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Cards aiming for momentum ahead of Trophy semi-final

Glen Harrington - 22nd March 2021

Cards aiming for momentum ahead of Trophy semi-final Wealdstone vs Woking
Vanarama National League
Tuesday 23rd March 2021

The Cards make the trip to Wealdstone on Tuesday evening, looking to end a four match winless run in the National League, and pick up some much-needed positive momentum ahead of Saturday’s FA Trophy semi-final at Hereford.

Woking were, yet again, left to feel somewhat hard done by on Saturday as, despite a battling performance, a late goal saw them lose 1-0 at play-off chasing Hartlepool United. It was certainly a case of what might have been, with only a fine save from the Hartlepool goalkeeper, as well as the woodwork, denying on loan striker Sam Ashford his second goal for the club. Manager Alan Dowson has added two new attacking weapons to his arsenal ahead of Tuesday’s game, re-signing popular midfielder Paul Hodges from Slough Town until the end of the season, whilst also adding young striker Sam Dalby on loan from Watford.

The Stones have had a mixed first season back in the National League. After winning five of their first eight league games, they were in the play-off places in mid-November, but they’ve since won just three of the last 20 to leave them in 19th place with 29 points from 27 games, two points fewer than the Cards. They’ve also conceded 56 goals – only Barnet (65) have conceded more. Their form has improved slightly of late, with wins over Boreham Wood and King’s Lynn Town this month, although that good run was soundly ended last time out when they were beaten 4-0 at Weymouth.

Woking – Team News

Dowse could be without a number of first-team players. Jack Cook has been sidelined since limping out of the Yeovil Town game and has missed the last two matches. Goalkeeper Craig Ross was also absent against Hartlepool, with Mark Smith making his club debut, whilst winger Jamar Loza limped out of the warm-up. Sam Ashford also went off with a knock late on. That could mean a debut for new signing Sam Dalby and an immediate return for Paul Hodges. Other options include Max Kretzschmar and Charlie Cooper, who were both on the bench on Saturday.

Wealdstone – The Boss

The Stones appointed Stuart Maynard earlier this month on a deal until the end of the season. He had been in caretaker charge since early February following the dismissal of former boss Dean Brennan. Maynard was appointed alongside Brennan as his assistant in the summer of 2019 and the pair guided their team to automatic promotion from National League South last season.

One to Watch

Wealdstone have a number of former Woking players in their squad, including Moses Emmanuel (previously Moses Ademola), Ross Lafayette, and Dennon Lewis. But one of their key players will be captain and defender Jerome Okimo. The former Stevenage and Braintree man is in his second-spell with the Stones and has made close to 200 appearances for the club. He will be hoping to stifle Woking’s new-look attack on Tuesday night.

Last Time Out

Woking 3-2 Wealdstone – National League South Play-Off Semi-Final (5th May 2019)

Despite losing both of the regulation league fixtures earlier in the season, it was the Cards who came out on top in the big one, coming from two goals behind to claim a famous victory at the Laithwaite Community Stadium. The away side looked set to progress after goals from Freddie Grant and Connor Stevens, but Moussa Diarra pulled one back, Max Kretzschmar equalised, and Jake Hyde won it in stoppage time. Woking progressed to the play-off final where the defeated Welling United and claimed promotion back to the National League at the first attempt.

Next Up

Woking travel to Hereford on Saturday in the FA Trophy semi-final. That’s followed by a challenging trip to promotion-chasers Torquay United on Good Friday and a home game against Notts County three days later.

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