MEADOWBANK FOOTBALL STADIUM
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DORKING WANDERERS RESERVES 1 – 1 EPSOM & EWELL
SATURDAY 7th MARCH 2020 - 3:00PM KO
COMBINED COUNTIES LEAGUE DIVISION ONE
Less than a month after our victory in the Quarter Final of the Surrey Premier Cup, the Reserves welcomed local rivals Epsom & Ewell to Meadowbank in the league. Our two previous matches had been very close affairs and the game today would be a similar story. Epsom & Ewell had not played since we met in the cup, whereas the Reserves had suffered defeats to Walton & Hersham and Tooting Bec. Our team news saw Luke Cunningham start at Centre Back, as Hulford and Elbishlawi dropped out through injury.
The Reserves started the game well, testing the Epsom defence on several occasions in the opening 10 minutes. Cook-Appiah and Dougan made themselves a nuisance on the wings, both creating chances for themselves. In particular, a powerful shot from Dougan from outside the box forced a great stop by the Epsom goalkeeper. A well-worked corner from the Reserves followed soon afterwards, which led to Membrillera firing narrowly over the bar. Epsom had a far more direct approach to their play. The right full back for Epsom, Acheampong, looked a threat and played a dangerous cross to the back post in the ninth minute. Demby delivered a perfectly timed through ball to Membrillera in the 11th minute, whose shot was finger tipped on to the bar by the goalkeeper. A long kick forward by the Epsom goalkeeper in the 17th minute found its way to Straker who saw his shot blocked for a corner. Membrillera had another fantastic chance in the 19th minute and his shot forced a superb save. Another long kick forward by the Epsom goalkeeper in the 25th minute found Smith who laid the ball off to Straker who shot just wide on the half volley. After an excellent switch of play, Epsom worked a clear opportunity in the 31st minute but Churchwell did well to steal the ball from Acheampong’s feet. On the brink of half time, the Reserves somehow failed to take the lead. When it looked like Dougan had beaten the goalkeeper, Epsom cleared the ball off the line. The clearance made its way to Dickson who unleashed a brilliant half volley that smashed the crossbar.
Half time – Dorking Wanderers Reserves 0 – 0 Epsom & Ewell
The Wanderers started brightly in the second half and broke forward quickly in the 47th minute. Dougan broke into the box at speed and his shot needed to be pushed away for a corner by the goalkeeper. Epsom then had the greater possession until around the 60th minute mark without really creating any clear opportunities. Membrillera had the goalkeeper beaten in the 57th minute with a spectacular shot from the edge of the box that hit the underside of the bar. At the other end, Hendry hit the post with a curling shot. The Wanderers had another glorious opportunity to take the lead through Demby in the 62nd minute, but Young made another brilliant stop. Dickson took the resulting corner, which Membrillera met with a powerful header that went narrowly over the bar. Epsom had a half chance in the 70th minute, but Churchwell comfortably saved Murphy’s shot. A quick break by Epsom saw Straker through on goal in the 80th minute, but Williams-Fernandez did well to stop the striker shooting across goal. As Full Time approached, both teams continued to push forward and a goal looked inevitable. The visitors opened the scoring in the 94th minute, as Hendry converted a dangerous cross. Amazingly, the Wanderers would equalise one minute later through Autorino who found the bottom right hand corner after a cross from Dyson.
Full Time – Dorking Wanderers Reserves 1 – 1 Epsom & Ewell
Man of the match:
Line up: Churchwell, Dyson, Autorino, Cunningham, William-Fernandez ©, Sapsford, Cook-Appiah, Dickson, Membrillera, Demby, Dougan
Subs: Asante, Cunningham Flood, Campbell
DORKING WANDERERS RESERVES 3-6 WALTON AND HERSHAM
SATURDAY, 22nd FEBRUARY - 15:00PM KO
COMBINED COUNTIES LEAGUE DIVISION ONE
The Reserves welcomed Walton and Hersham to Meadowbank for our final home match in February. Thanks to our recent results, the boys have been in high spirits. Downs had to enforce changes for this match, however, due to an unfortunate amount of illnesses and injuries. Among the key players missing were Churchwell, Dickson, Autorino as well as Williams-Fernandez who has been putting in some glowing performances of late. Adding to this, Hulford had to be withdrawn during the warm up due to an injury. In the reverse fixture, the Wanderers pulled off a remarkable comeback turning around a 3-0 deficit at half time to win 3-4.
The Reserves started brightly and opened the scoring after just two minutes through Demby whose shot from the edge of the box found the top right hand corner inside 2 minutes. We should have doubled our scoring in the next couple of minutes through Asante, who powered through on goal but had his shot well saved by the ‘Swans’ goalkeeper. Our visitors capitalised on this missed opportunity and pulled themselves level in the seventh minute through Leslie. This was despite the Reserves calling for offside. Shortly after this, the linesman pulled up with a hamstring injury and needed replacing by a qualified official in attendance. The young Leitch, who has been in excellent form in our last few matches, tested the Walton defence in the eighth minute with a solo run but his shot was pushed away for a corner. Shortly after, Demby picked out Cook-Appiah with a deft through ball but his shot failed to find the target. The Reserves would go on to score next though in the 20th minute, as Asante followed in Cook-Appiah’s shot as the goalkeeper pushed the ball across the face of goal. ‘The Swans’ reacted well though to going behind and Williams had a fantastic chance with a header from a free kick to pull level in the 25th minute. Winnister then hit the bar with what looked to be a cross in the 27th minute. A neat exchange of passes resulted in the equalising goal for Walton in the 30th minute, as Leslie made no mistake in front of goal. It took only two minutes for our visitors to pull themselves in front, as Leslie finished clinically. Row kept the Wanderers in the game in the 34th minute with a superb save with his feet. A short corner caught the Reserves out of shape in the 35th minute and a whipped cross was headed in by Leslie (His fourth of the match). Walton added their fifth in the 42nd minute, as Rene-Pinto played a dangerous cross that Elbishlawi put into his own goal.
Half time - Dorking Wanderers Reserves 2 – 6 Walton and Hersham
Downs introduced Dougan at Half Time and the Reserves would threaten Walton in the early stages of the second half. Demby missed the goal narrowly with a free kick in the 49th minute to give us some promise, before Asante latched on to a through ball and finished well two minutes later. ‘The Swans’ were persistent in their attack though and had a goal disallowed for offside in the 52nd minute, again through Leslie. Dyson charged forward in the 53rd minute and forced a corner with a powerful shot. Matos tried his luck with a free kick from range in the 59th minute, before Rene-Pinto headed in a free kick from Dennis ten minutes later. There were good saves at either end in the final moments. It was Walton & Hersham’s day though, as Leslie took home the match ball and their team climbed the table with a deserved 3 points.
It was a disappointing end to a good run of results for the Reserves. We quickly turn our attentions to next Saturday, when we travel to Chessington & Hook for a local derby at Chalky Lane (KT9 2NF).
Full Time - Dorking Wanderers Reserves 3 – 6 Walton and Hersham
Man of the match: Ben Dyson
Line up: Row, Dyson, Carton, Elbishlawi, Cunningham Flood, Sapford, Cook-Appiah, Asante Membrillera, Demby, Leitch
Subs: Hulford, Asante, Downs