Fitogether

Woking earn local bragging rights

Alex Wright
12:00am, Sat 27th Jul 2019
Farnborough 1 Woking 3
Pre-season Friendly
27th July 2019

Woking cruised to a 3-1 victory over local rivals Farnborough at Cherrywood Road.

A double from the trialist wearing number nine and one from the trialist No.4 put the Cards in the ascendancy in the first half before Boro’s No.12 pulled one back after the break.

But it was hard to read too much into this game played less than 24 hours after Woking’s behind closed doors match against Premier League Watford.

Assistant boss Ian Dyer revealed after the match that the Cards had fielded a completely different set of players at both games. The team that faced Farnborough was made up of trialists, academy players and a handful of first-teamers, with captain Josh Casey (pictured above), keeper Sam Howes and striker Dave Tarpey all featuring, as well as Nathan Collier in the unfamiliar position of centre back.

Woking’s pre-season has been a mixed bag with impressive 3-1 wins at Badshot Lea and Salford City, 1-1 draws with Oxford United and Dunston UTS, and a 3-2 home defeat to Wycombe Wanderers. Having experimented with different formations and line-ups, Dowson will looking for consistency on their much-anticipated return to the Vanarama National League next weekend.

Farnborough’s results have been in a similar vein, opening with a 1-0 reverse at Badshot Lea followed by a 1-1 draw at Walton & Hersham and a 4-2 victory over Sandhurst Town. Last Saturday they won 3-1 at Dowson’s former club Kingstonian and in midweek they beat Merstham 3-1.

The last time the two sides met the Cards trounced their local rivals 7-0 in the FA Trophy in 2012, having beaten them 1-0 in both league fixtures the previous season. But Woking were edged out 2-1 on aggregate in the play-off semi-finals in Garry Hill’s first year in charge, before Boro went down 4-2 to Ebbsfleet United in the final.

The Yellows had a mixed season last time out, finishing ninth in the Southern Premier South, two leagues below Woking. Farnborough have undergone an overhaul in the close season, with Michael Fernandes and Kurtis Cumerbatch leaving for Colchester United and Dover Athletic respectively; going the other way, experienced striker Chris Flood joined from Slough Town and former Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Andrew Sealey-Harris also signing up.

The match kicked off thankfully in cooler conditions than this week’s earlier mini-heatwave with both teams trading chances. The first chance of note fell to Boro’s trialist No.10 who latched onto Collier’s half-clearance but his effort fizzed wide.

Farnborough’s No.7 had a similar chance when Howes left himself exposed after heading the ball away but he wasn’t able to take advantage of the gaping goal. The same player then saw his stinging shot parried by Howes but Boro’s No.2 fired the follow-up wide.

The home side had been making inroads down the flanks in the opening 20 minutes, but the game turned in Woking’s favour at the halfway point of the opening 45 minutes. The warning signs were there for the hosts when Tarpey shot narrowly wide.

Enter Woking’s trialist No.4 who had gradually started to impose himself. Nonchalantly flicking the ball over Farnborough’s back line, it fell invitingly to trialist No.9 who took it in his stride before slipping it past the Boro keeper on 24 minutes.

A brief moment of panic in the Woking area then followed after Howes made a mess of gathering a routine shot but Farnborough’s No.7 couldn’t capitalise. Woking’s No.4 was growing in confidence and soon after struck a fine effort from distance against the base of the post.

Moments later Tarpey went on a surging run before unleashing a fierce drive which the keeper fumbled and it fell into the path of Woking’s No.9 who couldn’t miss, doubling the Cards’ advantage. Skinner was next to try his luck but his rasping shot across the face of goal rolled inches wide.

Then on the stroke of half-time Woking’s No.4 started and finished a fine move, interchanging passes with Tarpey who teed up trialist No.11 to whip in a cross which was headed home by No.4, ironically the smallest player on the pitch.

Half-time: Farnborough 0 Woking 3

Compared to the opening half, the second was relatively low on entertainment. Dowson rang the changes, bringing on Craig Ross for Howes and swapping No.9 and No.10 for No.12 and No.16, while Farnborough made more wholesale changes.

Woking’s trialist No.4 floated in a cross to trialist No.16 but he couldn’t force the ball home, with the keeper smothering it. Next Casey’s 30-yard free-kick was tipped over by the overworked home keeper.

With Farnborough asserting themselves more, they netted their consolation on 65 minutes. Boro’s March Charles-Smith tumbled under a challenge from Collier and the referee pointed to the spot with the victim of the foul stepping up to send Ross the wrong way.

Both sides then made a flurry of substitutions as they gave most of their trialists a run out with the match threatening to peter out. Woking’s No.4 almost doubled his tally with another long-ranger with the game drawing to a close before trialist No.16 fluffed a clear-cut chance when played through by Casey.

Woking round off their pre-season programme with a home game against League One play-off semi-finalists Portsmouth on Tuesday night, 7.45pm kick-off, before embarking on their league campaign away at former England manager Peter Taylor’s Dagenham & Redbridge next Saturday.

Woking: 1 Howes (Ross h-t), 2 Morrison, 3 Casey (c), 4 Trialist, 5 Trialist, 6 Collier (Trialist 66’), 7 Tarpey, 8 Skinner (18 Trialist 76’), 9 Trialist (16 Trialist h-t), 10, Trialist (12 Trialist h-t), 11 Trialist (14 Trialist 82’)

Unused subs: Moussa Diarra, Manny Parry, Godfrey Poku, Max Kretzschmar, Kane Ferdinand,Jake Hyde

Goals: 9 Trialist 24’, 35’, 4 Trialist 44’

Bookings: None

Farnborough Goals: 12 Marc Charles-Smith 65’

Referee: Not known

Attendance: 412

Man of the Match: Trialist 4 took the game by the scruff of the neck, dictating play form the centre of the park with great vision, tackling and passing, and setting up the first goal and scoring the third

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