LCS Events
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 13th MarchMar 2021
Huish Park

Yeovil Town
2 - 1


Improving Cards travel to resurgent Yeovil Town

Glen Harrington
10:19am, Fri 12th Mar 2021
Yeovil Town vs Woking
Vanarama National League
Saturday 13th March 2021

Two of the National League’s most improved sides go head-to-head on Saturday as Woking travel to take on Yeovil Town.

It’s a credit to how far the Cards have come in the last six weeks that they were left frustrated to only take a point from the goalless draw with Boreham Wood on Tuesday evening – with the home side missing a host of chances to claim a first league win over the Wood since 2011. Manager Alan Dowson will no doubt be quick to point out the positives of five clean sheets in the last seven games, having only managed three in the previous 18 fixtures in all competitions. That run has also included just two defeats, both in mid-week away fixtures, as well as victories over title chasers Sutton and Torquay.

Yeovil have also had a positive 2021 after a shockingly poor start to the season. The Glovers, who finished fourth last season, took 11 games to register their first league win of the season, which only came in mid-December at Bromley. But after a 6-1 thrashing at Torquay on Boxing Day, they won nine out of 13 to catapult themselves up the standings and into the comfort of mid-table, before back-to-back defeats over the last seven days away to Chesterfield and Sutton. They’re currently in 13th place with 35 points from 27 games, five points more than the Cards who have three games in hand, and three adrift of the top seven.

Woking – Team News

In midfield, Kane Ferdinand will be available again, having now served his one-match suspension for five yellow cards. He will be competing with Ben Dempsey for his position, with the Charlton loanee having filled in on Tuesday evening.

Yeovil Town – The Boss

Darren Sarll has been Yeovil manager since June 2019, taking over at the club following their relegation from the Football League, and guiding them to a fourth place finish last season. He was previously in charge at Stevenage, where he held the top job for just over two years, working alongside Glenn Roeder. He was previously a player at non-league level, playing for the likes of St Albans, Chelmsford, and Hemel Hempstead, before moving into coaching.

One to Watch

There are a couple of players in the Yeovil squad that Woking fans will be familiar with, including defender Josh Staunton and former loan players Joe Quigley and Josh Neufville, but one to watch is striker Rhys Murphy. An experienced player, who has also enjoyed time in the Football League, he was one of the standout players in the Cards’ most recent National League South season where he scored 28 times in all competitions for Chelmsford City. He continued that form last season, netting 20 times in the shortened campaign, including 17 in the National League. He has scored nine times this season.

Last Time Out

Woking 1-1 Yeovil Town – National League (14th November 2020)

The Cards came into this game off the back of FA Cup disappointment against Gillingham, where they surrendered a two goal lead and eventually went down 3-2 to the League One outfit, whilst Yeovil were still searching for their first league win of the season. They looked favourites to get it too, after Matty Warburton’s excellent first-half opener, but after both teams exchanged missed penalties, Josh Davison struck in the dying moments to claim a point for the home side.

Next Up

Woking are back in action on Tuesday evening when the host Altrincham at the Laithwaite Community Stadium. That’s followed by four successive away trips, at Hartlepool United, Wealdstone, Hereford in the FA Trophy, and then Torquay United in our first game of April.

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Cards come up short in Somerset

Owen Parsley
12:00am, Sat 13th Mar 2021
Yeovil Town 2 Woking 1
Vanarama National League
13th March 2021

Coming into Saturday’s game, Woking would have been full of confidence on the back of two positive performances at home, in the 3-0 victory over King’s Lynn and the dominant performance in midweek against Boreham Wood, which somehow remained goalless. However, they faced a Yeovil side on a run of 6 consecutive wins at Huish Park, despite losing their previous two matches.

Woking made no changes to the team that drew in midweek, but the front three failed to cause problems in the same way they have over the past week. Despite club captain Josh Casey’s pinpoint delivery and Max Kretzschmar’s (pictured) well-timed header at the back post, the Cards were unable to snatch an unlikely point in blustery Somerset.

