First Team
National League Sat 27 January Meadow Park
Boreham Wood
Dorking Wanderers
  • Prior (32')
  • Rutherford (37')
  • Carter (61')

Preview by Harry Blackburn

The Wanderers descend on Hertfordshire this Saturday afternoon to meet Luke Garrard’s Boreham Wood at Meadow Park. Dorking find themselves 3 points and 6 places below their opposition but have the chance to offset that difference with a win.

Our trip to The Wood caps off a hectic period of three games in seven days for the Wanderers. A dramatic week in which, despite all the chaos, has seen the group come out relatively free of any fresh injury concerns.

A buoyant Marc White in his weekly update stated the boys trained well on Thursday and is satisfied with the selection of players he has at his discretion, as he and the management team look to put Tuesday’s heartbreak in Dagenham behind them.

Daggers Recap

After beginning the game sluggishly, Wanderers allowed two key chances for the hosts in the opening 10 minutes. Harrison Male was equal to both, pulling off some smart saves and setting the tone for his first half – Harrison exuded confidence between the sticks both with the ball at his feet and in dealing with efforts. Later, White hailed his #1 proclaiming him the “best keeper we’ve ever had”.

In similar fashion to the first half, Dorking seemed to come out of the blocks slowly and as the clock ticked past the hour mark, Wanderers fumbled possession in midfield. A fluid display of passing followed, with the ball eventually breaking to Daggers’ Frank Vincent whose blocked shot flicked into the path of a bulldozing Inih Effiong, who calmly poked the ball home from 6 yards.

Dorking weren’t discouraged after conceding however, enjoying good spells of possession as the game wore on. Their endeavour was rewarded late on as Sebastian Bowerman found space down the left flank. His cross eventually found Harry Ottoway who deftly brought the ball under control and was subsequently fouled inside the area. After a moment of deliberation, referee David Mcnamara pointed to the spot. Bowerman’s resulting penalty was saved well by the opposing goalkeeper but after a few seconds of mayhem in the box, the ball fell to Josh Taylor at the back post, lashing the ball home and sending the Wanderers fans behind the goal into raptures.

As Dorking awaited the full-time whistle, Dagenham and Redbridge went on the offensive, dealing a killer blow via Inih Effiong who latched onto a flicked header deep into the 96th minute.

It was a bitter pill to swallow for the boys with Marc White asserting post-match that “we deserved a point on the balance of the game”. Now, the group must look forward to Saturday where they will have the chance to close the gap on a Boreham Wood side who were denied promotion in the play offs last year.

Team News

Despite training on Thursday, our trip to Boreham Wood still comes a little too early for Matt Briggs, who is close to a return from his hamstring injury. Barry Fuller (hamstring) remains unavailable, along with James McShane (ACL).

Luke Moore remains suspended due to his red card at Macclesfield a fortnight ago.

Opposition Focus

Luke Garrard’s Boreham Wood will begin Saturday’s fixture 5 games unbeaten in the league and unbeaten at home since early October. The Wood sit in mid-table with relegation and the play-offs equidistant but will be looking to build on their decent season last year and start climbing the table.

Garrard’s side have struggled with consistency so far this campaign but since the turn of the year, results have stabilised with 4 draws and 1 win in their last 6 games, scoring 10 and conceding 15. Almost a third of those goals came in their last game against Eastleigh which ended in a compelling 4-4 draw. Boreham Wood’s Erico Sousa netted a brace, the second of which coming in the form of a 98th minute equaliser from the penalty spot.

Marc White will be expecting to find a “stereotypically physical and athletic” Boreham Wood at Meadow Park in what is likely to be a hotly contested affair between the two sides.

Last Time We Met

It was a tight affair when the two sides last went head-to-head in November at Meadowbank, resulting in a 2-1 Dorking win. Proceedings were opened after a misplaced pass from Boreham Wood’s goalkeeper was pounced on and lashed home by a ruthless Rutherford midway through the first half, giving Dorking the advantage going into the break.

The game was then tied in the 72nd minute by Wood midfielder Tom Whelan who rose above Dorking’s defence to coolly head home.

Then 10 minutes from time, a whipped Dorking corner found the debutant Haydn Hollis whose textbook diving header gunned into the bottom left corner, ensuring Dorking took all 3 points and their first back-to-back wins of their National League tenure.