Lovetts
Friendly
1:30pm - SaturdaySat 14th JulyJul 2018
Gander Green Lane | Att: 286

Sutton
Sutton United
0 - 0

Woking
Woking

Cards travel to Spelthorne and Sutton for pre-season double header

Glen Harrington
12:00am, Fri 13th Jul 2018
Spelthorne Sports vs Woking,
followed by Sutton United vs Woking
Pre-Season Friendlies
Saturday 14th July 2018


The Cards play pre-season games three and four on Saturday as they make consecutive short journeys to minnows Spelthorne Sports and long-time National League and National League South rivals Sutton United.

Alan Dowson’s side have one win and one defeat to show from their first two weeks of pre-season with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Fleet Town followed by a 3-1 defeat to League One side AFC Wimbledon in Giuseppe Sole’s appreciation match. Trialist Paul Hodges scored the Cards’ consolation against the Dons and he will likely be amongst those looking to impress again this weekend alongside the already contracted players.

Woking

Dowse had 19 players in his squad on Tuesday evening, in addition to Sole, with nine trialists on display. Only two of those trialists, former Sutton full-back Dan Spence and ex-Hull City striker Greg Luer, started the game. The Cards lined up with Sam Mason in goal, deputising for Berti Schotterl, a back four of Spence, new signing Josh Casey, Ian Gayle and Jack Cook, a midfield of Fabio Saraiva and Nathan Collier, with Luer, Sole and Nicky Wheeler playing behind Duane Ofori-Acheampong.

In addition to Declan Appau, making his first appearance since January after his comeback from injury, and academy goalkeeper Peter Arnold, substitutes included former Reading striker Nic Bignall, last with Hungerford; experienced forward Chris Dickson, a former Ghana international who has been a regular scorer for Chelmsford City in recent seasons; highly-rated Hartley Wintney midfielder Hodges, scorer on Tuesday; giant German Brandon Diau, who can play both centre-back and up front; midfielder James Dale, a regular in the Scottish leagues with Forfar and Brechin; Kofi Halliday, a former Aldershot youth team striker who has spent time in Sweden; and Samson Maagbe, a winger last with Kettering Town.

Charlie Wassmer and Christian Jolley were still not fit to start on Tuesday following their play-off run with Hampton and Richmond whilst Reggie Young was away with his family. The latter, at least, should be back to play some part on Saturday.

Spelthorne Sports and Sutton United

Woking’s first friendly of the day, starting at midday, is against ninth tier side Spelthorne, who finished tenth in the Combined Counties Premier League last season, some 47 points behind champions, and our near neighbours, Westfield – who we face in just under two weeks’ time.

Kicking off at the earlier time of 1.30pm, the Cards then take on familiar foes in Sutton United, who will provide a stern test for Dowse’s side after only missing out on promotion from the National League through the play-offs last season. The U’s have been familiar opponents for Woking during both their time in National League South and the National League over the last decade and there will be few surprises when the two teams lock horns again on Saturday at Gander Green Lane.

Sutton, managed by Paul Doswell, scored an impressive 2-0 win over newly promoted League One side Coventry City last weekend and the Cards will need to be at their best to get a result. The Sutton squad includes a number of familiar names, including ex-Woking players Aswad Thomas and Ross Lafayette. New signings thus far include former Forest Green Rovers duo Dale Bennett and Charlie Clough, but generally they look to be keeping the core of last season’s successful squad together, no doubt in the hope of challenging at the top end of the table once again.

Please get along to see one of the games if you can and cheer on the team ahead of England’s match with Belgium which kicks off later in the day.

Honours even for Cards in Surrey derby

Alex Wright
12:00am, Sat 14th Jul 2018
Sutton United 0 Woking 0
Pre-Season Friendly
14th July 2018

Woking held local rivals Sutton United to a creditable goalless draw in a match played in baking hot conditions on the 3G pitch at Gander Green Lane.

Chances were few and far between, although substitute Carl Stewart spurned a great opportunity to snatch it at the end.

But at least manager Alan Dowson had another chance to run the rule over his latest batch of trialists as the squad starts to take shape.

It’s hard to believe that only three seasons ago Woking were the top non-league club in Surrey and a division above rivals Sutton.

Now Woking find themselves trying to get out of the National South at the first attempt after relegation last term while Sutton will be looking to go one step further and get promoted to the Football League after making the National play-offs last season.

Having brought in Dowson in the summer, the Cards have made wholesale changes, bringing in players from Dowson’s former club Hampton & Richmond, Dartford and Billericay Town, while most of last year’s squad have departed.

