Dorking Wanderers win 5-4 on penalties
Grier's Guide to Dorking Wanderers
The game: Dorking Wanderers v Kingstonian, Surrey Senior Cup final. 17 May 2022, 19:45. Ks have a strong historical record in the Surrey Cup - this will be our 18th final, with 11 of them wins. But we've had a lot less success recently and this will be our first final since the famous win over AFC Wimbledon in 2006.
The club: Formed in 1999 playing on a park in the Crawley and District League, they've won an incredible 11 promotions in the years since to reach the National League South. They're set to finish second in that league, having had the misfortune of being top when Covid curtailed last season, and they'll be aiming to go up through the playoffs.
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 ground: Meadowbank Football Ground, Mill Lane, Dorking RH4 1DX. The former home of Dorking FC, Wanderers reopened it in 2018 following a £5m revamp. The Surrey FA have also moved their headquarters there, so expect it to be the regular host for the Surrey Cup final in the future. They've steadily improved it as they've moved through the leagues - last summer they added a seated stand and a decent terrace behind one of the goals. It has an artificial pitch.
Tickets: £12 adults / £6 15 and under. The game will be segregated and all-ticket, with no tickets available on the gate. You can buy tickets in the Ks end at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/surrey-fa-senior-cup-final-kingstonian-fc-tickets-332880543667
Directions: Just off the high street right in the town centre, you can take the 465 all the way from Kingston, getting off at The White Horse stop. In rush hour it could take up to an hour and a half though, 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, RH4 1DX. It can get busy on match days - alternative car parks are listed on Dorking's website at https://www.dorkingwanderers.com/car-parking-information
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. Our only competitive visit against Wanderers was a memorable one, the home side hammering us 7-1 in 2019 with Leigh Dynan's reign as manager ending shortly after the final whistle.
Recent form: Formidable - Wanderers are going to come second in Conference South and, particularly with home advantage, will be a heavy favourite for the game. They've scored 100 goals in the league, with one game still to play. On Monday they came from 3-0 down to beat Dulwich 4-3. The only thing that may work in Ks' favour is the Conference South playoffs - the game comes four days before the final, so if Dorking have qualified they'll have half an eye on that game.
Players to watch: Striker Alfie Rutherford is the league's top scorer with 30 goals. Ex-Bognor striker Jason Prior has had an injury-hit season but will also be a major goal threat. Former Ks players Danny Gallagher and Jordan Cheadle are both now with Wanderers.
Crowd: The move to the town centre along with on-field success and efforts to engage the community have really helped Wanderers to pull in the crowds. Their crowds are always in four figures and have reached as high as 2,898, for a crucial league game against Maidstone recently. It's likely to be the biggest crowd Ks have played against since our last Surrey Cup final back in 2006.
Drinking: Plenty of pubs on and near the high street, particularly at the western end. Cobbett's, a micropub and bottle shop, is possibly the best place in Surrey for real ale and craft beer. The Old House, with its large and pleasant outdoor courtyard, has proven popular with Ks fans in the past. Its kitchen is closed on Tuesdays though. The Kings Arms has an olde world charm and a small outdoor area, and The Star often has live music. There's also a fan zone just outside the ground itself, serving food and drink.
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.