7:45pm - MondayMon 13th AugustAug 2018
Grosvenor Vale | Att: 1323

1 - 0


Cards looking for improved performance to extend lead at the top

Glen Harrington
12:00am, Sun 12th Aug 2018
Wealdstone vs Woking
National League South
Monday 13th August

The Cards play their fourth league game in nine days on Monday as the frantic start to the new National League South campaign continues. Alan Dowson’s side will also be looking to defend the only one hundred percent record left in the division after picking up three wins out of three to start the season – the first time the club has achieved that feat since 1989.

Dowse and his squad travel to Wealdstone tomorrow evening for what looks, on paper at least, the sternest test thus far for his new-look side. The Stones have picked up four points from their first three games, beating Weston-super-Mare 4-1 at home on the opening day before drawing 1-1 at Hungerford Town and then going down 1-0 to Billericay Town.

However, after a second successive victory after coming from behind and a third consecutive late winner, the Cards will be in confident mood – albeit, of course, they’ll be hoping that the fantastic ‘never say die’ attitude they’ve been displaying won’t always need to be called upon.

We should have a great game in store against Bobby Wilkinson’s side so make the trip if you can and get behind the team!

Woking Team News

After confirming the fitness of Jack Cook and Duane Ofori-Acheampong on Friday evening, there were a few raised eyebrows when neither made the squad on Saturday, with Dowse instead opting to make just one change from the team which had performed so well against St Albans – bringing in academy graduate Reggie Young for his first start in place of Nicky Wheeler.

By his own admission, Dowse would have changed things around more given another opportunity, and it wasn’t until the introductions of man-of-the-match Paul Hodges and defender Kiran Khinda-John – the latter allowing Nathan Collier to move forward into midfield – that the Cards were really able to take a stranglehold of the game; Hodges and Young combining to create Woking’s second goal for Jake Hyde, after Max Kretzschmar had equalised from the penalty spot, before Hodges grabbed a deserved winner 10 minutes from time.

Dowse will now face the difficult decision of who to include and who to leave out for Monday’s fixture. Tiredness will likely play a factor after so many games to start the season and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the likes of Cook, Ofori-Acheampong and Hodges get their first starts of the season. Fabio Saraiva, who has featured for just 45 minutes so far, and Declan Appau could also freshen up the midfield.

Encouragingly, Charlie Wassmer was taking part in the pre-match warm-ups on Saturday, but there has certainly been no suggestion yet that he’s fit enough to start.

Wealdstone Team News

The Stones lined up in a 4-4-2 formation against Billericay. They started with Jonathan North in goal, a back four of Freddie Grant, Rhys Taylor, former Braintree and Stevenage man Jerome Okimo and Connor Stevens; a midfield of former Card Godfrey Poku, Wadah Ahmidi, former Arsenal and Brighton youth Jeffrey Monakana and Bradley Hudson-Odoi, who was part of Dowse’s Hampton and Richmond team last season; up front was Stevenage loanee Joe White alongside Dave Pratt, who has three goals already this year.

Former Woking players Glenn Wilson, who played three games on loan during our promotion winning season in 2012, and Bradley Bubb, who scored 18 goals in 36 games during the 2012/13 campaign, were on the bench.

On the Day

Grosvenor Vale can be found in Ruislip and the postcode is HA4 6JQ. It is around three quarters of an hour from the Laithwaite Community Stadium. The nearest station is Ruislip, which is accessible via the Metropolitan and Piccadilly lines of the London Underground network; the journey time is roughly 40 minutes from London Waterloo. Ticket prices are £13 for adults, £9 for concessions (Over 65s and Students) and £3 for Under 18s. Under 14s are free when accompanied by an adult.

Next Up

The Cards travel to Hemel Hempstead Town next Saturday. There is then a seven day break up until our next home game, against Truro City, before a trip to Eastbourne Borough two days later.

Woking’s sharpness blunted by the Stones

Ian Toft
12:00am, Mon 13th Aug 2018
Wealdstone 1 Woking 0
Vanarama National League South
13th August 2018

Woking ensured late disappointment at Grosvenor Vale after Wealdstone were awarded a penalty with five minutes remaining, duly converted by Matt Lench.

