BLUES make their return to the Isthmian League after 15 years by hosting big-spending Dorking Wanderers on Saturday, kick-off 3.00pm.
The Surrey side finished 14th last season with 58 points from 46 games, but have spent heavily over the summer and are the bookies’ favourite for promotion.
Wanderers are not the club who piped Blues to promotion from Isthmian Division One in 1993, but one formed in 1999. They “absorbed” their neighbours the summer of 2017 and have made rapid progress since their formation.
They shared at Dorking’s Meadowbank ground before the ground was upgraded in £5million redevelopment which included an artificial pitch, and renamed Meadowbank Park. After back-to-back runners-up spots in Division One South, they found life a lot tougher in the Premier Division but did reach the third qualifying round of the both the FA Cup and Trophy before bowing out against Concord Rangers and Havant & Waterlooville respectively.
They have had a mixed pre-season campaign, with three wins and a draw from six games. They opened with a 4-0 loss against Sutton United before beating Horsham 5-2 and drawing 2-2 with Brighton under-23s.
A 3-0 win at National League side Concord Rangers was followed by a 3-2 loss against Welling United before they wrapped up pre-season with a 4-1 victory against Westfield.