Woking started the most brightly, winning a succession of set pieces down the left hand side. In the 2nd minute, a recycled corner was looped back into the box towards Diarra, but the Yeovil keeper did just about enough to divert away from the Frenchman and gather on second attempt. Minutes later, another fantastic move was put together, with sharp play from loanee Ashford leading to a driving run from stand-in left back Lofthouse, who cut back onto his right foot from the edge of the box, but his shot was turned away by Adam Smith. A couple of corners and a long throw followed, but to no avail.

The referee made it clear from the get-go that he wasn’t going to stand for any nonsense, giving a number of free kicks both ways in the middle of the park. Furthermore in the 18th minute, following a great piece of link up play, Jamar Loza was booked for an apparent attempt to deceive the referee into giving a penalty.

In the 22nd minute, Murphy looked certain to have outdone Diarra for pace, but the pair collided and the ball ran through to Craig Ross, with Diarra perhaps lucky to have not been penalised and presented a yellow card. More quick passing by the Glovers’ front line led to a cross from ex-Woking forward Josh Neufville, but Ross was fast off his line to collect in front of the Yeovil strikers.

A plethora of half chances followed, with a Cooper free-kick from 30 yards failing to trouble the Yeovil goalkeeper, and likewise an effort from a similar distance from Knowles was comfortably gathered by Ross. Reuben Reid then found himself in a good position down the left hand side, but couldn’t find a teammate in the middle, and up the other end great play between the new Woking loan signings Ashford and Muir forced Sass-Davies to slide the ball behind for a Woking corner. From this, came Woking’s best chance of the afternoon so far. In a routine straight off the training ground, Ashford rolled the ball to Cooper on the edge of the box, whose first effort was blocked, and his second fired just millimetres past the near post. He had really got a hold of it, and was incredibly unlucky not to have found the top corner.

Unfortunately, Woking soon found themselves behind. Familiar face Josh Neufville picked the ball up in the middle of the park, drove at the back four and flicked a pass through a disorganised Woking defence, where the ball was picked up by danger-man Rhys Murphy, who calmly opened up his body and curled it past Craig Ross into the top right hand corner, and Yeovil had the lead.

Finding themselves a goal behind, Woking might have hoped that the game would open up a bit more, but no clear-cut chances came for either side. A delightful clipped ball to Max Kretzschmar at the back post in the 36th was headed across goal to Ashford, but a poor touch meant he failed to swivel and direct an effort goalwards.

Yeovil were comfortable with the one goal cushion, and dominated the ball for long periods towards the end of the first half. A couple of fast counter-attacks threatened to cause problems for the Cards’ defence, but they did just enough to head one behind for a corner, and take the sting out of another effort from distance by Knowles, and so didn’t really work the Woking keeper.

In a game of few chances, in the second half Woking would have hoped to produce more quality openings, which were to be needed if they were to get anything from this game.

Half-time: Yeovil Town 1 Woking 0

The second half certainly didn’t start in the way that Dowse would have hoped, something which was evident when Josh Casey came on off the bench to replace Jack Cook, with Lofthouse switching to his more favoured position at right back. In the 51st and 53rd minutes respectively, Max Hunt and Alex Bradley picked up yellow cards for the home side, but the Cards were unable to fashion an opening from either of the resulting set pieces.

Action in the Yeovil goalmouth; pic by Len Copland Photography

The lack of flow in the game was characterised in the 56th minute, where Woking had four consecutive corners, but despite quality deliveries from Sam Ashford, the Yeovil defence was impressively equal to each one, considering the relative inexperience of their centre-backs; they are both 21 years of age.

Near the hour mark, after Lofthouse was unfortunate to be penalised and subsequently booked for a foul by the corner flag, Rhys Murphy struck again with a deftly flicked volley at the near post! As ever, conceding from a set piece is disappointing, and no one seemed to have picked up Murphy, but it was a wonderful piece of skill from the lethal frontman to double Yeovil’s lead.

The second goal seemed to really kick Woking into gear, and Loza and Kretzschmar out on the flanks had started to cause some problems for the Yeovil full-backs, and only a desperate bit of defending prevented Loza an effort on target after he danced his way into the penalty area. In the 65th minute, substitute Josh Casey delivered an inch-perfect cross towards the back post, where Kretzschmar arrived unmarked to head back across the keeper into the back of the net!

