First Team
National League Tue 13 February LNER Community Stadium
York City
Dorking Wanderers
  • Blair (86')

Marc White made just one change from the side that lost against Halifax at the weekend, bringing in Bobby Joe-Taylor for Jimmy Muitt, who was sidelined due to a knock. Bobby-Joe’s return necessitated a slight reshuffle in structure, with White opting for a back four, a shape he namely referenced a regret in not selecting for the game against Halifax. The selection and alteration in shape was vindicated for the most part, as a sturdy Wanderers side controlled possession for much of the affair and limited Neal Ardley’s men to very little.

The hosts flew out of the blocks in the opening stages, Finlay Barnes forced a stop out of Harrison Male inside the opening 30 seconds. But as the half wore on, Wanderers found their feet, as they so often seem to do on the road this campaign. Jason Prior got on the end of a Bobby-Joe cross midway through the first half following a neat Dorking passage of play, but the striker could only fire an effort wide of the post.

The first half had a distinctive feel of two teams flirting with the drop zone, with neither side willing to over-commit in their attacks. However, the visitors seemed to have the edge in proceedings, displaying courage and confidence when in possession.

Similarly to the opening stages of the first forty-five, York began the second with a noticeable emphasis. Following a quick City move to gain territory up the pitch, Alex Woodyard delivered a fine cross from the edge of the area which was well cleared by Tony Craig.

Dorking weathered the brief City pressure, and began to play again. Their best chance of the game falling eight minutes after the restart as Haydn Hollis met Bobby-Joe’s delightful cross only to hit his header at the strong hands of George Sykes-Kenworthy between the sticks.

After York failed to capitalise on their early pressure in the second half, Ardley rang the changes on the hour mark with two substitutions. Will Davies and Lenell John-Lewis were the men trusted to turn the tide, with the latter coming off the back of his 89th-minute winner in City’s last outing against Southend United. The subs did make a difference for the hosts, who enjoyed their best spell of the game after introducing the two forwards. Will Davies crashed an effort against the post after some miscommunication between TC and Bobby-Joe, a chance which instilled some energy in the home crowd who had grown frustrated throughout the affair, Dorking however continued to defend soundly, sapping the energy from the home faithful once again.

As the game looked to be somewhat petering out, Blair produced a moment of magic to send the Wanderers squad into delirium. The winger, who had been relentless in taking his man on all evening, found time and space to drive at a tired City backline, as Blair proceeded unchallenged, the angle for a shot opened up and he took it with immense poise, curling an effort onto the underside of the bar and over the line. Blair’s outpouring of emotion with the Wanderers bench highlighted how big that goal was after a difficult fortnight for the Wanderers.

There were no real scares in the five minutes of stoppage time at the end of the game, as Wanderers completed what was a resolute display on the road.

Attentions now turn to Saturday, with a trip to the in-form Kidderminster for a 3pm kick-off.