FA Trophy (R1)
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 15th DecemberDec 2018
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 1245

1 - 1

Maidstone United
Maidstone United

Cards ready for intriguing test against National League opposition

Glen Harrington
10:22am, Fri 14th Dec 2018
Woking vs Maidstone United
The Buildbase FA Trophy
Saturday 14th December

The Cards will have another opportunity to test the extent of the club’s recent progress on Saturday as they host National League strugglers Maidstone United at the Laithwaite Community Stadium.

Alan Dowson’s side are flying after winning seven consecutive games spanning four different competitions while the Cards have in fact only lost once in any fixture since mid-September. However, Dowse and his team will face a stern test if they are to progress past the first-round proper of this season’s FA Trophy, with Maidstone likely to prove tough opposition despite their relative struggles in the division above.

The Stones, who finished 19th in the National League last season to narrowly avoid relegation, are having another tough year and currently sit in 23rd place – four points adrift of safety and with just 19 points from their 23 games so far. Long-serving manager Jay Saunders was dismissed in August and replaced by former Billericay Town boss Harry Wheeler who has so far struggled to spark a major upturn in the club’s fortunes. In fact, they’ve lost their last four games in all competitions, suffering defeats at the hands of Barrow, Eastleigh and Havant and Waterlooville in the league whilst also going out of the FA Cup after a 2-0 home defeat to League 2 side Oldham Athletic.

Maidstone certainly aren’t to be underestimated however, they’ve produced some fine cup results this season, beating Leyton Orient and Macclesfield Town, whilst they’ve scored four on each of their last two visits to Kingfield – winning 4-2 with a Jamar Loza hat-trick in 2017 before an incredible 4-4 draw back in January.

We hope as many fans as possible will come along and support the team this weekend!

Woking Team News

Dowse will be forced into a minimum of two changes this weekend. Armani Little’s loan deal from Oxford United has ended after running for the maximum three-month term, although the midfielder could re-join the club during the January transfer window, should all parties agree to an extension. Jamar Loza, who scored a hat-trick against Weston-super-Mare last weekend, will also be unavailable against his parent club whilst Charlie Wassmer will likewise be unable to play for the Stones having recently joined them on a one-month loan deal.

The Cards could turn to youngster Charlie Hester-Cook to fill the gap in midfield alongside Toby Edser and Christian Jolley in midfield or, alternatively, Max Kretzschmar could drop into a deeper role with either Nicky Wheeler or Paul Hodges coming in further up the pitch. Greg Luer is another option for Dowse as he looks to replace Loza out wide, as is new signing Noel Leighton, who joined the Cards this week on a short-term loan deal from Dagenham & Redbridge.

Maidstone United Team News

There are a number of familiar names in the Maidstone squad. For their last game, a 1-0 defeat away to Barrow, they selected former Woking stopper Ross Worner, currently on loan from Sutton United, in goal; in defence was Cards-loanee Wassmer, George McLennan, another Sutton loanee in Dan Wishart, an England C international formerly with Forest Green Rovers, and Rob Swaine.

In midfield was another loan player in Ebbsfleet United’s Sean Shields, one of Wheeler’s former Billericay players Simon Walton, Ollie Muldoon and Michael Phillips; while up front was ex-Billericay star Jake Robinson, who scored at the Laithwaite back in September, and Jake Cassidy who is on loan from Hartlepool United.

Their options from the bench included dangerous striker Elliott Romain, a regular scorer for Torquay and Dagenham in recent months, as well as midfielders Jack Paxman and Aryan Tajbakhsh, and former Aldershot Town defender Will de Havilland. Star player Blair Turgott is currently out injured. Former Woking defender Jordan Wynter is also on the club’s books but is currently on loan at Dartford.

Admission Prices

• Adults £10
• Over 65s £5
• Disabled (Including carer) £5
• Students (U19) £5
• U16s £1

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 busy festive schedule starts next Saturday with a trip to promotion rivals Billericay Town. That’s followed by the home games against Dowse’s former club Hampton & Richmond Borough on Boxing Day and Eastbourne Borough three days later.

