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

When the boys travelled to The J Davidson Stadium almost a month ago, their hosts sat in 4th place in the league, having won eight of their last ten league games. However a torrid run of form leaves Alty’s once relatively secure chance at a play-off finish under severe threat, as they now sit five points behind Aldershot Town in 7th.

The Robins’ most recent defeat came to Dagenham, who, like Dorking, are battling to stay away from the relegation zone. The Daggers’ 3-1 win in front of their fans came as a huge boost after going three games without a win.

Marc White’s men left considerable pressure on all sides in and around the drop zone on Saturday after overcoming league leaders Chesterfield in an early, televised kick-off. Following what stands as one of Meadowbank’s most memorable of days, White stated that the affair showcased “the potential we’ve got”, hailing it as a “brilliant performance”.

“I genuinely never had a single doubt we couldn’t win the game. We’ve worked so hard this week it’s unbelievable”

Goals from Dan Pybus, Alfie Rutherford (x2) and Tom Blair gave us what was a fully deserved win in front of the TNT Sports cameras. Spireites manager Paul Cook, when speaking to TNT after the game, said “I can’t emphasise how much they [Dorking] deserved it”, also admitting that we caught the Champions elect “at their worst”.

In his weekly update prior to the game, White stated that his side “will run through brick walls” when facing the league leaders, and was proven absolutely right by his players. “They did run through brick walls, they’re a good bunch of lads, they deserve all the plaudits today for delivering the game plan.”

When speaking about our pending trip to Altrincham, the boss vowed that his side will attempt to continue in the same vein, “we’re going to try and outgun everybody.”

Team News

Tony Craig is available for selection again after serving his one match ban, and following the strong performances of Barry Fuller, Haydn Hollis and Joe Cook on Saturday, the boss may be left with a slight headache when selecting his XI.

Seb Bowerman is now said to be available for selection again, meanwhile Matt Briggs made his first appearance for nearly a month at the weekend.

The sustained fitness of Jason Prior and Alfie Rutherford will no doubt please White and the coaching staff, as The Wanderers continue to battle to stay in the fifth tier.

Opposition Focus – The Robins

Alty’s wretched run of form of late can be attributed to some key players being unavailable through injury, Phil Parkinson has been without Justin Amaluzor and goalkeeper Ethan Ross for their last few outings.

Parkinson called the National League “one of the strangest leagues I’ve worked in”, after his side were defeated by Dagenham on Saturday. The Alty boss emphasised the strength of clubs in the bottom half of the division, namely citing our 4-1 win over Chesterfield as evidence to that. “It’s such a tough division and you get found out if you’re a bit thin”, stated the Alty boss.

Despite their poor form, The Robins are continuing to find the net, scoring in each of their last four, attacking full-back Lewis Banks has two goals in three games. It’s at the other end of the pitch where The Robins’ issues are arising, Wanderers will be hoping to capitalise on a vulnerable Altrincham backline who have shipped 13 goals in their last five outings.

Parkinson, sending out a battle cry after a fifth straight defeat, stated that his side now need to “pull up their sleeves and bounce back”, but do face a Wanderers who have been notoriously tough to beat when playing away from home.

Last Time We Met

You have to go back to April last year for the previous fixture between the sides, in which Dorking came out 3-2 winners. A memorable comeback at Meadowbank sealed the win for White’s men with goals from Jimmy Muitt, Harry Ottaway and Prior.

Altrincham came out firing with a caressed effort from Regan Linney finding the top right corner within five minutes. The Robins then doubled their lead through Maxi Oyedele who pounced on a loose touch and confidently slotted home.

Wanderers got themselves back in the game soon after with Muitt latching onto a whipped Bowerman cross and nodding home well.

After the break, it was Ottaway who clinched the equaliser, bringing the ball down excellently inside the box and slotting the ball into the bottom left corner with panache. The boys completed their fantastic comeback via a bullet header from Prior, after the #9 gleefully met Muitt’s inviting cross.