LCS Events
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 28th AugustAug 2021
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 3078

2 - 3

FC Halifax Town
FC Halifax Town

Cards aiming for back-to-back wins to start the season

Glen Harrington
9:04pm, Wed 25th Aug 2021
Woking vs FC Halifax Town
Vanarama National League
Saturday 28th August 2021

Woking will be aiming to make it two wins out of two to start the new National League season when they host FC Halifax Town at the Laithwaite Community Stadium this weekend.

The Cards could not have wished for a better start to their new campaign, with a Max Kretzschmar brace seeing them race into a two-goal lead inside 25 minutes away to Wealdstone, whilst Alan Dowson’s side played some impressive stuff in a dominant first-half performance. Despite the second-half proving more challenging, with the home side striking back through Josh Umerah, a solid defensive display in the closing stages ensured a fifth successive opening day win for Woking.

There had been much discussion in the build-up about what team Dowse would pick after assembling an impressive squad including 12 new signings. The boss landed on a 4-2-3-1 formation with a back four of Kyran Lofthouse, Josh Casey, Joe McNerney and Moussa Diarra in front of goalkeeper Craig Ross. A midfield pairing of Rohan Ince and Solomon Nwabuokei, Tahvon Campbell and Jordan Maguire-Drew out wide, with Max Kretzschmar playing behind Inih Effiong.

There are plenty of options should Dowse wish to rotate, including midfielders Tarryn Allarakhia and Kane Thompson-Sommers, who is now fully fit after a knock in pre-season, and forwards Tyreke Johnson, Jamar Loza and George Oakley. Tom Champion, who impressed from the bench on Saturday, could play in midfield or in defence as part of a back three.

Opposition Watch

After finishing 15th in 2019, Halifax have enjoyed two strong seasons in the fifth tier, finishing sixth in 2020, losing in the play-offs to Boreham Wood, and then tenth last year, missing out on a spot in the top seven by just four points. Former Woking striker Jake Hyde was amongst their star performers last year, scoring 12 times in 27 appearances, including the only goal when the two sides met in April, but he won’t be on show this weekend having joined Wrexham this summer.

Hyde is not the only high-profile departure from the Shay since the end of last season. Midfielder Jack Earing has joined Walsall of League Two, defenders Neill Byrne and Jeff King have joined Hartlepool United and Chesterfield respectively, whilst veteran captain Nathan Clarke has retired. The most notable incomings are striker Billy Waters, from Torquay United, and attacking midfielder Matty Warburton, who was on loan at Yeovil Town from Northampton Town last season. Waters scored for the Shaymen in a 2-1 defeat at home to Maidenhead United last weekend – ex-Card Kane Ferdinand scored a late winner for the Magpies.

Halifax are managed by Pete Wild, who has been with the club since 2019, having previously been with Oldham Athletic. He has won 38 of his 88 games in charge.

Recent Meetings

• FC Halifax Town 1-0 Woking – 27th April 2021, National League
• Woking 0-0 FC Halifax Town – 17th October 2020, National League
• FC Halifax Town 0-2 Woking – 7th March 2020, National League (Kretzschmar, Hyde)
• Woking 0-0 FC Halifax Town – 16th November 2019, National League
• Woking 1-3 FC Halifax Town – 10th March 2018, National League (Carter)

On the Day

Ticket prices are £18 for Adults, Concessions £13, Students and Next Generation £10 and £5 for 16-year-olds and under – click here for more information and to book your tickets online.

This match will be segregated, with Halifax Town fans being allocated the Chris Lane Terrace and some seats in the Seymours Community LGS.

Match Sponsors

Thank you to our Match Sponsor Seymours Estate Agents and our Match Ball Sponsor Jon Woozley Mortgage Advice.

You can check out Seymours here:

See how Jon Woozley Mortgage advice could help you here:

Shaymen spoil the party

Brian Caffarey
8:09pm, Sun 29th Aug 2021
Woking 2 FC Halifax Town 3
Vanarama National League
28 August 2021

There was a sense of excitement and expectation as a superb crowd of over 3,000 gathered for the Cards’ first home game of the season. They were treated to an entertaining contest, but they did not see Woking repeat their opening day victory at Wealdstone. The Cards were undone by a combination of clinical finishing and steadfast defending from the Shaymen, whilst Woking themselves perhaps lacked penetration and were over-reliant on trying to make their aerial prowess pay from set pieces.

The Cards were without Inih Effiong, presumably injured, but suffered a further blow to their attacking threat when Max Kretzschmar pulled out at the last minute. He was replaced by Tom Champion, who provided excellent cover for the back four, but it meant that the hard-working George Oakley, in for Effiong, arguably lacked sufficient support.

On a magnificent pitch, the Cards started brightly, with Tahvon Campbell looking dangerous on the left flank, combining well with the impressive Rohan Ince and Josh Casey. Campbell put in great cross for Oakley, which was followed by a downward header from Ince, which was cleared off the line. The same players were involved again when, following a fine move, Campbell shot wide. Joe McNerney then got in on the act, his looping header tipped over the bar by the Halifax keeper, Sam Johnson.

Having weathered the early Woking pressure, the visitors issued a warning around the quarter of an hour mark. Having nearly created an opening with some good possession in and around the box, their frontman, Jordan Slew, won out in a battle with Craig Ross for a long ball forward, only to skew his shot wide from a difficult angle.

