Dorking Wanderers 4-2 Herne Bay - We've got to be better against teams in and around us, says Herne Bay boss Sam Denly

Saturday 12th March 2016
Dorking Wanderers 4 – 2 Herne Bay
Location Westhumble Community Ground, London Road, Dorking, Surrey RH5 6AD
Kickoff 12/03/2016 15:00

Ryman League Division One South
Saturday 12th March 2016
Stephen McCartney reports from London Road

HERNE BAY manager Sam Denly says there are going to be more twists and turns to see which club will join champions-elect Folkestone Invicta in the Ryman Premier League next season.

The Bay slipped to their tenth league defeat of the season after losing 4-2 at Dorking Wanderers, who remain second in the table on 77 points from 39 games, 16 points behind leaders Folkestone Invicta.

Worthing are still third on 74 points from 38 games, followed by Kent rivals Herne Bay (69 points from 39 games) and Hythe Town (68 from 37) as the play-off race hots up during the business end to the season.

Dorking Wanderers opened the scoring inside ten minutes through Tom Tolfrey’s penalty, before Herne Bay went on to dominate the first half and they deserved their equaliser on the stroke of half-time through James Turner’s fifth goal of the season.

But Dorking Wanderers were clinical during the second half with striker Tolfrey slotting in his 33rd goal of the season, before left-back Dean Gunner hooked in a third.

The home side made it a flattering fourth through Jake Beecroft’s 40-yard lob, before set-piece specialist Danny Walder scored his 11th goal of the campaign with a penalty with virtually the last kick of the game for a consolation for Herne Bay.

“Over the course of the game, we probably deserved to get a bit more out of it,” said Denly after their winning run of three games on the spin came to an end underneath a picturesque Boxhill.

“Poor goals for me, second half, conceded early on defensively, which has been our strong point this season but overall disappointed.

“I thought we were outstanding first half and for me we should’ve got something out of the game.

“They were clinical. All season we’ve had issues in front of goal. It’s been frustrating. We’ve still scored enough (71 league goals now), but we’ve got to be better in front of goal.

“We’ve created enough chances to get something out of the game and defensively, for a change, we’ve conceded some poor goals.”

Dorking Wanderers goalkeeper Slavomir Huk made a comfortable save at his near post through Walder’s curling free-kick from down the left channel inside the opening six minutes.

Referee Matt Corlett pointed to the spot after spotting Dan Johnson had fouled Ben Dyett inside the penalty area following a set-piece.

Tolfrey stepped up and drove his right-footed penalty straight down the middle as Jack Delo went to his right, as Dorking Wanderers opened the scoring with 09:06 on the clock.

When asked about the decision, Denly said: “Very soft penalty, one of the softest you see, which doesn’t help us again. We’re not talking about the man in the middle. We have to look at ourselves at times. It was a soft penalty, we’re disappointed with that decision.”

But Herne Bay responded in a positive fashion and pressed for an equaliser – all that was missing was a striker like Tolfrey to put the ball away from within the penalty box.

Dorking Wanderers created an opening from a set-piece when Beecroft – their player-of-the-month for February – clipped a free-kick into the Herne Bay box.

Central Tom Familton rose with Liam Quinn and sent his towering header across goal and behind for a goal-kick.

Herne Bay lost central defender Quinn after 31 minutes because he could not see out of one eye following a bang to his head.

Herne Bay peppered long-range shots towards the Dorking Wanderers’ goal at every opportunity.

Walder swung in a free-kick from outside the left-hand side of the penalty area, which nestled into the side-netting, just the wrong side of the post.

Dorking Wanderers committed their tenth foul in the 29th minute and Walder drilled the resulting free-kick towards the bottom corner, which was tipped around the post by Huk, diving to his right.

Denly added: “Danny Walder has had a couple of shots from long range but listen we dominated that first half completely!”

Dorking Wanderers won themselves a free-kick on the very corner of the penalty area but Bertie Brayley drilled his left-footed free-kick over the bar.

Tolfrey had a sniff at goal after 38 minutes when he dinked the ball over Delo but a combination of Michael Turner and Connor Sanders cleared the ball off the line as the pair got back.

Within a minute James Turner played in Joe Nelder, who stroked a weak shot from inside the box, which bounced into Huk’s hands for a comfortable save.

“Listen, that kind of summed us up today,” admitted Denly.

“We’ve played some good football in phases. We’ve opened them up a little bit but we haven’t been, A, clinical in front of goal and B, we haven’t been good enough defensively. That’s why we’ve lost the game.”

