Struggling Cards slip to third consecutive defeat

Justin Burns
5:55pm, Sun 12th Dec 2021
Woking 0 Boreham Wood 2
Vanarama National League
11th December 2021

The Cards’ dismal run continued as much-changed side slipped to a third consecutive loss to promotion-chasing Boreham Wood at the Laithwaite Community Stadium.

A one-minute silence was held before kick-off to remember Marvin Morgan, who played 42 times in the 2007/08 season for Woking and sadly passed away aged 38 on 6th December.

Dowse made five changes to the side that started in the 2-0 defeat last week to Solihull, starting with three centre backs and two wing-backs. Louie Annesley, Max Kretzschmar, Tyreke Johnson, Tommy Block and Rohan Ince all came in, for Kyran Lofthouse, Solomon Nwabuokei, Josh Casey, Joe McNerney, and Tarryn Allarkakhia – the latter three were all on the bench.

The Cards got off to the worst possible start, as Boreham Wood took the lead inside the first minute when Kane Smith struck a superb right-foot volley from the edge of the box into the left corner giving Mark Smith no chance after the ball had dropped kindly to him.

This was not the start Woking needed, having not won at home since the end of October and they tried to get a footing in the game but it was all over as a contest in the 12th minute.

A ball was played into the box from Tryone Marsh on the left and he found the unmarked Gus Mafuta, who had all the time in the world to nod the ball home from close range to make it 2-0. The start of the game could not have started any worse for Woking and it left them with a mountain to climb against a confident and vibrant Boreham Wood.

Woking finally had an effort on goal in the 14th minute when Louis Britton drove forward, but the striker hit his rising speculative effort well over the bar from 25 yards out.

It was nearly 3-0 in the 23rd minute to the visitor’s when a ball over the top into the box found the on-running Scott Boden who hit a first-time effort over the bar, when the better choice would surely have been to take a touch.

The much-changed Cards looked a bit disjointed and out of ideas; they lacked composure on the ball and were second best in the first half to the lively visitors, despite the best efforts of Britton and Kretzschmar who were working tirelessly.

The Cards did spring into life five minutes before half-time and finally put some pressure on the Boreham Wood defence with a ball into the box and winning a few headers, leading to Tommy Block smashing an effort across the goal that was deflected wide for a corner – which came to nothing.

The first half was one to forget for Woking despite their best efforts, as Boreham Wood were a class apart and looked the more composed and threatening and it was easy to see why they are in the promotion hunt near the top of the league.

HT Woking 0 Boreham Wood 2

Dowse sent the same 11 out for the second half and the Cards started the second half with more intent and on the front foot as they looked to get back into the game and a nice turn and ball from Campbell to Johnson caused havoc, but his good cross from the left was ushered to safety.

However, Woking then nearly went three down in the 51st minute when Mendy beat Block down the left, but Marsh failed to get on the end of it. A minute later, Boden headed the ball across goal, but Fyfield could only find the side-netting with his effort.

The Cards were much improved though on the first half and Johnson then whipped in a fine cross from the right with his left foot that was sliced over the bar by Fyfield in defence. The Cards were playing with more intensity and pushing the visitors back.

Campbell in the opposition box
Campbell in the opposition box
David Holmes

Boreham Wood’s forwards linked up well throughout the first hour and Boden and Marsh, who were the chief protagonists, combined well, but Marsh hit the ball straight into arms of Smith.

The visitors’ centre back Will Evans was booked in the 63rd minute for a nasty foul on Britton and after a ball into the box was cleared from the free-kick, Woking came the closest all game to getting a goal back. Inih Effiong who had only just come on, played it back to Rohan Ince who drove an effort past the left post from the edge of the box.

Effiong had given the Cards a fresh impetus and focal point up front and put himself about causing havoc in the final third, then had a shot easily saved.

The Cards were then potentially given a lifeline when Boreham Wood were reduced to 10-men in the 68th minute, when Evans received a second yellow card and was sent off after handling in the box after Effiong had lifted the ball over him and set to pull the trigger.

From the free-kick from the edge of the box Max hit a rasping right foot effort that was heading towards the top right-hand corner, but was pushed away by Boreham Wood’s keeper Ashby-Hammond.

Effiong’s introduction and the sending off changed the game and it was all Woking. Johnson then whipped in a teasing ball, but Kretschmar headed over the bar when it seemed it was easier to score. Block then hit a thunderous effort in the 72nd minute from the right that whistled past the left post.

Woking were making the most of the man advantage and pushing the Wood back. They looked like getting back in the contest and buzzing up front with Effiong at the heart of it and the striker then smashed an effort over the bar from 25 yards.

The Cards then blew a glorious opportunity to make it 2-1 from the penalty spot after Effiong was brought down in the 75th minute. Kretzschmar stepped up, but smashed his powerful penalty kick on to the crossbar and the ball flew to safety.

The Cards continued to push forward and were close to pulling a goal back again when Block’s stunning outside of the right boot cross was met by the rising Effiong in the 82nd minute, but his header was clawed out at the back post.

The game petered out some somewhat in the closing stages and Woking were left to rue the missed penalty and missing some other good chances and Boreham Wood took home the three points, which was no less than they deserved for the quality of their finishing and play in the first half. The Cards made a spirited comeback in the second half against a good side and will take heart from the way they competed and nearly got back in the game.

Woking are 14th in the National League and are in need of three points in their next National League fixture when they next take on Aldershot away on Boxing Day. However, before that they take on Westfield in the Surrey Senior Cup on Tuesday, and then Yeovil on Saturday in 3rd Round of the FA Trophy.

Woking: 1 Mark Smith, 4 Tom Champion, 6 Moussa Diarra, 16 Louie Annesley, 24 Rohan Ince, 10 Max Kretzschmar ©, 18 Louis Britton (Inih Effiong 61’), 21 Tommy Block, 23 Jermaine Anderson, 19 Tahvon Campbell, 11 Tyreke Johnson

Unused subs: 13 Craig Ross, 3 Josh Casey, 5 Joe McNerney, 17 Tarryn Allarakhia

Booked: Annesley 51’

Boreham Wood 21 Taye Ashby-Hammond, 4 Mark Ricketts ©, 5 Will Evans, 6 David Stephens, 7 Josh Rees, 8 Gus Mafuta, 9 Scott Boden (14 Adrian Clifton 88’), 10 Tyrone Marsh (11 Frankie Raymond 71’), 12 Jamal Fyfield, 17 Jacob Mendy, 19 Kane Smith

Unused subs: 15 Dennon Lewis, 16 James Comley, 22 Nile Ranger

Goals: Smith 1’, Mafuta 12’

Booked: Evans 63’, 68’

Man of the Match: Tyreke Johnson – energetic throughout and made some surging runs up the left flank and provided a number of delightful crosses

Referee: Jacob Mills

Attendance: 1,687

Thank you to our Match Sponsor To You Loos and our Match Ball Sponsor Colin Galliford

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