Wasteful Cards shoot themselves in the foot as Robins steal a late point

William Bewsey
12:00am, Tue 16th Mar 2021
Woking 1 Altrincham 1
Vanarama National League
16th March 2021

Woking continued their hectic National League schedule with the reverse fixture against Altrincham, after their narrow defeat to Yeovil on Saturday. Altrincham were narrowly defeated by Aldershot as well, so this was another long trip down south for them. Woking manager Alan Dowson made three changes to the line-up at Yeovil, with captain Josh Casey making his first start since January following a shoulder injury, replacing Jack Cook after he was taken off injured at Yeovil. Kane Ferdinand and Matt Jarvis (pictured above) replaced Max Kretzschmar and Niko Muir who took their places on the bench.

The game began with good Woking pressure, sustained by crosses from Matt Jarvis, but it was Altrincham with a golden opportunity to take the lead. Joe Piggott, starting for the first time since signing from Wigan, burst through the Woking defence, giving himself a shooting opportunity, but hit the ball well over the bar, and he will know he should have done better.

Woking continued to press hard for an opener, with Sam Ashford, Jamar Loza and Jarvis linking up well with Kyran Lofthouse and Josh Casey, and Ashford almost found Loza, but excellent Altrincham defending sent the ball out for a throw in. But it was Woking who would take the lead after eighteen minutes, an excellent corner from Charlie Cooper landed in the goalmouth and Lofthouse was credited with the final touch.

'For the avoidance of any doubt'; pic: David Holmes

Woking continued to create chances, just five minutes after the goal, Jarvis crossed the ball low towards the back post, Joel Senior there for Altrincham to prevent what would have been a tap in for any willing Woking forward. A rare Robins attack saw Colclough get a shot away with not much purpose, but on the break, Woking unleashed Loza, and the Jamaican beat his man but his low shot was excellently saved by Alty keeper Tony Thompson.

Just before half time, Sam Ashford went on an excellent run past three Altrincham defenders, and got a shot away, which was once again excellently saved by Tony Thompson. Half time came with the Cards one nil up and comfortable, perhaps disappointed that they only led by one goal.

Half-time: Woking 1 Altrincham 1

Altrincham made a change at half time, taking Yoan Zouma off for Jake Moult, and this seemed to have an effect as they came flying out the blocks, Piggott trying to work an opportunity being one example. However, Loza once again came forward on the break and saw his shot blocked.

Ryan Colclough of Altrincham was looking to be the Robins’ biggest threat, and fired wide of Craig Ross’ goal, as the game became scrappy, with constant fouls and stoppages for injuries, with Casey and Lofthouse for Woking limiting the threat of the Alty wingers, forcing them to long balls which were being dealt with by Ben Gerring and Moussa Diarra.

Alan Dowson brought Jayden Wareham and Max Kretzschmar on for Ashford and Jarvis as Woking looked to hold on to their narrow lead, and it looked like they were pushing back as time ticked on, and that led to the deciding moment in the game.

Tony Thompson launched a kick up the pitch, which found Hancock unmarked inside the box, Gerring was on the wrong side of his man and conceded the penalty. Hancock stepped up and slotted into the bottom corner, a sucker punch for Woking, giving Ross no chance.

However, the action wasn’t over yet, as somehow Thompson kept the ball out, Cooper’s corner met by the head of Diarra, but ridiculous reflexes from Alty’s skipper kept the ball out, and full time followed shortly after.

Woking will be left wondering how a game they controlled for 92 minutes, and yet left with just one point, a lapse in concentration costing them more points against Altrincham, they will feel that they have dropped five points against the Robins by shooting themselves in the foot, but have to pick themselves up for two away games before the big FA Trophy semi final on the 27th March at Hereford.

Woking: 13 Craig Ross, 3 Josh Casey, 5 Ben Gerring, 6 Moussa Diarra, 16 Kyran Lofthouse, 4 Charlie Cooper, 18 Ben Dempsey, 8 Kane Ferdinand, 11 Matt Jarvis (Max Kretzschmar 83’), 26 Jamar Loza, 25 Sam Ashford (Jayden Wareham 83’)

Unused subs: Nathan Collier, Niko Muir, Malachi Napa

Goals: Kyran Lofthouse 18’

Bookings: Ben Gerring 66’, Charlie Cooper 70’, Kane Ferdinand 85’

Altrincham Tony Thompson, Joel Senior, Reagan Ogle, Yoan Zouma (Jake Moult 46’), Tom Hannigan, Sean Williams, Toby Mullarkey, Matt Kosylo (Yusifu Ceesay 62’), Ryan Colclough, Josh Hancock, Joe Piggott (Nyal Bell 62’)

Unused subs: James Hardy, Tom Peers

Goals: Josh Hancock 92’

Bookings: Matt Kosylo 45’, Sean Williams 61’

Referee: Daniel Lamport

Man of the Match: Kyran Lofthouse was once again excellent, getting his first Woking goal and was so close to a deserved clean sheet for his role in disrupting the Altrincham forwards

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