Cards Unable To Sink Stones

Dan Stobbart
12:00am, Sat 15th Dec 2018
Woking 1 Maidstone United 1
FA Buildbase Trophy Round One
15th December 2018

Having seen off Folkestone Invicta in last month's third round qualifier, Woking hosted Maidstone United in the first round 'proper' of the Buildbase FA Trophy in miserable, harsh weather conditions at the Laithwaite Community Stadium. Despite having Ollie Muldoon sent off late in the first half, the National League Premier visitors took the lead in the second against the run of play through Sean Shields, but almost immediately, Toby Edser restored parity for the Cards, forcing a replay at the Gallagher Stadium on Tuesday night. Let's hope the weather is a bit better by then.

Dowse made three changes to the side that won a week ago at Weston-Super-Mare. With Jamal Loza unable to feature against his parent club, and Armani Little returning to his, Dowse gave debut's to striker Noel Leighton and winger Aaron Eyoma, both brought in this week on loan from Dagenham & Redbridge and Derby County respectively. The other change in personnel saw Paul Hodges come in and Jake Hyde drop to the bench.

Woking kicked off facing the Leslie Gosden Stand, the skies above looking bleak, the rain persistent, the wind unbearably icy. Chances of a repeat in the ‘spirit’ of the memorable 4-4 league encounter between the sides earlier this year looked rather optimistic as both teams operated at a steady pace throughout the half, the conditions obviously playing their part.

It ultimately led to a balanced first half, not much between the sides and not much in the way of goal mouth action. Inside the opening 10 minutes, Jack Cook forced the first save from former Card Ross Worner, hooking an effort from the edge of the box, forcing a catch just below the crossbar. Both sides came close around the twenty minute mark, Jake Cassidy cutting in from the left and firing an effort past the far post for Maidstone, prior to Toby Edser doing really well to get a shot off from the edge of the box, in tight proximity to the ball and the defender, he produced a half volley straight down the goalkeeper.

Around the half hour mark, striker Elliot Romain, cutting a frustrated lone figure, came into the game for Maidstone with a header well blocked by Gerring in close proximity, and then wasted a good lay off from Jake Cassidy to blaze over from just outside the area. Christian Jolley and Toby Edser had been at the heart of most positive endeavour from the Cards, Jolley finding Hodges on a couple of occasions with tidy through balls including a delicate chip, the keeper just getting in ahead. Noel Leighton spurned the best chance of the half, a cross from the left by Edser headed by the front man ahead of the approaching Worner, but skirting off target and wide.

On 41 minutes the game turned to the Cards advantage as Ollie Muldoon received a second yellow card for a late tackle on Hodges on the attacking right. The midfielder had picked up the first caution of the game for a clumsy challenge on Jolley early on. The visitors ill-discipline continued a few minutes later as Dan Wishart picked up a caution in the same location, this time a poor challenge on Max Kretzschmar.

Eyoma had become increasingly involved for Woking as the half went on and made a couple of productive inroads down the left as half-time drew closer, the winger unfortunate not to profit from a deflection off of a Maidstone defender in the six yard box, saved by Worner.

Half-time: Woking 0 Maidstone United 0

Clearly looking to press home the numerical advantage from the outset, Woking began the second half upping the tempo, and with Maidstone resigned to being camped in their own half, the pattern of the second half quickly established itself. Paul Hodges began particularly effectively, making a couple of signature darts through the middle; Aaron Eyoma continued his endeavour alongside Josh Casey, the skipper stepping up his attacking game down the left. He had been caught in a challenge which went unpunished and was down for a couple of minutes, but following treatment thankfully carried on okay thereafter.

The increasingly sodden turf was playing its part in proceedings, standing water beginning to emerge, and this was no better illustrated than for Noel Leighton, having done brilliantly to nick it past his man with a nutmeg approaching the attacking third, his subsequent through ball effort just couldn't generate enough pace.

