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"A Game Of F*****g Demolition"
All hail the front three... By: Max Bygraves 25/03/2024
Dorking Wanderers
6 0
League 23/03/2024
2023-2024 Attendance: 2370 (242)

This article has been viewed 603 times.

A second 6-0 win in three months (to the day). On the day Chesterfield were officially crowned champions, we were given a reminder that this really hasn’t been a bad season, all told.

To take a bit of credit before I talk about the actual footballers - I parked my car on the corner of Tenby Road for this one. That’s only the second time I’ve managed to nab a space there this season. The other? 6-0 v Boreham Wood! Can someone put some cones or a bin out to save it for me every week?

Much was made of the fact the club chose to ignore Non-League Day being a thing for this one. However, we still found 1300 extra home fans compared to Tuesday. There were many youngsters in attendance, including my 3 year old daughter who had been very keen for a while to be taken along. After a bad start with the concept of the turnstile, it was a good afternoon to introduce a future generation of supporter. Lots of explaining required not to get used to it being like this normally. I don’t imagine I was the only parent in the ground having that conversation after half an hour, repeating at every further goal.

An attacking line up promised goals and didn't fail to deliver. There was a noticeable change in approach where we played Dorking at their own game from the off. It wasn't the prettiest, but lofted balls from our back four for a front three who looked ravenous for goals caused mayhem almost instantly. An early goal looked inevitable, but in the end, this was aided by some poor decision making.

A high foot in the box gave Barnet a penalty within ten minutes. There could be little complaint. I would be lying if I said I felt any confidence whatsoever we would convert this chance, given our recent record from the spot. However, it was very pleasing to see Nicke Kabamba take charge and coolly dispatch his 27th goal of the season. Nominated taker until further notice, you'd now assume.

Despite it not being long before the second, we had every right to feel aggrieved at not having an identical chance just a few minutes later. Gatlin O'Donkor was obviously fouled in the box, with the ref and linesman giving the decision immediately...only to completely bottle it and inexplicably suggest it was just outside the area. An utterly baffling call. Although a near miss from Kabamba could have made it two from a move after the resulting incorrectly given free-kick. Another penalty award was bottled a little further on, too. Just as well we weren't only relying on one method to score in this one.

The second goal came in the 21st minute. Confusion reigned supreme in the Wanderers back-line as they struggled to deal with a quick break. The keeper had came a long way out of his goal to deal with Kabamba's effort, but O'Donkor reacted quickest and following some neat footwork, he rolled the ball into an empty net from all of twenty five yards. Pardon the pun, but Dorking's defenders really were made to look like a Bunch of Amateurs. 'Arf.

In between the second goal and the continued onslaught, the weather took a pretty bizarre turn. From glorious spring sunshine to ominously black skies, advertising hoardings being blown half way down the pitch and heavy rain and hail. End of days stuff, though that felt more apt for the visitors on this occasion.

Their afternoon really was going from bad to worse. Were it not for a fine save, Kabamba would have made it three before the half hour mark - his effort tipped onto the bar. Moments later, however, a third was added. This was getting silly.

A great driving run (in the now driving rain) by Stead, a lay off and lovely link up with Kabamba followed before a delightful through ball for the Bees' number ten to run on to. Stead showed fantastic composure to avoid a foul by the goalkeeper before putting the ball into an empty net with the cleverest of finishes. One of my favourite goals of the season for its uniqueness. Three for the front three, in thirty one minutes.

Before half time, there was time for Calum Stead to double his tally and make it 4-0. The ball came to him slightly fortuitously, however, there was nothing lucky about a fine low finish into the bottom corner. His hot streak continued and you began to wonder just how many this would be.

It was a 6-0 win and I want to keep the vibe of how good the football was going - but a word on yet another Legends Bar shambles at half time. Possibly the biggest queue all season. Maybe we were anticipating a low crowd given the lack of Non-League Day promotion, but it really was a farce to challenge the worst of days in terms of queues in there. Didn't personally affect me, but I can only assume for any first-timers, they got the sadly standard (in)famous Hive matchday experience. A social media image of a burger in the away end that appeared rarer than a season where we win two games 6-0 not adding to great PR either. At least the football team were bloody good in this one.

