First Team
National League Sat 6 April Meadowbank Stadium
Dorking Wanderers

Match Preview by Will Jones

We return to Surrey following a hectic Bank Holiday weekend of football where fixtures against Bromley and Aldershot threw up vastly contrasting performances. In terms of Bromley on the Friday, there were encouraging signs, particularly in the first half where it was a very even affair, however second half Dorking’s struggles in front of goal came to bare and Bromley themselves should have been home and hosed in the second half, eventually ending in a 2-0 defeat White’s men.

On the Monday Afternoon, it was a short trip to the EBB stadium to face an Aldershot side vying for the playoff places. It was a game full of chances, and Aldershot took a very early lead after a glaring error by ever-present Harrison Male between the sticks whose clearance found Josh Barrett who calmly slotted away. However, this did not deter Dorking who according to manager Marc White “did so well” to get back into the game and was pleased with the side’s determination to weather the Shots storm.

Eventually, their fight paid off and Dorking found the priceless goal after numerous chances came and went, it was steered home by Alfie Rutherford who himself will be a relieved man after his miss against Bromley on Friday. In the end, they both shared the spoils in what was a gripping 1-1 draw.

After The Shots match, Marc White said he is treating the four remaining fixtures as if they were the play-offs: “we have to chase a points total, we’re treating it one game at a time, that’s our plan, it’s a point gained on that basis. We’re going to play Altrincham in a specific way, and that’ll be the case for the rest of the games.”

“The boys feel the support they’ve been getting at the matches, the support these people are giving the lads is tremendous”

You can join the journey and be the twelfth man. Secure your tickets here for Altrincham this Saturday at 3pm.

Looking ahead to Altrincham, Phil Parkinson’s men sit currently atop the form table in the league following a convincing few weeks at The J Davidson Stadium.

Since our visit to Moss Lane at a month ago, Alty have picked up five wins from seven games, shifting them back up into a strong spot for a play-off finish. They most recently overcame Oldham Athletic 1-0 in front of the TNT Sports cameras on Easter Monday, the evergreen Chris Conn-Clarke netting the winner late in the first-half.

Team News

Matt Briggs (hamstring), Dan Gallagher (hernia) and James Mcshane (ACL) all remain unavailable and are long-term concerns. Dan Pybus is also doubtful along with George Francomb, who both continue to contend with tendonitis troubles.

Barry Fuller is also nursing a minor niggle, but the boss is “hopeful” that he will be fit for Altrincham’s visit.

Bobby-Joe Taylor, who left the field mid-way through the first half at The EBB on Monday with a knock, has trained this week and isn’t thought to be a major fitness concern. A huge boost as we enter the final four fixtures.

Opposition Focus – The Robins

It has been steady improvement for Altrincham under long-term manager Phil Parkinson who have been a breath of fresh air this campaign after a disappointing campaign last season. Goals have been easy to come by for the Robins and results recently have been excellent with 5 wins out of the last 6.

With an attacking return only bettered by Chesterfield, Barnet, and Gateshead this has stood in them great stead throughout the season, in particular with Conn-Clarke who is the fourth top goal-scorer in the National League and is someone that the Wanderers backline will have to be incredibly wary of throughout the course of the game.

It is a clean bill of health for Altrincham ahead of their trip to Dorking, however there are a few players that are walking the tightrope of suspension.

Over the bank holiday weekend, Altrincham continued in the same vein of form that sees them firmly in the playoffs with back-to-back wins over Kidderminster Harriers and then Oldham on the Monday, so form is on a high ahead of the weekend’s affairs.

Last Time We Met

These sides met very recently, in what was a re-arranged fixture for the league, seeing Altrincham narrowly pick up all 3 points with a 2-1 home victory against the Wanderers in what was an action-packed game full of drama and controversy.

Two early goals set the standard for Altrincham, and it was looking a very long afternoon for Dorking at the point, however Altrincham went down to 10 with a straight red card for first goal scorer Regan Linney.

It was a second-half penalty from Tom Blair that gave Dorking a glimmer of hope to make it 2-1, however the Wanderers ran out of puff towards the end and Altrincham held on until the bitter end for a precious 3 points.