First Team
National League Tue 5 March The J. Davidson Stadium
  • Linney (05')
  • Kosylo (11')
Dorking Wanderers
  • Blair (60')

Marc White went with an unchanged XI from Saturday’s big win over Chesterfield, with the only change in the squad being Tony Craig coming in for George Francomb on the bench.

Altrincham started the game on the front foot and caused Dorking real problems when trying to play out from the back. A swift move from the hosts led to their first goal, as Chris Conn-Clarke broke clear following some flicks, he was brought down on the edge of the area. Catching Dorking unaware, Conn-Clarke took a quick free-kick and found Linney who fired home Alty’s first, sparking uproar in the away camp at how swiftly the free-kick was allowed to be taken.

Dorking almost found an equaliser just minutes after the restart as Charlie Carter broke down the right and cut a ball back to Jason Prior, who saw an effort blocked, before Matt Briggs saw his effort end in the same result.

Alty continued to play on the front foot and doubled their advantage less than five minutes after Linney’s opener. Conn-Clarke at the heart of the move again as he broke into the Wanderers area unmarked, before squaring a pass to Kosylo who tapped into an empty net. Joe Cook, who was adjudged to have fouled Conn-Clarke after he played the pass, received a yellow card for his late challenge.

White rang the changes as he looked to keep the game within reach. Withdrawing Cook for Bobby-Joe Taylor, and Alfie Rutherford for Tony Craig, reshuffling to a back four.

Despite sacrificing an attacker, the changes worked in Dorking’s favour as they grew into the affair as the half wore on and began to control possession in the Alty half.

As Phil Parkinson’s men tried to see out the first half and weather the palpable Wanderers pressure, their goalscorer, Linney, changed the complexion of both upcoming half-time team talks. Following a continuous battle with Craig throughout the half, the two had a coming together after contesting for a ball. When the ball had gone out of play the Alty goalscorer was adjudged to have committed a red card offence by the official, and linesman, who was close to the situation.

HT: 2-0

Predictably, the Dorking pressure only compounded into the second half, and they almost found a route back into the game within the first minute of the second 45. Barry Fuller, who was a constant threat down the right-hand-side, picked out Carter in the area whose mis-kicked effort fell to Blair, the winger then struck an effort against the woodwork.

A relentless Wanderers side continued to pile the pressure on the hosts, and were soon rewarded with a penalty on the hour mark. After Carter received the ball on the half turn and drove at a rocked Alty backline, the midfielder played the ball to Taylor, who intricately evaded an initial challenge, before cutting back onto his left foot, being fouled in the process. Blair stepped up and confidently smashed the penalty into the top corner, giving the visitors real hope of a comeback.

Bobby-Joe looked to have found an equaliser with a stunning effort from range, but saw his effort cannon off the bar. Prior also went close with a header at the back post after being found by Briggs.

With ten minutes to play, Briggs pulled up with a hamstring injury, but was forced to stay on the field as all subs had been used, leaving Wanderers effectively down to ten men involved. This halted the pressure on the Altrincham goal somewhat as the hosts dealt with the danger well to close out the affair.

Despite a disappointing evening in Cheshire, a positive second half performance can be taken forward into a big week ahead. With two more away trips on the horizon, firstly against Maidenhead United on Saturday, then another Tuesday night next week at Southend United, White’s men will hope to rediscover the touch they found against Chesterfield.