Back at Mill Farm and in front of the TNT Sports Cameras, the Coasters host Dorking Wanderers as Matchday 22 approaches. 

A point on the road against an in-form FC Halifax Town gave the Coasters renewed hope following two consecutive league defeats, but next up is Dorking, who we cast an eye on.  

The Lowdown

The Coasters come into this televised fixture against Dorking after picking up a point on the road to Halifax. A Taelor O’Kane double earned the Coasters a point on the road, which could have been more but could’ve been less.

Danny Whitehead getting sent off in the latter stages of the game gave the Coasters an uphill battle, but a Luke Charman cross for O’Kane sent the Coasters home with a well-deserved point.

Marc White’s Dorking come into this having not played in midweek but did manage to pick up three points at the weekend at home to Boreham Wood as they jostle for positions around the bottom half of the table.

Goals from Alfie Rutherford and Haydyn Hollis gave Dorking a vital three points. With both teams struggling for form, this can be seen as a six-pointer with both sides at the lower reaches of the table. With both sides better at attacking than defending, this could be a goal fest for the TNT Cameras.

The Manager/Owner: Marc White

Dorking Wanderers is one of those stories you watch on Netflix or read in Children’s football books that has come to life, and it’s all thanks to one man, Marc White. In 1999, White decided to set up a football club with a couple of friends, which has now turned big time. 

12 Promotions in 23 seasons have seen the club now one step away from the Football League. However, White wasn’t always on the touchline giving grief to the officials. Between the years of 1999 and 2007, Marc played for the Wanderers as a striker as the club surged up the Crawley and district leagues into the Sussex Leagues. 

From 2007 onwards, Marc has taken the games from the touchline, with the boots only coming out on desperate occasions. With the club rapidly going through the leagues, having a ground has been hard to come by, with the Wanderers changing homes quite often just to accommodate League rules. 

It wasn’t until recently that Dorking Wanderers got the publicity they deserved, with people now recognising how much of a great achievement it is. They have also received more publicity due to the Bunch of Amateurs show on YouTube, which gives more of an insight into Dorking and Marc White.

As the years went by, more records got broken, and more and more success was coming Dorking’s way. In 2019, the Wanderers won the Isthmian League Premier by 22 points, highlighting and showing to National League South clubs that the new boys were not to be messed with. 

The following season, Dorking topped the league before it got suspended due to COVID-19; Dorking were in the playoffs but lost to Weymouth in a Semi-Final behind closed doors. The 2020-21 season saw Dorking top the National League South just like the Coasters in the north – however, once again, the season got suspended due to COVID. 

With the club now spending their third season at National League South level, they did not disappoint, winning the playoff final against Ebbsfleet in spectacular fashion. In their first season in the National League, the Wanderers managed to stay up despite being a part-time team. 

However, Marc will not be resting on his laurels and will be looking for the next step in terms of improvement, which could be an FA Trophy or a playoff push.

Key Players

Barry Fuller – The 39-year-old is a key part of this Dorking side, showing his experience at right-back whilst also being the captain. A key part in their promotion from the National League South, keeping this man fit will be vital for the Wanderers this season.

Alfie Rutherford – The Striker who can also play in goal. A number nine who knows where the goal is and is a key link-up player. 

Jimmy Muitt –  A winger who can play up top and is somewhat of a versatile forward for Dorking. With the pace to get around a man and the skill to find a cross, Muitt is somewhat of an unsung player for the Wanderers.

Previous Meeting:

08 February 2020 – Dorking Wanderers 2-4 AFC Fylde – FA Trophy

Goalscorers: Dorking – James Mcshane & Matt Briggs

Fylde – Nick Haughton (X2), Neil Byrne & Jordan Williams

Opposition Form

One word to describe Dorking this season would be inconsistent. With wins against the likes of Southend and Aldershot but defeats against Horsham and Maidenhead have seen the Wanderers find themselves in the lower half of the table.

Results show that the Wanderers are hard to beat, almost beating Chesterfield and Oldham. but like the Coasters, the defensive resilience isn’t there every game, which shows why there have been a few one-sided scorelines, such as the 6-0 defeat to Gateshead.

With nobody able to predict what kind of team will turn to face the Coasters, Saturday’s game could be an interesting one to watch.

Match Preview is written by Benji Jenkinson.