Wanderers will be looking to take another step towards securing National League status for next season, heading into the final four games of the campaign currently six points above the relegation zone.
Shaking off the narrow 1-2 defeat to Woking on Good Friday, Marc White’s men got back to winning ways against Yeovil Town this past Bank Holiday Monday, Jason Prior’s second half goal settling a tightly fought, often scrappy encounter at Huish Park, the striker’s close range finish his sixth goal in his last seven games. For Wanderers the victory marked a fourth win from their last five matches, retaining three clean sheets in the process.
Home form has been key in recent weeks and ahead of the longest away trip of the season to a resurgent Gateshead on Tuesday night, and before the final away fixture of the campaign against Wealdstone next Saturday, Marc White will be no doubt looking for his side to get more points on the board this weekend and continue to put daylight between themselves and the bottom four irrespective of results elsewhere.
In his weekly update broadcast on Friday afternoon, Marc White did acknowledge a couple of players had received knocks in training on Thursday and would undergo late fitness tests ahead of Saturday’s game. The manager has confirmed that Niall McManus (achillies) and Matt Briggs (knee) will both continue to be sidelined, but one positive on the injury front this past week has been the return to training of Adam Mekki following the bad shoulder injury he suffered whilst on loan at Bath City back in February.
Oppositon Focus: The Robins
Altrincham will arrive at Meadowbank this weekend in the mid-table safe haven of 13th position, a near equal number of points away from both the play-off places and the relegation zone. In their first season as a full-time club and third back in the National League following promotion in 2020, The Robins are in a great position to match or potentially better their 14th place finish from last term.
Phil Parkinson’s side will be looking to get back on the winning track after registering just one victory from their last five games, Regan Linney’s second half penalty enough to defeat Southend United at the J.Davidson Stadium in late March, the surrounding run of results including a 0-2 home defeat to title-chasing Notts County and earning a 2-2 draw away at Oldham Athletic on Good Friday. This past Bank Holiday Monday The Robins were defeated at home by in-form Gateshead, Marcus Dinanga’s goal the difference between the two sides, the striker having only left Altrincham to join The Heed in early February on a permanent transfer.
Dinanga’s depature is one of a few key players who have left the club through the middle part of the season. Top scorer Chris Conn-Clarke netted 9 league goals before his loan from Fleetwood Town was switched to League Of Ireland side Waterford FC in January, and second highest scorer Ryan Colclough with 7 goals was signed by Chesterfield for an undisclosed fee. The club has used the loan market to bring in replacements and fresh personnel, with defender Miles Welch-Hayes joining from Harrogate Town in January, and attacking midfielder Tyrese Sinclair arriving from fellow League Two side Rochdale in early February and already among the goals with 5 contributed so far. In the past 48 hours, however, it has been confirmed that Sinclar has been recalled by his parent club and will therefore not feature this weekend. The local connection has also been key in the mid-season recruitment process with a trio of Manchester United youngsters joining until the end of the campaign – defender Sonny Ajofree, midfielder Maxi Oyedele and forward Joe Hugill all making the move across from Old Trafford.
One player who has remained a constant and consistent performer throughout the campaign has been midfielder Josh Lundstrum, the summer signing from Crewe Alexandra rewarded for his displays in the middle of the park this season with a call up to the England C squad last month to face Wales C. The friendly took place in very familiar surroundings for Lundstrum – Alty’s home ground The J. Davidson Stadium.
The Robins produced an impressive run in the FA Trophy this season and ended up being defeated just one game away from a Wembley final. After defeating National League North side Curzon Ashton 1-0 in the third round, high-flying Wrexham were then seen off on penalties in the fourth, Altrincham then going on to beat Bracknell Town and York City away from home before suffering defeat to Halifax Town in the semi-final’s on penalties after the game finished 1-1 in normal time.
Earlier This Season…
The two sides met at The J.Davidson Stadium back in early October, and the hosts would hand Wanderers a third away defeat of the campaign and one of the most emphatic all season with a 4-1 win. Ryan Colclough’s free kick from a narrow angle opened the scoring in stoppage time at the end of the first half, and the home side doubled their advantage within three minutes of the restart, skipper Toby Mullarkey finishing from close range after Dan Lincoln produced a good initial save from a corner ball. Preston North End loanee Aaron Bennett then curled in a superb third just past the hour mark to really put the game beyond Wanderers. Dan Gallagher pulled a consolation goal back after efforts from Sami El-Abd and Ryan Seager were initially kept out, but three minutes from time Marcus Dinanga added another for The Robins tapping home Bennett’s low cross from the left.
Key Matchday Info…
TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE:
Adults £16 / Concessions £13 / U18s £8 / U8s £4
A family of 4 (2 adults, 2 U16s) can watch the Wanderers against The Shrimpers for just £35!
MATCHDAY PROGRAMME: £3 (physical copies only, available at ground)
Not attending Saturday’s match? Stay in the loop…
Gary Pascoe 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 Sign Off Home Campaign With Another Win!
Ruben Gaspar’s Wanderers B team played their last home league game of the campaign on Bank Holiday Monday, defeating Surrey rivals Godalming Town 3-1 at Meadowbank, finishing the season with an unbeaten home record in all competition’s since August.
After a goalless first half, striker Oussman Diop-Traore slotted the ball home within three minutes of the break after good work from Dan Berry in the build up. Tyrese Johnson then doubled the advantage midway through the half, rounding the keeper and finishing off an excellent team move, but just moments later Town managed to half the defecit, substitute James Frudd tucking home from close range after an initial free kick effort came back off the post. Five minutes later though, Wanderers restored their two goal cushion, defender Reece Tierney rising well to powerfully head home a cross from the right.
Wick FC and fellow Surrey rivals Epsom & Ewell are the only sides who can potentially derail Wanderers hope’s of a runner’s up finish as both sides carry at least a couple of games in hand. Leaders Shoreham could still be mathematically caught by the chasing pack, although the side from Sussex are expected to clinch the league title barring a very late slip up in form. The final league game of the season for the B team will be an away visit to mid-table Mile Oak on Saturday April 22nd, before that however is the small matter of the Challenge Cup semi-final, where Wanderers will again battle it out with Godalming, the one-legged tie taking place on neutral ground at Alford FC’s Elliot Scott Group Stadium in a 19:45 kick off on April 19th.
DWFC Women Look To Bounce Back Against League Leaders…
With the local derby against Leatherhead postponed the previous weekend due to a waterlogged pitch, the Dorking Wanderers Women had to wait a further seven days to bounce back from their disappointing double header of results against Hackney in late March. Lou Cooper’s side got their April schedule under way last Sunday afternoon hosting mid-table Whyteleafe at Meadowbank, and tasted defeat for just the third time this campaign after a penalty kick scored five minutes before the break was enough for the visiting side to take maximum points. Despite the positive of top scorer Cherelle Khassal returning to the side after recent injury, the disappointment of the day was unfortunately compounded with midfielder Megan Stow and striker Gemma Shepherd both picking up injuries.
Seven points behind Clapton Community who lead the way in the London & South East Division One, despite the dip in form fourth-placed Wanderers still have five games in hand on the table toppers, and it’s the London based side who are up next, visiting Meadowbank this Sunday in a 15:30 kick off.
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.