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Cards hoping for overdue festive win

Glen Harrington - 2nd January 2021

Cards hoping for overdue festive win Woking vs Aldershot Town
Vanarama National League
Saturday 2nd January 2020

Woking will be aiming for just a second win in six league matches this afternoon as they host local rivals Aldershot Town, with Alan Dowson’s side no doubt equally keen to avenge a 3-0 loss in the reverse fixture seven days ago.

The Christmas period is rapidly becoming a challenging time of year for the Cards. After three defeats last season between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, Dowse and co were at least able to pick up a hard-fought point last time out, with a couple of exceptional saves from goalkeeper Craig Ross and some fine defensive work from stand-in centre-back Nathan Collier, earning a 0-0 draw at home to Eastleigh. The Cards will be boosted, at least, by the prospect of defending a still exceptional home record. They have lost just once in nine games at the Laithwaite Community Stadium this season, a narrow 1-0 defeat against Sutton United, with five wins and three draws already chalked up in all competitions.

Other than their Boxing Day win over Woking, Aldershot’s form is also indifferent, and they were on the end of a heavy 3-0 loss at a struggling Yeovil Town side on Bank Holiday Monday. Jermaine Anderson, who scored twice against the Cards last time out, was also sent off late in the game for two bookable offences and will therefore miss today’s match. The Shots have now lost three of their last four league outings, with their only other success coming in the FA Trophy, a 5-1 win at Welwyn Garden City. Their last away league win came at Altrincham in mid-November.

Woking – Team News

The Cards will be boosted by the return of Max Kretzschmar, who has now served his three-match ban, following his red cards against Hartlepool. Jack Cook was available against Eastleigh but remained sidelined, so Dowse may be forced to hand Nathan Collier another start in the centre of defence. Ben Gerring still has one game remaining on his ban for the red card he picked up whilst playing for Oxford City on loan.

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

The Aldershot squad includes two former Cards, striker Chike Kandi and midfielder Toby Edser, but star player Craig Tanner and striker Ross McCormack are both currently sidelined through injury. The Shots have responded by adding a number of talented loan players, including Watford winger Joseph Hungbo, Wycombe defender Giles Phillips, and Middlesbrough goalkeeper Brad James; but striker Mohamed Bettamer, who scored against Woking in the FA Cup, remains the biggest threat. The former Staines Town and Braintree Town man will be looking to add to his five league goals this season. They have also recently added striker Ricky Miller to their squad. The former Cards’ academy player has been out of the game for over two years but scored 40 goals for Dover Athletic in his last season at this level back in 2016/17.

Last Time Out

Aldershot Town 3-0 Woking – Vanarama National League (26th December 2020)

Three goals in six minutes from Harry Panayiotou and Jermaine Anderson (2) gave the Shots all three points in the reverse fixture just seven days ago, avenging a 2-1 loss in the FA Cup earlier in the season. The Cards had arguably had the better of the opening half an hour, but lost their heads after Panayiotou’s controversial opener, when the referee overruled the linesman’s offside flag. Anderson’s quickfire brace put the result beyond doubt before half-time and the Cards never recovered.

Next Up

Woking travel to Wrexham next Saturday before another away trip, this time in the FA Trophy, the following weekend at Bromley.

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