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Tue 23 Jan - 7.45pm K/O
Cheshunt 1 - Dorking Wanderers 3
Posted: 16th September 2017
Dorking Wanderers moved into the 3rd Qualifying Round of the FA Cup for the first time ever with a comprehensive victory at Cheshunt.
Wanderers had to work hard for the win, and only made sure of the result late in the game, after the hosts weathered an attacking masterclass and even threatened to draw level in a more even second half.
Dorking made all the early running, with James McShane twisting and turning to prise open the midfield and winger Matt Briggs letting the Cheshunt left back Jeramie Agholor know he would be in for a torrid afternoon.
It was Briggs and McShane who combined for the opening goal on 15 minutes. Dan Pearse fed the ball out wide to Briggs who breezed past Agholor and squared for McShane to slot into the net from the centre of the penalty area.
Cheshunt had keeper Montel Joseph to thank that Dorking didn’t double the lead just five minutes later. Briggs swung the ball across the box and Dan Pearse did well to keep it in at the far side of the goal, knocking it back into the six yard box, but with a goal looking inevitable, Joseph scrambled back across the goalmouth and got down to make a point blank block on Tom Tolfrey’s shot from just three yards’ out.
With Giuseppe Sole also seing a side-footed shot blocked on the line, it was against the run of the play that Cheshunt equalised on 26 minutes.
Jason Hallett, an old-fashioned but effective battering ram of a centre forward, chased down a ball into the left hand corner and a ball through an uncharacteristically static Wanderers defence was met by Adam Wallace who knocked it in at the far post – Cheshunt’s first meaningful attack of the match.
Sole’s ferocious free kick from wide left of the box found Cheshunt’s keeper still in good form before Dorking retook the lead ten minutes’ later. Briggs’ low cross was glanced into the net from close range by striker Tom Tolfrey, who beat two defenders’ to the ball to score his first goal of the season.
Further chances followed in the second half. McShane’s pass split the defence to send Pearse through, but his shot was always rising over the bar – and McShane and Tolfrey saw shots blocked in quick succession.
Two early half chances for Cheshunt and a further effort bringing a good save from Harry Palmer reminded Wanderers that, for all their dominance, the lead remained a slender one.
“We’d been excellent in the first half and Cheshunt couldn’t get near us – their keeper kept them in it,” said Dorking Wanderers’ boss Marc White, “But credit to them, they’re a spirited side, and finding they were still only a goal behind with an hour gone really gave them a lift.”
As the home side grew in confidence and became increasingly potent, David Ray blocked a shot on the line. Keeper Palmer was again called into action with two smart saves – the second resulting in attention from the physio after bravely saving at the feet of Hallet as he bore down on goal.
It took until the 86th minute for Dorking Wanderers to ensure the deserved win. Briggs and Gareth Chendlik found themselves through on goal and, with only the keeper to beat, Briggs unselfishly squared the ball for Chendlik to place into an empty net and end the Cheshunt resistance.
Dorking Wanderers FC: Palmer, Hamlin, Boulter, Ray, Beckles, Pearse, Summerfield, Briggs, Sole (O’Neil 80), Tolfrey (Chendlik 70), McShane (Philpot 87)
Unused Subs: Dyett, Pinnock, Beard, Wells