By Rod Ellis
DORKING WANDERERS 5-4 LEATHERHEAD
Dorking Wanderers collected the Advertiser Trophy after a nine-goal end-to-end
thriller against Mole Valley neighbours Leatherhead at the Meadowbank Stadium on
The three divisions separating Wanderers and Leatherhead were evident in the
opening fifteen minutes, as the National League hosts raced into a three-goal lead.
Tanners were left exposed at the back after four minutes. George Francomb’s quickly
taken free kick from the corner of the penalty area was squared to an unmarked Jack
Jebb, who blasted home from 18 yards.
Worse followed for the visitors as the hosts doubled their lead a minute later. Another
quickly taken free kick found a forward in Leatherhead’s six-yard box, who was able
to head home unchallenged from close range.
The shell-shocked Tanners defence were unable to stop Dorking from adding a third
goal on 14 minutes. Ryan Seager took the ball into the visitors’ penalty area and
tested Serine Sanneh with a fierce goal-bound drive. The Leatherhead keeper could do
no more than parry the shot back into the striker’s path and Seager made no mistake
with his follow up.
Tanners gradually settled into the match and began to create some chances for
themselves. Alpha Diallo fired wide from a tight angle before Dan Hector tested
Harrison Male with a sizzling low drive on the half-hour mark.
Leatherhead chalked up their first goal of the night on 38 minutes. Diallo’s powerful
shot was only half cleared by the Wanderers’ defence and Hector was well positioned
to fire home from close range.
But Dorking restored their three-goal advantage within a minute, as Seager muscled
his way past two Leatherhead defenders before squeezing the ball past Sanneh to
make it 4-1.
Yet the Isthmian South Central visitors were not prepared to concede defeat without a
fight. Tanners launched an impressive attack from the restart with Omarr Lawson
forcing a fine save from the Dorking keeper.
Wanderers made a string of changes for the second half, and it was one of the subs
who added a fifth goal for the hosts on 46 minutes as Jason Prior stole into
Leatherhead’s six-yard box to score from close range.
Tanners made it 5-2 on the hour mark. Substitute Brian Garzon made an immediate
impact after replacing Dan Hector a minute earlier, with the Leatherhead forward
drilling a fine low shot beyond the reach of Wanderers’ replacement keeper Callum
The visitors pulled another goal back on 67 minutes when Backhurst dithered with the
ball at his feet, trying to dribble his way past an advancing Trevan Robinson.
Leatherhead’s new signing blocked the hesitant keeper and bundled the loose ball into
the back of the net.
And the Wanderers keeper was at fault again on 79 minutes, taking far too long on the
ball and he was once again robbed by Robinson, who reduced the arrears to 5-4.
Dorking held out in the closing minutes to lift the Trophy, while Leatherhead will be
able to reflect on the highs and lows of this initial pre-season friendly with a degree
positivity as they continue their preparations for the new season.