This was the second game of a double header, the first of which saw Woking beat Spellthorne Sports 2-0, with Dowson racing over at half-time to watch the remainder of the Sutton match.

Previous pre-season games had yielded a 3-0 win over Fleet Town and a 3-1 loss to AFC Wimbledon in Gez Sole’s testimonial.

Starting with a 4-4-2 formation, Woking were boosted by the signing of Max Kretzschmar the evening before, returning for his second spell with the club after a stint with Hampton & Richmond.

Dowson also handed starts to ex-Sutton right back Dan Spence, former Kettering Town winger Samson Maagbe and ex-Hull City striker Greg Luer.

Former Watford midfielder Stewart, ex-Forfar and Brechin midfielder James Dale, Hartley Wintney midfielder Paul Hodges and former Reading and Hungerford front man Nic Bignall were also on the bench.

The biggest surprise, however, was the inclusion of Kane Ferdinand, a mainstay in Woking’s midfield last season, but who has yet to sign a contract.
The first chance came in the third minute when Sutton’s Tom Bolarinwa whipped in a dangerous cross from the right which former Card Harry Beautyman narrowly failed to connect with.

After a quiet opening quarter Dowson’s arrival just before the half-hour mark spurred Woking into action.

Moments later Kretzschmar played a defence splitting pass through to the sharp Luer who brought a superb one-handed save from Sutton keeper Jamie Butler that went behind for a corner.

Kretzschmar was at the heart of the action again four minutes later after making space for himself on the edge of the box but his shot sailed over.

With the first half drawing to a close Sutton’s Tommy Wright flashed a long range effort just wide but keeper Jake Hallett, borrowed from Sutton for the match, was never in any danger.

Half-time: Sutton United 0 Woking 0

Sutton rang the changes after the break, bringing on former Cards favourite Aswad Thomas, Dean Beckwith, Kenny Davis, Nicky Bailey and Craig Dundas, on his 500th appearance for the club.

Thomas made an immediate impact, swinging in a corner across the face of goal but the opportunity went begging.

Woking reacted by bringing on Hodges for Maagbe and Bignall for Kretzschmar in the 50th minute with Nick Wheeler switching to the right wing.

Thomas, though, was at it again moments later, this time with Beckwith connecting, but he could only head his chance wide.

Dowson completed his compliment of substitutes by bringing on Dale and Stewart for Ferdinand and Luer respectively in the 58th minute.

With the match entering the closing stages, Spence whipped in a smart cross from the right which was met by Bignall but he headed wide after being muscled out by Beckwith.

Jamie Collins then hung up a deep cross for Ross Lafayette, but the ex-Cards man was well marshalled by Ian Gayle and the chance passed.

In a dramatic finale, Bolarinwa was put through only to see his shot strike the foot of the post and the rebound by Dan Wishart was went comfortably over.

Woking had a golden opportunity to win it in the 85th minute when Collins was caught napping by Bignall.

Trying to round the keeper, Bignall was tackled and the ball fell to Stewart who blasted his chance wide with the goal at his mercy.

Not too disheartened by the late miss, Dowson declared himself happy the overall performance, having gone toe to toe with Sutton.

He also revealed that Luer has agreed a contract and he expects to bring in another striker next week.

He is also on the lookout for another midfielder.

There’s still a long way to go before the start of the season but this was a good test for Woking against a Sutton side with big aspirations for the forthcoming season.

Woking: 1 Jake Hallett, Dan Spence, 3 Josh Casey, 5 Jack Cook, 6 Nathan Collier (C), 7 Samson Maagbe (15 Paul Hodges 50’), 8 Kane Ferdinand (12 James Dale 58’), 9 Greg Luer (16 Carl Stewart 58’), 10 Max Kretzschmar (17 Nic Bignall 50’), 11 Nick Wheeler, 14 Ian Gayle

Unused subs: None

Goals: None

Bookings: None

Sutton United: 1 Jamie Butler, 2 Dale Bennett (3 Aswad Thomas 45’), 5 Charlie Clough (4 Dean Beckwith 45’), 6 Jamie Collins (C), 7 Tom Bolarinwa, 9 Ross Lafayette, 11 Kieron Cadogan (16 Nicky Bailey 45’), 15 Craig Eastmond, 19 Harry Beautyman (8 Kenny Davis 45’), 20 Tommy Wright (14 Craig Dundas 45’), 21 Dan Wishart

Unused subs: Seb Brown

Goals: None

Bookings: None

Referee: Paul Johnson

Attendance: 286

Man of the Match: Nathan Collier. Led from the front with a typically dogged display, breaking up play in the middle of the park and was the start of many of Woking’s best attacks

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