MKJ Group
12:15pm - MondayMon 26th DecemberDec 2016
The EBB Stadium | Att: 3456

Aldershot Town
Aldershot Town
4 - 0

Woking
Woking

Cards prepare for Boxing Day test

Brian Caffarey
3:55pm, Thu 22nd Dec 2016
Aldershot Town v Woking
Vanarama National League
12.15pm on Monday 26 December 2016

The Cards travel to the Shots on Boxing Day for the first ‘leg’ of the holiday double against their close neighbours. Neither side has been in great form recently but the Shots at least don’t have relegation worries hanging over them. The game is being televised by BT Sport but go along if you can to cheer on Garry Hill’s side in what is bound to be a tough encounter. Make sure, though, that you’ve noted the 12.15pm kick-off.

WOKING

The Cards go into the holiday period sitting in 19th place in the table, only clear of the relegation places on goal difference as a result of Braintree Town’s midweek win at Boreham Wood. They will also have to try to recover from a poor run of games which has seen tame exits from the FA Cup and FA Trophy and a disappointing 0-0 home draw with fellow relegation strugglers, Guiseley, last Saturday. Looking hard for positives from that game, the defence at least recorded a clean sheet, although Guiseley missed a ‘sitter’ just before half-time and Brandon Hall had to be alert to preserve a point after the break. Other positives were a stronger showing from Fabio Saraiva and Frankie Sutherland in midfield, but the fact that so few goalscoring chances were created again was a worry – as was the over-reliance on Jake Caprice.

Garry Hill should at least be able to reintroduce skipper Keiran Murtagh into midfield and he will have the option of adding Charlie Carter too, who has now served his three-match ban for his dismissal against Accrington Stanley in the FA Cup.

ALDERSHOT TOWN

The Shots started this season at a gallop, reaching 5th spot by early October, but their form has slipped badly subsequently, with the side managing only two wins in their last 13 games. Defeats have included home reverses against Eastbourne Borough in the FA Cup and East Thurrock United in an FA Trophy replay. Early season form rested greatly on a very solid defence. Nevertheless, the Shots’ home form in the league is good, with eight wins, one draw and three defeats. They now sit in 10th place with 36 points from 25 games. Last Saturday they lost 2-0 away at in-form Chester City.

Manager Gary Waddock, who returned to the club in May, brought in a number of new faces in the summer, including several players whom he had managed at Barnet and Wycombe Wanderers. Two of those signings were a cause of considerable regret to Cards fans as Waddock lured striker Scott Rendell and keeper Jake Cole to the EBB Stadium. Another ex-Card who signed up was defender Nick Arnold, who made two appearances for Woking in the 2014-15 season. Arnold, however, is injured.

Other signings included defender Anthony Straker, returning to the club to add to his total of over 200 appearances between 2007 and 2012, which was followed by spells with Southend United, York City, Grimsby Town and Motherwell; centre back Will Evans was signed from Eastleigh; captain Callum Reynolds joined from Boreham Wood; midfielder Liam Bellamy switched from Dover Athletic; highly-rated former Watford Academy winger, Bernard Mensah, arrived after loan spells at Braintree Town and Barnet; midfielder Jim Kellerman, a Wolves Academy graduate, signed up after a trial period; and striker Matt McLure, previously with the Daggers and before that with Waddock at Wycombe Wanderers, also joined. A player to look out for is striker Idris Kanu, who has just signed his first professional contract on his 17th birthday, with a CV that includes breaking into the Hammers’ U21 side at the age of 15.

Waddock has recently announced that midfielders Josh Wakefield and Iffy Allen are to be released, while striker Charlie Walker is leaving by mutual consent in search of more first team football after an injury. But Dion Conroy’s loan from Chelsea has been extended till the end of the season and midfielder Kundai Benyu has joined on a month’s youth loan from Ipswich Town.

GETTING THERE

Aldershot Town Football Club
EBB Stadium
High Street
Aldershot
Hants
GU11 1TW

Official website: http://www.theshots.co.uk

By coach

The Cards Trust coach leaves the Laithwaite Community Stadium at 11.00am. Contact Alan Barnes (a.barn1572@btinternet.com) if you need to be picked up en route.

By car

Head for Aldershot town centre. The ground is just by the railway bridge. Parking is available in the town centre ‘pay and display’ car parks, about a five-minute walk from the ground.

By train

There are no trains running on Boxing Day between Woking and Aldershot.

ADMISSION PRICES

Adult – Seating - £19; Standing - £17  
Concession (Over 65, Military personnel ID required, Student 16-21 ID required) – Seating - £15; Standing - £13  
Junior (11-U16) – Seating - £7; Standing - £5  
Under 11’s – FREE (with paying adult – max 2 per adult)
Disabled same as above, with carer free in both sections.
Students can obtain a concession rate on production of an NUS card.

Woking fans will have to enter the ground via the Redan Hill turnstiles.

LAST SEASON

The Shots have nearly always had the bragging rights in games between these two sides but last season saw the Cards complete an unprecedented ‘double’ over their neighbours.

