Sunday, April 30, 2017
Tooting & Mitcham only need to avoid heavy loss at Dorking Wanderers...

Tooting & Mitcham only need to avoid heavy loss at Dorking Wanderers to win Ryman League title

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Tooting & Mitcham will be crowned Ryman League Division One South champions if they avoid a five-goal defeat at Dorking Wanderers tomorrow.

The Terrors are three points ahead of their opponents this weekend – the two clubs pulling clear in the run-in.

Jordan Wilson’s 84th-minute goal to defeat Carshalton Athletic on Easter Monday means that Frank Wilson’s side, who have led the way for the closing months of the campaign, are red-hot favourites to clinch the title at Westhumble Playing Fields.

Tooting have built on winning the London Senior Cup last season and have scored 120 goals in the league campaign alone.

Boss Wilson says the approach will not change for the trip to Dorking, despite only needing to avoid a heavy reverse.

“Despite how close the finishing line may seem we have got to approach the game with the same attitude as the Carshalton one,” he said. “The squad were first class, both in their intensity and commitment.

“Carshalton have been the best team we have played, both home and away. Even though it was only a one-goal victory we need to replicate that performance.

“We can’t rest easy. We can’t think too far ahead of ourselves. Until it is mathematically over then our mentality and attitude has to be that the job is not over. It only is when we have secured it. Anyone who doesn’t think like that is setting themselves up for a potential fall.

“After the game on Monday the fans were in jubilation, happy and elated at our display and the fact we are very close now. But we had a post-game chat with the boys and told them to enjoy the moment but not to become distracted. “Some people think it is already done. But it isn’t and we need to show that against Dorking.

“We need to show up exactly as we did against Carshalton and if we do that I’ve every confidence we will get the job done.

“No disrespect to their manager Marc White and the Dorking lads but it is situation I wouldn’t like to be in. It is very difficult to determine what frame of mind they are in and how they approach the game.

“There is a fair argument to suggest if they go all guns blazing they are going to make themselves vulnerable – and they have to have a very close eye on what happens if they do finish second and keeping players fit for a play-off game. “These are the things I’d be thinking about. I’m sure they are too.”

Wilson’s goal was one of the biggest of the season as it made Dorking’s task infinitely harder.

“It was massive,” admitted the Tooting boss. “It was a special moment for him.

“I’m really pleased he scored. A lot of people were questioning the decision to not start with him but he has played the most minutes this season.

“He was fit to start but it was a tactical approach in terms of how we wanted to set up. Carshalton like to play out from the back and we wanted a high-energy press from the front. Sandy Cunningham as a number 10 and Dan [Clements] at number seven are both players who can do that.

“Jordan is experienced and gives you that goal threat, whether he starts or comes on. He is such a cool customer.

“The way he scored was fitting.

It was his first touch. The freekick came in and he scored with his head. It was a situation where most players would feel nervous.

“He’ll have finished the game feeling on top of the world.”

Sports Editor | South London Press sports editor since 2007 who has covered huge sporting events for the paper – Crystal Palace’s Championship play-off final, two trips to Wembley in the FA Cup and David Haye’s world heavyweight unification fight with Wladimir Klitschko. Previously sub-edited on the Sunday Mirror, Daily Star and Sport First. Former ClubCall deputy editor.

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Tooting & Mitcham only need to avoid heavy loss at Dorking Wanderers...