Boz's Fruit & Veg

Cards face Shots in FA Cup derby

Glen Harrington
2:12pm, Fri 23rd Oct 2020
Aldershot Town vs Woking
Emirates FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round
Saturday 24th October 2020

After an exciting week of news off the pitch, Woking will have to turn their attention to matters back on it, as they travel the short distance to Hampshire to face local rivals Aldershot Town in this year’s FA Cup fourth qualifying round.

The Cards fine start to the season continued last Saturday as a battling performance saw Alan Dowson’s side pick up a commendable point at home to last year’s play-off contenders FC Halifax Town. In fact, the result might have been even better for the hosts, had Ben Dempsey been able to put away the best of the Woking chances, but a draw was certainly a fair result. Dowse will be hoping to see that momentum continue this weekend as he looks to secure the first derby day win of his managerial reign – after a narrow 1-0 defeat in the two side’s only meeting last season. He’ll also be hoping to improve on a disappointing FA Cup outing last season, when the Cards fell at this stage to Ebbsfleet United. That result aside, Woking’s recent record in the competition is excellent, having famously reached the third round and a tie with Premier League Watford in 2018/2019, as well as the second round in each of the previous two years, going out against Football League sides Peterborough United and Accrington Stanley respectively.

Aldershot also fell at this stage of the competition last season, losing 4-3 at Bromley, and have only advanced beyond the first round once since 2012/13, when they reached round four. They’ve had a mixed start to their National League campaign, losing back-to-back matches against Hartlepool United and Sutton United (both 2-1), before rebounding with a 5-0 win at Dover Athletic and a 2-2 draw at Eastleigh. Things would have been better for the Shots were it not for conceding late goals in all but one of their matches so far, with goals after 86, 85 and 90 minutes effectively costing them four points. They have played a game less than the Cards so far as Macclesfield Town were due to be their second opponents of the season, leaving them six points adrift of their neighbours at this early stage.

Woking – Team News

Dowse is yet to confirm the status of Woking’s five loan players – Malachi Napa, Slavi Spasov, Saul Shotton, Ben Dempsey, and Sam Cartwright – who will need permission from their parent clubs to play in this fixture. If any of them prove to be unavailable, then the boss may need to significantly rotate his side for the first time this season. However, he will be reassured by the depth of the squad he’s assembled this year, with the likes of Tyler Reid, Tommy Block and Connor Hall awaiting their chance, whilst academy players such as Jayden Wareham and Leo Hamblin have been in fine form for the club’s youth sides.

Aldershot Town – The Boss

The Shots are coached by Danny Searle, who took over ahead of last season, following the departure of Gary Waddock. Searle was expecting to be managing in National League South, but saw his side returned to the National League following the club’s late reprieve. He endured a challenging first campaign in charge but ultimately steered the club clear of the relegation places, finishing in 19th place, and of course earned the local bragging rights with his win at the Laithwaite Community Stadium. He was previously manager of Braintree Town during the 2018/19 season.

One to Watch

There are a couple of former Cards to watch out for, striker Chike Kandi and midfielder Toby Edser, whilst former Leeds United, Fulham and Aston Villa forward Ross McCormack earned plenty of headlines following his summer move. However, the one to watch is undoubtedly winger Craig Tanner. The former Reading academy graduate, who also has Football League experience from loans at AFC Wimbledon and Plymouth Argyle, signed midway through last season from Scottish Premiership side Motherwell. He scored four times in 12 appearances to help secure the Shots’ National League status and has already netted twice more this campaign.

Last Time Out

Woking 0-1 Aldershot Town – National League (6th August 2019)

The Cards were confident as they came into the game off the back of a 2-0 away win at Dagenham three days earlier, but they were wasteful in this one, as they spurned chance after chance and were burned on the counterattack. Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong scored the only goal and the Shots held on to secure all three points.

Next Up

Woking are back in action on Tuesday evening when they face a trip to Boreham Wood. That’s followed swiftly by another away match at newly promoted King’s Lynn Town next Saturday.

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