First Team
National League Sat 13 April Spotland Stadium
Dorking Wanderers
  • Carter (49')

Wanderers penultimate fixture of the 23/24 campaign finished with a share of the spoils in the North West as Charlie Carter’s instinctive strike shortly after half-time was quickly cancelled out by Devante Rodney’s precise finish, on an afternoon where goalkeepers Jacob Chapman and Slav Huk both made top reaction saves throughout the contest to keep the scoreline down.

There were three changes to the Wanderers side which started at Wealdstone on Thursday evening; ‘Super Slav’ coming in between the sticks for the injured Harrison Male, whilst captain Barry Fuller and Alfie Rutherford also returned for Haydn Hollis and Luke Moore respectively.

The home side began brighter and dominated much of the possession and play throughout the first half, but the Wanderers defence ensured clear cut chances were reduced to a premium with Craig and Fuller both making crucial timely interventions to block strikes from Rodney, Sam Mather also bringing Huk into action later in the half after shifting inside from the left channel with slick footwork.

Rutherford actually sprurned the best opportunity of the match at the midway point of the half in a rare venture forward for Wanderers; Carter sliding a measured through ball into the channel for Muitt, whose cross towards the near post was met first time by the Dorking No10, but tipped wide with an outstanding reaction stop from Chapman.

In similar fashion to Thursday night, Wanderers broke the deadlock shortly after the restart; Carter netting his 6th goal in red and white by swinging a low finish in off the inside of the post after Rutherford’s initial strike was closed down.

Six minutes later though, Rochdale got themselves back on terms; patient play around the box proceeding Rodney drilling a precise finish high into the roof of the net beyond Huk’s reach.

Craig went close to putting Wanderers immediately back in front with a header from a corner ball tipped over the bar impressively by Chapman, but with fatigue setting in and Rutherford withdrawn late on due to picking up a knock, Jimmy McNulty’s side built up momentum in the closing stages, and Huk produced a couple of top reaction saves in stoppage time to keep the scores level, denying substitute Ian Henderson and Kairo Mitchell.

Wanderers will now look to sign off from their time in the National League as positively as they can next weekend, with Hartlepool United making a first ever visit to Meadowbank for a 12:15 kick off.

Rochdale (3-5-2): 21 Jacob Chapman, 2 Kyron Gordon, 6 Ethan Ebanks-Landell (c), 15 George Nevett; 18 Cian Hayes, 4 Ryan East, 20 Harvey Gilmour (40 Ian Henderson 83′), 25 Sam Mather (7 Tyrese Sinclair 89′), 13 Jimmy Keohane (14 D’Mani Mellor 66′); 9 Kairo Mitchell, 10 Devante Rodney

Unused Subs: 3 Cameron John, 19 Dan Sassi

Goal: Rodney 55′

Yellow Card: Rodney 85′

Dorking Wanderers (4-5-1): 21 Slav Huk, 22 Barry Fuller (c), 2 Isaac Philpot, 5 Tony Craig, 3 Bobby-Joe Taylor; 7 Jimmy Muitt, 25 Aaron Kuhl (18 Luke Moore 60′), 16 Charlie Carter, 17 Josh Taylor, 30 Seb Bowerman (29 Tom Blair 46′); 10 Alfie Rutherford (4 Dan Pybus 81′)

Unused Subs: 12 Callum Kennedy, 19 Haydn Hollis

Goal: Carter 49′

Yellow Cards: Philpot 14′, Kuhl 53′, Muitt 63′

Referee: John Mulligan

Att: 2832 (132 Wanderers Fans)

Man Of The Match: Jacob Chapman (Official Home Selection)