Shuffled Cards fall to pieces at Gander Green Lane

William Bewsey
12:00am, Wed 1st Jan 2020
Sutton United 6 Woking 2
Vanarama National League
1st January 2020

Woking were looking to bounce back from a 4-1 defeat at Torquay; however the Cards were without their midfield general Godfrey Poku, suspended after being sent off at Plainmoor. Josh Casey was also recovering from a recent injury, and Jake Hyde and Dave Tarpey were unavailable due to the 3G pitch. This gave opportunities to the likes of Ibrahim Meite, Paul Hodges and stand in captain Nathan Collier. Sutton had their in-form striker Omar Bugiel available again after missing their 3-2 win at home to Yeovil.

Woking began on the front foot, but failed to create many clear cut chances. Paul Hodges’ effort from the edge of the box was straight at U’s keeper Nik Tzanev. Sutton were awarded a free kick after 7 minutes for a foul by Parry, but both the Woking team including Parry and the fans thought that Parry had won the ball fairly. Sutton’s top scorer from midfield, Harry Beautyman, took the free kick from the edge of the box and planted it into the bottom corner despite Howes getting a strong hand on it.

After this, Sutton started to dominate possession and the Cards were visibly low on confidence, with regular mistakes being made in possession. Sutton doubled their lead with ease in the 16th minute, a cross from the wing not dealt with by the defence and Ben Goodliffe headed home past the helpless Howes.

Sutton were starting to tear through the Cards, as ten minutes later, good build up play from the U’s saw Ben Wyatt cross for Tommy Wright, who finished clinically into the bottom corner. Woking were all over the place, and four minutes later, David Ajiboye’s strike heading for the middle of the goal was diverted into the bottom corner off Howes’ gloves, a mistake he will not want to look back on.

Dowson had seen enough, and two changes in the 38th minute saw Jamar Loza and Max Kretzschmar come on for Paul Hodges and Manny Parry. Sutton were enforced into a change, with the injured Will Randall replaced by Rob Milsom. Three minutes later, a ball through saw Tommy Wright one on one with Howes, and the Woking keeper caught Wright inside the box as he attempted to claim the ball. Beautyman placed the ball into the bottom corner past the outstretched Howes from the spot, and the half time whistle couldn’t have come sooner for the Cards.

Half-time: Sutton United 5-0 Woking

Woking began the second half relatively untroubled, as not much action of note happened in the first twenty minutes, apart from a couple of insignificant set pieces and corners for both teams. Sutton made two changes, Bugiel for Craig Dundas and Ajiboye for Tom Bolarinwa. On 73 minutes, good play from Gray and Loza allowed Gray to play Meite the ball inside the area, and he finished low past the keeper and Woking had a consolation.

Following this, Woking started to see more of the ball and Loza found himself one on one with the keeper on 80 minutes, but Loza dragged his effort wide. Woking then made their final substitution as 16 year old Academy player Jayden Wareham made his first team debut, replacing Jake Gray. Two minutes after coming on, Wareham had a role to play in Woking’s second goal, as he outjumped Tzanev in goal who was attempting to catch a ball in the air. Tzanev could only send the ball straight to Meite, who sent the ball past the defenders on the line to get his brace.

Woking then decided to send more people forward in the closing stages, as the game was already finished, however long throws and corners were easily cleared by Sutton. Woking lost the ball on the edge of the box from a set piece, and Sutton were able to break, Howes saving the first shot, but the ball fell kindly to Dundas, who slotted into the empty net, as the Cards fans headed for the exits.

This was yet another poor display, and Dowson will be looking to make changes to his squad. Although Woking were without four key players, the result is unacceptable and the management team will know that, as 6-2 flattered Woking, it could have been more had Sutton not taken their feet off the gas.

Woking now find themselves desperate to get back to winning ways, and with a game next at home to the league’s bottom side, Chorley, they will be looking for a strong response.

Woking: 1 Sam Howes, 2 Jack Cook, 4 Manny Parry (Max Kretzschmar 38’), 5 Ben Gerring, 6 Moussa Diarra, 8 Kane Ferdinand, 11 Paul Hodges (Jamar Loza 38’), 12 Nathan Collier, 16 Shaun Donnellan, 18 Ibrahim Meite, 24 Jake Gray (Jayden Wareham 85’)

Unused subs: 13 Craig Ross

Goals: Meite 73’, 87’

Bookings: Collier 44’, Ferdinand 77’, Wareham 90’

Sutton United: Nik Tzanev, Louis John, Jonathan Barden, Ben Goodliffe, Omar Bugiel (Craig Dundas 58’), Harry Beautyman, Craig Eastmond, David Ajiboye (Tom Bolarinwa 70’) Tommy Wright, Will Randall (Rob Milsom 38’), Ben Wyatt

Unused subs: Kenny Davis, Kyel Reid

Goals: Beautyman 8’, 42’, Goodliffe 16’, Wright 26’, Ajiboye 29’, Dundas 92’

Referee: Sam Allison

Attendance: 1965 (413 fans)

Man of the Match: A match of poor performances, but on another day two goals would win a match, so Ibrahim Meite

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