Aldershot Town 0 Woking 1
26 December 2015

The Cards went into this fixture in fine form, having won five of their last six games, whilst the home side had just managed their first win in eight games. Woking looked the stronger side in the first half and took the lead five minutes before half time when ‘man of the match’ Joey Jones slipped a ball through to Dan Holman, whose reverse pass found John Goddard, who finished with aplomb. Woking sat deep in the second half but rarely looked troubled against a lacklustre Shots side.

Woking: Jake Cole, Jake Caprice, Mark Ricketts, Brian Saah, Joey Jones, John Goddard (Guiseppe Sole 84), Matt Robinson, Bruno Andrade (Keiran Murtagh 69), Joe Quigley (Chris Arthur 77), Dan Holman, Cameron Norman

Goal: John Goddard (40)

Unused subs: Nick Hamann, Jimmy Keohane

Aldershot Town: Phil Smith, Joe Oastler, Sean McGinty, Sam Hatton (Dan Walker 72), Jim Stevenson, Tom Richards, Cheye Alexander, Omar Beckles, Jake Gallagher, Richard Brodie, Daniel Carr (Charlie Walker 63)

Unused subs: Dan Thomas, Damon Lathrope, Luke Oliver

Attendance: 3150 (710 Woking fans)

Woking 2 Aldershot Town 1
2 January 2016

Woking took the lead midway through the first half when Joe Quigley swept home after some typically skilful play from John Goddard had created the opening. Shortly before half-time the Cards added a second as Quigley reciprocated, nodding the ball on for Goddard to finish coolly past the Shots’ Phil Smith. The visitors pulled a goal back in the 74th minute when substitute Rhys Browne hammered home after Jake Cole had blocked the initial effort from Jim Stevenson. Corners and free-kicks rained in on the Woking goalmouth towards the end, with the woodwork saving Garry Hill’s side with two minutes to go, but the Cards held on for a win which put them only three points off the play-off places.

Woking: Jake Cole, Jake Caprice, Joey Jones, Brian Saah, Cameron Norman, Bruno Andrade (Chris Arthur 60), Matt Robinson, Mark Ricketts, John Goddard, Dan Holman (Giuseppe Sole 46), Joe Quigley (Keiran Murtagh 79)

Unused subs: Nick Hamann, Jimmy Keohane

Aldershot Town: Phil Smith, Joe Oastler, Sean McGinty, Sam Hatton (Dan Walker 32), Jim Stevenson, Tom Richards (Rhys Browne 50), Charlie Walker, Cheye Alexander, Omar Beckles, Jake Gallagher, Daniel Carr

Unused subs: Damon Lathrope, Luke Oliver, Dan Thomas

Attendance: 3708 (808 away fans)

COMING UP

Don’t forget that the ‘return’ fixture at the Laithwaite Community Stadium on New Year’s Day kicks off at 1pm. See http://www.wokingfc.co.uk/news/article/5718/start-your-2017-in-style-/ for a tasty-looking offer in the Geoff Chapple Lounge.


Come on, you Cards!

A dispiriting afternoon

Brian Caffarey
5:43pm, Mon 26th Dec 2016
Aldershot Town 4 Woking 0
26 December 2016
Vanarama National League

The contrast with the Cards’ win in the corresponding fixture last season could not have been more stark, with Garry Hill’s current side completely outplayed by a rampant Shots side, who found themselves 3-0 up by the 25th minute, adding another before half-time. To rub salt into the wounds, the main damage was done by former Card, Scott Rendell, who bagged a hat-trick. The other ‘old boy’, Jake Cole, stuck the knife in too, saving a penalty, although if Anthony Edgar’s strike had gone in, it would have been no more than a consolation goal – not that that would have consoled those Cards fans who had had to endure another humiliating afternoon.

Garry made four changes from the side which drew 0-0 with Guiseley, bringing in new signing Kane Ferdinand, Keiran Murtagh and Charlie Carter into midfield, while Frazer Shaw also returned, with Nathan Ralph pushed forward on the left of midfield. Terell Thomas and Fabio Saraiva found themselves on the bench, but Chike Kandi, Dennon Lewis and Frankie Sutherland were all missing from the team sheet.

On a bright sunny afternoon the Cards kicked towards the main stand, with Woking fans in one corner. It didn’t take long for the warning signs to appear as Anthony Straker, who seemed to be able to attack and cross almost at will down Woking’s right flank, found Idris Kanu at the near post. His stabbed effort curled just the wrong side of the post. But when the breakthrough came in the 8th minute it was gifted on a plate. Brandon Hall, so reliable recently, dropped a fairly simple cross over his head, the ball being promptly hooked in by Rendell, whose celebrations were certainly not muted.

Three minutes later the Shots doubled their lead. The ball was threaded through the centre of the Woking defence, with Ismail Yakubu unable to stop Shamir Fenelon poking home.

The Shots continued to dominate, moving the ball quickly in short passing moves and usually finding one of their own players – in contrast to many of Woking’s moves, which seemed to rely on balls played forward more in hope than expectation.

The Cards nearly conceded another goal in the 14th minute from an in-swinging corner, with a defender just able to deflect the ball away for another corner on the opposite side. There was a brief attacking flurry from the Cards as Shaw got down the left and fired a couple of crosses in before Joey Jones’s shot was blocked, with the referee also blowing for offside.

