Boz's Fruit & Veg
7:45pm - TuesdayTue 10th AprilApr 2018
York Road | Att: 1301

Maidenhead United
2 - 1


Cards hopeful of overdue success

Glen Harrington
12:00am, Sun 8th Apr 2018
Maidenhead United vs Woking
Vanarama National League
Tuesday 10th April 2018

The Cards make the familiar journey to York Road on Tuesday evening to take on Maidenhead United in a rearranged fixture, our penultimate away trip of the season, looking to finally break a now ten game winless run.

A lot has changed for the Cards since they were originally due to visit Maidenhead at the beginning of March. Unfortunately, the team remains without a win in that period, and after slipping further down the table the visitors will be more desperate than ever to get three points on the board. The team, now managed by Geoff Chapple and Jason Goodliffe, have plenty to build on after an encouraging draw at Dagenham and Redbridge last time out in what was the club’s first game since Anthony Limbrick’s departure. However, with the games quickly running out, and with Solihull Moors having closed to within a point of Woking with their win on Saturday, the new management team know that they quickly need to turn hard-earned draws into victories by any means necessary.

The Magpies have had a solid if unspectacular first season at National League level after winning promotion at the end of last season. They are actually the lowest ranked of the four promoted teams at present, sitting a point and a place below FC Halifax Town, and well adrift of play-off chasing AFC Fylde and Ebbsfleet United. However, with 49 points on the board and games in hand on many of the teams around them, they look set for another season in non-league’s top tier and that is certainly not something to be sniffed at. Their recent form has been poor however, with their last win coming back in mid-February, whilst they’ve only managed three league wins since the turn of the year – one more than the Cards. Their current six game winless streak includes a 7-1 thrashing by Gateshead, a home defeat by struggling Barrow, and last time out a late 1-0 loss at Aldershot.

Despite mixed fortunes at the ground in recent years, York Road does bear happy memories for many Woking fans, with the Cards having clinched the National League South title there themselves back in 2012. Please make the trip once again if you possibly can and, hopefully, cheer the team on to another important result!

Woking Team News

It will be interesting to see, after making two changes for their first game in charge, whether Chapple and Goodliffe decide to stick with the team which performed so admirably in Essex on Saturday. Indeed, the Cards certainly looked more solid with Jordan Wynter restored at centre-back alongside goalscorer Josh Staunton, and if Nathan Ralph is not fit to return then it’s hard to see either Matt Young or Louis Ramsay missing out on selection.

The midfield has also remained something of a constant in recent games with Chez Isaac, such an important player in the Woking midfield in its early season good form, now fit and firing again alongside Kane Ferdinand and top scorer Charlie Carter, who will no doubt be eager to add to his ten league goals before the end of the season.

Many Woking fans were pleased to see Louie Theophanous given a chance from the start against Dagenham, after impressing from the bench in recent weeks, and he could well continue alongside Regan Charles-Cook and Reece Grego-Cox in a strong attacking line-up. Other options include a rare start for loanee Jonny Edwards or a recall for Anthony Cook.

Maidenhead Team News

The Magpies have a strong squad assembled by the extremely experienced Alan Devonshire and, as always, will provide a stern test for the Cards in what will be their third meeting with each other so far this season.

Against the Shots, Devonshire selected Carl Pentney in goal, an experienced keeper who once had a brief loan spell with the Cards; a back four of French full-back Remy Clerima, another former Woking prospect Rene Steer, captain Alan Massey and ex-Braintree defender Jake Goodman; in midfield was the promising Ryan Upward alongside Sam Barratt; out wide they had Harry Pritchard and Harold Odametey; with former Woking forward Moses Emmanuel, or Ademola as he was known at Kingfield, playing behind another former Braintree man, Sean Marks, up front.

The additional options in their squad include former England C international forward Jake Hyde, experienced midfielder Adrian Clifton, and defenders Max Kilman, Christian Smith and Gabriel Osho.

Last Time Out

Woking 0-2 Maidenhead United (Saturday 16 December 2017 – FA Trophy)

After putting up such a brave fight in defeat to League One Peterborough in the FA Cup the previous Tuesday, a tired Woking team limped quietly out of their second cup competition in five days with a timid defeat at home to the Magpies, whose goals came through Emmanuel and Hyde in the second-half. From a home side perspective the game was only really memorable for the performance of on-loan goalkeeper Jojo Wollacott who, deputising for the injured Nathan Baxter, made a string of fine saves in a man-of-the-match performance which kept the scoreline respectable.

On the Day

The Cards Trust will be running a coach to this game, leaving Kingfield at 5pm. The cost is £15 for members & £20 for non-members. Email to book.

For those travelling directly, the ground is located on York Road, postcode SL6 1SF. The nearest railway station is Maidenhead which is about a five minute walk from the ground. Full travel details can be found on the Maidenhead website. Ticket prices for the game are £15 for adults, £10 for concessions and £5 for Under 16s. Tickets can be purchase in advance via the Maidenhead website or bought on the gate.

