Dorking Wanderers Reserves edge out Roffey in card fest
Tensions ran high as Roffey were beaten 2-0 at Dorking Wanderers Reserves' impressive Meadowbank Stadium in SCFL Division One on Saturday.
Although both teams produced some excellent football on the artificial surface, the game was regularly broken up by stoppages often resulting in yellow cards.
Roffey started well and for 20 minutes had the home team penned back but they couldn’t find a way past the Wanderers' defence.
Josh Neathey and Devon Fender had shots blocked and a couple of low crosses were just missing the final touch.
The hosts gradually got into the game and came close when Conan Torpey broke through on the left but put his shot past the far post.
With both sides giving their opponents little space, the half became scrappy with neither keeper having to pull off a significant save.
There was controversy when Jamie Robinson was penalised in front of the home dugout, and was confronted by several home players and ended up on the ground. However, the referee only produced a yellow for the Dorking player adopting an aggressive attitude.
Having had little to do in the first half, the two keepers took centre stage in the second. Alfie Hadfield made a terrific double block before Hayden Neathey’s goal-line clearance as Dorking started brighter after the interval.
Roffey had to dig deep but, in a reverse of the first half, it was the visitors who gradually became more threatening. By the hour mark they were back on top. Jamie Wanstall and Fender were denied what looked like certain goals by Josh Wilson, who twice managed to keep out corner-bound shots.
But Dorking's Torpey then drove into the box and crossed low. Callum Jardim just got there ahead of the attacker but could only turn the ball into his own net.
Roffey manager Andy Lampard responded by bringing on new signing Jack Ryder, Josh Mayer and James Pearse, who made a long awaited return from injury.
Roffey piled forward in search of an equaliser and in one goalmouth scramble Tiago Andrade appeared to be floored as he attempted to convert a cross but play was allowed to continue.
Ryder was wrestled to the ground as he chased a through ball but again nothing was given, which seemed to be the last straw for the home dugout and the referee showed yellow cards.
As the game entered the final stages Josh Neathey was brought down as he brought the ball out of defence. The whistle went but to the Roffey players amazement and annoyance the kick was given to the home side. The protests led to Dan Pearse being shown a red card.
There was still time for Elliot Creely to even up the red cards after receiving a second yellow for a late challenge.
In the seventh minute of nine minutes stoppage time Torpey squeezed home the second as Roffey were caught by another long ball.
The game ended with the yellow cards into double figures, Roffey coming away empty handed and Wanderers going top.
If both teams win their game in hand, Wanderers will be top two points ahead of Roffey in second.