Fitogether

Excellent Edser sinks Dover late on to keep Woking top

William Bewsey
12:00am, Mon 26th Aug 2019
Dover Athletic 1 Woking 2
Vanarama National League
26th August 2019

After defeating Solihull Moors to make it five wins in a row, Woking had another tricky test to negotiate, as Dover Athletic, who sat in the play off positions and were coming off the back of a 2-1 away win at Sutton, hosted the Cards.

In what was a sweltering heat at Crabble Stadium, Woking boss Alan Dowson made no changes from the winning team at Kingfield on Saturday, whereas Dover boss Andy Hessenthaler made four changes, with former Woking striker Inih Effiong dropped to the bench, as Effiong, Simpson, Reason and Rigg were replaced by L’Ghoul, Munns, Pavey and Gobern.

The start to the match was fairly low key, as the only notable event in the first ten minutes was good work from Tarpey, but his cross was easily gathered by Lee Worgan. Woking were trying to force an opening, with good link up play by Hyde and Tarpey leading to Tarpey’s shot being saved.

The game took a big turn in the 14th minute as Tarpey had already played the ball, when Kurtis Cumberbatch lunged in late. It was a poor challenge but only warranted a yellow, but Cumberbatch then confronted Donnellan. He appeared to headbutt the Woking man, with strong calls from Woking players and fans alike for the man to go. Donnellan was given a yellow card for his role in the confrontation, with the referee brandishing two yellow cards to Cumberbatch, who left his teammates a man down and at a disadvantage.

Just six minutes later, Toby Edser turned his man, but was impeded by Woods, and the referee brandished a yellow card. It took until the 31st minute for the deadlock to be broken, with smart work from Nassim L’Ghoul forcing the opening to Modeste, as his cross was turned in by the forward.

Just minutes later, a corner found the head of Manny Parry, but his header went just wide. Woking then found the equaliser, as an inch perfect ball from Edser found Tarpey out wide, and his cross was met by the head of Jake Hyde (pictured above), who continued his impressive goal scoring form, he now has four goals in his last three games, but more importantly, Woking had the equaliser before the half time break, and they could’ve been in front, as Dover defender Will De Havilland blocked Jake Hyde’s shot on goal. Hyde had another chance just before half time as his shot was blocked, Kevin Lokko this time.

Half-time: Dover Athletic 1 Woking 1

Woking pushed on to try and win the game early on, with Dover sitting back, trying to get a result after the red card. The first real chance for the Cards in the half saw Tyreke Johnson beat his defender and unleash a shot, which rippled the side netting.

Dover were looking to create an opening, with substitute Jai Reason sending Woods free down the sideline, but he couldn’t put in a decent cross and Ross gathered the ball. The impressive L’Ghoul was causing problems for the Cards, looking lively and trying to win fouls and put balls into the box.

The heat was getting to the players as well as the fact that this was the second game in three days, with regular drinks breaks and Kevin Lokko going down with cramp as well. Dover keeper Lee Worgan was helping to wind down the clock too, as Cards fans and players alike were frustrated with the referee’s inability to stop this.

Woking got the ball in the net with Ben Gerring tapping home in the 73rd minute, but the linesman’s flag put a halt to any celebrations. Dover were starting to see more of the ball as the Cards tired, with Woking giving away a few unnecessary free kicks. Woods found himself in space on the wing, with two Dover men waiting for a cross unmarked, but he will feel he should have done better as Ross gathered unharmed.

Inih Effiong showed strength and skill to play Reason in with just ten minutes of normal time left, but Reason’s shot went agonisingly wide of Ross’s far post. Two minutes later, Tarpey found himself inside the box with a shooting opportunity, but blazed over after being well closed down by the Dover defence.

With just two minutes of normal time left, the Cards got a winner, and this was a goal of real quality. Edser, who had looked impressive all game with his passing and movement, picked up the ball just inside the area, and sent a curler into the top corner on his favoured left foot, a fantastic way to surely send Woking back to the summit of the table. Cards fans were sent into jubilation as Edser leapt into the stands.

Six minutes of injury time were to be played, and the Cards battled well to not allow Dover a chance, with the only chance being a Woking chance, as Ibrahim Meite was sent through one on one with Worgan, who made a strong save. But this was to be the last action, as Cards fans, staff and players rejoiced after an incredible start to the season continued.

Alan Dowson will be delighted with the victory, as despite a frustrating second half, the players managed to dig in and reap the rewards. This was a performance of real character and desire, and showed the resilience of the squad, on a ground where Woking had mostly picked up disappointing results. They now have until Saturday to recover, when they face Barrow at Kingfield, knowing that they sit top of the pile having been tipped by many to struggle.

Woking: 1 Craig Ross, 2 Jack Cook, 4, Manny Parry, 5 Ben Gerring, 3 Josh Casey, 8 Kane Ferdinand, 16 Shaun Donnellan (11 Paul Hodges 69’), 20 Toby Edser; 7 Dave Tarpey(14 Godfrey Poku 88’) 9 Jake Hyde (18 Ibrahim Meite 58’), 17 Tyreke Johnson.

Unused subs: 1 Sam Howes, 12 Nathan Collier

Goals: Hyde 42’, Edser 88’

Bookings: Donnellan 16’, Meite 77’, Ferdinand 90+3'

Dover Athletic 13 Lee Worgan, 2 Josh Passley, 5 Kevin Lokko, 6 Will De Havilland, 18 Oscar Goburn, 8 Michael Woods, 15 Kurtis Cumberbatch, 11 Jack Munns, 10 Nassim L’Ghoul (7 Jai Reason 70’), 12 Ricky Modeste (19 Steven Rigg 63’), 14 Alfie Pavey (9 Inih Effiong 57’)

Unused subs: 1 Yusef Mersin, 22 Bilel Hinchiri

Goals: Modeste 30’

Bookings: Passley 78’, Cumberbatch 16’, Cumberbatch 16’

Sent off: Cumberbatch 16’

Referee: Carl Brook

Attendance: 1358 (248 Woking fans)

Man of the Match: Toby Edser has fitted in perfectly into this Woking team, and it was his brilliant ball to Tarpey that created the first goal, and his goal to win the match was a piece of individual brilliance

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