The hosts were reduced to ten men at the very end of the first half as winger Chiori Johnson was dismissed for collecting a second yellow card, in spite of this the game continued to be tightly contested, but an instinctive close range finish from Jason Prior with less than twenty minutes remaining was enough for Wanderers to come away from Somerset with maximum points. Registering back-to-back away victories for the first time this season, Marc White’s side continued to show their defensive resolve with a third clean sheet retained from their last four matches.
The Wanderers boss went with an unchanged starting line-up following the 1-2 defeat to Woking on Good Friday, opting for the same side which has now started four of the last five matches.
From the outset it was clear that weather conditions would have a strong bearing on the game, the playing surface particuarly slippery following the showers from earlier in the day and a high wind would continue to affect proceedings throughout. Prior made a couple of key aerial clearances from inside the six yard box in the early going, Josh Taylor’s long throw not quite picking out the front-man in a similar position up the other end of the field as the launched ball flew through to keeper Grant Smith.
Play was predominantly fought in the middle of the park as both sides struggled to find a cutting edge, the game often scrappy with a succession of cautions breaking up the rhythm throughout the opening forty-five, including Joe Cook receiving a yellow card with just over 15 minutes gone, Marc White not taking any chances and deciding to bring Bobby-Joe Taylor on in Cook’s place shortly after.
Towards the interval midfielder Matt Worthington brought Lincoln into action for the first time with a low strike from 25 yards out, the keeper able to get down to his right and push the ball away. Josh Taylor released Muitt down the right and his dangerous ball across the face of goal was deflected awkwardly over the bar by Glovers skipper Josh Staunton.
Just after a minute of added on time was confirmed by the fourth official, the home side suddenly found themselves down to ten men. Chiori Johnson had received the first yellow card of the afternoon for a late challenge on Cook with just 10 minutes on the clock, and was given his marching orders after another mistimed tackle, this time on Bowerman by the touchline. The resulting free kick was driven in for Craig to meet first-time on the spin, but the defender directed his effort beyond the top left stantion of goal and into the stands.
Half-Time: Yeovil Town 0 Dorking Wanderers 0
Yeovil boss Mark Cooper ensured his side maintained their attacking intent despite being a man light after the restart with the introduction of forward Andrew Oluwabori for midfielder Scott Pollock up top, and his side took command of the game in the early going of the second period. Miguel Freckleton’s deflected effort drifted just wide before an unfortunate slip by Francomb allowed Malachi Linton to advance into the area, although he himself also lost his footing as he drove a shot behind goal, the angle deceiving some fans into believing the ball hit the back of the net. A loose Wanderers pass in-field from the right channel sent Linton away again not long afterwards, the striker again though not able to work Lincoln from a decent position and scuffing his effort wide.
Aaron Kuhl had come on for Dan Gallagher just before the hour mark, and shortly after entering the field it was his well-measured diagonal ball that set Bowerman away down the left, the winger’s cross then finding McShane at the near post but ‘Macca’ was unable to bring the ball under control and the ball bounced off his shin and wide.
Marc White made his final change as we entered the final quarter of the game with Ryan Seager coming on to face his former club in place of McShane, the last sub of the day would be key in setting up the chance which enabled Wanderers to break the deadlock.
Doing well to keep the ball alive on the right, Seager switched play to the opposite side to find Bowerman, who combined with Josh Taylor to pick out Moore at the edge of the box. Having been unsuccessful from range a couple of times earlier in the half, Moore this time forced Smith into a low diving save, the keeper only able to push the ball just in front of him though and Prior was fastest on the scene to arrive and calmly tuck the ball home.
Taking a control of possession for much of the game thereafter, Seager was presented with a good opportunity to double the advantage and kill the game off with less than ten minutes remaining, latching onto Josh Taylor’s through ball but not able to quite lift the ball over Smith when facing up the stopper one-on-one. Bowerman gathered the ball as play was shifted nicely from right to left, the winger not generating enough power in his shot straight down Smith.
Just before the end of the game Francomb gave away a free kick right on the outside corner of the Wanderers penalty area, the former Crawley Town man perhaps fortunate to receive a yellow rather than red card in the circumstances. Right in front of the travelling Wanderers fans nerves were quickly dissipated as the resulting free kick was drilled straight into the two man wall. Marc White’s side again spurned another opportunity to put the game to bed in stoppage time; Josh Taylor surging into the box impressively and getting to the byline before cutting the ball back, no one in a red and white shirt arriving into space to take advantage though.
Through 3 minutes of added on time Wanderers managed to hold out, sealing victory for the fourth game in their last five matches. Six points clear of the relegation zone and now tied on 49 points with the three sides above them in Maidenhead, York and Gateshead, Wanderers will look to take another massive step towards survival next Saturday when they return to action to face Altrincham at Meadowbank.
Yeovil Town (3-4-3): 1 Grant Smith, 26 Owen Bevan, 32 Josh Staunton (c), 36 Miguel Freckleton; 17 Chiori Johnson, 10 Jordan Maguire-Drew (28 Callum Harriott 63′), 24 Charlie Cooper, 3 Jamie Reckord (11 Jordan Young 75′); 7 Matt Worthington, 33 Scott Pollock (27 Andrew Oluwabori 46′), 14 Malachi Linton
Unused Subs: 16 Ryan Law, 30 Jack Clarke
Yellow Cards: Johnson 10′, 45′, M. Cooper 12, C. Cooper 27′,
Red Card: Johnson 45′
Dorking Wanderers (3-5-2): 1 Dan Lincoln, 37 George Francomb, 27 Tony Craig (c), 33 Joe Cook (3 Bobby-Joe Taylor 21′); 7 Jimmy Muitt, 20 Dan Gallagher (25 Aaron Kuhl 55′), 17 Josh Taylor, 18 Luke Moore, 30 Seb Bowerman; 11 James McShane (9 Ryan Seager 68′), 19 Jason Prior
Unused Subs: 22 Barry Fuller, 25 Harry Ottaway
Goal: Prior 74′
Yellow Cards: Cook 16′, M. White 29′, Josh Taylor 64′, Francomb 86′
Referee: Elliott Swallow
Attendance: 3778 (250 Wanderers Supporters)
Man Of The Match: Oscar Bevan (Official Home Selection)