Next Up

Woking have just three games remaining after Tuesday’s encounter. The conclusion to our season starts at home to Bromley on Saturday, before a potentially crucial trip to bottom-of-the-table Guiseley – likely to be relegated by then – followed by a home game with Dover at the end of April; tickets for both home games available online now via our website.

Magpies Take Valuables; Cardinals in Prayer

Ben Musgrove
12:00am, Tue 10th Apr 2018
Maidenhead United 2 Woking 1
Vanarama National League
10th April 2018

In opening the scoring just 14 minutes from time, one could have been forgiven for believing that Woking were about to notch their first away win in the National League in over six months. Jonathan Edwards’ first goal for the Cards came in a must-win game for the visitors, taking advantage of a mix-up between Carl Pentney and Rene Steer to tap home Regan Charles-Cook’s selfless lay-off. Within 10 minutes, however, Woking had conceded two goals on their way to a painful 2-1 defeat that leaves them just a point ahead of the relegation zone, having played two games more than Barrow below them.

The dismissal of Anthony Limbrick has seen the rise to prominence of the 4-4-2 that he would often utilise in the final stages of games, and that was the case again, with Grego-Cox and Theophanous deployed up front for the Cards. Captain Joey Jones remained on the bench after Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Dagenham, with goalscorer Josh Staunton wearing the armband and partnered by Jordan Wynter at the back. Their opposition included a familiar face for Cards fans in Moses Emmanuel (formerly Ademola), on loan from Sutton United, and a name to watch in Harold Odametey, who had already put in two superb performances against Woking this season.

Despite visiting fans working hard to out-sing a quiet home crowd at York Road, Maidenhead started the game on the front foot, and created several chances in the opening minutes. Odametey was the first to fizz a cross into the hands of Nathan Baxter, and slick link-up play between Sean Marks and Ademola saw Harry Pritchard fire a low shot across goal in the first real shot of the game. It could’ve been 1-0 shortly after when Emmanuel burst through the lines 20 yards from goal in pursuit of a bouncing ball, but his lobbed effort had too much power and bounced harmlessly over the crossbar, to the delight of the Woking faithful yards away.

The well-organised Maidenhead defence proved tricky for Woking to get to grips with, not least due to a very poor pitch that proved an obstacle in getting any cohesive passing going for both sides. Both sides missed easy passes with regularity; Kane Ferdinand was the lucky recipient of a Maidenhead pass that stuck in the turf and bobbled straight to him, only for the midfielder to fire an attempted pass straight through that same patch of mud back to his opposite number.

When Woking did get success, they did it by going direct. Charlie Carter proved an offensive strong point with several driving runs, and shortly before the half-hour mark found Charles-Cook in space in the box after a bursting move; the Charlton loanee shaped to shoot on his weak foot, only to slice the ball high and wide after a wicked bobble.

Both sides had arguably their best chances of the half at around the half hour mark. First an Odametey fizzed through the Woking box and was deflected inches wide of the post with some wicked spin. Shortly afterwards, another Maidenhead break saw two shots inside the area blocked, before Pritchard forced a smart save on the half-volley from Nathan Baxter; the youngster not only kept the ball out with a great save, but then recovered to claim the ball at the feet of Matt Young. Theophanous came closest for Woking in response, with the former Billericay man finding himself in space cutting in from the right-hand side and forcing a strong diving stop from Pentney.

The ‘entertainment’ in the first half can be summarised as two teams on poor runs of form and scrapping on a torrid pitch providing plenty of comical slices, unfortunate bobbles and wayward efforts as opposed to any consistent attacking quality. Maidenhead edged the half, stifling Woking effectively without creating much in the way of clear-cut chances, but the Cards had their moments and looked to build on them in the second half.

Half time: Maidenhead United 0 Woking 0

They could have built on them superbly within two minutes of kick-off, with Theophanous finding space in his battle with Maidenhead defender Jake Goodman only to fire just wide of Pentney’s post - when he may have been better placed to roll in an onrushing Charlie Carter. Just moments later Grego-Cox was the recipient of a Matt Young cross that was too far behind the striker; the young Irishman had clearly been watching Cristiano Ronaldo last week, digging out an impressive bicycle kick that wasn’t too far from the Maidenhead goal.

Jason Goodcliffe later mentioned that some tactical tweaks had been made to the side in the second half, and it seemed that Woking were happy to look long and float the ball into the channels with more regularity, as Maidenhead had done quite effectively in the first half. Grego-Cox and Theophanous had seemed isolated from each other at times, with the latter in particular often forced out too far to the right and unable to support his strike partner effectively. With a narrowed approach, Grego-Cox found himself winning more bobbling headers in midfield, and Woking began to look dangerous with some sort of regularity.

Maidenhead responded strongly, with a James Comley volley followed by efforts from Pritchard a great save at a narrow angle from Nathan Baxter. Moses Emmanuel was then substituted just moments after slamming the ball into the Woking side-netting, ending an ineffective display that gave the visiting fans some cheer.

