Saturday 24th December 2011 ko 1.30pm
Sussex County League Division 2
DORKING WANDERERS 3 (Matty Evans 59 75 D Evans 76)
STORRINGTON 2 (Grantham 39 O’Regan 54)
Programme SOLD OUT (content to be emailed), old copy FREE
Soup & Roll £1.50
It would have been easy to have said that every hopper known to man was at my morning game at Roffey, the afternoon proved they weren’t. Some had travelled here as a one-off, some had watched Pease Pottage in the morning. Some watched Roffey and went elsewhere. It all added up to 2 extra on the gate when compared to Roffey, and as before, they’d completely underestimated the interest in the fixture. What was lost on some visitors is that if a club’s attendance in normally 30, why would you risk the expense of printing 5 times you normal run of programmes, especially with the weather being so uncertain.
Dorking, or course lies in Surrey, not that you’re far from the Sussex border. Its best known as the birthplace of Laurence Olivier, not that at any point did I feel actually in the bustling market town. The West Humble Playing Fields lie in the shadow of the National Trust owned Box Hill, an area of outstanding natural beauty. Box Hill, incidentally, will be used for the cycling road race in next summer’s Olympics.
Perhaps that’s why the ground has wood very much to the fore. Cabins for changing rooms, with the pitch-side rail being in fact a fence. Nothing is prefabricated, nothing is standard issue, which makes it excellent for a one-off vistor, but you do wonder how on earth the club could progress to a floodit league with these facilities.
There was little Christmas cheer on show in this game. As early as 3rd minute Storrington forward Craig Grantham was guilty of a horrible studs-up challenge on defender Craig Vernon. He then seemed to grab Vernon by the neck, and Vernon retaliated by attempting a punch. Both players could, perhaps should have should have been sent off, but referee Dawson chose only to book Grantham.
It proved to be significant as Grantham opened the scoring, and throughout the rest of the game the tackles were notably late, and high. Wanderers took a 2-goal lead when keeper Williams fumbled O’Regan’s shot, and the visitors looked home and dry at that point. Clearly they hadn’t considered Matty Evans, who firstly headed home direct from a corner, then his shot from the left was the culmination of a fine passing move. I was glad to be watching from the the left touchline as left-back Dan Evans overlapping run saw him fire home from 20 yards. Pantomime villain Grantham finally did get his marching orders, collecting his 2nd booking for a challenge that ironically looked more clumsy than malicious. Any sense of injustice he he was feeling did not excuse the abusive language he shouted out as most of the Storrington bench were called into action to encort him from the field of play.
So as not to be left out of the fun, Wanderers manager Marc White was sent from the dugout for contesting a foul that wasn’t penalised, or for that matter even claimed!
Not exactly Christmassy on the pitch but all was well with the world off of it. Cards were exchanged and pleasantries of the season very much to the fore. And that is a good a time as any to wish both of my readers a very merry Christmas, see you somewhere daft!