MEADOWBANK FOOTBALL STADIUM
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DORKING WANDERERS RES 6-2 DEPORTIVO GALICIA
SATURDAY, 21st DECEMBER 2019 - 15:00 KO
COMBINED COUNTIES LEAGUE DIVISION ONE
It was the final match for the Reserves before Christmas at The Meadowbank Stadium, and the third occasion that we had faced our visitors Deportivo Galicia this season (twice in the league and once in the Surrey FA Premier Cup). Our previous head-heads had been entertaining encounters, which had seen us draw 2-2 in the league and win 2-3 in the cup. With a lengthy injury list, Downs handed debuts to youngsters Sapsford, Leitch, Dobbs and Minster. In fact, the average age of our squad for this match was 19. This was to be a high scoring game in challenging conditions, which had seen all of the other matches in our league postponed on this day.
With the Reserves pressing for the opening goal, Carvhalo of Deportivo had a great chance on the counter attack in the opening 5 minutes and forced a fine save from Churchwell. However, the Reserves were to score the first goal after Dyson beat his man and found Membrillera. Still with plenty to do, Membrillera struck a superb shot from the edge of the box that nestled into the bottom corner. Deportivo nearly equalised moments later when Iguzouln met an in-swinging free kick with a header that forced an excellent save from Churchwell. The Reserves then put their foot on the gas and began to stamp their authority on the game with a string of chances. A long ball to Membrillera created a 1-1 with the Deportivo goalkeeper, who was able to block the strikers shot. O’Connor hit the post with a side-footed effort in the 30th minute, after some great link up play involving Leitch and Membrillera. A brilliant cross-field pass from Demby then found Dyson who attempted a lob shot that went narrowly wide of the target. A key turning point in the match came in the 40th minute, as Deportivo had their goalkeeper dismissed for a deliberate handball outside his area. O’Connor calmly placed down the ball for the resulting free kick and placed an unstoppable shot into the top left corner. Two minutes later, the Reserves notched their third goal of the match thanks to a low cross from Leitch that created panic amongst the Deportivo defence and led to a gift of an own goal.
Half time - Dorking Wanderers Reserves 3 – 0 Deportivo Galicia
Credit to Deportivo who came out strong in the early stages of the second half and pulled a goal back in the 50th minute through Carvhalo. The Reserves had a penalty shout dismissed moments later after Membrillera went to ground after seemingly having his shirt pulled. In similar fashion to his goal, Carvhalo hit the post with a fine strike from the corner of the box in the 52nd minute. After a brilliant through ball from Demby, O’Connor dispatched a superb strike out of the goalkeepers reach for our fourth goal in the 62nd minute. This was a vital goal as Deportivo had been looking the more likely to score the next goal. They still pushed forward and Thomas worked himself a shooting opportunity minutes later, which Churchwell stopped superbly down to his left hand side. As the Deportivo goalkeeper closed down Membrillera, the shooting angle became too tight in the 70th minute. Rather than O’Connor attempting another free kick from a similar distance as he scored earlier in the game, Demby claimed the ball this time around and scored with a brilliant strike in the 78th minute. Despite looking comfortable, the Reserves allowed Deportivo to score their second goal in the 81st minute that Carvalho created with a pass across goal which allowed Tarib a tap in. As the rain continued to plough down, Demby made another brilliant assist in the 88th minute with a pass to our debutant Leitch who brushed off the defender and confidently found the net.
Full Time - Dorking Wanderers Reserves 6 – 2 Deportivo Galicia
We go into Christmas with a wonderful record of three wins on the bounce. Next up, the Reserves have two away matches against AFC Hayes (Kingshill Ave, Hayes UB4 8DD) in the league on the 28th December and Eversley & California (Eversley, Hook GU46 7RU) on the 4th January.
Happy Christmas to all of our players, management, volunteers and supporters!
Man of the match: Drew Churchwell
Despite scoring six, Churchwell made a number of crucial saves in this match that came at important times. In truth, the man of the match award could have gone to one of many players, including Demby who scored and made two assists and Sapsford who was excellent on his debut.
Line up: Churchwell, Rory Cunningham Flood, Hulford, Sapsford, Saczek ©, O’Connor, Dyson, Demby, Membrillera, Asante, Leitch.
Subs: Dobbs, Minster, Downs, Elbishlaw
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