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WALTON & HERSHAM 3-4 DORKING WANDERERS RES
SATURDAY 7TH DECEMBER 2019 - 15:00 KO
COMBINED COUNTIES LEAGUE DIVISION ONE
The Reserves retuned to league action away to Walton & Hersham with the match played on the excellent 3G at the Elmbridge Xcel Leisure Complex. Coming into the match, Downs had a challenging amount of injuries as well as players not quite at full match fitness after our midweek cup game. This match would be our 19th league game of the season, the midpoint in our campaign. On reflection, despite glimpses of huge potential, one too many errors and rued chances in the final third have cost us a higher league position. A win here would only increase our belief that we can compete with the best of teams in the league.
The Reserves started the match strongly and Membrillera had the ball in the net in the third minute only for the linesman’s flag. The Reserves saw Elbishlawi withdrawn through injury in the ninth minute and this would go on to affect our stability in the game. Walton soon began to put our defence under pressure with Pinto forcing a fine save from Churchwell in the twelfth minute. A quick free kick by Dickson caught the Walton defence knapping in the 17th minute, and Cook-Appiah missed a clear shot on goal at the near post. Leslie, a threat for Walton throughout the game, swung in a low cross to Ghailan in the 19th minute and his shot narrowly missed the target. A clever switch of play by Cook-Appiah to Dougan followed, who worked himself a sight of goal and his powerful shot went just wide. Walton would take the lead in the 21st minute through Ghailan after skilful wing play by Leslie. It was to be two quick-fire goals for Walton, as Leslie slotted home after a neat through ball from Muirhead. Walton then looked the better of the two sides, and Lalor-Dell added their third in the 45th minute strongly holding off the Wanderers defence.
Half time – Walton & Hersham 3 – 0 Dorking Wanderers Reserves
The Reserves needed to weather the storm early in the second half, as Walton looked to put the game to bed with a couple of early chances from the dangerous Leslie. Seeking a reaction, Downs soon turned to his substitutes. For the next fifteen minutes, the two sides looked well matched and both enjoyed a couple of half chances. As the Swans looked to clear their lines in the 71st minute, the gifted Dickson plucked the ball from the sky and fed the ball through to Cook-Appiah who forced an own goal with a powerful low cross. O’Connor replaced Dougan in the 75th minute, as Downs looked for a new threat from the left wing. The Reserves played a low ball from a corner in the 84th minute that Membrillera met with a powerful strike past the keeper. With Francis sent-off for a second caution in the 85th minute, the Reserves were firmly on the front foot. In the 88th minute, Saczek headed home from a corner and set up a grandstand finish. As the ball made its way into the box in the 90th minute, chaos ensued, before Asante fired a low shot past the keeper sending the Reserves into jubilant celebrations.
Full Time – Walton & Hersham 3 – 4 Dorking Wanderers Reserves
It was a huge reaction by the players after a half time, and a rollercoaster of a match. It has been a magnificent week for the Reserves with two important wins on the road.
Man of the match: Andrew Demby
An inspired substitution in the 55th minute, Demby was key to our comeback. He pulled the strings and offered great quality on the ball.
Line-up: Churchwell, J. Downs (C), Elbishlawi, Hulford, Saczek, Cunningham Flood, Dyson, Dickson, Membrillera, Asante, Dougan
Subs: Cook-Appiah, Demby, O’Connor
BADSHOT LEA 0-2 DORKING WANDERERS RES
SATURDAY 3RD DECEMBER 2019 - 19.45 K/O
COMBINED COUNTIES LEAGUE DIVISION ONE
From the first whistle, the Reserves pressed the Badshot Lea defence from the front. The Reserves were forcing the home team into mistakes and gained confidence as a result. The boys showed a great level of intensity, which has not been reached on enough occasions this season. Our early determination resulted in Dougan opening the scoring with a fantastic half-volley that cannoned off the post into the back of the keeper and found the net (Dougan claimed the goal as his own, but the video replay could have said otherwise). The Reserves then had a spell of 15 minutes, during which they were firmly on top. Among our chances, was a superb team move involving great link up play between Asante and Dyson with the ball falling to Dougan whose shot was smothered by the goalkeeper. Saczek showed his aerial prowess going close with a header from a corner. The Reserves were looking comfortable, and it wasn’t until the 36th minute that the home side created their first clear opportunity. A free kick from a wide position found Cunningham unmarked and his flick went just over the bar. Membrillera who looked a threat throughout picked up the ball 20 yards from goal in the 37th minute, and fired a shot across the face of goal. Despite the ball begging to be converted, unfortunately it did not find a Wanderers shirt. The Reserves added their second goal shortly after, as a clever pass from Membrillera found Dyson who finished between the goalkeepers legs. On the brink of half time, Roberts captaining Badshot Lea forced a comfortable save from a free kick. At half time, the Reserves looked great value for their lead.
Half time - Badshot Lea 0 – 2 Dorking Wanderers Reserves
A big reaction was expected from the home side after half time, but it was the Reserves who looked the better of the two sides early in the second half. Autorino who was brilliant in the game, before unfortunately being withdrawn for injury, forced a save from the goalkeeper with a curling shot in the 48th minute. Shortly after, in a similar fashion to his goal Dyson found himself with a 1-1 opportunity. As he tried to round the goalkeeper, he ran out of space and the ball went out of play. Badshot Lea went close in the 55th minute, as an over hit cross was fired back into the box to Pilbeam who could not get enough power on his header. Churchwell was called into action in the 62nd minute with a vital save. Their substitute Tahar worked his way into space with a skilful run, and picked out Masudi who burst into the box and forced an excellent save from Churchwell. A spell followed for the home side, during which they really should have pulled a goal back. A neat 1-2 saw Masudi with a 1-1 opportunity, but instead of shooting generously tried to pass to Pilbeam who was not expecting the ball. On the 70 minute mark, Pilling of Badshot Lea met a low cross and Churchwell did brilliantly to make himself big. Masudi then hit the post with a lob shot that looked destined for the goal. Luck was on our side, however, and the final 15 minutes’ of the game saw the Wanderers show great game management. The Reserves nearly added their third goal in the 82nd minute, as a free kick from Dickson found Membrillera who twisted and shot narrowly wide of the target.
Thank you to all of those that braved the cold conditions and came out to watch the game. We hope that the challenging journey was worth it to see the boys triumph against higher level opposition. Next up, the Reserves face the in-form Walton and Hersham away from home in the league. The fixture will be played at Elmbridge Xcel Sports Hub (KT12 2JP) with a 15h00 kick off.
Full Time – Badshot Lea 0 – 2 Dorking Wanderers Reserves
Man of the match: Callum Hulford
This was a difficult decision for our Man of the Match with impressive performances all over the pitch. However, Hulford who has not always played at Centre Back this season put in a brilliant display. Key to our clean sheet, Hulford helped keep the team organised. A latch ditch tackle from a goal scoring opportunity midway through the second half was his best moment.
Line up: Churchwell, Elbishlawi, Autorino, Hulford, Saczek, Cunningham Flood, Dyson, Dickson, Membrillera, Asante, Dougan
Subs: Demby, O’Connor