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Woking buzzing against the Bees to get back to winning ways

Haydn Cobb - 20th February 2021

Woking buzzing against the Bees to get back to winning ways Barnet 0 Woking 2
Vanarama National League
Saturday 20th February 2021

Woking produced an all-action performance to secure a first Vanarama National League win since December thanks to goals from Jamar Loza and Moussa Diarra.

The Cards took the lead through Loza’s first goal since his return to the club this season, dispatching a 20-yard strike midway through the opening half, before Diarra’s second goal since his own return made the game safe in the second half and sealed a league double against Barnet.

The win marked Woking’s first league victory in over two months to move up to 16th in the table and ends a difficult string of results outside of the promising run in the FA Trophy, which resumes next Saturday against Torquay United.

Alan Dowson made three changes to the starting line-up which fell to defeat at Wrexham during the week, with a refreshed attacking trio of Jonte Smith, Malachi Napa and Loza coming in for Ben Dempsey, Jayden Wareham and Matt Jarvis. Club captain Josh Casey remained out of action through injury, with Craig Ross once again taking the armband.

Despite both teams having struggled for form in recent weeks, the game started at an encouraging tempo with attacking intent from both sets of players. The home side carved out the first effort on goal but Anthony Wordsworth’s back post header on eight minutes nestled safely in Ross’s arms.

Woking’s first spell of sustained pressure resulted in the opening goal, with Diarra seeing a header cleared off the line by Barnet defender Liam Daly, but Woking retained possession with Loza who cut in from the left wing to unleash a right-foot curling effort from the edge of the box that nestled into the bottom right corner. 0-1.

The Cards sustained the pressure from the restart, with Loza going close again with a shot inside the area well blocked by Themis Kefalas, before Ben Gerring picked up a booking for stopping a counterattack.

Barnet continued to probe in the closing minutes of the first half but the visitors stayed resolute to take a merited lead into the break.

Half-time: Barnet 0 Woking 1

With Barnet fired up by manager Tim Flowers, the home side’s aggression spilt over with Courtney Baker-Richardson booked for a foul on Kyran Lofthouse. The extra impetus lost Barnet their discipline, as Woking began to dominate possession.

It resulted in the best period of the match for Woking, with a slick move involving five players resulting in Smith’s half-volley being well saved by goalkeeper Scott Loach. Woking maintained the pressure, as Barnet cleared a goalmouth scramble and Diarra header, as chances stacked up for a key second goal to take control of the game.

After weathering a brief period of pressure from the home side, Woking duly found their second goal through Diarra who poked home from close range after Charlie Cooper’s inviting free kick rebounded off of the far post.

The visitors continued to probe for a third goal, while credit should be given to each team for the high tempo the game was played at throughout the 90 minutes, considering the events off the pitch during the week.

Woking had the best of the chances late on when a pinpoint cross by substitute Matt Jarvis found Max Kretzschmar in the box but his shot was blocked by Daly.

With the midweek home game against Dover Athletic postponed due to the Kent side putting its team on furlough, Woking now have a week to prepare for the FA Trophy quarter-final tie against Torquay at Kingfield.

Barnet 1 Scott Loach; 6 James Dunne ©, 10 Michael Petrasso (14 Muhammadu Faal 70’), 11 JJ Hooper, 15 Themis Kefalas, 19 Xander McBurnie (27 Ephron Mason-Clark 60’), 20 Courtney Baker-Richardson, 26 Jerome Binnom-Williams (7 Alexander McQueen 35’), 29 Myles Judd, 38 Liam Daly, 40 Anthony Wordsworth

Unused subs: 14 Muhammadu Faal, 24 Aymen Azaze

Bookings: Baker-Richardson 53’, Mason-Clarke 78’

Woking: 13 Craig Ross; 16 Kyran Lofthouse, 5 Ben Gerring , 6 Moussa Diarra, 2 Jack Cook; 4 Charlie Cooper, 8 Kane Ferdinand, 10 Max Kretzschmar; 20 Malachi Napa (18 Ben Dempsey 82’), 9 Jonte Smith, 26 Jamar Loza (11 Matt Jarvis 72’)

Unused subs: 12 Nathan Collier, 21 Tommy Block, 23 Jayden Wareham

Goals: Loza 27’, Diarra 67’

Bookings: Gerring 37’, Ross 83’

Referee: Karl Evans

Man of the Match: Moussa Diarra – A superb team performance, highlighted by resolute defending and the vital second goal from the centre back.




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