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Woking look to keep up perfect start to the season

Glen Harrington
3:46pm, Thu 8th Oct 2020
Chesterfield vs Woking
Vanarama National League
Saturday 10th October 2020

Woking will need to overcome Chesterfield on Saturday if they are to keep up their one hundred percent start to the season. The Spireites, meanwhile, will be looking for their first points of the season after defeat in mid-week.

The Cards were excellent on Tuesday evening as they backed up Saturday’s 2-1 success at home to Solihull Moors with a deserved 1-0 victory away to newly promoted Weymouth. Slavi Spasov, who assisted the winner against the Moors, got his name on the scoresheet for the first time as he turned in a Josh Casey free-kick at the back-post. Woking could and perhaps should have had more, the set piece deliveries of both Casey and Charlie Cooper causing all sorts of problems for the Terras defence, whilst at the other end goalkeeper Craig Ross had a refreshingly quiet evening. The result means that Alan Dowson’s side go one better than last year, when the opening day win over Dagenham & Redbridge was cancelled out by defeat to Aldershot Town three days later.

Chesterfield are coming off the back of one of the worst seasons in the club’s history, one in which they narrowly avoided relegation to National League North, and regularly underwhelmed in front of a still impressively-sized home support. Things have started little better for them this time around – their opening game at Wealdstone was called off due to a waterlogged pitch and, when their season finally did get underway on Tuesday evening, they were beaten 2-1 at home by Hartlepool United. They had led earlier in the evening through a penalty from former Woking loanee Tom Denton, but within 15 minutes of scoring they found themselves behind, and their misery was compounded 12 minutes from time when striker Scott Boden was sent off for a foul on the Hartlepool goalkeeper.

Woking – Team News

Dowse made just one change on Tuesday to the team which beat Solihull, with John Goddard coming in on the right of the front three, in place of Max Kretzschmar. There was also a first appearance from the bench for striker Connor Hall who swapped placed with Jayden Wareham and was rewarded with a five-minute cameo in place of goalscorer Spasov. It will be interesting to see if the boss freshens up his team for this one. There are certainly plenty of options, including Dave Tarpey and new signing Tyler Reid, both unused substitutes on Tuesday, whilst Matt Jarvis could be eyeing his first appearance in the matchday squad.

Chesterfield – The Boss

The Spireites are managed by John Pemberton who replaced former boss John Sheridan in January, initially in a caretaker role, before he was given the job permanently the following month. Pemberton was previously the club’s academy manager and served as caretaker once before after the departure of Martin Allen in 2018. His only previous managerial job was with Kidderminster Harriers, but he’s enjoyed plenty of other experience, coaching at the likes of Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United and Bristol City. His playing career saw him make more than 300 appearances in the Football League and Premier League, with his clubs including Crewe Alexandra, Crystal Palace and Leeds United.

One to Watch

Experienced midfielder Curtis Weston is still capable of pulling the strings for Chesterfield. With over 500 games under his belt, predominately in the Football League for the likes of Gillingham and Barnet, the 2004 FA Cup runner-up scored six league goals last season, which were crucial in helping his team stay in the division. Now 33, he remains a regular starter, with 75 league appearances over the last two seasons.

Last Time Out

Chesterfield 1-2 Woking – National League (13th August 2019)

The Cards stunned their hosts in front of nearly 4,000 fans at the Proact Stadium (now known as the Technique Stadium as of August 2020) as they notched a third win in four league games. Ibrahim Meite bundled in the opener from close range before a stunning Dave Tarpey free-kick gave the visitors a two goal advantage on the hour-mark. Scott Boden pulled one back with five minutes remaining, but it was Woking who saw the game out to take home all three points.

Next Up

The Cards host Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday evening before another home game on Saturday when FC Halifax Town will be the visitors to the Laithwaite Community Stadium.

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