Glovers' Five Card Hand Trumps Goal-shy Cards

Nigel Beesley
10:17am, Thu 28th Oct 2021
Yeovil Town 2 Woking 0
Vanarama National League
26th October 2021

On a drizzly, but pleasantly mild night for the last week of October, Woking travelled down to Yeovil’s Huish Park stadium in Somerset with the hope of arresting their recent run of defeats, but were undone by a resolute display from the home side who scored goals early in each half to seal the win and claim all three points.

A decent crowd of over 2,000 assembled inside to greet the sides as they emerged to do battle for mid-table supremacy. The Cards were forced to shuffle their line-up from the last-minute 3-2 defeat at Maidenhead in front of the BT Sport cameras on Saturday evening. They were without the suspended Joe McNerney and Kyran Lofthouse dropped to the bench; into the starting line-up came Tommy Block and Tyreke Johnson.

The game started at a good pace and the visitors forced a corner from a long throw, but this was cleared by the defence. This was quickly followed by a long ball down the left which was crossed by Knowles into the area where it was expertly volleyed home by Charlie Wakefield to give the home side the lead with less than five minutes on the clock.

Craig Ross was then forced into action a minute later, although his saved attempt wouldn’t have counted as the assistant’s flag had already been raised for offside. Another effort from distance by Gorman went over the bar and there then followed a speculative shot by Max Kretzschmar which went wide of goal.

Yeovil were doing their level best to keep their lead intact and a trip on Casey after 25 minutes went unpunished by the referee with just a free-kick ensuing. The home side then mounted a few attacks, but the visitors were equal to the task with blocks and tackles along with saves from Ross.

As halftime approached both sides conceded and gained free kicks, but these all came to naught. There was just one added minute before Mr Swallow blew his whistle to signal the end of the half.

Half-time: Yeovil Town 1 Woking 0

The second period began much as the first had with an early goal for the Glovers. A cross from the right by Wakefield eluded the Woking defence and found Tom Knowles at the far post to double their lead just two minutes into the half.

Two minutes later, a left-foot shot by Campbell went just wide as the Cards attempted to get back into the game. The man in the middle finally discovered that he did have some cards in his pocket as he produced yellows in the space of two minutes for both Worthington and Barnett as a result of one too many transgressions. The resulting free kicks again produced nothing clear-cut in the way of goal chances as the match approached it’s final third.

The first changes were then made by Dowse with Tommy Block and Solomon Nwabuokei being replaced by Kyran Lofthouse and Tarryn Allarakhia, swiftly followed by a change from the home side with Adi Yussef coming off and Joe Quigley taking his place. His first act was a rough challenge on Josh Casey which Mr Swallow deemed to be only worthy of a Yellow and not a Red.

This flurry of bookings seemed to incense the home dug-out who made their feelings known to both the assistant and the fourth official which resulted in another yellow for Skiverton of the Yeovil management team with 70 minutes showing on the electronic scoreboard. Woking then made their final change with Kane Thompson-Sommers coming on for Max Kretzschmar.

Two more yellows were then dished out to the home side which riled the crowd into the familiar chant of ‘You don’t know what you’re doing’. This was slightly unfair as the officiating had generally been of a good standard and somewhat better than this reporter had seen of late.

Several free kicks were then awarded to the Cards but the Yeovil defence, expertly marshalled by skipper Josh Staunton, utilised the ‘None shall pass’ phrase as the blank night for Woking came to its conclusion. The Glovers made two more changes before the best chance of the match fell to Effiong in the second minute of added time when his point-blank shot from Lofthouse’s pass was well saved by Smith onto the bar, the resulting corner again being cleared.

Three more added minutes were played before the final whistle blew. A nice touch at the end of the game was the home players going round the stadium applauding their supporters for helping them to secure the win.

For Woking it was a fourth successive defeat in a game where they rarely threatened to score. They will need to play much better than this and with home games coming up against Altrincham on Saturday and Bromley on Tuesday they have chances to improve their fortunes.

Woking: 13 Craig Ross, 3 Josh Casey ©, 4 Tom Champion, 6 Moussa Diarra, 8 Solomon Nwabuokei (Tarryn Allarakhia 61’), 9 Inih Effiong, 10 Max Kretzschmar (Kane Thompson-Sommers 74’), 19 Tahvon Campbell, 21 Tommy Block (Kyran Lofthouse 61’), 24 Rohan Ince

Unused subs: 1 Mark Smith, 7 Jamar Loza

Goals: None

Bookings: None

Yeovil Town 1 Grant Smith, 22 Daniel Moss, 5 Max Hunt, 32 Josh Staunton ©, 21 Jack Robinson, 7 Matt Worthington (25 Jordan Dyer 90+3’), 8 Dale Gorman, 3 Jordan Barnett, 11. Tom Knowles (26 Ben Seymour 85’), 23. Adi Yussuf (10 Joe Quigley 62’), 19 Charlie Wakefield

Unused subs: 12 Max Evans, 20 Toby Stephens

Goals: Wakefield 4’, Knowles 47’

Bookings: Worthington 52’, Barnett 53’, Quigley 65’, Gorman 75’, Robinson 77’

Referee: Elliott Swallow

Attendance: 2024 (117 from Woking)

Man of the Match: Tommy Block played well before being replaced but Moussa Diarra used all his height and experience to prevent further goal chances and gained my vote

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