9:32am, Fri 14th May 2021
Solihull Moors vs Woking
Vanarama National League
Saturday 15th May 2021
Wokingâ€™s miserable second-half of the season edges closer to its conclusion on Saturday as the Cards travel to Solihull Moors in their penultimate away match of the National League season.
The Cards turned in a commendable performance in mid-week, matching league leaders Sutton United for much of the game and might have stolen a point late on, after Joe Leslieâ€™s first goal for the club had brought the score back to 3-2. But ultimately, it was too little too late and Alan Dowsonâ€™s side fell to a club record equalling ninth straight defeat. There are now just three more games for Dowse and co to negotiate, starting with Saturdayâ€™s rematch from the opening day of the season, when the Cards pulled off an unlikely 2-1 victory. No doubt the boss will be hoping for a repeat performance.
Solihull have had, by their recent standards, a disappointing season. Many would have had the Moors down as play-off contenders, if not title challengers, but the club have never truly recovered from their opening day loss at the Laithwaite Community Stadium. They currently sit in 14th place, with 51 points from 37 games, 11 adrift of the top seven. Manager James Shan was sacked in March after just over a year in charge, having won only 12 of his 32 games, and was replaced by former boss Mark Yates on a short-term deal until the end of the season. The clubâ€™s form under Yates has been distinctly mixed, with seven wins, one draw and six defeats, but they have won their last two against Altrincham (4-0) and Weymouth (2-1).
Woking â€“ Team News
Ben Gerring made a welcome return against Sutton to bolster the Cardsâ€™ depleted defensive ranks. His return to the side freed up Nathan Collier to move into midfield alongside Charlie Cooper, standing in for the Cardsâ€™ latest injury-victim, Kane Ferdinand. Dowse only has a handful of options available to freshen up the team but might be tempted to give Leslie a second club start after his impressive performance from the bench against Sutton.
Solihull Moors â€“ The Boss
Experienced manager Mark Yates returned for a second spell in charge in March 2021. The 51-year-old also remains manager of Stourbridge but was able to take the short-term role on offer at Solihull, with the Southern League season already having been curtailed. The former Kidderminster Harriers and Cheltenham Town midfielder, who has also coached both clubs, first arrived as Solihull boss in November 2017, guiding them to safety after arriving with the club bottom of the National League. Heâ€™s subsequently had spells with Macclesfield Town and a return to Kidderminster before joining Stourbridge.
One to Watch
Star summer signing Adam Rooney has not had the best of seasons, scoring just six goals since his move from Salford City, but the 33-year-old remains a huge goalscoring threat at this level. The former Republic of Ireland youth international has spent the bulk of his career in Scotland, scoring regularly for the likes of Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Aberdeen, where he netted more than 140 goals, whilst heâ€™s also scored goals in League One and the Championship. He joined Salford in 2018, firing them to promotion from the National League the following year, before joining the Moors last summer.
Last Time Out
Woking 2-1 Solihull Moors â€“ Vanarama National League (3rd October 2020)
The Cards returned to National League action in style after more than six months out of action due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Jamie Wardâ€™s penalty gave the visitors a first-half lead, but a hastily assembled Woking team full of loanees and last minute signings fought back, equalising through Max Kretzschmar before Kane Ferdinand scored what proved to be the winning goal on the hour mark.
The Cards travel to promotion-chasing Stockport County next Saturday before finishing the season the following week at home to Wealdstone.
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