A Battling Point
A determined performance earned a youthful Dorking side a deserved point in an entertaining game against South Park.
Although, arguably, the Chicks lacked enough creativity up front to win the game, manager Steve Lunn was pleased with the resilience shown by his young starting line-up - once again featuring no fewer than seven teenagers - as they held off late pressure from their more experienced opponents.
Despite a competitive start, clear cut chances were at a premium in the early stages. For Dorking, the best opportunity came as the ball broke to right sided midfielder Ryan Lunn, but his shot from distance was a comfortable stop for the South Park keeper. At the other end, the visitors saw a close-range shot from a corner headed off the line by Ollie Turner, one of the latest clutch of local youth team players getting a taste of first team football for Dorking.
It was the Chicks who broke the deadlock on the half hour mark, with the move of the game. A fantastic first-time flick round the corner by Jimmy Brazil, returning from injury, set Haris Bouzida free on the left. The 16 year old delivered one of several teasing crosses into the box and, with the arrival of Brazil causing confusion in the South Park defence, Chicks' captain Andy Miller lifted the ball high into the net from six yards.
Chances began to appear at both ends, with South Park spurning the chance to equalise from just five yards and also having the ball in the Dorking net, only to have the 'goal' correctly ruled out by the linesman's offside flag.
The Chicks had looked vulnerable from set pieces throughout the game, and it proved to be their undoing on 57 minutes, when Alec Brown powered home the equaliser with a free header from a corner, after South Park had enjoyed the best of the early pressure at the start of the second half.
Steve Lunn brought on 19 year olds, Will Hearn - on loan from Dorking Wanderers - and ex-AFC Wimbledon scholar Louie Stanton-Cockle, to freshen up the midfield.
Chances came. The home crowd cheered as a Jimmy Brazil shot from a tight angle appeared to ripple the top corner of the South Park net - when in reality it had hit the rear stanchion of the goal. A superb turn from Stanton-Cockle left his opponent standing and he delivered a first class ball from deep for Brazil, but the Chicks' striker was just crowded out as he battled with the last two defenders to bring the threatening ball under control.
At the other end, South Park pushed hard for the winner, but youth team defenders Will Conroy and Jack Wisbey proved immovable as Dorking stood firm to claim a good point.
The Chicks host their last home league game of the season on Saturday when Farleigh Rovers visit Westhumble, kicking off at 3pm.
Dorking FC: McTigue, Turner, Wisbey, Conroy, Finn, Harcombe (Stanton-Cockle 79), Torpey, Miller (Hearn 69), Brazil, R Lunn, Bouzida (Knight 85).
Subs not used - Mothee, A Watts