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BARNET U18 4-2 DORKING WANDERERS U18
FA Youth Cup 1st Round Proper
30TH OCTOBER 2019 - 7.45PM KO
Walking around Barnet's 'The Hive' stadium and training complex prior to kick off, I kept smiling to myself, proud to be working alongside Dorking Wanderers football club at this time. Week after week the club are writing their own history, and doing so with real milestone moments, and tonight's would be a defining one. I can only imagine how the players and coaching staff must feel.
The Wanderers U18's had done brilliant to get the FA Youth Cup 1st Round proper, and despite a battling display on the night, the hosts would ultimately have just that bit too much quality in the final third, as they ran out 4-2 winners on the night. Academy manager Jordan Clarke said afterwards 'I'm proud of the boys - we stuck in the game and matched them for 90 minutes, against a full-time side with paid scholars, there was never a point where they dominated us'.
Inside the opening quarter of an hour Barnet showed their qualities, carving out a number of good chances via the right channel, with Juan Castillo bundling an effort over from close range, George Murphy also prodding off target, before Okem Chime flung himself on to a header which flew over the bar. Dorking did create their own golden chance within this, James Dickson releasing Tom Edwards down the right, his ball in falling to both Ronald Schoengut and George Membrillera, but neither able to get enough power behind their efforts.
Chime would squander enough close range chance just before making no mistake on 21 minutes, reacting fastest to a good save from Josh Barnett who had kept out George Murphy's testing long range strike following good build up.
Two minutes later though, Dorking were back on terms. Membrillera doing well to hold it up down the right, before feeding Dickson who was fouled as he struck his effort over the top. Dickson would take the pen himself, and confidently blast home from 12 yards.
Then, another two minutes later, another penalty award, this time to The Bees. Murphy was brought down as he was about to potentially finish from six yards out, Chime stepped up and just about squeezed his penalty beneath Barnett who dived the right way, unlucky.
Wanderers looked to get back in the game before the interval, Dickson having a long range free kick saved, and Max Erwood having his header tipped over by Aymen Azaze in the Barnet goal. The Dorking backline were resolute to keep a late spell of pressure from Barnet at bay, Murphy coming fairly close with a rising effort just whistling over the upright.
Half-Time: Barnet 2 Dorking Wanderers 1
Dorking had began the half looking to make inroads through Dickson and Edwards, finals ball perilously close to coming off, Dickson delivering an excellent free kick but not quite finding any takers.
Barnet moved up a gear with some of their forward play approaching the hour mark and two quickly dispatched goals made it a very hard task for Wanderers to find a way back. An unfortunate own goal was conceded trying to block a Finlay Titchmarsh low cross, then a few minutes later Titchmarsh would ensure his name got on the scoresheet after really good work and a clinical strike from the right side of the box into the bottom left corner.
Even at 4-1, such is the battling spirit and reserve shown by the football club season that whilst it was a bit of a mountain to climb, belief was still very much there that Dorking could find a way back. Tyler Starr would begin advance a bit further forward from the back and was unlucky his long passes into Membrillera and sub Josh Taylor couldn't lead to something more concrete in the final third.
Barnet were still threatening through the lively Chime and Murphy, as was sub Wraynel Hercules, but it would be Dickson who would claim the goal of the night on 71 minutes. Doing brilliantly to evade challenge, even managing a step over on his run down the right, it would culminate in a high looping effort sailing into the top left corner. The devoted travelling support had a great view of it from the near touch line, and absolutely lapped it up, brilliant.
Competitive to the last, the final ten minutes succumbed to frustration as chances for both sides dried up, the contest becoming scrappy, the game getting away from the battling Wanderers. They can hold their head up high of what they have achieved, and as Jordan Clarke stated post-match, 'the cup competitions don't end here', so let's continue to support this exciting group of players. Who knows what history may be written during the remainder of this campaign.
- Daniel Stobbart
Barnet: 1 Aymen Azaze, 2 Rhian Fowler (14 Wrayne Hercules 77'), 3 Enrico Fowler, 4 Ross Helcke (12 Sam Granville 69'), 5 Ben Tompkins, 6 Ronnie Edwards (c), 7 Finlay Titchmarsh, 8 Steven Bala (17 Rahman Fujah 87'), 9 Okem Chime, 10 George Murphy, 11 Juan Castillo
Unused Subs: 13 James Callan (gk), 12 Sam Granville, 14 Wrayne Hercules, 15 Junayd Shawwal, 16 Ross Helcke, 17 Rahman Fujah, 18 Federico Kudrik
Dorking Wanderers: 1 Joshua Barnett, 2 Tyler Starr, 3 Luke Cunningham (c) (12 Lee Dobbs 80), 4 Max Erwood, 5 Aaron Fernandez, 6 Noah Sapsford, 7 James Dickson, 8 Harvey Trayfoot (14 Toby Monday 62'), 9 Tom Edwards (17 Josh Taylor 62'), 10 Ronald Schoengut, 11 George Membrillera
Unused Subs: 15 Joshua Wells, 16 Lukas Fisher, 18 Bradleigh Vaughan, 21 Alfie Mothersole
Referee: Elliot Kaye