3:00pm - SaturdaySat 11th AugustAug 2018
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 1502

3 - 2

Oxford City
Oxford City

Cards looking to build on thrilling comeback and maintain perfect start

Glen Harrington
12:00am, Thu 9th Aug 2018
Woking vs Oxford City
National League South
Saturday 11th August

After two dramatic finishes – first, the late penalty at East Thurrock United on the opening day, and then Tuesday evening’s superb comeback at home to St Albans – Alan Dowson’s side are on the verge of achieving something the Cards haven’t managed since 1989 – winning three consecutive league matches to start the season.

Oxford City are the team looking to prevent Woking’s new manager from getting off to the best possible start, and after kicking off their own campaign with just one point and no goals from their first two games, they’ll be extremely keen to start putting things right at the Laithwaite Community Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The last time the Cards managed to win their first two games of a new season was during the 2011/12 promotion campaign, when 5-0 victories over Sutton United and Hampton and Richmond Borough respectively, were followed by back-to-back goalless draws against Boreham Wood and Eastleigh.

Dowse will no doubt be hoping to go one better this weekend so come along if you can and cheer on the team to what we hope will be another three points!

Woking Team News

Dowse looks set to have almost a full squad to pick from on Saturday with Jack Cook and Duane Ofori-Acheampong now ready to make their first starts after picking up knocks in pre-season. Declan Appau is also available but Charlie Wassmer is still not fully fit.

To add to the manager’s selection headache, Reggie Young and Paul Hodges were once again the difference makers on Tuesday evening, as their pace and direct running caused a tiring St Albans defence no end of problems – with Ben Herd eventually paying the price and picking up a second yellow card. After two substitute appearances apiece both will be hoping to start.

That will naturally mean that Nicky Wheeler and Greg Luer, who replaced Fabio Saraiva last time out, could see their places under threat, whilst Dowse could also choose to rest striker Jake Hyde, whose endless running and fine hold-up play was eventually rewarded with Tuesday’s equalising goal. Match winner Ian Gayle has looked solid alongside Nathan Collier in a makeshift centre-back pairing thus far, but with a game at Wealdstone little more than 48 hours later, at least one could make way for the returning Cook.

Oxford City Team News

City have had a tough start to the new season, opening their campaign with a 0-0 draw against Eastbourne Borough, before being beaten 1-0 by Gloucester City in mid-week.

Against the Tigers, manager Mark Jones selected Craig King in goal; a back three of Udoka Godwin-Malife, Luke Ruddick and former Aldershot Town defender Joe Oastler, supported by wing-backs Eddie Jones and former Woking loanee Ben Jefford; in midfield was Zacariah McEachran, Reece Fleet and key man Rob Sinclair, who made over 100 appearances in three successful years with Forest Green Rovers and scored eight times for City from midfield last season.

Up front was Congolese forward Kabongo Tshimanga, who had some success with Boston United last year, and star player Matt Paterson who scored 28 in all competitions last season including 22 in the National League South – where he finished as joint second top scorer.

Last Time Out

Woking 1-0 Oxford City (FA Trophy – Saturday 6th February 2016)

In one of the Cards’ more memorable FA Trophy runs over the last few years, a run which was eventually halted by Grimsby Town at the quarter-final stage, a single Joe Quigley goal was enough to see off a dogged Oxford City side. Garry Hill’s team sat sixth in the National League at the time of this game but would lose their next seven league matches to fall away from play-off contention and other than two Surrey Senior Cup victories wouldn’t win again in any competition until mid-April. The Cards will be confident of avoiding a similar run this time around!

Admission Prices

• Adults £15
• Over 65s £10
• Disabled (Including carer) £10
• Students (U19) £5
• U16s £5

Our matchday programme, ‘Cardinals’, will be on sale for £3. Don’t forget to grab your copy on the way in! You’ll also be able to visit the club shop for more great offers.

Next Up

There will barely be time for Dowse and his team to assess Saturday’s result and performance before the next match gets started. The Cards travel to Wealdstone on Monday evening before taking on early pacesetters Hemel Hempstead Town the following Saturday. Our next home game is against Truro City on Saturday 25th August.

