First Team
National League Sat 3 February Meadowbank Stadium
Dorking Wanderers
  • Briggs (96')
1
Fylde
  • Ustabasi (37', 46')
  • Barrett (71')
3
1-3

Match Preview by Harry Blackburn

Marc White’s men will head into Saturday’s fixture in high spirits following a fine composition of defensive solidity and attacking prowess which saw them dispatch of Boreham Wood in emphatic fashion last time out. After the disappointing finale at Dagenham, the boys brushed themselves off and put together a display heralded as “one of those days where everything we set out to do was right” by the gaffer.

Jason Prior opened his account for 2024 with a fine, guided header to open proceedings midway through the first half, with the lead soon doubling after Alfie Rutherford pounced on a loose pass from The Wood’s goalkeeper and passed into an empty net. It only grew worse for The Wood as on the stroke of halftime, Tyrone Marsh was dismissed for a second bookable offence, thus reducing the home side to 10-men. Charlie Carter hammered the nail in the coffin on the hour mark, latching onto a Prior flicked header and nodding home from close range, sealing all 3 points for the delighted visiting Wanderers.

White: “Our best performance of the season”

Not unlike Dorking, this weekend’s visitors AFC Fylde, travel down from Lancashire off the back of an excellent result, reducing second place Bromley to a 1-0 defeat at Mill Farm last weekend. An early goal from promising youngster Danny Ormerod saw The Coasters cap off an unbeaten January, in which they won three and drew one. This Saturday’s fixture is nicely poised with both teams looking to clamber up the hotly contested National League table. Dorking sit in 18th and a win away from the comfort of mid-table with Chris Beech’s Fylde in 22nd and a point from safety.

Marc White has challenged the team to keep the ball rolling and has asked the red and white army to pack out Meadowbank:

“We need the support. It’s a good chance to put together back-to-back wins and then see where we can go from there, one step at a time”.

Team News

Wanderers can expect the return of Luke Moore from suspension as well as Joe Cook from his loan at Weymouth which will provide the manager with additional options in the midfield and defence respectively.

Matt Briggs will be back on the bench after overcoming a hamstring injury, but Saturday’s game comes too soon for Niall McManus who is forced to wait until next week. Barry Fuller remains a few weeks away.

Opposition Focus – The Coasters

The Coasters will make the long journey south in great form with only 2 losses in their last 10 league games, a stark contrast to the way they began this season with only a single win in their first 10. This poor run resulted in the dismissal of Adam Murray in October and the appointment of the then Director of Football Chris Beech, as Head Coach for the remainder of the campaign. Though Fylde’s home form is undoubtedly praiseworthy, Marc White will be looking to capitalise on their away form with only 2 wins on the road this season.

Beech has been busy bolstering the ranks at Fylde this transfer window with numerous notable incomings. Deadline day saw midfielder Ashley Hunter put pen to paper as a free agent on a short-term deal until the end of the season. Hunter made a name for himself with fellow Lancashire side Fleetwood Town, making 216 appearances (183 in League One), netting 38 times and assisting 28.

Also signing along the dotted line was left-back Max Conway who has extended his encouraging loan from Bolton Wanderers, as well as midfielder Dan Adshead on loan from Cheltenham Town.

Fylde top scorer Nick Haughton will pose the biggest threat to Dorking’s net, however. He has bagged 8 times so far this campaign and was last year’s NLN Player of the Year. Another one-to-watch will be 17-year-old striker Ormerod who signed his first professional contract in November and hasn’t looked back since. The youngster has notched 3 times in his last 4 games and will be looking to cement his place as a regular starter.

Last Time We Met

It was a six-goal stalemate when the sides last clashed, with Dorking’s James McShane netting a brace and salvaging a point for the Wanderers at Mill Farm in November.

The game got off to a flyer and was one apiece within the first 5 minutes after McShane’s close-range finish cancelled out Haughton’s opener. The scoreboard read 3-1 at the interval after Luke Charman and Jonathan Ustabasi found the back of Wanderers’ net, capitalising on a poor first half display on Dorking’s part.

It wasn’t long before Dorking found their feet and grew into the game in the second 45, finding a lifeline through a powerful left-footed strike by Josh Taylor that squirmed under The Coasters’ keeper. Late on, it was McShane to the rescue once more, heading home a rebounding freekick from the boot of George Francomb and ensuring a sharing of the spoils.

Click here to view the highlights from our thrilling 3-3 draw back in November

 

Tickets

Priced at Adults £18, Cons £16, U18s £9 & U8s £5, click here to 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 The Heed for just £45!

Match Updates

Not able to attend Meadowbank on Saturday?

LIVE COMMENTARY: Tom Rogers & George Taylor have 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