Woking 2 Weston-super-Mare 1
Vanarama National League South
16th January 2019
Woking have moved one point off Vanarama National League leaders Torquay United thanks to a well-fought victory over bottom team Weston-super-Mare.
Goals from loan duo Dave Tarpey and Reise Allassani ensured Woking secured consecutive league wins for the first time since the Christmas period, while Weston grabbed a late consolation goal.
The win, combined with Torquay losing away to Welling United, sees the Cards close up to one point behind the leaders with one game in hand. Woking host Hemel Hempstead Town at Kingfield this Tuesday night (19th February) with the opportunity to go top of the league.
Woking manager Alan Dowson saw his loan signings make the key breakthroughs again as Tarpey tucked in a rebound after his penalty was saved by goalkeeper Luke Parnell, while Allassani scored on his club debut to make the game safe in the second half.
Despite their lowly league position, Weston-super-Mare have shown signs of revival and played impressively in patches but couldnâ€™t match Wokingâ€™s quality in the final third with Jarrad Welchâ€™s late effort not enough to take points back to Somerset.
The Cards boss made three changes to the starting line-up which beat East Thurrock seven days ago, two enforced due to suspensions to Ben Gerring and Armani Little, with Ian Gayle slotting into central defence alongside Jack Cook while Dan Spence covered at right back with Nathan Collier promoted to midfield alongside Christian Jolley. New loan signing Allassani replaced Bradley Hudson-Odoi on the left of midfield of a traditional 4-4-2 formation.
Woking had a strong appeal for a penalty inside 90 seconds when Paul Hodges was pushed on the back by Aaron Parsons contesting for a header but the calls were waved away by referee Jason Richardson.
But Hodges stuck to his task tormenting the Seagullsâ€™ backline and less than 10 minutes later got his reward when he was taken down in the box to see the referee point to the penalty spot.
Tarpey stepped up but his well-hit penalty was blocked by the legs of Parnell to see the Woking striker get to the loose ball first to poke in the rebound for his second goal for the club.
Dave Tarpey taps the ball home after his penalty was saved; pic: David Holmes
Despite only joining up with the squad this week, Allassani linked smartly with Greg Luer and Tarpey to see the winger have a fierce shot deflected wide.
The Somerset side didnâ€™t play like a side struggling at the bottom of the league table and carved their first clear-cut chance on the half-hour mark when a powerful run from left back George Nurse allowed him to unleash a low shot inside the box which Craig Ross got down to before Cook cleared the ball.
Hodges had his third penalty shout of the first half on 32 minutes after being taken down by Nurse but the referee ruled in the favour of the visiting team and gave a free-kick.
The away side rallied by applying their own pressure on the Woking defence resulting in Jennison Myrie-Williams unleashing a rocket from 25 yards for Ross to block out.
Woking had chances of their own before half time, one shot by Allassani and two efforts by Luer, but none of them forced Purnell into action.
Half-time: Woking 1 Weston-super-Mare 0
In a relatively subdued start to the second half, both sides failed to carve out good chances leading to Dowson freshening up his side with Jake Hyde coming on for goal-scorer Tarpey.
The second period sparked into life through two dramatic chances in the space of two minutes. Gayle made a goal line clearance after Ross parried a dangerous flick-on header from Marlon Jackson that triggered a Woking counter attack.
An initial effort fizzled out but the Cards recycled the ball well and an excellent through ball by Luer put debutant Allassani one-on-one and he kept his cool to guide the ball past Purnell.
The second goal calmed any nerves bubbling at Kingfield, while the suspended Gerring gave the Kingfield Road End something extra to cheer by joining the fans in the stand briefly, as Woking looked to keep hold of a clean sheet.
But the shutout wasnâ€™t to be for Woking as Weston-super-Mare got their goal in added time through Welch. Spence failed to stop Nurse crossing the ball which Josh Casey headed out to the edge of the box and fell kindly to Welch who slotted the ball into the bottom right corner of the net.
Despite the late scare, Woking held on to claim a deserved victory and crank up the pressure on league leaders Torquay.
1 Craig Ross, 2 Dan Spence, 3 Josh Casey Â©, 4 Ian Gayle, 5 Jack Cook, 6 Christian Jolley, 7 Paul Hodges (Harvey Bradbury 84â€™), 8 Nathan Collier, 9 David Tarpey (Jake Hyde 64â€™), 10 Greg Luer, 11 Reise Allassani (Bradley Hudson-Odoi 80â€™)
14 Michael Kamara, 18 James Dunn
Tarpey 9â€™, Allassani 76â€™
1 Luke Purnell, 2 Jason Pope, 3 George Nurse, 4 Jacob Cane (Alex Byrne 48â€™), 5 Aaron Parsons, 6 Tom Harrison, 7 Alex Bray (Eli Phipps 87â€™), 8 Jake Lee (Jarrad Welch 64â€™), 9 Marlon Jackson, 10 Jennison Myrie-Williams, 11 Gethyn Hill
14 Naby Diallo, 17 Jamie Lucas
Man of the Match:
Paul Hodges â€“ A terror to the Weston-super-Mare defence all afternoon and won the penalty which resulted in the opening goal.