Cards Edge Home as Winning Start Continues

Adam Leary
12:00am, Sat 11th Aug 2018
Woking 3 Oxford City 2
‘Vanarama National League South
‘11th August 2018

Woking secured their 3rd win of the National League South season after a topsy-turvy 90 minutes against obdurate opponents Oxford City. Whilst the result will gladden the hearts of Cards fans everywhere, in truth this was a somewhat laboured display from Alan Dowson’s side, who will probably perform better at times during the course of the campaign and fail to claim all three points.

Coming into this match looking to win their first three matches of a season for the first time since before the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989), the Cards made one change from the starting line-up on Tuesday night, with Reggie Young being rewarded for his two exciting cameos with a full debut, replacing Nicky Wheeler on the left hand side of midfield.

Kicking off attacking the Kingfield Road End in mercifully cooler conditions than a week earlier; Dan Spence, Ian Gayle, Nathan Collier and Josh Casey lined up in a back four ahead of Berti Schotterl in goal. Kane Ferdinand and Christian Jolley provided a central midfield platform for the more advanced Greg Luer on the right, Reggie Young on the left, and Max Kretzschmar through the middle, with Jake Hyde operating as a lone striker.

Woking started fairly brightly, without ever really imposing themselves on the visitors, who came into this match without a goal and with only a single point picked up from their opening two matches. Most of the enterprising play for the hosts came through Young, showing good trickery and quick feet enabling him to win a couple of free kicks from the left hand side.

However it was Oxford who took the lead in the 17th minute. Jolley was muscled off the ball and Rob Sinclair played a through ball which bisected the Card’s centre back pairing finding Matt Paterson clear on the edge of the box. Schotterl got a touch to the ball with his left boot but couldn’t prevent it from looping into the net.

The Cards struggled to get their passing game going, Hyde cutting an isolated figure up front and the visitors keeping Woking at arms-length, restricting Woking to speculative long balls and crosses from deep, which did not really threaten.

Three minutes from the interval, Woking were handed a route back into the match as they sought to end the half with some of the momentum that was sadly missing for most of the opening period. Not for the first time in the half, Reggie Young was fouled on the left hand edge of the area, and, whilst Kretzschmar’s free kick was initially cleared, Luer’s cross struck the arm of Josh Ashby. The Kingfield Road End and Cards players appealed in unison, and the referee pointed to the spot. Kretzschmar, who successfully converted from 12 yards at East Thurrock, made no mistake, sending King the wrong way and firing into the centre of the goal.

Half-time: Woking 1 Oxford City 1

Neither manager made any changes at half time, although Dowson did send the Woking players out early for the second half, presumably following some strong words in the home dressing room. Despite this, again Woking struggled to find any fluency and tempo to their play in the opening stages after the break. Oxford had the first chance of the second period, Paterson’s right footed free kick well dealt with by Schotterl. At the other end, Young managed to skip clear of his full back and break promisingly down the left towards the box; unfortunately his pull back evaded the on-rushing Ferdinand and the visitors were able to clear.

In the 55th minute Dowson made the first of two game-changing substitutions. Greg Luer, who had been starved of the ball, was replaced by Paul Hodges (pictured above, with Alan Dowson). Kretzschmar shifted to the right hand side, allowing Hodges to influence the game from a central position. 4 minutes later the Cards boss made a further change, Kiran Khinda-John replacing Jolley, with Collier stepping into midfield after the substitute slotted in at centre back. This move worked out well for Woking, Collier able to impose himself physically in the middle of midfield and provide a foothold from which to build attacks more easily.

On the hour mark, the Cards took the lead. Jake Hyde held the ball up well, played in Hodges, who worked the ball left to Young. Young’s scuffed shot was met by the sliding Hyde from inside the six yard box. This was the definition of a poacher’s goal and the second of the season for the striker.

Just two minutes later though, Woking gifted Oxford an equaliser. The home defence was caught napping from a short corner and Hyde rather desperately tripped his man. The referee, Mr Skipper, pointed to the spot for the second time. Paterson stepped up to bag a brace, making no mistake from the spot.

The equaliser flattened the atmosphere around the ground, and Woking toiled to regain lost momentum. Oxford were perhaps fortunate in the 68th minute not to go down to ten men. Kabongo Tshimanga, on a yellow card through an earlier booking, fouled Casey, the referee opting not to dish out further punishment.

