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Dorking Wanderers 3 Worthing 2
Posted: 2nd September 2017
Matt Briggs scored a spectacular goal as Dorking Wanderers overcame a patchy performance to progress in a see-saw FA Cup tie.
Fellow Bostik Premier League side Worthing arrived at Westhumble on the back of five straight defeats, and the early signs suggested they would prove little problem for Wanderers, looking for a good cup run this year.
Within five minutes, a poked shot from Chris Boulter stretching in the six-yard box forced Worthing’s keeper Lucas Covolan into a quick low save and, two minutes later, Dorking took the lead. Former Worthing midfielder Brannon O’Neil delivered a curling free kick from wide left into the box, and a diving header from David Ray powered the ball past Covolan into the net.
But any thought his would be a routine victory was soon dispelled as Worthing hit the cross bar and, with Wanderers struggling to create chances from open play, the visitors drew level on 26 minutes. A defence splitting ball found Ben Pope on the right and his first-time low cross was met by Isaac Newton running into the six-yard box to divert the ball past Dorking keeper Harry Palmer.
The second half began more brightly for Wanderers as a long ball from Palmer put Tom Tolfrey in on goal, but he elected to pull the ball back to Briggs rather than shoot. The pass was cut out and Worthing went up the other end, taking the lead within a minute. A defensive slip allowed Newton to pick up the loose ball and play in James Fraser, who volleyed into the roof of the net.
A double Dorking substitution followed swiftly and changed the game, as Sol Pinnock and the experienced campaigner Giuseppe Sole took to the field.
“With injuries and suspensions, we had a midfield partnership playing together for the first time ever, so I thought we needed to shake things up and get our foot on the ball a bit more,” reasoned manager Marc White.
The change brought instant results. Worthing failed to clear a long throw into the box and the ball landed at the feet of Isaac Philpot who swept it into the far corner of the net for the equaliser.
“That was great to see,” said the boss. “Isaac’s a local lad, brought up in Dorking, and here he was on his full debut for his hometown club, scoring and digging us out of a hole in the FA Cup. Fantastic.”
With James McShane becoming more influential now playing through the middle, and Sole adding guile and composure upfront, a Wanderers winner began to look inevitable. When it duly arrived, it was exceptional.
McShane’s superbly weighted ball from deep picked out Briggs on the right of the penalty area. A step-over took him past a defender into the box where, from a tight angle, he unleashed a left foot strike that curled past the despairing Worthing keeper into the far top corner.
It was a goal worthy of winning any game as Dorking Wanderers went through to the FA Cup Qualifying Round Two for only the second time in their history.
Dorking FC: Palmer, Philpot, Sheridan, Boulter, Ray, Pearse, O’Neil (Pinnock 54), Briggs, Summerfield (Sole 54), Tolfrey (Chendlik 76), McShane
Unused Subs: Wells, Hamlin, Morgan