Woking News & Mail
VNLS
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 25th AugustAug 2018
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 1574

Woking
Woking
3 - 1

Truro City
Truro City

Cards looking to maintain strong start to the season

Glen Harrington
12:00am, Thu 23rd Aug 2018
Woking vs Truro City
National League South
Saturday 25th August


Alan Dowson’s Woking side will look to make it five wins from six matches on Saturday and keep pace with early pacesetters Billericay Town and Concord Rangers at the top of the National League South table.

The Cards returned to winning ways on Saturday, having seen their winning streak ended by Wealdstone the previous Monday, as goals from Max Kretzschmar – his third of the season – and Duane Ofori-Acheampong gave Dowse and his side a 2-0 win over the previously undefeated Hemel Hempstead Town.

It’s Truro City next up; like Hemel, the Cornish side finished in the play-off places last season, but in contrast to the Tudors they’ve endured a tough few weeks since the campaign got underway – forced into a late groundshare with league rivals Torquay United on the eve of the season, followed soon after by the departure of their manager Lee Hodges after just two games, and three fixtures later they are still without a win and without a manager – midfielder Ben Harding in interim charge.

Despite their difficulties the core of the team which finished seventh last season still remains and thus shouldn’t be underestimated. A late comeback draw with Welling United last weekend, a result which earned the White Tigers their third point of the season, was further proof of their ability. So come along to Kingfield if you can and enjoy what should be a great game!

Woking Team News

The Cards made five changes last weekend from the side beaten 1-0 at Wealdstone – in came Ofori-Acheampong, replacing Jake Hyde, for his first start of the season; both wingers were changed with Reggie Young and Greg Luer replacing Nicky Wheeler and Paul Hodges; at the back Jack Cook made his Woking debut in place of Kiran Khinda-John; whilst Nathan Collier moved to right-back, Daniel Spence dropping out, allowing new loan signing Armani Little to start in midfield.

Spence is set to miss out again, with his suspension from his red card at Wealdstone kicking in, whilst Fabio Saraiva has moved to Merstham on loan, but otherwise Dowse could have a near full squad to pick from. It remains to be seen whether the likes of Hyde, Christian Jolley and Charlie Wassmer – still without an appearance this season – are fit in time to make the squad, but Dowse suggested after the Hemel game that all three were close to returning. Indeed, Wassmer started for the Under 23s on Thursday evening alongside teammates Sam Mason and Declan Appau.

Truro City Team News

Ben Harding’s side was set-up defensively against Welling. In goal was former Woking loanee Jojo Wollacott playing behind a back five of Austen Booth, Jamie Richards, Edward Palmer, Alex Hartridge and Connor Riley-Lowe, in midfield was Lloyd Gardner and William Palfrey, whilst the forward line included Niall Thompson, Tyler Harvey and veteran Jon Paul-Pittman, currently on loan from Torquay, but perhaps best known for his time with Crawley Town and Grimsby Town.

Against Welling, Truro’s goals came from Thompson and substitute Jared Lewington who scored a 90th minute equaliser in a 2-2 draw.

Last Time Out

Woking 3-3 Truro City (National League South – Saturday 21st April 2012)

With the Cards having already clinched the league title away at Maidenhead Untied seven days earlier they were always likely to have one eye on the upcoming trophy presentation and so it proved as the final home game of the season became a prelude to celebratory end-of-season scenes. Paris Cowan-Hall and Giuseppe Sole, towards the end of his record-braking scoring run, gave the hosts an early advantage but Truro fought back through Andy Watkins. Cowan-Hall restored the two goal lead before Arran Pugh and, four minutes from time, Les Afful snatched a point for the visitors.

Admission Prices

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

Our matchday programme 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

The Cards travel to Eastbourne Borough on Bank Holiday Monday. Our next home game is then against league leaders Billericay Town the following Saturday. A trip to second-placed Concord Rangers follows a week later.

Dowse continues to play his Cards right; third turnaround in 6 for Woking

Ben Musgrove
12:00am, Sat 25th Aug 2018
Woking 3 Truro City 1​​
Vanarama National League South​​​
25th August 2018​ ​​

Woking’s inability to open the scoring in games so far this season has thrown up a number of interesting scenarios for manager Alan Dowson to negotiate, and it seems that the ex-Hampton & Richmond manager is very good at getting results from these positions. The new man at the helm can boast five wins from six at the start of his “dream job�, thanks to a very strong response to his side’s first half performance against Truro City. Going in at 1-0 down thanks to a corner converted by visiting captain Jamie Richards, Woking stormed back to win the game 3-1 through goals from Kane Ferdinand and Jack Cook, with a late missed penalty from Max Kretzschmar barely managing to smear the icing atop a pretty delicious cake.

With a number of injuries to first team players including Charlie Wassmer, Christian Jolley and Jake Hyde, the Woking eleven saw only one change from the side that dispatched Hemel Hempstead last week, with Nicky Wheeler starting on the left wing ahead of teenage talent Reggie Young. Loanee Armani Little retained his place in the side after an exciting debut, whilst utility man Nathan Collier continued at right back in light of Dan Spence’s red card at Wealdstone.