Nelder swept the ball inside the an unmarked Walder, who was given time and space to crack a right-footed drive from 40-yards, which bounced off the flat muddy goalmouth just in front of Huk, who dived to his right to turn the ball around the post.

Herne Bay, who won the corner count by eight-to four, deservedly equalised two minutes and 9 seconds into time added on.

Set-piece specialist Walder swung in his sixth corner of the game into a crowded goal-mouth. Lee Browning’s first shot was blocked and James Turner steered his low shot through the crowd, the ball nestling into the bottom right-hand corner.

Denly said: “Great, good goal. James Turner’s a poacher, that’s where he scores his goals in and around the six-yard box.  He can find the back of the net James when he plays. He variably scores goals.

“Listen, pleased to go in one-all. I was thinking at half-time we get one, there’s only going to be one winner but they upped their game second half.

“I wasn’t happy, I’m not going to lie at 1-0 down because I thought we were dominating the game but we weren’t showing enough quality in the final third so we changed it slightly.

“I wanted much of the same but a little bit more clinical in front of goal. We started the second half poorly. They came out having a bit more of a go. They’ve got an early goal and they seemed to settle in the game after that and then we were chasing the game, which is never ideal.”

Denly, though, was clearly disappointed with his side’s capitulation during the second half.

Dorking Wanderers produced a quality finish to take the lead for a second time, timed at 03:47 in the second half.

Central midfielder Tony Oakes played the ball out wide to Brayley down the left and he sped down the line towards the by-line.

The left-winger cut the ball back to an unmarked Tolfrey, who turned and placed his right-footed shot into the bottom far corner.

“Poor goal! Some people will say good goal for them but poor defensive goal from us,” said Denly.

“We gave too much space out wide and we haven’t gone with the runner. He’s then got a cross in which he shouldn’t do.

“He’s turned on a six-pence in the six-yard box and he’s slotted it home. Good player, scores goals. We know that he’s the danger player. We picked that up before the game but listen from close range he’s going to be dangerous. He’s a good player.

“I’m disappointed with the way we defended today, which was unusual. Just not good enough! We’ve got to get tighter! Defensively this season we’ve been outstanding but today we’ve come up short.”

Walder squandered an excellent chance when the referee awarded Herne Bay a free-kick from inside the D after Dyett was penalised for a handball by using his right hand to stop Walder’s drive.

But Walder slipped before placing his right-footed free-kick past the wall and past the right-hand post.

Denly added: “Just lost his footing I think, which was unfortunate.  Walder’s been outstanding. I think he was our best player today. He put some great balls in. He slipped with the free-kick which wasn’t ideal from where it was but these things happen.”

Walder was involved in a large slice of Herne Bay’s shots at goal and he drilled a shot into Huk’s midriff from outside the penalty area from the left hand side after his seventh corner was cleared away at the near post.

Delo was guilty of coming for a ball that he failed to get when Dyett nipped in to hook the ball across goal from a tight angle after right-back Luke Hackett launched a long throw into the Herne Bay box.

That should have been a warning as Dorking Wanderers grabbed a third goal in the 65th minute.

This time central defender Tom Familton launched a long throw into the box from the left and left-back Gunner, who was unmarked, hooked his shot over Delo, the ball dropping into the bottom far corner.

“It’s frustrating again. We’re having a bit of a go, we’re chasing the game at 2-1 and then it’s 3-1,” said Denly.

“At 2-1 down you’re chasing the game and gaps start appearing and they’ve exploited that.”

At that point of the game you were wondering just how Dorking Wanderers were leading the game 3-1.

“You’re not the only one!” replied the Herne Bay manager.

“It was frustrating for me, yes, I ain’t going to lie. It’s very frustrating. We find ourselves controlling the game and all of a sudden we’re 3-1 down, so not ideal.”

Tolfrey smashed a first time shot over the bar after the ball came out to him after Delo flapped at Beecroft’s corner from the left, the home side’s final flag kick of the game.

Familton launched a second long throw into the box, which was knocked down by Tolfrey and Gunner shot over with an effort on the turn.

Herne Bay squandered an excellent chance to bring themselves back into the game in the final 20 minutes.

Walder swung in a corner from the right and substitute Mark Lovell planted his free header over the bar from close range at the near post.

Denly admitted the striker should’ve scored.

He said: “You’ve got to be finishing that! Loves knows that himself, five-yards out, in front of goal.

“He’s been there and done it a long time Loves, but that’s a chance you’ve got to take and it’s a different game at 3-2, but these things happen.