However, in the 76th minute, Oxford did lose a player to a red card – former Woking loanee Ben Jefford sent off for a second booking for a foul on Hodges. 2 minutes later, the Cards made their numerical advantage count. A chipped ball over the top, looking for Hodges, saw the goalkeeper King rush out of his box. Whilst dealing with the initial danger, the keeper wasn’t able to clear convincingly. The ball fell to Hodges, then to Collier, with the crowd urging the Woking players to shoot with the keeper way out of his area. Collier showed composure to work the ball wide to the right to Kretzschmar, who floated a superb cross which the defender stretched to reach but could only divert to Hodges who slotted home into the empty net, to the delight of the home supporters. This was a special moment for the youngster, scoring his first goal for his boyhood club.

Paul Hodges secures Woking’s winner in a dramatic finish (pic: David Holmes)

Dowson made a final change in the 85th minute, Nicky Wheeler coming on to replace Reggie Young. Luke Ruddick was then shown two yellow cards in the space of a minute; a heavy challenge on Kretzschmar was followed shortly after by the centre back pulling Hyde down when he was through on goal. Oxford were forced to play with nine men for the remaining four minutes, plus five minutes of stoppage time.

The Cards were comfortable in seeing the game out but, in truth, this was a somewhat disjointed performance in the main, with Alan Dowson making it plain in his post-match interviews that an improvement in performance will be needed in the Card’s next match, on Monday, at Wealdstone.

Woking: 1 Berti Schotterl, 2 Daniel Spence, 3 Josh Casey ©, 4 Christian Jolley (12 Kiran Khinda-John 59’), 5 Ian Gayle, 6 Nathan Collier, 7 Greg Luer (14 Paul Hodges 55’), 8 Kane Ferdinand, 9 Jake Hyde, 10 Max Kretzschmar, 11 Reggie Young (16 Nicky Wheeler 85’)

Unused subs: 15 Fabio Saraiva, 18 Sam Mason

Goals: Max Kretzschmar (pen) 42’, Jake Hyde 59’, Paul Hodges ’77.

Bookings: Kane Ferdinand 27’, Daniel Spence 88’…

Oxford City 1 Craig King, 2 Udoka Godwin-Malife, 3 Ben Jefford, 4 Josh Ashby, 5 Luke Ruddick, 6 Joe Oastler ©, Zac McEachran, 8 Reece Fleet, 9 Matt Paterson, 10 Rob Sinclair (15 Eze Ibrahim 83’), 11 Kabongo Tshimanga (14 Kyran Wiltshire 71’)

Unused subs: 12 Eddie Jones, 16 Craig Fasanmade, 17 Arti Krasniqi

Goals: Matt Paterson 17’, (pen) 62’

Bookings: Udoka Godwin-Malife, Ben Jefford, Kabongo Tshimanga, Luke Ruddick

Sent off: Ben Jefford 76’, Luke Ruddick 86’

Referee: Dean Skipper

Attendance: 1,502

Man of the Match: Paul Hodges (Sponsor’s Choice)
1Berti Schotterl
2Daniel Spence
3Josh Casey
4Christian Jolley ('59)
5Ian Gayle
6Nathan Collier
7Greg Luer ('55)
8Kane Ferdinand
9Jake Hyde
10Max Kretzschmar
11Reggie Young ('85)
12Kiran Khinda-John ('59)
14Paul Hodges ('55)
15Fabio Saraiva
16Nicky Wheeler ('85)
18Sam Mason
Oxford City LINEUP
1Craig King
2Udoka Godwin-Malife
3Ben Jefford
4Joshua Ashby
5Luke Ruddick
6Joseph Oastler
7Zacariah McEachran
8Reece Fleet
9Matthew Paterson
10Robert Sinclair ('83)
11Kabongo Tshimanga ('71)
12Edward Jones
14Kyran Wiltshire ('71)
15Abraham Eze ('83)
16Craig Fasanmade
17Arti Krasniai

Woking 3 - 2 Oxford City | Dowse Interview

Woking 3 - 2 Oxford City | Paul Hodges Interview

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