The visitors offered an interesting prospect for the Cards to deal with; despite being yet to win this season, Truro have forced creditable draws against Eastbourne Borough and Welling United, and had only lost twice in their previous five matches. Their matchday squad included Jojo Wollacott in goal, known to Woking fans from a short loan spell at Kingfield last season, and John-Paul Pittman, who played against Woking twice last season for Truro’s arch-rivals Torquay United.

Given Woking’s inability to score first of late, fans will have been very frustrated to see a golden opportunity go begging within a minute of Short and sharp passing around the edge of the box ended up slipping captain Josh Casey in one-on-one on the edge of the six-yard box, but the fullback looked every inch the defender in front of goal; his cross-cum-shot failed to test Wollacott or to find Duane Ofori-Acheampong at the far post, trickling out for a goal kick.

Minutes later, Woking were made to pay for their early profligacy. Truro’s first corner of the game was met with a sliced clearance that invited further pressure, and from their second, they were ahead. Despite the height of the Woking backline, a vicious delivery from the right-hand side flew through the box unchallenged, and the unmarked centre-back Jamie Richards was on hand to demonstrate to Casey how defenders can finish, heading in from just a few yards out.

Winded by the sucker punch, Woking could do little more than try to snuff out probing attacks from Truro in the opening stages. The shape of the visitors, transitioning seamlessly from a 4-4-2 when defending into a 3-5-2 when in possession, gave them two target men to hit in Tyler Harvey and Jared Lewington whilst keeping the Cardinals quiet. Harvey was the most dangerous outlet in the first half, first forcing a great low save from Schotterl shortly after the goal before having a dangerous effort blocked from the edge of the box, after Niall Thompson managed to get the better of Ian Gayle. Corners also continued to be a problem, with the deliveries of Thompson and fellow winger Alex Hartridge not being decisively dealt with.

Woking, in contrast, were failing to get into the box at all. The forward line of Nicky Wheeler, Greg Luer and Ofori-Acheampong looked static, whilst the midfield struggled to press Truro’s midfield into turning over possession. The only moments of clear danger came from free kicks by Max Kretzschmar, but resulting efforts from Luer and Gayle did little to test Wollacott in the City goal.

After the half-hour mark, the game became something of a battle of attrition. Woking were increasingly able to get to grips with the Truro attack, but were wasteful in possession and some players seemed to find themselves waiting for someone else to take the game by the scruff of the neck. Indeed, Woking’s best move of the half saw great linkup between Kretzschmar, Ofori-Acheampong and Wheeler around the penalty area, only for Ofori-Acheampong and Luer to let the chance go begging as they assumed the other would shoot.

The half time whistle gave the home side a much-needed opportunity to change their performance for the better. For the defensive improvements they had made, Woking had barely tested the visitors in their third, and a quiet Kingfield crowd shared the team’s frustration as they headed down the tunnel. Hard work would be needed to turn over an unsatisfactory scoreline.

Half-time: Woking 0 – 1 Truro City

Woking made two changes at half-time, due to a combination of injury and tactics. Greg Luer made way after a disappointing first-half display for the young Paul Hodges (pictured above, with Dowse) whilst an injury to Ian Gayle saw the introduction of Kiran Khinda-John at centre-back. Truro remained unchanged, looking to capitalise on the half-chances and defensive solidity they had shown in the first half.

Fortunately for the Cards fans, if the first half was tepid, the start to the second was blistering. Woking’s previous reticence to shoot had been done away with; within a few minutes of kickoff Armani Little hammered a swerving drive from range that Wollacott did well to beat away, before Casey came closer from twenty-five yards than he had done from eight, whipping an effort just beyond the top corner.

There was also a fresh positivity in the movement of the Woking front three – particularly Ofori-Acheampong, whose work-rate and strength made him a dangerous focal point for the entire half – and this allowed the wide men to start firing in dangerous crosses. Fans attending Woking’s 2-1 home defeat to Barrow last season may well remember Wollacott’s performance, where he was bullied in the air by tall opposition due to a reticence to come off his line, but the former loanee did very well to claw out a Wheeler cross from under the bar before a second delivery was sent wide by a mistimed Ferdinand header.

Truro struggled to get out of the traps, creating very little of note in the first twenty-five minutes of the second half despite the introduction of Jordan Copp into the midfield in an effort to sure things up. Their 3-5-2 had largely been abandoned due to a lack of possession, and the introduction of Hodges was proving problematic for their right-hand side, with the youngster a bundle of energy against slower defenders.

That right side would prove to be the source of the equaliser, as Truro gave away a cheap free kick a few yards from their corner flag. Kretzschmar's delivery, whipped in towards the near post, took a small but crucial flick-on from Hodges to guide it into the onrushing combination of Ofori-Achampong and Kane Ferdinand, with the latter stubbing the ball over the line to level things up.

Having been rewarded for their efforts, Woking refused to let up their dominance, and arguably should’ve been playing ten men when a counter-attack just a minute later was broken up by a cynical foul from fullback Billy Palfrey. The referee, perhaps realising that Palfrey was already on a yellow, opted not to book the former Plymouth man.

