9:47am, Sat 8th May 2021
Woking vs Chesterfield
Vanarama National League
Saturday 8th May 2021
Woking will be looking for a measure of revenge this afternoon as they host play-off chasing Chesterfield at the Laithwaite Community Stadium.
In stark contrast to their current plight, the Cards were in fine form the last time these two sides met back in October, with the defeat at the Technique Stadium the only major blemish for Alan Dowsonâ€™s side as they took 10 points from their first five league games. The two sides have gone in opposite directions since then, with the Cardsâ€™ well-documented injury crisis speeding up their slide down the table, whilst the Spireites, inspired by new manager James Rowe, have surged into play-off contention. Wokingâ€™s defeat at in-form Dagenham & Redbridge on Monday was a seventh straight loss for the Cards and a tenth in 11 games in all competitions.
Their flattering 4-0 win over Woking aside, Chesterfield endured a difficult start to the season, and looking in line for another campaign of struggle after finishing in 20th place last season. However, the arrival of former Gloucester City boss Rowe in place of John Pemberton in November proved a masterstroke, with the club winning 14 of their first 21 league games under their new manager. Their form has detreated slightly of late, as the club battles injury problems of their own, leading to a run of just one win in seven, but they remain firmly in play-off contention with five games to go, sitting just two points adrift of the top seven.
Woking â€“ Team News
Moussa Diarra is expected to miss the rest of the season as he returns to France to visit his family. However, Dowse will have Jack Cook available again, after the defender missed the last two games through suspension. Malachi Napa also made his return from injury as a substitute against Dagenham and could play a larger part today. Meanwhile, Sam Ashford will be hoping to keep up his fine form in front of goal, with the on loan Crawley Town frontman having scored in each of his last two games, taking his tally for the season to four in 10 appearances.
Chesterfield â€“ The Boss
James Rowe was appointed in November and has enjoyed a successful spell in charge thus far. Prior to joining the Spireites, the 37-year-old spent a year with National League North side Gloucester City, who he left top of the table upon his departure. Prior to his time with the Tigers, he spent three years as assistant manager at Aldershot Town. During his playing career he was a striker for a host of non-league clubs, including Histon, AFC Sudbury, Leiston, Canvey Island, and Leamington.
One to Watch
Top scorer Akwasi Asante, who followed Rowe from Gloucester, is currently out injured. However, they have plenty more firepower in the shape of former AFC Fylde forward Danny Rowe, as well as Blackpool loanee Adi Yussuf. However, former Woking midfielder Manny Oyeleke could be the one to watch. The ball-winning midfielder, who also spent time with our neighbours Aldershot, is a recent addition after two-and-a-half years with League Two side Port Vale.
Last Time Out
Chesterfield 4-0 Woking â€“ National League (10th October 2020)
The scoreline only told half the story in this early season encounter. Chesterfield took a first-half lead through striker Tom Denton, but the visitors more than held their own, and spurned numerous chances to equalise in a game they comfortably shaded for more than 80 minutes. But after Dowse gambled by throwing on an extra striker, the floodgates opened, and a late brace from Luke Rawson and another for Alex Kiwomya gave the home side all three points.
The Cards travel to promotion-chasing Sutton United on Tuesday night in a game which will be shown live on BT Sport. Thatâ€™s followed by two further tricky away ties at Solihull Moors and Stockport County.
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