A look at National League newcomers: Dorking Wanderers

The Spireites will face Dorking Wanderers for the first time next season after the Surrey-based club gained their first promotion to the National League.

We take a look into Dorking’s relatively short yet successful history, alongside their previous campaign and some of their star players.

Following a dramatic 3-2 win over Ebbsfleet United in the National League South play-off final, Dorking secured their place in the National League for the first time in their history. 

The second highest scorers, only behind Fulham, in England’s top six leagues with 101 goals, the Wanderers finished second in the table behind Maidstone United.

Founder, chairman and now manager Marc White has seen his side achieve 12 promotions in 23 years. With Dorking being his only ever club, he will be looking to ensure they keep their place in the fifth tier this upcoming season.

Only being founded in 1999, White’s side play at Meadowbank in Dorking and have had a remarkable rise during their short existence, starting in the Crawley and District league 23 years ago.

Their promotion was aided largely by the revelation of 23-year-old Alfie Rutherford who, in his second season for the club, managed a total of 30 goals in the league, helping him scoop the goal of the season award. After scoring the winning goal in the final, Rutherford will be looking to continue this strong form to keep his side up next season. 

This will be especially necessary as Wanderers legend Jason Prior, who scored nine this season, has recently announced his retirement.

They also managed to boast three players in the National League South team of the season, with right-back and captain Barry Fuller, central midfielder Matthew Briggs and top scorer Rutherford all appearing. 

Fuller boasts vast Football League experience with over 400 games played for AFC Wimbledon and Gillingham during the last ten years, before making the switch to the National League side.

Midfielder Luke Moore is also one to look out for. He scored the equaliser deep into stoppage time in the final, taking the game to extra-time. The 34-year-old also played over 150 games for AFC Wimbledon over five years and has played over 100 games for Dorking over the last five years.

Playing such a high-paced, attacking style of football, similar to the Spireites, Dorking will be an interesting side to watch next season, and even harder to come up against, especially as they only conceded 53 goals while scoring as many as they did.