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Tonbridge Angels 2 Dorking Wanderers 0
Posted: 27th September 2017
Missed chances proved costly as Dorking Wanderers’ winning run was ended by a more clinical Tonbridge Angels.
Wanderers came into the game with confidence high after a run of four straight victories but it was the home side who carried the most attacking threat in the early stages. In the opening ten minutes, Tonbridge forward Alexander Akrofi caused problems with his mazy runs into the box, Luke Blewden dragged a shot wide of the post, and Dorking’s veteran defender Chris Boulter stuck out a foot to deflect a goal bound shot.
Still, the defence stood firm and, with Luke Moore both a calming and creative force in central midfield, Dorking worked their way into a tight game and got firmly on top towards the end of the first half.
In the move of the match, James McShane turned and punched the ball into Moore, who passed out wide to Robb Sheridan. His low cross was met by Giuseppe Sole, who’s first time strike was fired just wide of the near post.
In quick succession, McShane jinked into the box and brought a diving save from the Tonbridge keeper from ten yards, and Moore weaved through the defence and saw his shot blocked on the line with McShane’s follow-up strike tipped past the post.
“Apart from the opening few minutes, that was our best half of the season so far, including the games we’ve won,” reflected Dorking manager Marc White. “It showed how important it is to have players like Luke Moore and Sam Beard back in the side and was much more like the team that won us promotion last season – attack-minded with crisp, quick passing and movement.”
Still, having seen their opponents fail to capitalise on chances, Tonbridge Angels began the second half with renewed vigour. On the hour, Joe Turner was afforded too much space as he ran with the ball and took full advantage by firing it low from the left hand corner of the box, across the keeper and into the net.
Wanderers’ keeper Josh Pelling prevented Angels doubling their lead a few minutes later, diving to push a free kick round the post.
For Dorking, Dan Pearse pulled the ball back to Tom Tolfrey, but the striker’s shot from the middle of the box lacked the power to beat keeper Jonathan Henly. The best opportunity for an equaliser came late in the game as Dean Hamlin crossed from wide right but, under pressure from a defender, Gareth Chendlik scooped the ball over the bar from just five yards.
On 90 minutes, with Dorking committed forward in numbers, Tonbridge pumped the ball upfield, where it was flicked on for substitute Andre McCollin to tuck into the net and make sure of the win.
Despite Wanderers having enough chances to win the game themselves, Marc White has no concerns about his team’s strike force. “Of course we’ll do some more work on our finishing,” he said, “but I thought our failure to score was because we were unlucky – not because it was unlikely. We’re seeing Tom Tolfrey improve in each game at this level, and we had other chances that would go in the net nine times out of ten.”
There was a worry for White with the loss of Luke Moore to an unconfirmed injury late in the second half, but the influential and experienced midfielder will be having tests this week to assess his fitness for Saturday’s big FA Cup tie at Concord Rangers of the National League South.
Dorking Wanderers FC: Pelling, Hamlin, Boulter, Ray, Pearse, Moore (Chendlik 79), Beard (Pinnock 71), Sheridan (Summerfield 71), Sole, Tolfrey, McShane
Unused Subs: Philpot, Beckles