Beneath blue skies and in front of a record crowd the two teams went in all square and goalless at the interval following an evenly contest first half, Jason Prior putting Wanderers in front just after the hour from the penalty spot after James McShane was brought down by goalkeeper Will Jaaskelainen. Within ten minutes though Rohan Ince levelled the scores, rifiling a terrific strike into the top corner of goal from distance before the midfielder then bundled home his second of the afternoon from close range just three minutes later to put The Cards in front, and that’s how it remained.
Marc White made one change to the team which started against Dagenham & Redbridge last Saturday, Tony Craig returning to captain the side as Ed Harris made way at the back.
Kyran Lofthouse should have been credited with the first opportunity of the game in the opening minutes, the midfielder ultimately producing an ‘air strike’ after James Daly had accelerated down the left and picked out Padraig Amond on the opposite flank to cushion the ball back inside for the advancing midfielder.
It was a steady paced, even start to the game from both teams as play swayed back and forth, much of the play absorbed in midfield and remaining like that for the majority of the first half. Cook and Gallagher brought keeper Will Jaaskelainen into action with a couple of headers, the latter forcing a tip-over save, before Josh Taylor spurned an excellent opportunity to put Wanderers in front after he was released from the right flank by Muitt, Jaaskelainen imposing himself well to make the block when faced up with Taylor one-on-one.
The flow of the game was broken up through the middle part of the half with a couple of cautions handed out amidst an altercation involving Gallagher and Rhys Browne, neither player punished beyond a talking to from the referee.
Shortly before half-time The Cards went close from a couple of corner balls; the debuting Kacper Lopata heading just over the bar and centre back partner Billy Sass-Davies, impressive competing in the air throughout the game, nodded straight into the arms of Lincoln.
Half-Time: Dorking Wanderers 0 Woking 0
The defender would fashion a similar opportunity again after the restart, but Wanderers were beginning to establish a firmer grip on possession and subsequently started making waves in the final third. McShane fired an effort wide after good approach play and Craig was unfortunate in not being able to divert Moore’s initial strike towards the top corner of goal, Jaaskelainan quickly altering his position to get behind the shot.
Wanderers momentum would pay off just beyond the hour mark; an awkward long ball was not able to be brought under control by the Woking rearguard and McShane latched on, only to be felled by Jaaskelainan inside the box, penalty awarded. Prior stepped up, and the striker calmly dinked the ball down the centre of goal as Jaaskelainan dived to his right, ‘JP19’ peeling off to celebrate in front of the lively Bank stand and making that now 5 goals from his last 6 matches.
Play was broken up in wake of the goal as Darren Sarll made a double substitution and Rohan Ince received a caution immediately after the kick off, and not long after the game got back under way the midfielder would equalise for The Cards in spectacular style. Taking a steady touch on a Wanderers defensive clearance, Ince then lashed the ball from at least 30 yards out, finding the top right corner and sending the away contingent behind the goal into rapture as the rest of Meadowbank was stunned into silence.
And just three minutes later, the midfielder notched his second of the afternoon to turn the game completely on it’s head and put his side in front. A corner ball delivered from the left was nodded back across goal by Sass-Davies, and Ince managed to get a decisive header to the ball to steer it over the line through the bodies with sub Scott Cuthbert also closing in on the goal line.
Rather than sitting back to protect their lead, The Cards pressed aggressively from the front to keep Wanderers pegged back into their own half for much of the remainder of the contest, strikers Amond and Browne leading the charge and backed up by a persistant midfield effort. The yellow cards totted up for Wanderers who were becoming increasingly frustrated, ultimately unable to find a way back into the game late on and recover a point. Bowerman and sub Bobby-Joe Taylor cut inside from their respective flanks in stoppage time and took on strikes at goal, but couldn’t test Jaaskelainan.
Following a run of three straight league wins, Wanderers kept up their recently improved performance levels matching a strong Woking outfit for large parts of the game, competing well in midfield particularly and again showing resolute qualities to reduce the visiting side to few chances. Marc White described the opening goal as a ‘wonder strike’ and a ‘sucker punch’ post-match, and with the second goal following on so quickly it proved to be enough for Woking to pick up the win, strengthening their grip on 3rd place in the league table.
Down to 19th place and now 6 points clear of the drop zone, the battle to stay in the league is still very much on for Wanderers with 5 games remaining, the opportunity to bounce back arriving quickly and potentially key in shaping the picture at the bottom end as Marc White’s side travel to Yeovil Town on Bank Holiday Monday, a 3pm kick off at Huish Park.
Dorking Wanderers (3-5-2): 1 Dan Lincoln, 37 George Francomb, 27 Tony Craig (c), 33 Joe Cook; 7 Jimmy Muitt (3 Bobby-Joe Taylor 83′), 20 Dan Gallagher (25 Aaron Kuhl 83′), 18 Luke Moore (24 Harry Ottaway 74′), 17 Josh Taylor, 30 Seb Bowerman; 11 James McShane, 19 Jason Prior
Unused Subs: 9 Seager, 22 Barry Fuller
Goal: Prior 64′ pen
Yellow Cards: Moore 14′, Craig 31′, Muitt 44′, Bowerman 90′, Cook 90′
Woking (4-3-3): 22 Will Jaaskelainen, 12 Dan Moss, 18 Kacper Lopata (4 Scott Cuthbert 64′), 29 Billy Sass-Davies, 3 Josh Casey (c); 17 Jim Kellerman, 24 Rohan Ince, 2 Kyran Lofthouse (20 Marcus Dackers 64′); 10 Padraig Amond, 14 Rhys Browne, 8 James Daly (15 Charlie O’Connell 77′)
Unused Subs: 13 Craig Ross (GK), 16 Saloman Nwabuokei
Goals: Ince 73′, 76′
Yellow Cards: Browne 27′, Jaaskelainen 63′, Ince 64′
Referee: Gary Parsons
Sponsors Man Of The Match: Josh Taylor