Elliot Lee’s superb strike from range got the home side in front on 12 minutes, Wanderers competing well and enjoying good spells of possession throughout the half but Wrexham continued carving out decent opportunities in front of goal, and went into the break two goals to the good after Paul Mullin dispatched a measured finish coming in from the right side of the penalty area. Sam Dalby would add a third not long before the hour, Marc White’s substitutes again combing late on to pull back a consolation goal as Seb Bowerman’s cross was nodded home by Jimmy Muitt.
The Wanderers manager matched Wrexham’s shape and reverted his side back to their familiar 3-5-2 formation, making two changes from the midweek win over Torquay as Joe Cook returned to defence and Harry Ottaway started up top with Ryan Seager, the injured George Francombe and Seb Bowerman both making way.
Wanderers began confidently and had the hosts pushed back in their half through the opening exchanges, a succession of Josh Taylor long throw in’s giving the Dragons defence something to think about, but it would be Wrexham who created the first opportunity of the game; Elliot Lee heading Paul Mullin’s volley across the six yard box back off the crossbar.
Serving as a warning shot, the former Luton Town midfielder would open the scoring just a few minutes later in style; receiving the ball from the left flank and coming inside before bending a strike into the top right corner from 20 yards out.
Seager and Bobby-Joe had half-chances closed down trying to find a quick equaliser, but Wanderers were dealt a real blow midway through the half as Briggs, innocuously, went down chasing the ball in front of the dug-outs, and had to be replaced by Muitt. Marc White confirmed post-match that Briggs had suffered a hamstring injury.
Around half-hour in, Phil Parkinson’s side upped the ante and began to apply pressure around the Wanderers box, Lee continuing to be key from midfield combining with the front pair. Dalby tested Lincoln twice in quick succession, first with a glancing header from a Ben Tozer long-throw before tipping away the striker’s fierce drive from outside the box. Captain Luke Young’s deflected effort was well read by Lincoln, Muitt then tracking back well and intercepting link up between Dalby and Mullin at a crucial moment as the trigger was about to be pulled.
Approaching half-time Bobby-Joe raced forward as Wanderers threatened on the counter, shifting the ball across to Ottaway, the forward took a good initial touch to control but was ultimately shut down by Rob Lainton out from goal.
The home side did get a second goal just a few minutes before the break; Mullin coming in from the right and steering a low strike with precision into the bottom left corner. Wrexham’s leading goalscorer forced Lincoln into another top save just as 3 added minutes were indicated, turning and firing from range, Harris on hand to clear the danger.
Half-Time: Wrexham 2 Dorking Wanderers 0
The Red Dragons kept the up the momentum after the restart, winger Anthony Forde becoming more involved in linking the play from the right flank. Mullin and Dalby just about stayed onside and got beyond the Wanderers backline to go clean through against Lincoln, but after hesitation from the strike duo the keeper and the recovering Tony Craig were able to snuff out any effort at goal.
However, just a couple of minutes later, Dalby would get in behind again and this time make it count, cutting into the penalty area from the right channel before slamming home a left foot strike between Lincoln and the near post from several yards out.
Phil Parkinson’s team started to sit back a bit in their shape after adding the third goal and were passing within themselves, Wanderers by contrast took a stronger grip on possession for the remainder of the game and their quality and patience on the ball for long periods lead to chances being created in the final third. Bowerman was unfortunate not to pick out Seager with a measured ball dropped in from the left, and via the opposite channel fellow sub Philpot’s low ball driven in front of the six yard was crying out for a touch from either of the Wanderers front-men, but Lainton was able to gather.
It was an impressive, sustained spell of possession from back to front which proceeded Wanderers getting a consolation, Bowerman again delivering a measured ball in from the left flank and Muitt got up well against his marker to nod the ball into the top right corner from the middle of the penalty area.
Lincoln was called into action to make further good saves in the closing stages; diving down to his right to deny Lee as he swept an effort at goal from the left and Dalby was also denied a second goal of the afternoon as the Wanderers goalkeeper produced a similar save again, substitute Ollie Palmer unable to keep the rebound down and on target. Bowerman again provided from the left as Seager this time couldn’t get the ball out of his feet, Wanderers unable to further reduce the deficit and set up a grandstand finish.
Against the backdrop of the biggest crowd they have played in front of all season, including excellent travelling support, Wanderers continued to display the confidence re-ignited in midweek through their quality on the ball in possession and carved out more chances in front of goal than in very recent weeks on the road, but the experience and clinical play of their promotion-chasing hosts in the final third was ultimately the difference.
Marc White’s men are back on the road again in just three days time, travelling to Boreham Wood on Tuesday evening in a 19:45pm kick off at Meadow Park.
Wrexham (3-5-2): 1 Rob Lainton, 32 Max Cleworth, 4 Ben Tozer, 6 Jordan Tunnicliffe; 14 Anthony Forde, 8 Luke Young (c), 20 Andy Cannon (30 James Jones 83′), 38 Elliot Lee (7 Jordan Davies 88′), 19 Jacob Mendy; 10 Paul Mullin (9 Ollie Palmer 71′), 18 Sam Dalby
Unused Subs: 21 Mark Howard (GK), 29 Ryan Barnett
Goals: Lee 12′, Mullin 42′, Dalby 56′
Yellow Cards: Cannon 34′, Young 38′
Dorking Wanderers (3-5-2): 1 Dan Lincoln, 27 Tony Craig, 5 Ed Harris (2 Isaac Philpot 55′), 33 Joe Cook; 8 Matt Briggs (7 Jimmy Muitt 20′), 18 Luke Moore, 17 Josh Taylor, 11 James McShane (c), 3 Bobby-Joe Taylor (30 Seb Bowerman 50′); 9 Ryan Seager, 24 Harry Ottaway
Unused Subs: 20 Dan Gallagher, 23 Jack Jebb
Goal: Muitt 77′
No Yellow Cards
Referee: Aaron Bannister
Attendance: 10,053 (177 Wanderers Fans)
Man Of The Match: Elliot Lee (Official Home Selection)