After a first half where chances had been plentiful but none taken the Cards struggled to muster any effort on goal in a one-sided second half. It could be argued that the turning point seemed to be when forward Jake Hyde hobbled off with injury just before half time. From there on Wealdstone pushed the Cards back. Woking held on for long periods until the late penalty drama and referee Jacob Miles later added salt to the Cards wounds by dismissing full-back Daniel Spence in the dying seconds with a second yellow card for a bad foul.

Despite having faced each other 18 times previously, this was the first league match between the two teams in over 47 years. Due to a quirk in the fixture list both teams had entered this evening’s game with little over 48 hours rest after both playing tough opponents in the league on Saturday. Alan Dowson made three changes from the rollercoaster victory over Oxford City in the previous outing. Kiran Khinda-John and Paul Hodges were both rewarded for their impact as substitutes on Saturday with starting places and Nicky Wheeler was recalled to his starting position on the left wing after being rested on Saturday. Those making way were Christian Jolley, Gregory Luer and Reggie Young.

Woking attacked the Bulla end of the ground in the first half would benefit from a marginal slope on the pitch. Early on Kane Ferdinand played a neat one-two and attempted a volley at goal on the return pass. Though the shot was blocked the ball kindly spilled out towards Jake Hyde. However, he was muscled off the loose ball before he could get his shot away.

A cross from Max Kretzschmar from the right was narrowly tipped behind by Jonathan North, keeping goal for the Stones, with Wheeler waiting expectantly at the back post for a tap-in had the goalkeeper not intervened. From the resulting corner Nathan Collier went close, narrowly heading over with a free header.

Wealdstone saw their first opportunity to press forward in the 12th minute. A long cross from the right from Monakana was played back into the centre of the area by Pratt and though White stretched well to redirect the ball it was well shielded away to safety by Khinda-John.

Another floated cross from Kretzschmar on the right looped into Wheeler on the back far post. However, his failure to control allowed the ball to dribble out for a goal kick. Soon after Wheeler was the provider as he chased a loose ball down the left and was able to cross for Hyde in the centre. However, he was narrowly beaten in the air by a Stones defender in the six-yard box.

As Woking pushed forward in search of the breakthrough it seemed likely that Wealdstone would get opportunities to counter attack. This chance came in the 32nd minute when possession was lost by the Cards deep in the Wealdstone half. A long through ball to Pratt cut through the Cards defence and the visitors were fortunate to see his shot cannon off his teammate White to allow Schotterl to diffuse the danger.

The Cards recomposed themselves and were back on the attack soon after. A Kretzschmar cross fell kindly for Wheeler in the box. After taking two touches to control he hit a fierce shot which was saved well by North, diving to his left. From the resulting corner Wheeler crossed in from the left and Hodges got ahead of his marker to redirect narrowly wide into side netting.

However, three minutes before half-time Jake Hyde appeared to hobble off with an injury sustained and was replaced by Ofori-Acheampong, making his bow in a Cardinals shirt. The substitute was instantly involved by winning a free kick on the edge of the penalty area. Kretzschmar lined up take it and floated one in to the bottom left corner. Though North got across well to get behind the ball he appeared to lose control at the last moment and desperately scrambled the ball around his near post.

The half ended with one last attack by the home team. Monakana crossed in from the right and was headed at goal by White. It appeared that the rebound would leave Monakana with a simple tap-in, but he was well marshalled by Casey who sensed the danger and crowded out his opponent before clearing the ball away.

Half Time: Wealdstone 0 Woking 0

Now kicking towards the gun turret end the Cards seemed to find the second half an altogether more challenging proposition. It became clear from early on that the loss of Hyde late in the first half had taken away the main source of being able to hold up the ball in Wealdstone’s half. Every time the ball appeared to be passed up towards Woking’s forwards the play seemed to break down quickly and evolve into another Wealdstone attack. As such Woking found themselves largely hanging on.

A free kick early in the half from White was floated into the box. Stevens arrived first and headed down to beat Schotterl. However, the ball bounced narrowly wide of the post.

Ahmidi danced past two of the Woking defenders on another Wealdstone charge forward and only another good save from Schotterl denied the Stones midfielder a superb solo goal.

Midway through the half Gayle found himself beaten to a fifty-fifty by Pratt who suddenly found himself clean through on goal. Fortunately, some excellent backtracking by Khinda-John allowing him to get back to recover possession.