Whilst a questionable decision, it may also have contributed to Woking taking the lead, which they did just two minutes later. Again it came down the Truro right – Palfrey’s side – as Woking forced a corner, and Kretzschmar's devastating cross from the right whipped over the defender’s head to be met by the towering Jack Cook, who crashed a header into the net at Wollacott’s near post. The Cards had taken the lead after going behind for the third time in six games.


Jack Cook's shot nestles in the corner of the net


Having turned the game on its head, Woking were looking for a third to kill the game off. Efforts from Wheeler and Ofori-Achampong both eluded the far post, whilst the visitors scrambled to make changes in an effort to create more danger. The introduction of Louis Rooney and John-Paul Pitman, the latter of whom scored on this ground for Grimsby two years ago, gave Truro fresh legs up front.

Within sixty seconds of their introduction, however, Woking had breathing space. Another foul by Palfrey gave Woking a free kick down the Truro right, and despite the petulance and timewasting of one-man wall Jordan Copp – for which he was booked - Kretzschmar's delivery was superb again. His low drive left Wollacott stranded on his line, and Jack Cook was able to stab the ball through the keeper’s legs for an unlikely brace.

The goal killed the game for some of the Truro players who’d been working hard to create a turnaround, with their only chance of note claimed by Schotterl before Rooney could sneak in at the back post. Long throws from both sides played into the hands of the exceptionally tall centre-back pairing of Khinda-John and Cook, and now that Woking’s midfield and forward lines were working hard and keeping a better shape, the visitors struggled to create when the ball was on the ground. Reggie Young was introduced with ten minutes to go to take advantage of Truro’s attacking commitments, replacing Nicky Wheeler who left the pitch to a standing ovation from the Leslie Gosden stand.

As the game ticked into added time, Woking should have had a fourth. Yet another corner fell to a Cards player in the form of Paul Hodges, who evaded one tackle before Palfrey’s umpteenth foul of the day sent the tricky winger tumbling in the box for a penalty. Kretzschmar stepped up to take the spot kick, but his exceptional penalty record was blemished by a fabulous low stop from Wollacott, diving low to his right to drive the penalty away.

Despite this minor disappointment, the final whistle blew minutes later to confirm a superb turnaround from the Cardinals. Once again Dowson’s men struggled to find their feet initially, only to demonstrate their quality with a second half of energy and quality to secure the result. If Woking are able to capture the quality they’ve shown in the second half of games like St. Alban’s and today’s match, then Cards fans will be in for a very exciting season indeed.

Woking: 1. Berti Schotterl, 2. Nathan Collier, 3. Josh Casey ©, 4. Jack Cook, 5. Ian Gayle (Kiran Khinda-John ’45), 6. Kane Ferdinand, 7. Greg Luer (Paul Hodges ’45), 8. Armani Little, 9. Duane Ofori-Acheampong, 10. Max Kretzschmar, 11. Nicky Wheeler (Reggie Young ’80)

Unused subs: 16 Declan Appau, 17 Sam Mason

Goals: Ferdinand 64’, Cook 67’, 77’

Bookings: Ferdinand 80’

Truro City 1. Jojo Wollacott, 17. Billy Palfrey, 4. Ed Palmer, 6. Jamie Richards ©, 15. Alex Hartridge, 18. Austen Booth (Louis Rooney ’74), 3. Connor Riley-Lowe, 11. Lloyd Gardner (Jordan Copp ’58), 9 Tyler Harvey (John Paul-Pitman ‘74), 19 Jared Lewington, 2 Niall Thompson

Unused subs: 5 Paul Bignot, 12 Max Smallcombe

Goals: Richards 6’

Bookings: Palfrey, Copp

Referee: Matthew Russell

Attendance: 1,574

Man of the Match: Paul Hodges. It’s no surprise that the sponsors choice was one of the key players in changing Woking’s play between halves, even though he played half the game! A constant bundle of energy, he won the header to assist Ferdinand’s equaliser, and the late penalty that he won would’ve capped the perfect 45 if it has been converted.
WOKING LINEUP
1Berti Schotterl
2Nathan Collier
3Josh Casey
4Jack Cook
5Ian Gayle ('46)
6Kane Ferdinand
7Greg Luer ('46)
8Armani Little
9Duane Ofori-Acheampong
10Max Kretzschmar
11Nicky Wheeler ('80)
BENCH
12Kiran Khinda-John ('46)
14Reggie Young ('80)
15Paul Hodges ('46)
16Declan Appau
18Sam Mason
Truro City LINEUP
1Jojo Wollacott
17Billy Palfrey
4Ed Palmer
6Jamie Richards
15Alex Hartridge
18Austen Booth ('74)
3Connor Riley-Lowe
11Lloyd Gardner ('58)
9Tyler Harvey ('74)
19Jared Lewington
2Niall Thompson
BENCH
5Paul Bignot
14Jon-Paul Pittman ('74)
10Louis Rooney ('74)
20Jordan Copp ('58)
12Max Smallcombe

Woking 3 - 1 Truro City | Dowse Interview

Woking 3 - 1 Truro City | Paul Hodges Interview

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