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Dorking Wanderers 1 Kingstonian 3
Posted: 17th February 2018
Dorking Wanderers’ manager Marc White says he’s still positive and looking up the table, despite seeing his team’s nine-game unbeaten run brought to an end as Kingstonian staged a second-half comeback.
“I always try to be honest when we haven’t done well, but there were lots of positives to take from the game,” he said.
“We had a number of players coming back after absence. Some of them have been out for several weeks so, inevitably, fitness became an issue in the second half – but the returning players did well.”
Dorking started the game without suspended midfield duo Luke Moore and Lewis Taylor, but still imposed an early grip on the game, with Kingstonian defending in number. Dan Walker penetrated well with runs on the right and Chris Boulter headed over the bar from a free kick.
The early pressure was rewarded on 20 minutes. A loose Kingstonian pass was picked up by Giuseppe Sole who, racing through on goal, was brought down by centre back Mark Phillips. From the resultant penalty, Sole tucked the ball neatly into the left hand corner of the net to give Dorking a 1-0 lead.
With Kingstonian struggling to muster a serious goal threat, Wanderers came close to doubling their lead late in the half. James McShane collected the ball in midfield, turned on the spot and strode forward before splitting the defence with an exquisite pass into the box for the onrushing Walker. Unfortunately the ball stuck in the muddy surface under the winger’s feet, denying him the chance to shoot.
“The recent weather and number of games we’ve had to stage at Westhumble has taken its toll on the pitch and the reality is that it’s made it hard for us to play our usual quick passing game,” said Marc White.
“If the ball hadn’t got stuck in the mud, Dan Walker was certain to make it 2-0 and we would probably have gone on to win. But, despite dominating the first half, I always thought a one goal cushion was unlikely to be enough as the game wore on.”
And so it proved. As Dorking tired, Kingstonian turned the game around with three superb strikes. On the hour, a Wanderers attack broke down and, with the defence out of place, a quick exchange of passes gave Michael West the space to shoot with his dipping 20 yard effort hitting the top right hand corner of the net.
Back level and in the ascendency, the visitors went ahead 71 minutes. This time it was Nic Ciardini who stunned the crowd as his 20 yard left footed strike flew into the top left hand corner of the Dorking goal.
And Ciardini made sure of the Kingstonian win five minutes later as he cut in from the right and dispatched a low shot bottom right, beyond the reach of Slavomir Huk’s despairing dive.
Marc White remained optimistic. “We’ve games in hand with a number of very winnable fixtures still to play, and Matt Briggs is ahead of schedule and expected back for the run in after his horrendous facial injury in January – so I’m confident we’ll still finish in the top half of the table, which would be a good first season in the Bostik Premier Divisiion,” he said.
Dorking Wanderers FC: Huk, Philpot, Boulter, Hamlin (Oaks 79), Ray, Pearse, Beckles, Walker, Sole (Chendlik 74), Beard (Putman 57), McShane
Unused subs – Sheridan, Dyett