As the National League's reputation grows, so does the aura surrounding their matches in terms of excitement and glorifying moments. Our highlighted Saturday fixture in this article expects to be no different, as lowly AFC Fylde play hosts to mid-tabled Dorking Wanderers on TNT sports.
With Fylde entering the season with a National League North league title around their waists, many would have expected them to kick on and make better of their National League fates given their miserable relegation from England’s fifth tier in 2020.They were rampant and unlucky in their three straight bids to get back up, finish 2nd, 3rd, and finally 1st, securing the title in rampant ways with 29 wins to their name last season.
This campaign, however, is not living up to the hopes that Fylde may make their National League status stick. The Lancashire outfit currently occupy a space in the drop-zone, four points adrift of safety. However, all hope is far from lost for them as they face off against their 14th-placed visitors. While the eight-strong gap in positions between the two sides may seem large, the seven-point gap in points is anything but, in a battle against the drop that nobody could surely succeed in picking a winner from.Two wins on the bounce in October, against Gateshead and Oldham, followed against 10- men Ebbsfleet as Fylde looked for more consistency, securing their first undefeated month of the season, but soon crashed down to their erratic ways with three straight defeats.
A dramatic 96th-minute equaliser against high-flying Halifax secured them a much-needed point to stop the rot, and they now lie with plenty of encouragement ahead of their clash with Dorking.
Since well-loved manager Marc White dragged Dorking into the National League for the very first time, the Surrey club have done wonders in preserving their status so far, notching seven wins from twenty in the league and sitting comfortably in 15th place. However, work will need to be done to further the gap from the relegation zone nonetheless, with only 10 points separating the relegation zone and as high as ninth.
With new signing Haydn Hollis making good on his debut against Boreham Wood with a goal, White and his men will be hoping to find consistency in their results with a win against the Wood being just their second in a seven-game run that featured a heavy 6-0 loss to Gateshead, a team their Saturday hosts dispatched a few weeks ago.
Where Fylde were rampant in securing a Step 2 title, Dorking were equally as fervent in their attempts to secure their National League ranking. Grit, battle, and determination from a Marc White outfit left Dorking a tough team to face off against, boasting a win over eventual play-off winners Notts County against the run of their well-documented battles with Wrexham.
For Fylde, they would love to step back into the fifth tier with the same runs of form that brought them back to it in the first place, but it is proving no easy feat thus far.
With a stunning brace for Fylde added to his CV in their last game, securing a much-needed point with only his third and fourth goals of the whole season, O’Kane is a dangerous player. Having only signed his first professional deal in May this year, the youngster has shown flashes of brilliance in his eight league starts this season, and continues to apply himself as one to keep a keen eye on.
A former Notts County favourite who arrives in the south dripping in EFL experience, the 32-year-old defender made the perfect start to life under Marc White with a goal in Dorking’s impressive win against Boreham Wood. The Englishman was no slouch in his defensive duties either, holding the Wood back to grab an important three points on his debut.
AFC Fylde 1-2 Dorking
BTTS & Over 2.5 goals- 1.90 - Bet 365
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