Matty Orton – @MattyOrton1
Matty discusses talking points ahead of the game at Plainmoor
It’s times like these where it’s hard to escape using the usual footballing clichés, but here’s the first one – if there was ever a time to say we need to ‘put the cup to one side’ then this was it. It would, seemingly be easier for Derby to do that. As The Rams head north and down the M62 towards Anfield, having just sold out their 6,500 allocation for MK Dons on Saturday, we’ll be welcoming Dorking Wanderers to Plainmoor. Talk about two clubs in two different worlds, but that’s the lasting magic of the cup.
For the bread and butter sufferers that have endured this woeful season so far, the importance of this game is more imperative than what we witnessed at Plainmoor on Sunday. As the mass mob of the media and camera’s skulk off into a cloud of dust, this is where we earn our grain. With the bump and grind of the league it’s back to reality, bumping and scrapping around at the bottom of the table with one home win all season. Dorking Wanderers will arrive fearless – a team that play on the dreaded 3G, you’d expect then, that they’d want go about their business in a well drilled and organised fashion – expect spells of pressure from the opposition!
Although ‘forgetting the cup’ for now is the narrative, it doesn’t mean we can’t harness the momentum. The dismantling of Aldershot and the result against Derby will have gone a long way towards cultivating a confidence on and off the field. The ‘step change’ is there. Prior to Altrincham, we had managed score net just 9 times! Since then we’ve managed to almost double our tally over 4 games. Add cup goals to that and we’ve started to positively find the back of the net. That gives us a huge chance to drag us out of the mire and, with the latest defensive and attacking additions, we have to believe that results in the coming fixtures are on their way.
100 YEARS OUR JUNIOR
Dorking Wanderers, the Los Pollos Hermanos of the National League, they aren’t what they seem on the outside (club badge). If you haven’t familiarised yourself with ‘Dorking Uncovered’ made by ‘Bunch of Amateurs’ on YouTube then I suggest you have a self-education crash course before the game and try and watch some. Marc White (chairman and manager) and the rise of a football club who started playing District League football just 23 years ago (1999) is way more fascinating than anything Reynolds and McElhenny can conjure up on Disney Plus. Disappointingly TUFC have reportedly vetoed any recording of the series for their visit to Plainmoor. If true, then it’s perhaps a little short-sighted and ill-considered on our behalf, as it will also deny our own fans another perspective of football at our level through a different and intriguing lens – but there you go. It seems then, we have already under-estimated this club off the field, let’s NOT do the same on it.
We have to recognise that a squad built on loans comes with all sorts of potential problems. Already this season we’ve been a revolving door of players in and out. A team built on shifting sands is a precarious and fragile thing to conduct. We may have finally found the right combination to win a game, but the concern remains, as everything still feels alarmingly delicate and risky. Safety can’t be secured with a team that plays ‘well’ for ‘1 month’ of the season. We’ve done the first bit by getting the right players in, now we need to do everything in our power to try and keep them for as long as we can.