The pressure had been building, and the Cards thoroughly deserved a lifeline in the game. The Woking front line was causing all sorts of problems, and Darren Sarll in the home dugout had seen enough, hauling off Alex Bradley for the more established Worthington.

It seemed to be a game full of ‘nearly’ chances, particularly with the bulk of set pieces that Woking amassed. Diarra and Gerring couldn’t quite bully their counterparts in the air in the way they usually do against an extremely well-drilled Yeovil defence. Napa replaced Ashford in Woking’s third and final change, but the game had grown scrappy once again, and the referee was handing out cards like it was Christmas.

Realising time was almost up, Woking loaded the box for a series of free kicks, but Yeovil saw the opportunity to counter, and for the third time of the afternoon Knowles lined up a shot from outside the box under minimal pressure, but last season’s Player of the Year, Craig Ross, was equal to his effort, as he has been on countless occasions this season, and tipped over the bar!

Woking countered from the resulting corner, but an extremely cynical yet professional foul from Charlie Lee saw him pick up the ninth yellow card of the game, and give Woking one last chance to snatch a late point. However, once again, Yeovil stood firm, and the referee blew the final whistle – the Cards just hadn’t been dominant enough for large periods of the game.

Dowse will almost certainly be disappointed that we couldn’t pose more of a threat from the huge number of corners and free kicks that we have, but Yeovil are a strong side with huge short term ambitions of returning to the Football League. We now turn our attention to Tuesday’s game when we host Altrincham, with the hope of avenging the 1-0 defeat versus ten men earlier in the month.

Yeovil 1 Adam Smith, 3 Carl Dickinson, 9 Rhys Murphy (Joe Quigley 90+2’), 18 Albi Skendi, 21 Tom Knowles, 22 Charlie Lee, 24 Josh Neufville, 26 Max Hunt, 27 Alex Bradley (7 Matthew Worthington 65’), 33 Reuben Reid (Chris Dagnall 84’), 35 Billy Sass-Davies

Unused subs: 10 Jimmy Smith, 14 Michael Kelly

Goals: Murphy 32’, 59’

Bookings: Hunt 51’, Bradley 53’, Neufville 60’, Reid 80’, Lee 90+5’

Woking: 13 Craig Ross, 2 Jack Cook (3 Josh Casey 49’), 4 Charlie Cooper, 5 Ben Gerring, 6 Moussa Diarra, 10 Max Kretzschmar, 16 Kyran Lofthouse, 18 Ben Dempsey, 19 Niko Muir (23 Jayden Wareham 60’), 25 Sam Ashford (20 Malachi Napa 77’), 26 Jamar Loza

Unused subs: 8 Kane Ferdinand, 11 Matt Jarvis

Goals: Kretzschmar 65’

Bookings: Loza 18’, Lofthouse 58’, Gerring 83’, Diarra 86’

Referee: Scott Simpson

Attendance: N/A

Man of the Match: Ben Dempsey – He had a tidy game in central midfield for the Cards, breaking up play and did well to continuously retain the ball in difficult conditions.
Yeovil Town LINEUP
1Adam Smith
27Alex Bradley ('65)
26Max Hunt
35Billy Sass-Davies
3Carl Dickinson
22Charlie Lee
21Tom Knowles
24Josh Neufville
18Albi Skendi
9Rhys Murphy ('90)
33Reuben Reid ('83)
14Michael Kelly
10Jimmy Smith
11Matty Warburton ('65)
19Joe Quigley ('90)
34Chris Dagnall ('83)
13Craig Ross
2Jack Cook ('48)
16Kyran Lofthouse
5Ben Gerring
6Moussa Diarra
10Max Kretzschmar
4Charlie Cooper
18Ben Dempsey
25Sam Ashford ('76)
26Jamar Loza
19Niko Muir ('61)
3Josh Casey ('48)
8Kane Ferdinand
11Matt Jarvis
20Malachi Napa ('76)
23Jayden Wareham ('61)

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