First Team
National League Sat 18 November Meadowbank Stadium
Dorking Wanderers
  • Rutherford (26')
  • Hollis (81')
Boreham Wood
  • Whelan (66')

Luke Garrard’s side arrive at Meadowbank one place above Wanderers on goal difference after an uncharacteristically shaky start to the campaign. With just one win in the last five league outings for both sides, victory for either team would prove significant in the overall standings which paints a marginal picture; just three points separates 9th and 18th heading into the weekend round of fixtures. Garrard’s men arrive on the back of a hard earned point against 4th placed Bromley last Saturday, where, after going a goal and man down in the first half, an Enrico Sousa wonder-strike with ten minutes to play rescued a point. The goal moved The Wood above Wanderers, who fell to their heaviest National League defeat at The Gateshead International Stadium.

Following the defeat, White spoke candidly of his sides shortcomings enforcing the lack of “defensive aggression” was a key factor of the heavy defeat, before emphasising the quality Rob Elliot’s side offer, stating that “if you’re not on the money against them [Gateshead], they will punish you”. And punish they did, mercilessly. Following some smart interchange between Greg Olley and Billy Chadwick down the right channel, the latter found himself with time and space in the 18-yard-box to stab an effort beyond Harrison Male to open the scoring with just shy of 20 minutes played. No less than six minutes after the restart, and following a series of relentless attacks from the hosts, Stephen Wearne was the grateful recipient of a fine through ball from Joe Grayson following a patient move from The Heed; Wearne coolly slotted home his sides second of the day as Elliot’s men begun to really turn the screw. The Gateshead dominance continued after the goal, as Chadwick netted his second, and The Heed’s third goal in the space of twelve minutes, after beating Male at the near-post following some good hold-up play. Greg Olley added to his earlier assist with a goal himself five minutes into the second half, after rounding off a counter attack with a bending effort into the far post. Chadwick completed his hat trick with twenty minutes left to play; following a strong run in-field from Kyran Lofthouse, the forward would be picked out by Lofthouse before assertively slotting home. Male went on to deny Lofthouse a goal himself with an outstanding save, but couldn’t keep out Regan Bootey’s deflected effort on the 88 minute mark, adding gloss to an already emphatic scoreline, and consigning Wanderers to a new, unwanted record in the division.

“This is our journey, it’s not a failure to be in the National League”, were the words of a rational Marc White post defeat, who, despite a foreseeable level of disappointment, remained realistic of expectations, citing that he and the management team are currently contending with a “fragmented” squad in relation to fitness levels across the team, leaving him “excruciatingly short of players at full fitness”. Looking ahead to Wood’s visit, preparation for Wanderers this past week included a friendly match at home to Raynes Park Vale on Tuesday evening; goals from Niall McManus and a first goal for Alfie Rutherford since his return securing a 2-0 win. It was a night where new signing Haydn Hollis made his debut in red and white, joined from the outset by Barry Fuller, Tony Craig and Bobby-Joe Taylor all working their way back from recent injury lay-offs, with B team and Academy players Tyrese Ayeni, Joel Brown and Ollie Rawlins also gaining minutes in the second half of the game.


Team News

In addition to the prospect of Haydn Hollis making his competitive debut this weekend, Barry Fuller, Bobby-Joe Taylor and Seb Bowerman will each be pushing for involvement having all featured in the midweek friendly against Raynes Park Vale. After a setback in training, Tony Craig will not be available for selection and after picking up a fifth caution of the season last Saturday, Niall McManus will also miss out through suspension.

Marc White will still be without Charlie Carter (broken wrist), Matt Briggs (hamstring) and Tom Blair (ankle) as they continue recovery from their recent injuries.


Opposition Focus – The Wood

Enduring their worst start to a National League campaign since promotion in 2014/15, just four wins in nineteen games leave The Wood in 17th position heading into the weekend. A now bolstered-looking Wanderers attack may be relishing the fact that they are up against a side who have registered just two clean sheets (and two wins) in over two months in the league. However, with three draws from their last four in the league, Garrard’s side’s recent performances can’t be ignored, with their most recent point against high-flying Bromley continuing a trend of stellar showings from the Hertfordshire based side, who seem to be hitting the right notes again. Their goalscorer last weekend, Sousa, has been highlighted as a player growing in confidence by the week, driving the team out of their early season rut.

Lee Ndlovu, who will be looking to score at Meadowbank for a second successive season, currently stands as Wood’s top scorer with five goals. Some notable incomings at Meadow Park include Billy Sass-Davies and Regan Griffiths from League Two’s Crewe Alexandra, the former has been an ever-present in Wood’s backline this campaign and has assisted in them holding a stellar defensive record. Tom Whelan, who arrived from league leaders Chesterfield, has also featured regularly in Garrard’s midfield, and this weekend may see brand new signing Charles Clayden, just brought in from Charlton Athletic on Friday, make his debut, the defender having featured on loan at Dulwich Hamlet, Bromley and Wealdstone in recent years.

Currently standing as one of the longest serving managers in the football pyramid, Garrard has led The Wood to some magnificent achievements since taking charge in 2015. One of which being a memorable FA Cup run in 2021/22 which took The Wood to Goodison Park in the fifth round; Frank Lampard’s Everton ran out 2-0 winners on a historic day for Garrard and the club. As well as making a record in the FA Cup, Garrard recorded the clubs highest ever finish of 4th in 2018. Following their 6th placed finish last campaign they entered the play-offs and beat Barnet 2-1 at The Hive in the elimination round, before losing against eventual winners Notts County 3-2 AET in the semis, having led the game 2-0 at one stage.


Last Time We Met

Wood continued their impressive early season form to run out 1-4 winners at Meadowbank last August with a brace apiece for Ndolvu and Tyrone Marsh. Rutherford opened the scoring eight minutes into the affair, shooting and turning in one movement before seeing his effort roll into the bottom corner. Wanderers held the lead for nearly an hour, before two quick fire goals from Ndlovu and Marsh put the visitors ahead. Wood went on to hold their lead for the remainder of the half before adding another two quick fire goals in stoppage time.

Dom Bleackley


Matchday Info

Priced at Adults £18, Cons £16, U18s £9 & U8s £5, secure your tickets online now:

Don’t forget our Family Ticket where two adults and two children are able to watch the Wanderers take on Boreham Wood for just £45!

*Season Ticket holders from other clubs, if your team is not playing due to the international break this weekend, come to Meadowbank and receive a £5 discount on admission!*


Matchday Programme
The printed programme remains in place for 23/24, available at the merchandise and food outlets on Saturday priced at £3!


Join Us In The FanZone & The New Bar @ The Bank!
Both our outdoors bar areas will be open from 1pm on Saturday afternoon!


Match Updates
Not able to attend Meadowbank?

LIVE COMMENTARY: Tom Rogers has got you covered with live commentary of the game via Mixlr! Stay tuned to our social media channels for more information.

LIVE UPDATES: We will be providing action and score updates throughout the afternoon via Twitter, give us a follow @DorkingWDRS


Visiting Fans Information
All the info on getting to Meadowbank, where to grab a pre-match drink beforehand and much more…

Visiting Supporters
1 year ago