Preview by Harry Blackburn
Dorking will arrive at the LNER Stadium one place and two points behind the Minstermen who boast a 7-game unbeaten run in the league, stretching back to mid-November. This provides the perfect opportunity for Wanderers to rally and rectify what was summarised by a frank Marc White as “the worst performance in club history” after Saturday’s defeat at the Leasing.com Stadium.
Dorking’s FA Trophy journey came to an end in disappointing fashion after a merciless 5-0 demolition at the hands of The Silkmen in the fourth round. The game started positively with White’s side enjoying much of the ball but unable to string together any clear-cut opportunities. Though, it wouldn’t take long for the Alex Bruce’s side to find their feet. Babatunde Owolabi began his busy afternoon by bolting down the left wing and forcing Harrison Male into an excellent double save, blocking the initial one-on-one well before thwarting the rebound from an onrushing Kane Drummond. Owolabi wasn’t made to wait too long to break the deadlock however, after dribbling to the by-line and cutting the ball back across the Dorking goal. His shot eventually crept over the goal line after a wicked double deflection off of a Dorking shin, followed by the upright.
As half time beckoned, a Macclesfield long ball was misjudged by Male who was left scampering back to his own goal. The covering Dan Gallagher was unfortunate in his last-ditch attempt to prevent the home side doubling their lead, bringing Drummond down inside the box. The Dorking keeper initially denied Macclesfield’s Alex Curran from the spot with a low stop to his left, but the midfielder dispatched the rebound and doubled Wanderers’ deficit
before the break.
Marc White looked to revitalise the side in the second half by introducing Tom Blair and George Francomb, but the unrelenting pace of the Macclesfield forward line proved too much for Dorking. After Tre Pemberton fired just wide, Owolabi latched onto a lofted ball from the vibrant Drummond and headed home from close range making it 3-0 just short of the hour mark – this commenced the start a hellish 10 minutes for Dorking. Five minutes later, Paul Dawson nodded home excellently from a whipped corner, extending the home side’s lead to four before Dorking’s Luke Moore was dismissed for an incident off the ball in the 69th minute.
Wanderers’ misery was compiled less than a minute later as forward Luke Duffy cut inside on the left wing and curled a powerful, right-footed effort into the far corner. An Owolabi hat-trick was denied late into proceedings after Male saved his second penalty of the afternoon with a terrific stop down to his right, pushing the ball away smartly this time for good measure.
Post-match, Marc White epitomised the performance simply saying, “we were extremely poor, they were extremely good. It could have been double figures”.
Matt Briggs remains sidelined after a hamstring injury earlier this month vs Oldham. Meanwhile Jimmy Muitt will return to the matchday squad after being cup tied.
Opposition Focus – The Minstermen
After a choppy start to the season, Neal Ardley’s Minstermen appear to have sailed through the storm and will kick off Tuesday’s clash in good form with one loss in their last ten league games and unbeaten in their last seven. York, who finished 19th last season, find themselves a singular position higher this campaign and will be looking to extend the 2-point gap from Dorking who sit in 18th and clamber away from the relegation zone.
Unlike Dorking, York come into this fixture following a 10-day hiatus since their draw away to Boreham Wood, in which defender Adam Crookes netted a last gasp equaliser in the dying embers to snatch a point for the Minstermen.
It’s likely that newly signed forward Billy Chadwick will make his second appearance for City after his move from Stockport County a fortnight ago. Chadwick racked up 11 goals in 20 appearances at Boston United in the National League last season and will be hungry to get off to flying start at his new club.
Ardley is likely to name an unchanged XI so we can expect a 5-3-2 line-up that looks something like this: Sykes-Kenworthy; Fallowfield, Howe, Smith, Crookes, Latty-Fairweather; Woodyard, Burgess, Chadwick; Akinyemi, Davies.
Last Time We Met
A late Jason Prior goal rescued a point for Dorking at Meadowbank in August, denying York of a first National League win of the season. James McShane netted the first of the afternoon, poking a rebound home to open his account for the campaign. Soon into the second half, Maziar Kouhyar got York back on level terms before top scorer and danger-man Dipo Akinyemi put City in front with a low strike into the bottom corner. A resilient Wanderers rallied and found an equaliser via the head of Prior.