First Team
National League Tue 25 October The Laithwaite Community Stadium
Dorking Wanderers

Darren Sarll’s men made a rapid start to the game and had Wanderers on the back-foot throughout the first half, making the breakthrough ten minutes before the interval courtesy of Ricky Korboa’s well-taken finish after Wanderers failed to clear their lines at the back. Whilst the tempo of the contest collectively dropped in the second period, The Cards remained in command and made absolutely sure of the three points in the late stages after sub Dennon Lewis capitalised on an error at the back to coolly slot home.

Marc White made two changes to the side which drew against York on Saturday, Bobby-Joe Taylor coming in for the injured George Francomb in defence as Barry Fuller switched to his favoured right side of the back three, Harry Ottaway also coming into the starting line up in place of Jason Prior, ruled out due to a knee injury. Aaron Kuhl returned to the matchday squad after serving his one-game suspension for picking up two yellow cards at Solihull Moors just over a week ago, new signing Alex Lankshear was also named on the bench after his loan move from Blackpool was completed on Sunday.

The home side came flying out the traps, pushing forward to threaten inside the opening sixty-seconds; Fuller getting across to make a sliding block at the edge of the box from Jim Kellerman’s strike before Korboa stung the palms of Male with a fierce shot from range. Amidst a flurry of shots fired around the Wanderers box, Padraig Amond scraped the top of the wall with his free kick in decent striking range.

Wanderers best chance of the match would fall just a few minutes later; Bobby-Joe’s lofted free kick from deep not fully cleared and Craig able to gather on the left flank, his cross was met by Ottaway first time in the six yard box but the striker couldn’t keep the effort down and fizzed it over the bar.

The intense pressing of The Cards box-shaped midfield, driven on in particular by the tireless work of Kellerman and Ipswich-loanee Zak Bradshaw, prevented Wanderers a moments peace on the ball as they struggled to compete and win the midfield battles. This instigated attacking pressure which showed no sign of let up and Male was forced into top back-to-back saves in the still early stage of the opening half, the keeper doing well to get out from goal and beat Amond to the ball as Wanderers played themselves into trouble towards the edge of the box, before denying Matt Robinson at close range after good play down the left with a great reaction save.

Bradshaw displayed good trickery to shuffle forward from midfield prior to unleashing a shot which would whistle just past the post, Tunji Akinola then thudding a header wide at the back post after Bobby-Joe had done well to initially make an aerial clearance.

On 35 minutes the hosts made the deserved breakthrough, but Wanderers will be disappointed by the manner of which the goal was conceded; Male and Craig both going for a cross in the air at the same time but neither ultimately able to establish a strong enough contact to clear, Korboa able to quickly gather and the attacker produced a fine measured finished to direct the ball into the exposed, far corner of goal.

H/T: 1-0

Dan Pybus and Ryan Seager were introduced at the break in place of Dan Gallagher and James McShane, Marc White acknowledging the switch in central midfield was due to Gallagher’s swollen ankle suffered during Saturday’s game against York still causing issue.

The hosts immediately got back on the front-foot after the restart, Korboa lifting a ball to Amond at the far post but the striker unable to fashion a decent contact at goal despite a couple of attempts, the former Newport County man having a effort blocked before shouts for handball in the Wanderers box were waved away by referee Ritchie Watkins.

Bradshaw and Korboa brought Male into action with more speculative efforts from distance as the pace of the game began to slow down approaching the midway stage of the half, Wanderers at this point starting to move and retain the ball further upfield, Bobby-Joe, McManus and Bowerman leading the bid to hold on to possession and make things happen.

Into the final quarter of an hour Wanderers fashioned a couple of half-chances; Bowerman’s dangerous delivery gathered by keeper Will Jaaskelainen ahead of Pybus driving a shot straight down the keeper. Josh Taylor and McManus combined with a neat one-two on the right hand side and the resulting cross was deftly flicked on by Ottaway into the path of Seager, his half-volley was blocked at close range.

Male again pulled out another good save getting down well to keep out Amond’s back-heeled flick after sub Nana Boateng progressed down the right and fed the ball into the near post area, but not long afterwards it would be a case of contrasting fortunes for two other substitutes introduced in the second half which led to Woking getting another goal and killing the game off. And it would be a nightmare moment for Wanderers new signing Alex Lankshear, within a minute of coming on the defender’s hefty touch on the ball was pounced upon by Dennon Lewis, The Cardinals first sub of the afternoon gathering the ball and striding through on goal before slotting easily past Male.

Another bitterly disappointing afternoon for Wanderers in the early stages of the new season, Marc White expressed particular disappointment in the lack of battle and competitive edge from his side throughout the game, particularly during the first half. A contrasting display to both Surrey derby encounters last season where Wanderers competed well against the play-off chasing Cards across both fixtures, this defeat leaves Wanderers with 4 points from their opening 6 games so far as the August schedule draws to a close, Marc White and his management team will no doubt be concerned by no points picked up on the road so far and no clean sheets overall.

Wanderers return to National League action next Saturday afternoon with Eastleigh the visitors to Meadowbank in a 3pm kick off.

Dan Stobbart