The Bognor Connection Continued…
The link between Dorking Wanderers and Bognor Regis Town has been a strong and long-standing one over the years, with many players having plied their trade at ‘The Nye Camp’ ahead of subsequently making the move across the county border to play in red and white. The likes of Dan Lincoln, Sami El-Abd, Joe Cook and Jason Prior have all enjoyed spells down on the coast in West Sussex, as have Jimmy Muitt and Alfie Rutherford, who both re-joined their former club during last month on short term loan deals.
Ruled out of action since the beginning of pre-season with a stomach concern, following a successful operation and recovery period, Jimmy linked up with The Rocks for a one-month loan spell on the final day of September, making his debut as a substitute in the 1-1 draw away to Potters Bar Town. Making five appearances overall, including three starts, Jimmy’s stint would overlap with Alfie, who made his debut the weekend afterwards in the 3-1 FA Trophy victory over Hayes & Yeading United. Absent since the early part of the 2022/23 campaign after suffering an ACL injury, and also undergoing a due heart operation in the interim period, Alfie sealed his remarkable return to action in fairy-tale fashion, netting the third goal of the game within just sixty seconds of coming off the bench in the FA Trophy win. Like Jimmy, Alfie would go on to make five appearances in all on his return to Bognor, appearing as a substitute in all bar his final match this past Monday evening, where he played from the outset as The Rocks overcame Gosport Borough with a 3-0 win to progress through to the second round of the Trophy.
Jimmy & Alfie’s stints on the coast were set to see the pair join up with another Wanderer on loan at Nyewood Lane, wing-back Joe Rabbetts. After initially joining Dartford on loan at the start of the season, Joe moved back to the club he enjoyed a tremendous campaign with last season at the beginning of September, netting a goal on his ‘second debut’ in the 2-2 league draw away at Enfield Town. A run of three consecutive starts would follow for Joe before he unfortunately suffered a broken toe, ruling him out of action just prior to Jimmy & Alfie making their returns.
Familiar Company For Philpot At RPV…
Another month-long loan confirmed in October was Isaac Philpot making the move across to Isthmian South Central leaders Raynes Park Vale. Having not featured for Wanderers up until earlier in October due to injury, Isaac made his first start of the season in the televised fixture against Barnet before heading out on loan to gain further match minutes with Josh Gallagher’s side, which contains a very strong Wanderers connection with former players Ben Dyett, James Dickson, JJ O’Sullivan and the manager’s twin brother, Jake Gallagher, all playing their football at Grand Drive. Isaac made his debut in the 0-1 away win at Met Police on October 21st, before again starting in the 2-1 home victory over Ashford Town this past weekend, RPV consolidating their place at the top of the league table a point ahead of Southall and Chertsey Town.
Jack & Aaron Join Archie In The National League South…
Whilst Archie Proctor has continued to play consistently under former Wanderers head coach Mark Beard at Eastbourne Borough, midfielders Jack Jebb and Aaron Kuhl have also made the loan move into the National League South with Hampshire sides Havant & Waterlooville and Farnborough respectively.
Jack did spend the last couple of months of the 22/23 campaign on loan at Westleigh Park, and with a view to getting more game time made the loan switch back down to the Portsmouth-based club in mid-September, with the loan this time running through to the end of the season. For Jack it would be a reunion with newly appointed Hawks boss Steve King, who Jack previously played under at Welling United and Dartford. Making his ‘second debut’ in the FA Trophy defeat at home to Bracknell Town on September 16th, Jack has remained ever-present through the six games he has played so far, including featuring in the Vanarama Team of The Week following his first league start away at Taunton Town.
In a similar scenario looking for increased game time, Aaron made the switch to Farnborough in mid-October on a loan deal through to January. The midfielder scored a memorable goal for Wanderers in the final pre-season friendly with Farnborough back in July, and has started all three games with The Boro so far, making his debut in the 1-1 draw away at Maidstone United before featuring in the back-to-back home victories over Tonbridge Angels and Dover Athletic, which have propelled Spencer Day’s side up to 4th in the league table.
Consistency For Cam At Cray…
After really positive spells with Hayes & Yeading United and Bognor Regis Town last term, defender Cameron Black has featured regularly again at Step 3 level this term with Isthmian Premier Division side Cray Wanderers. It was not the easiest of starts with Cray unable to pick up a point throughout the opening month of the season, but after registering consecutive 5-1 victories over Newhaven and Chatham Town respectively to begin September, the season has become much more competitive for The Wands over the past couple of months.
All the while it’s been a highly eventful run of games for Cam, who has started practically every match he has been available for. The defender scored key goals in the wins over Phoenix Sports in the Kent Senior Cup and Concord Rangers in the league, but also picked up a couple of red cards in the defeats to Ramsgate in the FA Cup and Canvey Island in the league. A clip of Cam’s remarkable and crucial goal-line clearance in the 0-1 away win over Needham Market in the FA Trophy gained plenty of traction on social media, and after defeating Chesham United on penalties this past weekend, the journey in the Trophy continues for Cray with an away tie against Weston-super-Mare up next in the second round proper.
Elsewhere On Loan…
Midfielder Ollie Allen has continued to be regularly part of the Walton & Hersham matchday squad in their first campaign back at Step 3, called up for starts during the past month in the 3-1 victory over Canvey Island in the FA Trophy, the 2-2 draw away to Tiverton Town, and in the last league outing away at Hanwell Town, where The Swans secured a 1-2 victory to remain well in the early play-off picture in 4th place.
At the same time Jimmy Muitt moved to Bognor, attacking player Matt Everitt, who has yet to feature for Wanderers since signing from Brighton & Hove Albion, made the loan move to Carshalton Athletic. Making his debut in the 2-2 draw away at Chatham Town, Matt netted the opening goal in the 1-2 defeat to Horsham and again started in The Robins last game, a 1-1 draw at home to Lewes.
Versatile defender/midfielder Spike Steggall played a trio of games with Isthmian South East Division side Phoenix Sports in the month of September before picking up an injury, and having started the season with Lancing FC where he made seven appearances, winger Jaevon Dyer made the switch to fellow league outfit Phoenix in mid-October to continue his development, but with the way the fixtures have been recently scheduled has yet to feature for the Dartford-based club.
Academy midfielder’s Jack Saunders and Matt Hay have continued their journey into senior football on loan with Redhill FC and Loxwood FC respectively. Jack has played under Director of Football Jordan Clark at Redhill, recently turning in an excellent performance in the 1-2 away win at Alton, playing his part in The Lobsters push for the play-off places. Matt scored a superb solo strike in Loxwood’s recent home defeat to Eastbourne Town, his second goal of the season, and has featured in both the Wanderers FA Youth Cup wins so far over Cobham and Welling United. Both players continue to feature in Wanderers flagship U19 side who play in the National League Academy South division, and the duo got on the score-sheet in the last home fixture against Oxford City, where Wanderers ran out 3-2 winners on October 25th.