The second half, as you'd expect, was a bit of a cruise. There was almost a goal back for Wanderers early in it following a bit of a mix up between Okimo and Walker, but an incredible goal line clearance from Coker preserved the clean sheet. Seeing Walker, Collinge, Okimo, Gorman and Kabamba in the team together again has really served as a reminder of what a decent outfit we are. Let's hope injuries can be kind during the run-in. Josh Keeley was back but on the bench, less than 24 hours after playing for Ireland U21 in San Marino. An interesting decision from Brennan awaits on Good Friday for the place between the sticks.

With a bigger crowd in, there was a notable improvement in the atmosphere. The Amber Battalion's numbers had swelled in reflection with the general crowd number and they were a constant source of noise and encouragement. After our nostalgic fun at Woking last week, there were a few proud nods in their direction from Blocks D and E in approval of the passing of the 'Final Countdown' baton. Tremendous. My Ireland-based colleague informs me that was loud and clear on the stream. Keep it up, lads.

In the closing stages, we decided to really compound Dorking's misery by adding a fifth through Gorman and sixth from Brunt. Cake, iced, cherried, the lot. As comprehensive a win as I can recall seeing. It could have been double figures and Dorking couldn't have had any complaints. A day to forgot for them.

The result puts us on the same points tally (74) as the end of last season. Whilst we can't pretend parts of mid-season have been a little disappointing, the progress made is evident. A cast of the mind back to this time two years ago, and you really do have to feel happy with our lot. If anything, it's good that success has driven people on to want more. We've definitely sometimes been guilty of settling for less in many aspects in the past; there's a pride back in the club in more ways than one, now.

Solihull's late draw at Aldershot was massively helpful ahead of our televised fixture there on Good Friday. With a game for them this Tuesday, the gap could have been worryingly uncomfortable at kick-off. Whatever their outcome against Southend, there is going to at least remain breathing space. A result there would all but ensure a top three finish but it would be hasty to make too many assumptions just yet. Our run in still looks favourable and on this game's evidence, we should be optimistic of our chances of being just one game away from Wembley with a fixture at home on Sunday 28th April.

In the evening, the manager interviews on YouTube caused a bit of attention. Marc White isn't for everyone but I personally find him entertaining and really like the Dorking Wanderers story. I'm not sure I hold out too much hope for them, but I would like them to stay up. Re-sharing the first eleven seconds of his entertaining interview on our Twitter, at the time of writing we were over 200,000 views and likes from across the globe, including Sky Sports' Jamie Carragher. We can't take credit for the content, but let's hope clicking on it at least got a few people to notice the Bring Barnet Back stuff.

The first thing my daughter said when we got in the car after the game was, "I want to go to football again!" The thought of doing this but actually at home in Barnet in perhaps the not overly-distant future really is a motivation for the campaign to stay at the forefront of as many of our minds as possible. There’s been an amazing response to the fundraising that’s begun this week and we’re looking forward to seeing Bring Barnet Back t shirts far and wide very soon!

It's always special to see your team win by this sort of scoreline. Imagine a game like that but back in Barnet. We have to make this happen!

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All Articles By This Author:

10/04/2024 Nearly There
25/03/2024 "A Game Of F*****g Demolition"
20/03/2024 Another Step Closer
09/03/2024 Tepid
06/03/2024 Bring Barnet Back
21/02/2024 Shot Down
14/02/2024 Simon Clist
04/02/2024 Unpleasant
10/01/2024 Daggers Defeated
31/12/2023 Nine Point Christmas

Other Articles By Category

10/04/2024 Nearly There
25/03/2024 "A Game Of F*****g Demolition"
20/03/2024 Another Step Closer
17/03/2024 Card Bored
09/03/2024 Tepid
06/03/2024 Bring Barnet Back
21/02/2024 Shot Down
20/02/2024 (South) Underhill
04/02/2024 Unpleasant
20/01/2024 Barnet Rivalries

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