With well over a thousand away supporters packing out the recently completed Away End, Friday’s derby is set to be another memorable occasion in Wanderers inaugural season in the National League with the club on course to break a new attendance record.
Marc White will be expecting his side to very much focus on the game not the occasion though come Friday as they look to extend recent good form which has seen three wins from the last three matches. After home defeats of Maidenhead United and Southend United, Wanderers picked up just their third away victory of the campaign last Saturday afternoon at Dagenham & Redbridge, where clinical second half strikes from Jason Prior and Harry Ottaway were enough to earn maximum points and register a second clean sheet in as many games.
Now eight points clear of the relegation zone with six games remaining, the upcoming two fixtures in four days across the Easter Bank Holiday Weekend will provide an opportunity for Wanderers to put further daylight between themselves and the drop zone as the match with Woking is quickly followed up with a second trip this season to Yeovil Town in a 3pm kick off on Monday afternoon.
In his weekly update broadcast on Thursday morning, Marc White confirmed that Niall McManus (achillies) and Matt Briggs (knee) will continue to be absent from the matchday squad as they continue recovery. Tony Craig will be pushing for a start after missing out last weekend with a knock.
Opposition Focus: The Cardinals
Woking arrive at Meadowbank on Friday afternoon looking to strengthen their grip on 3rd place in the National League table and therefore the prospect of a home semi-final play-off tie come the end of the campaign. Currently level with 4th placed Chesterfield on 72 points but ahead of the Derbyshire club on goal difference, The Cards will be no doubt be determined to stay ahead with 7 games remaining and aim to finish in their highest league position since 3rd place was achieved at this level back in 1997/98.
Not in action last weekend due to their opponents being involved in the FA Trophy, Darren Sarll’s team will look to get their April schedule off to a good start after a mixed run of form in March. Strugglers Yeovil Town (0-1) and Maidstone United (1-2) were both defeated on the road, with striker Padraig Amond’s brace in the last ten minutes of the game overturning the score in the latter fixture. The Cards also picked up a win against Maidenhead United on home soil, Amond again on the scoresheet with defender Luke Wilkinson also finding the net in a 2-0 win. The two defeats suffered last month were by fine margins; Nathan Sheron scoring in stoppage time for Oldham Athletic to grab a 1-0 win at Boundary Park and play-off rivals Chesterfield came away from the Laithwaite Community Stadium with a 0-1 win thanks to an Ollie Banks first-half penalty. Ten days ago 5th placed Barnet made the trip down to Surrey and it was honours even as Harry Pritchard’s opener for The Bees was cancelled out by Rhys Browne shortly after the interval.
Signed from Wealdstone in mid-October, striker Browne has found the net 18 times so far this season, 11 of his goals with Woking, just 1 behind club top scorer Padraig Amond who has 12 this term after arriving from Newport County in the summer. Ruled out in recent games with injury but potentially back in the contention for Friday’s game is forward James Daly, another key player for The Cards at the top end of the field this term contributing 7 goals having signed from Stevenage in the close season and rewarded for consistent performances with a call up to the provisional England C squad for the recent friendly against Wales C back in March.
Manager Darren Sarll has carried The Cards forward significantly in his first season in charge, and in looking to ensure his side achieve that 3rd place finish has bolstered his squad in the past few weeks with fresh personnel. Defender Kacper Lopata joined the club on a deal until the end of the season just a couple of weeks ago following a controversial exit from Southend United, where the Polish U21 international had been a key and regular starter in Essex this campaign. In addition to defenders Luke Wilkinson and Dan Moss, both signed in the summer, Darren Sarll has linked up with another player from his time at previous club Yeovil Town, bringing in forward Charlie Wakefield on loan for the remainder of the campaign. Having already joined on loan earlier in the season, defender Charlie O’Connell has also just joined for a second spell from Peterborough United.
