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There's a lot of opportunities, if we knew how to take them

Dorking Wanderers were founded in 1999. Which means that, as a club, they didn’t exist when I sat my A levels. As a club, they are younger than Trent Alexander-Arnold. The season we suffered play off heartbreak in the third tier (then the Second Division) against QPR, Dorking Wanderers’ 3rd place finish in Division Two of the West Sussex League was enough to secure them promotion to the Premier League. Of the West Sussex League. In the season that we pulled off the giant killing of the season by winning 1-2 at Fulham in the FA Cup, Dorking Wanderers exited the competition in the 3rd qualifying round, losing their replay at home to Gloucester City 0-3.

On Saturday 9th September 2023, we failed to beat, or score against, Dorking Wanderers, at home, and they can consider themselves very unlucky that they didn’t leave Boundary Park with all 3 points.

This is a million miles from good enough, and the board needs to act quickly, or a golden opportunity to finally turn around the club’s fortunes, and re-enthuse the supporters, will be wasted.

I have no idea why we chose to start with only one striker against a part-time semi-professional team who are in the relegation places and are currently suffering an injury crisis. “We just can’t seem to put the ball into the back of the net since the Aldershot game”? Then maybe try making better use of the embarrassment of riches we’ve got in terms of forwards, Dave? Maybe throw caution to the fucking wind and start with two strikers at home to Dorking fucking Wanderers?

I’ve not seen the (ahem) ‘highlights’ of the game (which I unfortunately couldn’t make it to – no, genuinely, you’re just gonna have to trust me when I say that what I was doing last Saturday afternoon was even less pleasant than being at BP watching that shower of shite), so I’ve no idea whether our goal should have been disallowed. I’ve seen the sitter that Willoughby missed, and you could argue that sums up the luck we’re having and how we need to be more clinical (down a shot!). Or you could ask why a player who was banging them in last season now doesn’t seem to be able to hit a cow’s arse with a banjo, and whether that might have anything to do with how little playing time he’s getting or with him being played out of position on the left wing.

At least we were spared Unsworth ‘not talking about referees’ this week, because even he wouldn’t have the brass bollocks to complain about the officials when they didn’t see the ball cross the line for what was surely a late goal for Dorking. Thank fuck for the lack of technology in this tinpot league that, on current form, we’ll do well to not get relegated from.

The post-match interview was exactly as predictable and infuriating as expected, although I’m not sure what he could have said that wouldn’t have annoyed me, other than “that was shit and this isn’t good enough and I’m sorry”. The first sentence was, of course, “It’s another game we should have won, [we] created the best opportunities in the game”. DING DING DING ‘CREATED THE BEST OPPORTUNITIES’ BONUS, DOWN TWO SHOTS! I was expecting something along the lines of ‘they came here for a point’, but “they’ve done a job on us, similar to what we done against Chesterfield” was really quite special. So, we approached our game at Chesterfield in the same manner as a part-time team who trains twice a week going to the biggest club in the division. I’m sure that was exactly what Norwood came here from a club two divisions higher than us to do.

Unsworth’s plea for patience on Thursday did nothing to reassure me that he’s going to turn things around soon. Him referencing the fact that “I played in the last team at Everton that won a trophy” just reminded me of Graeme Sharp’s comments that ‘this isn’t pressure, playing in the final of the European Cup Winners’ Cup is pressure’, shortly before we sacked him. Apparently “We’ve got a plan, we know we’re just a little bit behind the curve at the moment”. We’re 17th in the league, Dave. With what definitely IS one of the biggest budgets in the division. We may well only be 5 points off the play off places, but we’re also only one point off the relegation zone. Chopping and changing may well not be the way to build long term success and stability, but neither is doing nothing while the team stagnates, under-performs and goes backwards.

It's shit. I'm sick of it.


Written by Arlene Finnigan. Photo by Phill Smith.

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