Woking responded well with a lovely ‘front to back’ move down the left flank again. But the complexion of the game changed dramatically in the 24th minute when defender Jesse Debrah struck an unstoppable drive from outside the area past Ross and into the far corner. It was a great strike but arguably Woking ought to have done more to close him down.

Fortunately for the Cards, they were gifted an equaliser fairly quickly. The visitors’ captain, Niall Maher, inexplicably passed straight to Ince, who then went to the ground in the area with two defenders paying close attention to him. The referee hesitated before awarding a penalty – much to the fury of the Halifax contingent. Jordan Maguire-Drew shot emphatically into the roof of the net to make it 1-1.

Woking proved their own worst enemies, conceding again just before the break. They failed to cut out a pass into the box and, while Ross parried the resulting shot, Martin Woods was on hand to ram the ball home to make it 2-1 to the away side.

Half-time: Woking 1 FC Halifax Town 2

Worse was to follow immediately after the break. A superb cross field pass out of defence left Woking exposed on the right side of the defence. The ball was slipped into the path of the lively Billy Waters, who shot across Ross and into the far corner for another excellent finish.

It could have been 4-1 a few minutes later as a corner was headed onto Woking’s bar, Ross saved the follow-up effort and then a further strike went narrowly wide.

The Cards’ sense of urgency was palpable as they sought desperately to find a way back into the game, whilst the Shaymen, not surprisingly, were content to break up play, resulting in a fairly ‘bitty’ game at times. Crosses rained in as Woking won numerous corners and free-kicks but, in spite of the threat posed by McNerney, Moussa Diarra et al, the Halifax keeper was not really troubled, as his defenders either cleared the ball or did enough to prevent a telling header.

But, in the 68th minute, just after Kane Thompson-Sommers had replaced Champion, Woking finally made a breakthrough. The ball was nodded down to Oakley in the box and he deftly steered the ball past the keeper to make the scoreline 2-3.

Oakley puts the ball away neatly for Woking’s second
Oakley puts the ball away neatly for Woking’s second
David Holmes

The Woking crowd roared on the side, and Tyreke Johnson’s arrival, in place of Campbell, certainly provided fresh impetus, but the closest Woking came to creating an equaliser were a fine effort from Thompson-Sommers, tipped over the bar, and a shot from Maguire-Drew, which, though well-directed, was comfortably saved by the Shaymen’s keeper.

On the balance of play – and certainly in terms of possession and corners won – the Cards were perhaps a bit unlucky not to gain a point. But Halifax earned their win with some sharp finishing and stout defending against a Woking side which was perhaps a bit too focused on pumping in crosses.

Although Cards fans will be disappointed not to start with a win at home, there were plenty of encouraging signs in, for example, the wing play of Campbell and Johnson and the influence of Ince and Champion in midfield.

Woking: 13 Craig Ross, 2 Kyran Lofthouse, 5 Joe McNerney, 6 Moussa Diarra, 3 Josh Casey, 4 Tom Champion (22 Kane Thompson-Sommers 66’), 18 Jordan Maguire-Drew, 8 Solomon Nwabuokei, 24 Rohan Ince, 19 Tahvon Campbell (11 Tyreke Johnson 75’), 14 George Oakley

Unused subs: 1 Mark Smith, 17 Tarryn Allarakhia, 10 Max Kretzschmar

Goals: Maguire-Drew pen 39’, Oakley 68’

Booked: Tahvon Campbell

FC Halifax Town: 1 Sam Johnson, 2 Jay Benn (21 Tyell Warren 21’), 3 Jack Senior, 4 Luke Summerfield (8 Kieran Green 69’), 6 Tom Bradbury, 31 Niall Maher, 26 Martin Woods, 10 Matt Warburton, 11 Billy Waters, 25 Jordan Slew (7 Jamie Allen 75’), 5 Jesse Debrah

Unused subs: 20 Harvey Gilmour, 17 Kian Spence

Goals: Debrah 24’, Woods 44’, Waters 46’

Booked: Senior, Summerfield, Waters, Warburton

Referee: Elliott Swallow

Attendance: 3078 (71 from Halifax)

Match Sponsor’s Man of the Match: George Oakley

Thank you to our Match Sponsor Seymours Estate Agents and our Match Ball Sponsor Jon Woozley Mortgage Advice.

You can check out Seymours here

See how Jon Woozley Mortgage advice could help you here
13Craig Ross
2Kyran Lofthouse
3Josh Casey
5Joe McNerney
6Moussa Diarra
4Tom Champion ('66)
24Rohan Ince
8Solomon Nwabuokei
18Jordan Maguire-Drew
19Tahvon Campbell ('75)
14George Oakley
1Mark Smith
17Tarryn Allarakhia
22Kane Thompson-Sommers ('66)
7Jamar Loza
11Tyreke Johnson ('75)
FC Halifax Town LINEUP
1Sam Johnson
31Niall Maher
3Jack Senior
2Jay Benn ('88)
5Jesse Debrah
6Tom Bradbury
4Luke Summerfield ('69)
26Martin Woods
10Matty Warburton
25Jordan Slew ('75)
11Billy Waters
21Tyrell Warren ('88)
8Kieran Green ('69)
17Kian Spence
20Harvey Gilmour
7Jamie Allen ('75)

Woking 2 - 3 Halifax Town | Dowse Interview

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