Ryman(Isthmian)Football League Division 3
Saturday 24th February 2001
DORKING 1-0 CLAPTON
Scorer:-Adrian Moses(11 minutes)
Just when the first thoughts of Spring were entering my mind,a cold afternoon in a bright and sunny Dorking brought me crashing back down to Earth.
The Chicks,and their visitors from East London,Clapton,are perennial strugglers in the lower echelons of the Isthmian League,a league whose playing standards are on the wane and have been for about five years,according to many of the League's Premier Division managers.
Nevertheless,if it's effort you want then these two sides provided it in abundance.
There wasn't a lot of quality about the football on offer,largely due to a dry and bumpy playing surface,though we should be grateful for the "dry" bit given this mother of all rainy seasons!
It was the sort of surface that Mattiah Murulitharan would need to change his sheets on a regular basis for!!!!
The rest of the ground is antiquated but quaint,atypically Surrey;£3.50 to get in and a quid for a decent match programme.
Somebody even left the tannoy on while the game was in progress.We waited patiently for the inevitable expletive....NOTHING.Typical Surrey!!
The Green & White of the home side opened brightly but Clapton were more than a match until the 11th minute.A moment of high quality as Dorking opened the scoring.
Mark Richards,returning from a lengthy injury picked out Stuart White on the right flank.His Beckhamesque cross found Adrian Moses 10 yards out.The surface meant a two-touch situation and the ball evaded Craig Knox in the Clapton goal.
If this was the shape of things to come then roll on!Unfortunately the remainder of the half was rather dour with Dorking shading possession and handling the conditions slightly better than the visitors.
Suitably refreshed with lager and peanuts we awaited the second half.
The only improvement came from Clapton who probably deserved to go home with a point.Paul Marjason missed two good chances in the last 10 minutes.First he volleyed over the bar from 18 yards then,with three minutes remaining he strode forward,a la Geoff Thomas,but drove just wide.With that miss went the points to Dorking,leaving Clapton in serious relegation trouble.It would be sad for Clapton to go down as they play the game honestly and have a fantastic history,including 5 F.A.Amateur Cup wins.
Dorking aren't safe yet either.But their recent form suggests survival this term.Next year might not be so easy!
I would recommend a trip to Meadowbank with its panoramic views of Box Hill,honest endeavour from their players but because,more importantly,clubs like Dorking need all the support they can get.As indeed do Clapton and many others!!
Click on the photo of Meadowbank for the official Dorking F.C. website @ www.dorkingfc.co.uk
WATCH A GAME......LIVE!!!!
Other Ryman(Isthmian)League Division 3 Clubs
Kingsbury Town FC
Camberley Town FC
Croydon Athletic FC
Wingate & Finchley FC
Tring Town FC
Epsom & Ewell FC
Bracknell Town FC
Abingdon Town FC
Arlesey Town FC
I am on the lookout for official/unofficial sites for the following clubs from this division:-
Witham Town FC
Flackwell Heath FC
Hertford Town FC
Chalfont St.Peter FC
Egham Town FC