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Dorking Wanderers 4 Margate 2
Posted: 27th December 2017
James McShane gave Dorking Wanderers the best possible start, scoring in the first minute, to set his team on its way to a Boxing Day victory against high-flying Margate.
McShane’s looping 25-yard effort deceived everyone, including the Margate keeper and most of the festive crowd, as it dropped down and nestled in the far corner of the net. Promotion chasing Margate responded straight away, but Dorking keeper Slavomir Huk was down smartly to push away a fierce drive from inside the box.
If those early attacks had suggested an open game would follow, chances then became harder to come by as the weather worsened – but Wanderers enjoyed the best of the goal scoring opportunities. A superb and sustained passage of passing football culminated in Lewis Putman cutting in from the left and ghosting past two defenders, before shooting just wide of the far post.
Shortly after, Matt Briggs jinked his way into the box from the right and laid the ball across the front of the goal but, uncharacteristically, McShane blasted his shot against the crossbar from just a few yards out.
Margate’s only first half effort came as David Martin drifted infield and set up Jordan Chiedozie, but the striker’s shot from the edge of the area was a comfortable catch for Huk.
“Margate had been free-scoring up to now, with ten goals in their last three matches, so I was really pleased with the way we controlled the game and restricted them to minimal chances,” reflected Wanderers’ manager Marc White.
“For the second game in a row we looked really solid at the back and dealt with Margate’s aerial threat well,” he added.
Still, with Isaac Philpott making two last ditch defensive headers on the stroke of half time, Dorking were reminded that, for all their possession, the single goal lead was a precarious one. So there was some relief when Philpott added a second ten minutes after the break, the defender powering a header into the net at the far post after a superb whipped free kick by Giuseppe Sole wide on the left.
There was little time to relax as Frannie Collin pulled Margate back into the game with a goal just two minutes later, and the Dorking crowd held their breath as Collin then headed narrowly over the bar.
But the pressure was relieved on 78 minutes when Sole delivered another excellent free kick, this time from the right, and Philpott was on hand once again to deflect it into the Margate net from close range.
The result was confirmed five minutes later when a ball through the middle put Sole in on goal, but the Wanderers’ striker was scythed down by Margate defender Liam Friend, who was cautioned for his challenge. Lewis Taylor, returning from injury as a second half substitute, made no mistake with the resulting penalty kick, sending the keeper the wrong was as the ball was blasted high into the right hand side of the net.
Frannie Collin added a second goal for Margate from the penalty spot, but it was nothing more than a consolation with the last meaningful kick of the game.
Manager Marc White was delighted with the way his side had responded to a recent dip in form by picking up a second successive win over the Christmas period.
“Things had been looking a little perilous after losing three on the trot and we’d had a bad defeat just before Christmas,” he admitted. “But we’ve got some good players at this club and they’ve reacted the right way, working hard to make sure we got the wins in difficult games at Staines last Saturday and against Margate on Boxing Day – both teams in the hunt for promotion.”
Dorking Wanderers will be looking for a third successive Bostik Premier League win on Saturday 30th December, when Thurrock visit Westhumble, kicking off at 3pm.
Dorking FC: Huk, Philpott, Boulter (Sheridan 33), Hamlin, Ray, Pearse, Beckles, Briggs, Putman, Soles (Oakes 84), McShane (Taylor 73) Unused subs – Tolfrey, Chendlik