The conditions and much of the first half had had 0-0 written all over them, but with less than a quarter of an hour remaining, a game of football suddenly broke out with the opening goal.

The state of the pitch combined with a bouncing ball back towards the Maidenhead penalty area prompted fullback Rene Steer to head the ball back to his keeper, not seeming to realise than Pentney was ready to claim the ball without much trouble; the resulting header bounced the ball off of the Maidenhead stopper, and Regan Charles-Cook bustled in to steal the ball from the pair. With the keeper stranded, Charles-Cook dribbled into the box with a composure that Woking have lacked in previous weeks, eyeing up his options before rolling the ball to Jonathan Edwards to slam in the opener.

The away fans were delirious, cheering off the departing Charles-Cook moments later with raucous rounds of “Regan, Regan� as he was replaced by his half-brother Anthony; the Magpies immediately made a change in response, with Max Kilman brought off for midfielder Sam Barratt.

Woking had twelve minutes to hold on; they managed five. The state of the pitch doesn’t effect the danger of set pieces, and a foul on the Woking right gave Ryan Upward the chance to whip the ball into the Cards box. His fizzing delivery was everything the home side wanted, and a bullet header from Adrian Clifton gave Baxter no chance at his far post.

With so much to play for, the game opened up. Just two minutes after the equaliser, Woking could’ve been ahead again with both Edwards and Grego-Cox bursting through; Edwards’s effort to pick out his partner was under-hit, claimed by Pentney when a fizzing low drive could’ve made the difference. Shortly afterwards Woking were pinned back in the third as Maidenhead claimed possession and fired an ominous low cross through the six-yard box.

With two minutes to go, the sucker-punch landed, and it hit the visiting side square in the stomach. Dispossessed too easily in the middle of the park, Maidenhead caught Woking with a swift attack that cut through the middle of the Cards’ lines to find Barratt bursting down the left-hand side. The substitute’s low ball in beat both Young and Staunton, and gave Sean Marks a simple tap-in past Baxter to turn the game on its head.

To their credit – or their detriment, depending on your perspective – Maidenhead then managed to return to their defensive shape and see out the game with determination and a healthy dose of gamesmanship. Two bouts of tenuous play-acting from Rene Steer made little difference, with the Cards struggling to create even as Baxter floated a late freekick into a loaded Maidenhead box; late bookings for Grego-Cox and Edwards only added to the frustration.

The final whistle meant that Maidenhead are now essentially safe from relegation in all but name; Woking, in contrast, are just a point above that first relegation spot. With Barrow only needing one draw from their two games in hand to push the Cards down into the relegation zone, Woking may now need to look to the poor form of Maidstone United – on the same games played and two points above them – if they are to drag themselves out of a downward spiral that is increasingly threatening to reach terminal velocity in every sense of the phrase.

Woking: Nathan Baxter, Matt Young, Jordan Wynter, Josh Staunton, Louis Ramsay, Charlie Carter, Chez Isaac (Joey Jones 90), Kane Ferdinand, Regan Charles-Cook (Anthony Cook 77), Louis Theophanous (Jonathan Edwards 67), Reece Grego-Cox
Unused subs: Sam Mason, Fabio Saraiva

Goals: Edwards 76

Bookings: Ramsay 55, Grego-Cox 89, Edwards 95

Maidenhead United: Carl Pentney, Rene Steer, Alan Massey, James Comley, Jake Goodman, Max Kilman (Sam Barratt 79), Harold Odametey, Harry Pritchard, Ryan Upward, Sean Marks, Moses Emmanuel (Jake Hyde 74)

Unused subs: Christian Smith, Nana Owusu

Goals: Clifton 81, Marks 88

Bookings: Massey 38, Comley 62, Upward 94

Referee: Carl Brook

Attendance: 1,301

Man of the Match: Kane Ferdinand. In spite of a pitch that physically refused to let players pass the ball, he was crucial for Woking’s ball retention on more than one occasion, and matched Charles-Cook’s exceptional work rate to make several key interceptions and tackles throughout the game.
Maidenhead United LINEUP
1Carl Pentney
24Jake Goodman
3Rene Steer
5Alan Massey
8James Comley ('80)
4Harold Odametey
14Harry Pritchard
7Moses Emmanuel ('74)
20Max Kilman ('80)
19Ryan Upward
9Sean Marks
25Christian Smith
11Sam Barratt ('80)
17Adrian Clifton ('80)
12Nana Owusu
10Jake Hyde ('74)
1Nathan Baxter
21Matt Young
2Louis Ramsay
5Josh Staunton
15Jordan Wynter
8Chez Isaac ('90)
22Kane Ferdinand
12Charlie Carter
11Regan Charles-Cook ('77)
20Reece Grego-Cox
9Louie Theophanous ('67)
18Sam Mason
4Joey Jones ('90)
14Fabio Saraiva
23Anthony Cook ('77)
29Jonny Edwards ('67)

Maidenhead United 2 - 1 Woking (Jason Goodliffe Interview)

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