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Dorking Wanderers 4 Metropolitan Police 1
Posted: 15th August 2017
A first half hat-trick from Surrey University student Matt Briggs got Dorking Wanderers’ up and running in the Bostik Premier League, as the newcomers romped to victory over Met Police at Westhumble.
Showing none of the hesitancy that characterised their debut in the league just three days’ earlier, it took just two minutes for Wanderers to take the lead. A cross field ball from recent signing and former AFC Wimbledon forward Luke Moore found Briggs on the right. He eased past a defender and accelerated into the box before driving the ball low across the keeper and into the far side of the net.
Chances followed for Tommy Hutchings, a powerful presence upfront on only his second game after eighteen months out with injury, and James McShane who seized on a loose pass across the box to unleash a shot that stung the keeper’s hands.
It took just a quarter of an hour for Dorking to double the lead. Moore floated a free kick into the box which McShane knocked down, with the ball bouncing up high for Briggs to loop a header over the keeper at the far post.
Deservedly two goals up, Dorking Wanderers then gifted their visitors a route back into the game on the half hour. Slavomir Huk played out to Luke Moore who, an otherwise assured and influential midfield presence all night, was dispossessed, leaving the Met’s Joshua Webb a simple task of slotting the ball past the stranded Huk.
Reflecting on the error, Wanderers manager Marc White said, “That was very uncharacteristic. We like to play out from the back and we so rarely hesitate and get caught out like that.”
Still, Met Police were emboldened by the goal. It took a superbly timed last ditch tackle by veteran defender Chris Boulter to stop Lewis Putman as he marauded through midfield. And Huk earned the praise of his manager, pushing away two fierce drives superbly, once having to adjust his direction late as he dived down low.
“Slav made some excellent saves at that point. He certainly kept us in the lead,” said the boss.
But Wanderers recovered their composure just before half time, and Briggs completed his hat-trick following an excellent flowing move. McShane spread the ball wide left to Sam Beard who looped in a cross high above the keeper, to be nodded in at the far post.
“I’m really pleased for Matt, making his mark at our new level so early,” said Marc White. “And no one would have put any money on him scoring two with his head – I don’t think he scored one all last season!”
In a quieter second half, any lingering doubts over the game’s outcome ended as the Met were reduced to ten men on the hour, defender Tom Bird giving a petulant kick to Briggs right in front of the Referee’s Assistant.
Wanderers now had the freedom to play in the visitor’s half and, despite being largely a spectator, Huk remained sharp on the rare occasions he was called into action.
McShane wrapped the game up on 89 minutes, with a clinical, low 20 yard finish into the far corner of the goal.
Dorking Wanderers: Huk, Sheridan (Philpot 82), Boulter, Hamlin, Ray, Beckles, Moore, Briggs (Summerfield 80), Beard, Hutchings (Tolfrey 66), McShane
Subs Not Used – O’Neil, Pinnock