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Dorking Wanderers 3
Buchanan (32'), Richards (38'), Prior (62' pen)
2 Kingstonian
Bennett (17'), Thompson (69')
Dorking Wanderers

Grier's Guide to Dorking Wanderers

The town: Pleasant town nestled in the Surrey Hills, best known for having the largest vineyard in the UK, Denbies, and for Box Hill which has hosted numerous cycling events including during the 2012 Olympics. The surrounding countryside should be looking particularly nice if it's a bright midsummer's day.

Where: Meadowbank Football Ground, Mill Ln, Dorking RH4 1DX. Meadowbank, the former home of Dorking FC, reopened last season following a £5m revamp with an artificial pitch. The Surrey FA have also moved their headquarters there. The ground is quite compact with little on three of its sides but it's modern and the town centre location is great for fans.

Directions: Just off the high street right in the town centre, you can get the 465 all the way from Kingston, getting off at The White Horse stop. It will probably take about an hour, depending on exactly how bad the traffic is through Chessington. Direct trains go from Raynes Park and Worcester Park leaving about a 15 minute walk, or if driving there's a pay and display car park near the ground on Mill Lane.

Our record there: We made occasional visits to Dorking over the years, mainly for the odd cup game and friendly along with a 2-0 league defeat in 1994. It was also our reserve team's ground in 2002-03 when the late Trevor Jones was manager. But last season was our first visit since the revamp and it was a harrowing experience, the champions-elect hammering us 7-1 with Leigh Dynan's reign as manager ending shortly after the final whistle. 

Recent form: Having won the league by some 22 points last season Wanderers are now a Conference South side and it will make for a tough start to pre-season.

Players to watch: The signing of striker Jason Prior last summer was a big statement of intent and he only just missed out on the golden boot, his 21 league goals leaving him one short of Bishop's Stortford veteran Jamie Cureton. They also have a fine goalkeeper in Slavomir Huk while Ks fans will be familiar with powerful box-to-box midfielder Lewis Taylor and striker Elliott Buchanan, who joined from us towards the end of last season.

Crowd: The move to the town centre and the successful league-winning campaign really boosted their crowds, with 1,023 seeing them wrap up the league title with a win over Worthing. They'll be hoping that promotion to Conference South, as well as a celebrity match the day after ours featuring Calum Best and Dean Gaffney, generates further local interest.

Food: Being right by the high street there's a wealth of options of available including fast food, cafes, pubs and a variety of restaurants. 

Drinking: Plenty of pubs on and near the high street, particularly at the western end. The Old House, with its pleasant outdoor courtyard, has proven popular as has The Kings Arms, which has an olde world charm. The Star and The Spotted Dog sometimes have live music, The Bulls Head has big screen sports and Cobbett's, a micropub and brewery, is one of the best places in Surrey for real ale and craft beer. In the future a Wetherspoons is on the way, despite the objections of locals who started an 1,147-strong online petition against it.

Published Wednesday 26th June 2019