The Shots’ third goal duly arrived in the 25th minute. A corner was swung in. Rendell, effectively unchallenged, stooped and guided the ball into the corner.

A few minutes later, Woking broke up field following an interception but it typified proceedings that not one of the three players haring forward could be targeted accurately.

Jake Cole, a virtual bystander for most of the game, came mightily close to handling the ball outside his area in the 35th minute.

A minute later Rendell ought to have secured his hat-trick when yet another Straker cross found him unmarked again but he headed down into the ground instead of goalwards.

In the 39th minute the Cards came close to registering their first shot on target as Gozie Ugwu, who worked hard all afternoon, beat a couple of players in the box, only to see his shot blocked for a corner. He was also responsible for a decent cross shortly afterwards from the other flank. Shaw then tried to get round two defenders as the ball spun to him but he was crowded out.

In the 42nd minute Fenelon spurned another chance for the fourth goal as he failed to take advantage of a free header. But it didn’t matter because, as the half moved into added time, a fine move, begun with a clever flick inside, saw Kanu drill a cross to the far post, where Rendell was waiting to stab home and complete his hat-trick.

Half-time: Aldershot Town 4 Woking 0

It is hard to imagine that Garry Hill could have said anything at half-time to alter the course of this game, so the most that could be hoped for was probably to ‘show some pride and avoid an absolute tanking’.

For the first few minutes it looked as though the Shots would simply carry on where they left off but the Cards gradually seemed to get in the game a bit more, although one suspected that this was more to do with Aldershot taking their foot off the gas. Ugwu was unceremoniously floored by Gallagher as he threatened to break clear. Ralph got in a weak shot, which was blocked, and Caprice found a little more space but without either being able to get round his man or put in a telling cross.

In the 60th minute Garry brought on Saraiva for Murtagh and Anthony Edgar for Ralph. But a minute later the deficit was nearly five goals as Rendell had another free header from a free-kick and then Conroy blasted over the bar.

Terell Thomas then came on for Yakubu. The Shots continued to look dangerous as Kanu and Mensah drove forward, but the Woking defence and midfield managed to block any goalbound efforts.

The 72nd minute saw the first real goal attempt from the Cards as Edgar, who looked quite lively down the left, played in Ugwu, whose shot was blocked by the advancing Cole. An ironic chant of ‘we’ve had a shot’ from the Woking fans said it all. But then, out of the blue, a penalty was gained. Carter was pushed in the back just inside the area as he tried to sustain an attack. Up stepped Edgar to take the kick. His run-up didn’t look all that convincing and he placed the ball too near Cole. It seemed as if Edgar might be able to tuck the rebound away but the ball was nicked off his feet.

Ugwu did well in the 75th minute to break clear down the right but Straker was just able to divert the ball away for a corner before he could shoot. A few minutes later the Woking striker threatened again as he sold a dummy, running through to see his shot blocked for another corner.

The only action of note in the last ten minutes or so was a terrific run by Mensah, slaloming through several defenders from right to left across the box before he lifted his shot over Hall’s bar.

This was a thoroughly dispiriting afternoon for Cards fans. Defensive weaknesses were to the fore once more – if Aldershot had been ruthless, the scoreline could have been doubled. There seemed to be no coherence to Woking’s play and too many players were simply anonymous.

The defeat leaves Woking one place above the relegation places on goal difference.

Aldershot Town: Jake Cole, Anthony Straker, Shamir Fenelon (Matt McLure 61), Scott Rendell (Jim Kellermann 77), Bernard Mensah, Cheye Alexander, Jake Gallagher, Dion Conroy, Idris Kanu, Kundai Benyu (Will Evans 83), Callum Reynolds

Unused sub: Mark Smith

Goals: Scott Rendell 8, 25 and 45; Shamir Fenelon 10

Bookings: Jake Gallagher, Kundai Benyu

Woking: Brandon Hall, Jake Caprice, Ismail Yakubu (Terell Thomas 66), Brian Saah, Frazer Shaw, Joey Jones, Nathan Ralph (Anthony Edgar 60), Charlie Carter, Keiran Murtagh (Fabio Saraiva 60), Kane Ferdinand, Gozi Ugwu

Unused subs: Michael Poke, Delano Sam-Yorke

My Woking MOTM: Gozie Ugwu: never stopped working and made the most of the little service and support he was given.

Attendance: 3456 (527 Woking fans)
Aldershot Town LINEUP
WOKING LINEUP
18Brandon Hall
2Jake Caprice
24Frazer Shaw
5Brian Saah
6Ismail Yakubu ('66)
4Joey Jones
8Keiran Murtagh ('60)
22Kane Ferdinand
12Charlie Carter
11Nathan Ralph ('60)
9Gozie Ugwu
BENCH
1Michael Poke
3Terell Thomas ('66)
14Fabio Saraiva ('60)
19Anthony Edgar ('60)
17Delano Sam-Yorke

Aldershot Town 4 - 0 Woking (Garry Hill Interview)

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