Tuesday 21st March 2017
Dara Wilson, Remy Sylvester.
A local derby and occasion too good to miss- this week, the radio show was broadcasted live from Westhumble, with live commentary of Dorking Wanderers vs Merstham in the Surrey County Cup semi-final. Last week, National League side Woking confirmed their place in the final after defeating Guildford City of the CCFL Premier Division, 1-2.
Joining presenter Ben Eltham, James Cummins made a return to the BOTN starting line-up, and Frank Wilson (manager of Tooting & Mitcham) made a guest appearance to co-commentate.
Dorking Wanderers, occupants of Westhumble are currently 2nd in the Ryman Division 1 South, and with a game in hand, sit nine points behind league leaders Tooting & Mitcham United. In their recent run of form, Wanderers have only lost two of their last ten league games, and have the second-best home record in the Ryman South. James McShane, Tom Tolfrey and Matt Briggs all position in the top 20 goal scorers of the league, with a total of 47 goals between them.
So far in the Surrey County Cup, Dorking Wanderers have defeated South Park (2-1), Sutton Common Rovers (1-1, 7-8 penalties) and Chertsey Town (0-3).
Visitors Merstham, currently position 18th in the Ryman Premier with 44 points, just a win clear of the drop zone. Their recent league form however, is the 8th best in the league with only 3 defeats in the last 10 games.
The Moatsiders have defeated Godalming Town (0-1), Walton & Hersham (5-1) and Whyteleafe (2-1) to reach the Surrey County Cup semi-final.
Dorking Wanderers | Matthew Willard, Rob Sheridan, Dean Gunner, Chris Boulter, Jerome Beckles, Anthony Oakes, Jake Beecroft, Guiseppe Sole, Sam Beard, Tom Tolfrey, James McShane, Dan Mahoney, Alex Wells, Tom Summerfield, William Hearn
Merstham | Josh Smith, Simon Cooper, Kristian Campbell, Antone Douglas, Marc Okoye, Xavier Vidal, Alex Addai, Tom Kavanagh, Omar Folkes, Dan Bennett, Reece Hall, Michael Abnett, Dan Hector, Tom Howard, Rae Bailey-Allen, Kershaney Samuels
An enticing first five minutes ensued two goals; Merstham taking the lead in the third minute as Tom Kavanagh picked out Dan Bennett through the middle, who showed composure, and slid the ball into the net.
Dorking Wanderers applied pressure to the Moatsiders’ defence in the opening stages of the game, displaying their skilful attack. In the forth minute, an equaliser was scored when Giuseppe Sole remarkably chipped the ball over the keeper following a long pass, at a tight angle.
The Ryman Premier side utilised their pace on the wing; in particular, Reece Hall created several chances on the left hand side. Just after ten minutes, an excellent passing movement in the midfield lead to Hall narrowly lifting the ball over the crossbar.
Dorking missed the opportunity to take the lead in the eleventh minute, playing the ball into the box. A solid Merstham defence prevented another goal and the ball was cleared off the line.
However, after the first fifteen minutes, Merstham had the edge as they created more chances. An excellent opportunity started from Tom Kavanagh, the Merstham captain, as he made a quick break on the counter-attack. He found Alex Addai on the wing, who dribbled the ball and played a low cross into Hall. The pace of the ball precluded Hall from connecting, and the ball travelled across the face of the goal.
Kavanagh continued to be instrumental in the Merstham midfield, laying the ball to Xavier Vidal in the twentieth minute, whose shot rattled the crossbar. The Moatsiders looked confident, passing effectively and creating space.
In the twenty-fifth minute, Merstham reclaimed the lead as Alex Addai dribbled the ball into the box, despite facing pressure from two Dorking defenders. Nevertheless, his step-overs enabled him to bypass the defence and score.
Ten minutes later, the Moatsiders had an opportunity to extend their lead, as Reece Hall timed his run perfectly on the left hand side to create a one-on-one with the keeper. The latter had to receive treatment after colliding with Hall, making a save. The ball went behind, but a clearance off the line prevented a goal.
Although Merstham were the stronger side in the first half, Dorking still impressed the crowd and created numerous chances. Approaching half time, Jake Beecroft laced the ball through to Tom Tolfrey on the right hand side, who took the ball into the box- but the Merstham defence were able to keep the ball out.
One minute prior to half time, Dan Bennett completed a brace as he received a long ball down the middle. He used his pace, which was a major strength of Hayden Bird’s side, to dance around the keeper and score.
In the second half, Dorking Wanderers posed threat; McShane caused problems for the Merstham defence. However, the side briefly switched off early in the second half, giving Dan Bennett a clear shot on goal. He was unable to complete a hat trick, missing the target.
Jerome Beckles was another one to watch in the second forty five minutes, orchestrating movement in the midfield and exploiting space on the wing. On the hour mark, Dorking scored the goal which they deserved. Tom Tolfrey timed his run perfectly, receiving the ball and dribbling past Josh Smith, finishing with composure.
Dorking searched for an equaliser, but Merstham’s defence fought valiantly. The Moatsiders also continued to create chances throughout the second half, Xavier Vidal’s corner finding Omar Folkes in the seventy-eighth minute. However, his shot kept out.
FT: Dorking Wanderers 2-3 Merstham
In conclusion, the match included an excellent attacking display from both teams. Although, numerous fouls were conceded by both teams, which slightly slowed the momentum. Dorking Wanderers applied pressure to Merstham from the kick off, but the Moatsiders had the upper hand in the first half. The Ryman Premier League side utilised their pace to exploit areas on the wing, Reece Hall and Omar Folkes making excellent runs, and Dan Bennett showed composure when he netted a brace. Dorking Wanderers created more chances in the second half; McShane, Beckles and Tolfrey all working together to attack. A goal on the hour-mark excited the fans, as a possibility of extra time hung in the air, but the score remained 2-3.
Video highlights and Podcast ep 4 will be available later this week.