Another useful cross from the right by substitute Lench saw Pratt with a clear opportunity to shoot past Schotterl. Though his effort was put wide the Stones’ forward’s blushes were spared by the offside flag.

As the half wore on the home side were turning the pressure up more on the Cards as they faced wave after wave of attack. Another cross from the left bobbled its way through to Tyler whose scuffed shot looked to find its way into the bottom right corner. Only some agile goalkeeping from Schotterl seeing through a crowd of bodies to claw away kept the scores even.

However, the pressure would eventually tell in the final five minutes. A hopeful punt forward was seized upon by Pratt to go clean through. Khinda-John went with him and as Pratt advanced on goal both bodies fell together. Referee Jacob Miles took a short moment to consider before pointing to the penalty spot. Matt Lench stepped up to take the penalty kick and as Schotterl committed to dive to his right Lench placed the ball into the other side of the goal to give Wealdstone a deserved late lead.

Max Kretzschmar challenges for a header (pic: David Holmes)

As time wound down frustration appeared to tell from some of the Cards players, with a few bad fouls given away in the centre of the field. When Spence committed a heavy tackle with seconds remaining referee Miles had no hesitation in issuing a second yellow card and reducing the Cards down to ten men.

Unfortunately it proved to be the final act as Wealdstone celebrated their victory with their fans at the final whistle. With most of the league not due to play until tomorrow it allowed Wealdstone to rise up to 4th place in the table and whilst Woking remain on top, that may well change after tomorrow’s results.

The Cards must now look forward to another trip around the M25 on Saturday when they take on Hemel Hempstead Town, another team to have started the season well.

Woking: 1. Berti Schotterl, 2. Daniel Spence, 3. Josh Casey (c), 4. Kiran Khinda-John, 5. Ian Gayle, 6. Nathan Collier, 7. Paul Hodges (16. Fabio Saraiva 62’), 8. Kane Ferdinand, 9. Jake Hyde (12. Duane Ofori-Acheampong 41’), 10. Max Kretzschmar, 11. Nicky Wheeler (15. Reggie Young 73’)

Unused Subs: 17. Jack Cook, 18. Sam Mason

Bookings:: Spence 26’, Casey 89’

Sending off: Spence 93’

Wealdstone: 1. Jonathan North, 2. Rhys Tyler, 3. Freddie Grant, 4. Connor Stevens, 5. Jerome Okimo (c), 6. Godfrey Poku, 7. Jeffrey Monakana, 8. Wadah Ahmidi, 9. Dave Pratt, 10. Danny Green, 11. Joe White

Goals: Lench 85 Pen

Used Subs.:12. Bradley Bubb 73’ (for Joe White), 15. Matt Lench, 17. Recce Mitchell

Unused Subs:14. Yado Mambo, 16. James Clark

Bookings:: Poku 60’

Referee: Jacob Miles

Attendance: 1,323

My MOTM: Berti Schotterl: Though it was hard to identify a standout performance from any of the Cards players this evening it must be acknowledged that Berti did everything possible to keep the Cards on a par with the Stones. Despite making a series of excellent saves it ultimately failed to be enough after Matt Lench’s late penalty secured the points for Wealdstone.
Wealdstone LINEUP
1Jonathan North
2Rhys Tyler
3Freddie Grant
4Connor Stevens
5Jerome Okimo
6Godfrey Poku
7Jeffrey Monakana ('55)
8Wadah Ahmidi
9David Pratt
10Daniel Green ('72)
11Joseph White ('72)
12Bradley Bubb ('72)
14Yado Mambo
15Matthew Lench ('55)
16James Clark
17Reece Mitchell ('72)
1Berti Schotterl
2Daniel Spence
3Josh Casey
4Kiran Khinda-John
5Ian Gayle
6Nathan Collier
7Paul Hodges ('62)
8Kane Ferdinand
9Jake Hyde ('42)
10Max Kretzschmar
11Nicky Wheeler ('72)
12Duane Ofori-Acheampong ('42)
15Reggie Young ('72)
16Fabio Saraiva ('62)
17Jack Cook
18Sam Mason

Wealdstone 1 - 0 Woking | Dowse Interview

Wealdstone 1 - 0 Woking | Kiran Khinda-John Interview

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