Dorking Wanderers #13

The Transfer Window

With three promotions in three seasons, we must have done something right in the market. I will keep the same strategy as before, just increasing the maximum wage limit.
Like every season, we had someone leaving, but we made a severe amount of money from the transfers out for the first summer so far. I’m glad that the players we find at academies and given a chance here develops and become attractive for bigger clubs. For the time being, we have no other option than to be selling club. However, that doesn’t mean that we don’t try to get the best deal possible for our players.
The bids for Cassanova and Mainoo was too high for us to afford not to let them leave. Khayon Edwards made a big fuss about going, and although he had a decent first season for us, I don’t want that attitude in my squad.

  • Dante Cassanova – Bristol City – £800K
  • Kobbie Mainoo – Nottinham Forest – £750K (£1.1M)
  • Khayon Edwards – Blackburn – £500K
  • Alfie Rutherford – Eastleigh – Loan
  • Noah Sapsford – FC Halifax – Loan
  • Patrick Zito – Oldham – Loan

We did our transfers early this season, and six of the seven newcomers arrived July 1st. Four of them was picked up from Cobham, one from Fulham and one from Manchester United’s academy. We made an additional signing in late august to provide cover at centre-back. We paid money for a player for the first time when Rhys Bennett arrived for £8.25K from Farsley. He’s a former academy player at Manchester United and has played two seasons in the National League North. This year, Bennett is the only signing that’s ever played a senior game. We have had a good experience gradually giving more and more playing time to the new signings, so that will be the strategy this year. Connor McAvoy is the only one that will go straight into the starting eleven as the perfect replacement for Muir.

LEAGUE ONE

August

The opener against Crewe made sure we got a great start to our life in League One. Michael Craig scored the first goal after 12 minutes. In the second half, Louis Flower got a debut goal after setting up by young Jeff Edwards. Just four minutes after the second goal, Dominic Rogerson saved a penalty. In the 90th minute, Aaron Skinner converted a penalty to secure a win in the season’s first game. Rogerson was voted man of the match, so Crewe’s results weren’t 100% fair this day. 

Against Coventry, the first half was a stalemate, and nothing major happened. We took the lead early in the second half when last seasons top scorer, Edwin Andersson, scored his first for the season. Ten minutes later, they equalized, and none of us was close to grabbing a win after that. I would’ve taken a tie away to Coventry 10 out of 10 times before the game. 

It isn’t much to say after 0-0 versus Shrewsbury other than that we got lucky to get our second clean sheet so far. Rogerson was once again voted man of the match so that probably tells you who had the momentum in that game.

Reading away would probably be a cup or Championship game in a perfect world. We had a tough first half, and they grabbed a goal after half an hour. Andersson had a goal disallowed right before the break, but we managed to create something. 

Over in the second half, we took over and had good momentum. Edwards got a disallowed goal after 77th minutes, but the third time’s the charm when Manni Norkett equalized two minutes into injury time. I love the never say die attitude in this team! 

Going unbeaten through our first month, when we meet a team like this, is an outstanding achievement for us. 

September

A draw against MK Dons isn’t much to write home about when we had one shot on goal. But, after the game, the biggest thing to talk about is a harsh red card for Aaron Lee. That’s it. 

Once again, we meet Ian Burchnall and Notts County. I wish him all the luck in the world, except for the games between us. When we meet, two teams always want to have the ball. The first 30 minutes were all about possession and keeping the ball. After 31 minutes, Bobby-Joe Taylor found Andersson with a cross, and it was 1-0. Five minutes later, Andersson got played through on goal, and we went 2-0 up before the break. 

They desperately tried to get a goal back in the second half, but luckily we managed to hold on. 

Stoke is one of our most demanding games all season, and I’m thrilled we gave them a good run for the points. They took the lead after 15 minutes. After that, we controlled the possession for most of the game, but we lacked quality in the last third. Despite the loss, it was a positive game for us.

We played Plymouth for the last game this month on the road again. After only three minutes, Olly Allen gave us the lead with a great shot from outside the box. Plymouth turned the game around with two goals within the next 20 minutes, and we went to halftime trailing. We got fortunate when they scored an own goal in the 55th minute and got a disallowed goal shortly after. Five out of 12 points possible is a decent month for us, and we’re ahead of schedule of keeping our place in the league. 

CARABAO CUP

We had to travel to Fratton Park to meet Portsmouth for the second game of the season and the first round of the Carabao Cup. The first half caught fire when they scored after nine minutes. Flower then scored two goals in two minutes to turn the game around before they equalized after a penalty in the 31st minute. The only thing of importance that happened after that was a disallowed goal for Portsmouth, and the game went to penalties. We missed two of ours, but it’s nothing to worry about when you have a keeper that saves three. What a keeper we have, and once again, he’s the man of the match. 

In the next round against Forest Green, it was an eventful game. Edwards gave us the lead in the 13th minute before they got a penalty and equalized two minutes later. Edwards scored again in the 21st minute after a beautiful assist from Allen. Two minutes later, Allen assisted Norkett for our third, and we were two goals up at the half time. 

Forest Green needed eight minutes to tie the game in the second half. Daniel Gore got us back in the lead two minutes after the equaliser with a debut goal. That lasted two more minutes before they once again equalized. Ten minutes later, they got in the lead, which blew the air out of the balloon. 

PAPA JOHN’S TROPHY

Like the previous season, the reserves and young talents play in these games. It’s a bonus if we manage to get a result. 

Cheltenham got an early lead and was 1-0 at halftime. After the break, they increased the lead before Rhys Bennett got us one back with a goal in his debut. Shortly after, they increased the score, and we never really had a chance. 


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