“Loves has been outstanding for us this year. We’ll be looking to finish that and it’s a different game.”

Brayley jinked past three Herne Bay defenders to cut into the penalty area but his dinked shot was saved comfortably by Delo.

Herne Bay left-back Dan Johnson picked up the ball inside Dorking Wanderers half and cut inside but the ball bounced up off the pitch and he sliced his shot harmlessly wide of the far post from 30-yards.

Herne Bay’s man-of-the-match Walder fed the ball into Lovell’s feet but he leaned back and his shot sailed over the bar.

Walder’s free-kick from the right was met by Nelder’s free header from the edge of the penalty area, which sailed into Huk’s hands.

But with Herne Bay pressing forward to try to fight their way back into the game, Dorking Wanderers scored a fourth goal on the break inside the final four minutes.

Tolfrey cushioned his header into Beecroft’s path from the halfway line and Beecroft looked up to spot Delo was off his line and produced a sublime chip from 40-yards, which sailed over the keeper’s head and dropped in just underneath the crossbar in the middle of the goal.

Denly refused to point the finger of blame at his goalkeeper, adding, “Again that’s what happens. We’re chasing the game.  We made changes, we’ve changed our shape but it creates holes and they’ve exploited that again and got the fourth goal.”

Denly added the scoreline appeared flattering, by saying, “It was never a 4-1 game for me, so I suppose we’ve got a little consolation by getting the second but we lost today because of frailties going forward and a few at the back, which was disappointing.”

Herne Bay were awarded a penalty when Lovell fed the ball in to fellow substitute Elliot Cuts, who was felled by Familton.

Inevitably Walder stepped up and sent Huk the wrong way as his right-footed penalty nestled into the back of the net, time at four minutes and 17 seconds into injury time.

Denly admitted it proved too little too late for his men.

He said: “It was a consolation goal, which doesn’t sit with me greatly. It makes it a little bit better, although we’ve lost the game and we’re going home with no points.   The second goal we’ll take.  For me we’ve got to be better against teams in and around us.”

Herne Bay have seven league games left to play, starting with an East Kent derby against Ramsgate at Winch’s Field next Saturday.

The Rams climbed up a place into eighth following their 4-0 home win over East Grinstead Town today and Jim and Danny Ward’s side have collected 64 points from 39 games.

The Rams are only four points adrift of the play-off zone.

“Looking forward to it,” said Denly.

“It’s a local derby. It’s always a difficult game against them.  I think we played them off the park last time, we lost 1-0 so we know they’re going to be dangerous.

“They’ve got key players, Puly (Ian Pulman), (Joe) Taylor, (Wayne) Wilson’s there now so they’re a dangerous side and we have to be at our best to get a result.

“We’ve got more than enough to beat Ramsgate. If we work hard in the week,  train well and then look to put a good shift in next week and we’ll be looking to bounce back and get the win.”

Denly knows the importance of going on a winning run for the rest of the season to secure a play-off place for the first time.

“All to play for mate! Still a lot of football and lots of twists and turns. Nothing’s guaranteed yet so it’s not mathematically possible for anyone to finish anywhere apart from Folkestone who will win the league over the next three or four games, that much you can probably go and guarantee.

“There’s places to play for in the top five and we’ll keep working hard until the very end.

“It’s going to be difficult, there’s going to be many twists and turns. We’re going to try and get a run together now.  We’ve got to go on a winning run, that will be our aim, starting next week.”

Dorking Wanderers: Slavomir Huk, Luke Hackett, Dean Gunner, Ben Dyett, Tom Familton, Tony Oakes, Jerome Beckles, Jake Beecroft, Dane Luchford (Harry Shipton 67), Tom Tolfrey, Bertie Brayley (Matt Briggs 87).
Subs: Jason Hughes, Gary Ross

Goals: Tom Tolfrey 10 (penalty), 49, Dean Gunner 65, Jake Beecroft 85

Booked: Tom Tolfrey 80

Herne Bay: Jack Delo, Michael Turner (Mark Lovell 64), Gary Sayer, Dan Johnson, Liam Quinn (Nathan Eastwood 31), Connor Sanders, Danny Walder, Joe Nelder, James Turner, Lee Browning, Kane Phillip (Elliot Cutts 77).
Subs: Danny Williams, Dan Parkinson

Goals: James Turner 45, Danny Walder 90 (penalty)

Attendance: 108
Referee: Mr Mark Corlett (Greenwich, London SE10)
Assistants: Mr Gerry Heron (West Wickham) & Mr Alexis Stacchini (Orpington)

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