Earlier This Season…
The reverse fixture at The Laithwaite Community Stadium in late October proved to be one of the most entertaining games of the season so far as the two sides shared the spoils in a 3-3 draw under the midweek lights. Ryan Seager’s penalty kick gave Wanderers the lead very early on, The Cards getting themselves in front though with goals either side of the interval from Padraig Amond. Seb Bowerman was then key in getting Marc White’s men back in front; the winger’s dangerous cross leading to an own goal from Rohan Ince before providing the assist for James McShane to finish coolly from just outside the six yard box. Rhys Browne managed to pull the scores level with less than ten minutes remaining after finishing off an attacking move down the left side.
Key Matchday Info
ALL HOME TICKETS SOLD OUT, VERY LIMITED AWAY NUMBER LEFT!
NO TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE ON THE TURNSTILES!
TICKET PRICES: Adults £16 / Concessions £13 / U18s £8 / U8s £4
MATCHDAY PROGRAMME: £3 (physical copies only, available at ground)
Not attending Saturday’s match? Stay in the loop…
Tom Rogers will be on the mic and providing live matchday commentary via Mixlr, keep an eye on our social media channels for more information!
We will be providing action and score updates throughout the night via Twitter (@DorkingWDRS)
VISITING FANS INFORMATION
Getting to Meadowbank, where to grab a pre-match drink beforehand and more… https://www.dorkingwanderers.com/visiting-supporters
Elsewhere Around The Club…
B Team Make It 5 Wins From 6 Ahead Of Derby…
The Wanderers B team continued their excellent recent form with a 2-1 win over Hailsham Town last Saturday afternoon. Academy midfielder Jack Saunders got Wanderers off to an ideal start on 5 minutes with a close range finish, but the visiting side managed to get themselves back on terms just before half-time, William Ridgway equalising with a curling effort from just outside the penalty area. Neither side were able to make chances count in the final third as the second half progressed and the game looked set to finish all square, but with just a few minutes of regulation time remaining, captain Tommy Williams secured the win for Wanderers, tucking home substitute Vinnie Murray’s clever lob. The victory means that Ruben Gaspar’s side have now won 5 of their last 6 games in all competitions, with the other result the 0-0 draw away to Wick FC the previous weekend. Earlier this week the B team’s unbeaten run was acknowledged with the awarding of the Southern Combination Division One ‘Team Of The Month’ accolade for March.
Whilst leaders Shoreham look on course to clinch the league title, the race for 2nd place is still very much up for grabs in Division One. Wanderers have held on to the runners up spot with recent results but Surrey rivals Epsom & Ewell and Godalming Town sit just below them in the table and both sides have a couple of games in hand.
And it’s a Surrey derby which concludes the home league schedule for Wanderers B this coming Bank Holiday Monday as Godalming are the visitors to Meadowbank in an 11am kick off.
DWFC Women Back On Sunday…
Due to face Mole Valley rivals Leatherhead on Sunday afternoon at Fetcham Grove, the fixture known as ‘El Clasimole’ was unfortunately postponed due to a sodden pitch.
Coming off the back of disappointing results against Hackney last time out, Lou Cooper’s side will return to league action back on home soil this weekend as Whyteleafe come to Meadowbank for a 3:30 kick off on Easter Sunday.
Vets Back With A Win…
After a run of weeks without a game, the DWFC Vets returned to action last Sunday in a top of the table clash away to West Chiltington. Goals from Badger and JT secured a 1-2 win for Wanderers, who have won 4 games from 4 in the Regional Vets Div 2, with fixtures against Horley Town and Charlwood still to play. Joint top of the table with the two games in hand, the Wanderers will be looking to continue their form and clinch top spot in the coming weeks.
Talking Wanderers, Episode 8 Out Now!
The latest episode of the club’s official podcast, Talking Wanderers, is available now! Hosts James Lampard and Gary Pascoe look back on the last few games and reflect on the recent history of football in Dorking and the changes around Meadowbank with guest Ian Murray.
Talking Wanderers is available via Apple, Google, Spotify and the DWFC App, plus available for viewing over on the club’s official YouTube channel, @DWTV1999.