Academy Bulletin | Cards maintain lead at top of Isthmian League

Ian Tilley
11:14am, Mon 5th Feb 2024

Upcoming Fixtures – Week commencing 5th February 2024

Tuesday 6th February

19:45 – Corinthian Casuals First v Woking FC, Surrey Senior Cup, Third Round

King George’s Recreation Ground, Tolworth

With the fixture clash with the National League game against Oxford City, the Academy will field the majority of the squad, with a few first teamers that aren’t involved with the Oxford match joining them.

Wednesday 7th February

Kick Off TBC – Welling United U19 v Woking U19, National League Alliance – Academy South

Goals, Eltham

Friday 9th February

11:30 – Woking U19 v Welling United U19, National League Alliance – Academy South

Woking College, Rydens Way

19:45 – Welling United U23 v Woking U23, Suburban Football League – Premier Division

Holmesdale Football Club, Bromley

For up-to-date information on fixtures refer to the Woking Football Club Academy twitter page.

Match Reports – Week commencing Monday 29th January

Wednesday 31st January, Woking U17 1 - 1 Charlton Athletic Trust U17

National League Alliance – Division E; Woking College, Rydens Way

This game looked like it would be close, and so it was, with neither side getting the win they required to be competing in the top half of the table.

Charlton had already hit the bar through Matthew Flook, and Woking had a Harvey Brook shot saved, before Woking opened the scoring with an excellent team goal on 14 minutes. Breaking from the clearance of a Charlton corner, Brook made ground before switching play with a fine cross-field ball to Sean Bull attacking from left-back who, in-turn, passed to JJ Young, who neatly turned his marker on the edge of the area and fired in to the bottom corner.

Both sides had chances as the game ebbed and flowed, and may have scored with more accurate finishing, but both goalkeepers’ positioning was good, and there was some strong defending, notably from Woking’s George Elston.

Unfortunately, as the half drew to a close Charlton’s Kye Marsden required treatment for what looked to be a bad ankle injury – our best wishes to Kye for a speedy recovery.

Half-time: Woking 1 – 0 Charlton Athletic Trust

With the following evening’s game in mind, Woking made a change at half-time, with Brook replaced by Jack Bashford. Brook had led the line well, and been instrumental in the Cards’ goal.

As was the case in the return fixture, Charlton were stronger in the second-half, and taking the game to Woking. On 65 minutes Woking brought Liam Manby in to the game at right-back, and his forward runs helped to reduce the threat of Mekai Lennox-James. Even under Manby’s watchful eye Lennox James was a threat – he certainly has ability, and the hope at Charlton is that his temperament does not further hinder his progress.

On 74 minutes James Orton was forced from the field of play with a wrist injury he had picked up in a strong challenge, so our best wishes to you James for a speedy recovery – the good news is there’s no break.

With few real chances it was starting to look as if Woking may see out the victory, but on 82 minutes Charlton had their equaliser. Louie Sullivan did well to get a hand on Will Wilson’s corner, but the ball broke to Kiyan Pinnock and he finished forcefully from a few yards.

Charlton continued to press, but Woking were resolute, and no-one more so than Manby, who saw Guillermo Herrera booked for unceremoniously halting Manby’s pressure-relieving run. This was probably a fair result, and one that underlined the importance of being able to direct shots away from the ‘keeper.

Woking: Louie Sullivan; Max Goldsworthy (Jayden Smith 50), George Elston, Harrison Wood, Sean Bull; JJ Young, Charlie Sweeney, James Orton (Saadiq Bangura-Kerr 75); Stefan Van Wijngaarden (Liam Manby 65), Harvey Brook © (Jack Bashford 46), Roshaun Cooper. Unused sub: Mikey Verga (GK).

Goal: Young 14.

Charlton Athletic Trust: Kian Eyers; Matthew Flook (Samuel Soda 67), Guillermo Herrera, Mason Janes (Will Wilson 46), Bradley Johnson, Mekai Lennox-James, Max Lewis, Kye Marsden (Kiyan Pinnock 43), Harry Norman, Sebastian Pedroza, Jack Povey.

Goal: Pinnock 82.

Referee: Fidelis Akangaf.