To freshen things up, Dowse replaced Eyoma with Nicky Wheeler in the 60th minute. He got straight into the thick of play, getting a couple of crosses off from the byline, but save for a pair of Edser efforts from Casey crosses and a Kretzschmar free kick on target, Woking had not really tested the goalkeeper enough despite having the majority of play.

They were unfortunately punished in the 71st minute, a long hoof upfield was not dealt with by Gerring who was on the stretch and slipping on the surface, allowing Sean Shields a clear run at goal, and he comfortably tucked it past Craig Ross, to the delight of the away contingent in the top corner of the stand.

Nicky Wheeler under close scrutiny; pic: David Holmes

The Card's found a response a minute later, a Max Kretzschmar direct free kick forced a good diving save from Worner, the resulting ball back into the area was not cleared and through the melee, Toby Edser lashed home.

Dowse introduced Jake Hyde and Greg Luer for Leighton and Hodges respectively inside the final quarter of an hour. Woking kept searching for a winner but were just not getting close enough. Wheeler did really well to beat two men and keep the ball in on the touchline, but eventually lost control, and moments later he found a final ball for Hyde whose front-post flick was comfortably saved. Edser had a couple more efforts, including doing well to work a shot from the edge of the area, but missed probably the best chance of the second period right at the death. After a scramble it suddenly opened up on the right side of the area for the midfielder, but his resulting effort could only find the side netting.

Against higher level opposition, in adverse conditions, Dowse can take heart from a spirited display, but will obviously rue not putting the tie to bed in the second half given how the game ultimately panned out. Solid displays from the debutants, alongside strong displays again from Edser and Jolley in the heart of the midfield will encourage the management during this time of further squad adjustment, and if the Cards can show the same spirit and character again Tuesday night, hopefully that will be enough to see them through to the second round.

Woking:1 Craig Ross, 2 Nathan Collier, 3 Josh Casey ©, 4 Jack Cook, 5 Ben Gerring, 6 Christian Jolley, 7 Paul Hodges (15 Greg Luer 82'), 8 Toby Edser, 9 Noel Leighton (14 Jake Hyde 75'), 10 Max Kretzschmar, 11 Aaron Eyoma (16 Nicky Wheeler 60')

Unused subs:12 Dan Spence, 18 Berti Schotterl

Goals: Edser 72’

Bookings: None

Maidstone United1 Ross Worner, 3 George McLennan, 8 Jack Powell, 9 Elliot Romain, (28 Aryan Tajbakhsh 60'), 10 Jack Paxman, 16 Dan Wishart (5 Will de Havilland 69'), 18 Sean Shields, 20 Simon Walton ©, 21 Ollie Muldoon, 22 Michael Phillips, 24 Jake Cassidy

Unused subs:6 Alex Finney, 12 Josh Strizovic, 23 Jack Richards

Goals: Shields 71’

Bookings: Muldoon 7’, 41’ , Wishart 44’, Powell 70’

Sent off: Muldoon 41’

Referee: Adrian Queich

Attendance: 1245

Man of the Match: Toby Edser. Once again the man looking to make things happen on the ball, demonstrated a tireless work ethic and got the crucial goal, and could and should have added to that.

1Craig Ross
2Nathan Collier
3Josh Casey
4Jack Cook
5Ben Gerring
6Christian Jolley
7Paul Hodges ('82)
8Toby Edser
9Noel Leighton ('76)
10Max Kretzschmar
11Aaron Eyoma ('62)
12Daniel Spence
14Jake Hyde ('76)
15Greg Luer ('82)
16Nicky Wheeler ('62)
18Berti Schotterl
Maidstone United LINEUP
1Ross Worner
18Sean Shields
3George McLennan
22Michael Phillips
20Simon Walton
10Jack Paxman
21Ollie Muldoon
8Jack Powell
16Dan Wishart ('69)
9Elliott Romain ('60)
24Jake Cassidy
5Will De Havilland ('69)
6Alex Finney
12Joshua Strizovic
23Jack Richards
28Aryan Tajbakhsh ('60)

Woking 1-1 Maidstone United | Dowse Interview

Woking 1 - 1 Maidstone United | Toby Edser Interview

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