Cards aim to bounce back after Chesterfield collapse

Glen Harrington
9:00pm, Mon 12th Oct 2020
Woking vs Dagenham & Redbridge
Vanarama National League
Tuesday 13th October 2020

Woking return to the Laithwaite Community Stadium on Tuesday night when Dagenham & Redbridge will be the visitors. The Cards will be looking to get back to winning ways after a 4-0 defeat away to Chesterfield, whilst the Daggers will be hoping that they can get another win on the board after getting off the mark last weekend.

Despite the scoreline, manager Alan Dowson will have taken plenty of positives from the performance against the Spireites, having seen his side dominate possession and create a host of chances before being picked off on the break in the closing stages. The Cards responded positively to Tom Denton’s early goal, with John Goddard and Kane Ferdinand in particular going close, whilst Josh Casey and Charlie Cooper continued to be a threat from set pieces.
Dowse will just be disappointed that his team couldn’t capitalise on their chances, as well as the manner in which they allowed the hosts to accumulate a particularly flattering margin of victory with three late goals. Even with the defeat, the Cards remain firmly in the top half of the infant league table, outside of the play-off places on goal difference alone.

Hopes are high for Dagenham this season after a disappointing campaign last time out. After starting the year with play-off ambitions the Daggers arguably never recovered from a surprise opening day defeat at home to the newly promoted Cards, and they ended the campaign just two points clear of Ebbsfleet United, who ultimately took the final relegation place. It also meant back-to-back bottom half finishes for Dagenham in their fourth season back in the fifth tier following relegation from the Football League in 2016. Their poor form last season was enough to see manager Peter Taylor shown the door in January with former Ebbsfleet boss Daryl McMahon his replacement. Results have improved slowly, although this season has also brought with it a difficult start, defeats at Halifax and at home to Barnet followed by a much-needed 1-0 win against Wealdstone on Saturday.

Woking – Team News

Dowse named an unchanged team against Chesterfield on Saturday, although he was able to welcome back defender Sam Cartwright and winger Matt Jarvis from injury, with both presumably in contention to start after making the bench at the weekend. The boss also has another option in his midfield after the loan signing of Charlton Athletic’s Ben Dempsey was confirmed on Monday. Ben enjoyed a successful one-month spell with the Cards last season, helping accrue eight points in five league outings, and offers a high quality alternative for Dowse should he wish to rotate in the centre of the park during this hectic fixture schedule. Elsewhere, the likes of Tyler Reid, Dave Tarpey and Connor Hall are also awaiting their first starts of the new campaign.

Dagenham & Redbridge – The Boss

The Cards will be familiar with Daryl McMahon, who has come up against the Cards both as a player and as a manager. After a brief spell as the club’s player / caretaker manager in November 2014, McMahon’s managerial career started in earnest at Ebbsfleet in April 2015. He took charge of over 150 games for the Kent-based club, winning more than half, and guiding the club to promotion to the National League via the play-offs in 2017. He also reached the National League play-offs the following year, knocking out Aldershot Town on route to a semi-final exit at the hands of Tranmere Rovers. He joined troubled Macclesfield Town in August of last year, resigning in January, and joined the Daggers soon after.

One to Watch

Star striker Paul McCallum might be yet to get off the mark this season but he’s a deadly proposition at National League level. The former West Ham United youngster made his name at Leyton Orient, where he was a regular scorer in League 2, before hitting 34 National League goals in two seasons at Eastleigh – including 26 in the 2018/19 campaign, second only to AFC Fylde’s Danny Rowe. Last year proved more of a challenge for McCallum, but he still ended the shortened season with 14 goals in all competitions, including 5 in 7 games whilst on loan at Barnet pre-lockdown. He joins Dagenham from Woking’s opening day opponents, Solihull Moors.

Last Time Out

Dagenham 0-2 Woking – National League (13th August 2019)

The Cards got off to the dream start following promotion from National League South in their first game back in the fifth tier. Kane Ferdinand scored inside seven minutes before Moussa Diarra scored just eight minutes into the second-half. Dowse’s ploy of going with a back five, including Diarra alongside Ben Gerring and Manny Parry, worked to perfection as the Daggers failed to make a dent in the Woking defence. The reverse fixture was due to take place shortly before lockdown but was instead called off as the season came to a premature close.

Next Up

The Cards entertain FC Halifax Town on Saturday afternoon. There is no mid-week fixture scheduled for next week. Instead, the Cards are in FA Cup qualifying action the following weekend.

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