Thursday 1st February, Woking U18 6 - 0 Uxbridge U18

Isthmian Football League – Youth West Division; Knaphill FC, Redding Way

With Camberley Town having won at Beaconsfield on Tuesday evening, Woking needed to win to maintain their lead at the top of the table, and put pressure on Camberley as they look to chase down Woking’s advantage.

Although Woking had won 4-0 at Uxbridge earlier in the season, the first-half on that evening had been difficult, and when Mikey Verga was called on in the second minute to tip a header from a free-kick over the bar, it looked as if this game might not be straightforward. 5 goals in 26 minutes would relieve any concerns.

Set up with Tommy Searle holding in front of the back four, Woking had a great platform for fast attacking football, with Ben Smith and Aidy Silverstein the solid, unfussy centre-back partnership, and the pacey Byron Mitchell leading the attacking charge. The first goal came after good work down the left from Jacob Farr and Sam Brittain, then when the ball was played across Maximilian Gawronski failed to hold the ball, and Harvey Brook, starting on the right side of the attacking midfield, was there to tap home.

Good attacking play from both Brittain and Alvaro Picon had created chances for a second before it was 2-0 after 15 minutes. This was Brittain’s goal of the season contender, dribbling infield from the left wing before hitting a 25-yard rocket in to the top corner, the ‘keeper well beaten.

Mitchell scored the third on 22 minutes, a move that began with the patient play of Silverstein and Farr, before Stanley Kyle’s defence splitting through ball released Mitchell, who held off the defender and scored with a neat, low finish.

Picon was booked for a foul, with the Uxbridge coach commenting that it was the sort of determination in the challenge that he’d like to see from his players. But the fourth goal arrived within a minute. Another good Woking move won a corner, and when the clearance fell to Kyle on the edge of the area, he found the bottom corner. The Uxbridge coach’s frustration with his players growing.

It was 5-0 shortly after the half-hour, Silverstein’s long ball made in to a great pass by Mitchell’s pace and strength, before a fine finish in to the corner. A fitting cap to half an hour of excellent passing football from the Cards. This may have been the wrong game for Uxbridge to try a 3-5-2 formation, but Woking had proved irresistible, and the intelligence from Silverstein and others to know how to create and exploit chances is a credit to them.

Half-time: Woking 5 – 0 Uxbridge

Woking’s half-time change saw JJ Young come on for his second game in two days, with Boxall showing his versatility by moving to left-back. It was going to be hard for Woking to continue in the same vein, and Uxbridge, credit to them, were still competing well, and looked more comfortable with four at the back.

In a relatively quiet half, there was one further piece of quality team play as Woking made it six on 82 minutes. A few minutes after Brook had netted already knowing he was offside, Silverstein hit a fine long diagonal ball to Brook, whose low driven cross gave Tom Dryer on the far post a straightforward finish.

This had finally knocked the stuffing out of Uxbridge, and Seale forced a good save with a drive to the far corner which looked like it was going to be the seventh. A perhaps predictable low-key second-half, but a very satisfying evening’s work.

Woking: Mikey Verga; Alvaro Picon, Ben Smith, Aidy Silverstein, Jacob Farr (JJ Young 46); Tommy Seale; Harvey Brook, Lucas Boxall, Stanley Kyle © (Tom Dryer 78), Sam Brittain; Byron Mitchell (Jack Bashford 70). Unused subs: Harry White (GK), Harrison Stevens.

Goals: Brook 6, Brittain 15, Mitchell 22,32, Kyle 25, Dryer 82.

Uxbridge: Maximilian Gawronski; Freddie Ferris, Ben Butler, Leo Camacho; Usu Ukachukwu (Dane Burbeck 53), Reece Butler, Marcello Aru, Ayokunmi Omojola (Reggie Whitehead 61); Harrison Clarke, Nico Martucci, Taylor Gale. Unused sub: Klaud Gorol (GK).

Referee: G. Collins.

Loan watch:

Saturday 3rd February.

On-form forward Ben Mitchell scored for Guildford City against Camberley Town, although Owen Crawford in the Camberley goal finished on the right side of the 3-2 final score.

Jack Matton continued his good form at centre-back with Binfield, even scoring with a fine far post volley in a 4-1 victory at Hartley Wintney.

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