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Dorking Wanderers 2 Thurrock 0
Posted: 30th December 2017
Giuseppe Sole pulled the strings as James McShane scored a brace to give determined Dorking Wanderers a third straight victory in a thoroughly professional win on a heavy pitch.
Dorking’s most consistent league form of the season, securing maximum points from the Christmas fixtures, has coincided with a McShane’s goalscoring streak of four goals in three games - his clinical finishes against Thurrock coming at crucial times in the match.
A sluggish start by Wanderers saw early chances for the visitors. In the opening minutes, a long throw eluded the defence and bounced through the box to Joel Nouble, whose shanked shot flew high over the bar. Moments later, Dorking had keeper Slavomir Huk to thank as he rushed off his line and bravely blocked Lewwis Spence’s stinging shot after Thurrock had been given time and space to drive through midfield.
But Dorking began to adapt to the muddy pitch and get a hold on the game. With ten minutes gone, Ben Dyett got on the end of an excellent free kick floated into the box by Giuseppe Sole on the half way line but, with the Thurrock keeper Ben McNamara beaten, Dyett’s volley struck the inside of the post.
It was Sole again who set Briggs free on the right, but McNamara intercepted the winger’s curling ball to the far post, with Sole waiting to pounce.
Wanderers were now enjoying a sustained period of pressure and, just as it looked like Thurrock had weathered the storm, McShane stepped up score the goal that Dorking’s dominance deserved. Sole drove forward and played a perfectly weighted pass to McShane in the box, and he dinked his shot past the onrushing keeper into the far side of the net.
Thurrock came close to an immediate equaliser but Huk saved a first shot one-on-one and, from the rebound, Isaac Philpott cleared off the line. From a free kick, Joe Christou thumped a shot against the Dorking post and, just before half time, the excellent Philpott threw his body to the ground to block as the ball squirmed its way through the six-yard box to Michael Pindy who attempted to force it into the net.
Thurrock struck the base of the post again early in the second half but on the hour, with excellent timing as the visitors grew in confidence sensing the slender nature of the Dorking lead, McShane came up with the decisive second goal. Once more, Sole was the provider lobbing the ball forward to set McShane free and, as he ran through on goal, the forward showed great composure holding off defenders to round the keeper and place his shot into the net.
McShane might have had a hat-trick as the ball fell to him in the centre of the box with the goal gaping but, sliding in the wet and on his left foot, he lifted his shot over the bar.
Meanwhile, a solid Dorking back four restricted Thurrock to long range shots and, on the rare occasions the visitors broke through, Slavomir Huk and Ben Dyett were on hand with top quality blocks to preserve the clean sheet.
Dorking Wanderers FC: Huk, Philpott, Sheridan, Hamlin, Dyett, Pearse, Beckles (Tolfrey 62), Briggs, Putman, Soles (Taylor 62), Putman (Oakes 83), McShane
Unused subs – Boulter, Beard