their will to end the bad run was evident from the first whistle. Owen Bevan had their first shot on target of the game, testing Dan Lincoln from range who was equal to his effort. But it was their work off the ball which caused the Wanderers issues, the instruction to press the hosts high was clear from minute one. Pearson’s opener came as a result of this, an uncharacteristic mis-placed pass from under pressure Josh Taylor was intercepted by Pearson, who, after driving at the Dorking back three, finished emphatically into the bottom corner after just four minutes.
The visitors didn’t let up after taking the lead, as they continued to suffocate a Dorking side who struggled to find any sort of rhythm early in the game. Malachi Linton nearly found himself clean through on goal after flicking the ball over Gallagher’s head on the counter attack, but captain Barry Fuller made a trademark sweeping challenge to ensure the deficit stayed at just one.
As the half went on, the hosts began to find their rhythm in possession, Niall McManus looked the most likely to orchestrate an equaliser, with some slick movement to pick up pockets in and around the midfield. Barry Fuller and Bobby-Joe Taylor’s overlapping runs started to cause more of an issue for Yeovil’s full-backs, it was a Fuller cross which forced the first of many good stops out of Town goalkeeper Smith on the twenty minute mark. The captain’s wicked delivery across the face was met by Harry Ottaway, but Smith was equal to his effort with a fine reaction stop.
Just five minutes later, as Dorking began to find their groove, Ryan Seager forced another save out of Smith following a free-flowing Wanderers attack. James McShane and Josh Taylor began to find space in the midfield, as the visitors struggled to find the same sharpness on and off the ball they exerted in the first ten minutes.
Just before the end of the half Fuller hit the bar from a deep cross and, after venturing forward in traditional Bobby-Joe fashion, the full back hit a speculative effort just wide of Smith’s post from around 35 yards out, demonstrating the growth in confidence of White’s side as the half went on.
Half-time: Dorking Wanderers 0-1 Yeovil Town
The instruction seemed evident at half-time from both managers, as Yeovil continued to drop deep and trust their resolute back-line to deal with any threat, and Dorking continued to hunt down an equaliser. As a result of this, the hosts found space in and around the edge of the Yeovil eighteen yard box. Josh Taylor worked himself a yard with some nice footwork, and hit a good effort, which was, again, matched by Smith.
Just eight minutes after the restart, the Wanderers pressure finally paid off. Following a neat passage of play down the Wanderers right hand side between McShane and Fuller, a cross found it’s way to Seager in the eighteen yard box, and, despite the Glovers best attempt to keep out Seager’s effort with some goal line heroics, Muitt managed to turn the ball home in front of the Dorking faithful.
Marc White admitted both sides looked to feel the effects of the quick turn-around from Saturday, as after the goal chances for both sides came at a premium. It was the managers substitutes who sparked life into the game. Adam Mekki, who replaced the goal scorer Muitt, found lots of space down the right hand side in front of Fuller, who put in a fine performance. Jack Jebb, returning to the squad from illness, demonstrated some much needed composure and reliability on the ball, after coming on in the seventy fifth minute. It was the two substitutes who were at the heart of Dorking’s best, and only real chance after the goal, after linking up well on the edge of the area, Mekki hit a dangerous effort just wide.
Despite dominating the ball for the latter stages, the Wanderers struggled to break down a stalwart Yeovil defence, Josh Staunton and Max Hunt in particular handled any potential threat really well all evening.
The point leaves Dorking in tenth, after twelve games played, just five points off of the promotion places. White’s side faces a trip up north to Altrincham on Saturday, who sit in eighteenth place.
Dorking Wanderers: 1 Dan Lincoln, 22 Barry Fuller (c), 20 Dan Gallagher, 3 Bobby-Joe Taylor; 7 Jimmy Muitt (15 Adam Mekki 66'), 6 Niall McManus (23 Jack Jebb 75'), 17 Josh Taylor, 11 James McShane, 30 Seb Bowerman; 24 Harry Ottaway, 9 Ryan Seager (29 Alfie Egan 59')
Unused Subs: 4 Sami El-Abd, 25 Dan Quick
Goal: Muitt 53'
Yellow Card: Taylor 40'
Yeovil Town: 1 Grant Smith, 2 Morgan Williams, 32 Josh Staunton (c), 5 Max Hunt, 17 Chiori Johnson (9 Alex Fisher 75'), 8 Lawson D'Ath (16 Sam Perry 81'), 7 Matt Worthington, 15 Sam Pearson, 25 Will Dawes (19 Charlie Wakefield 54'), 14 Malachi Linton, 26 Owen Bevan
Unused Subs: 11 Jake Scrimshaw, 29 Ollie Haste
Goal: Pearson 4'
Yellow Cards: Johnson 30', Staunton 87'
Referee: Matthew Russell
Sponsors Man Of the Match: Harry Ottaway