7:45pm - TuesdayTue 19th FebruaryFeb 2019
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 1673

3 - 1

Hemel Hempstead Town
Hemel Hempstead Town

Cards aiming to take top spot in fourth successive home game

Glen Harrington
2:45pm, Sun 17th Feb 2019
Woking vs Hemel Hempstead Town
Vanarama National League South
Tuesday 19th February 2019

The Cards will look to make it three home wins in the space of ten days on Tuesday evening when Hemel Hempstead Town visit the Laithwaite Community Stadium.

Despite not being at their free-flowing best, it was an extremely positive day for Alan Dowson and his team on Saturday when goals from Dave Tarpey and debutant Reise Allassani earned a hard-fought 2-1 win over bottom of the table Weston-super-Mare, whilst Torquay’s 2-0 defeat to Welling allowed the Cards to move within a point of top spot with a game still in hand. Dowse will be hoping that his makeshift team, which was without three key players in Ben Gerring, Armani Little and Max Kretzschmar last time out, will be able to deliver the goods again against Hemel and give Woking back the emphasis in an increasingly intriguing title race.

It’s been a challenging season for Hemel who, after finishing fifth last season, lost manager Dean Brennan to Billericay Town back in September and have since struggled to recreate their best form. They currently sit in thirteenth place with 39 points from their 29 games so far, 11 points adrift of the play-off places and 13 clear of the final relegation spot, and it already looks like their campaign could simply peter out into a comfortable mid-table finish. Their recent form is also not good with just one win in the last nine league games in a run stretching back to early December. Since the turn of the year they have lost heavily at home to Torquay (4-1) and Solihull in the FA Trophy (5-0), whilst they have picked up draws against St Albans, Hampton and Chippenham as well as a solitary win over lowly Hungerford. On Saturday they led 3-1 at Dulwich Hamlet but were eventually pegged back to 3-3.

Remember, there are reduced admission prices in operation again for this game, with adult tickets priced at just £10. This is our last home game for nearly three weeks so please make the most of it and come and cheer on the team!

Woking Team News

Dowse will be delighted to have Gerring available again after he served his one-match ban on Saturday for the red card against Dartford. However, Little will remain on the sidelines, with two matches of his suspension still to go.

The return of his starting centre back does at least mean the Woking boss will have options to choose from – most likely Daniel Spence will be the man to drop out with Ian Gayle then moving to right-back to make room for Gerring. Alternatively, Dowse could also return Nathan Collier to his customary full-back position and elect for some fresh legs alongside Christian Jolley in midfield. His options are relatively limited with Declan Appau, Kane Ferdinand and Kretzschmar all out, and Charlie Hester-Cook still away with Leatherhead, but the Woking management team have been well known to spring a surprise.

Up front, Dowse will be looking to see if Allassani, Tarpey, Paul Hodges, Greg Luer remain fit and raring to go. He has plenty of strength in depth with the forward positions with the likes of Bradley Hudson-Odoi, Jake Hyde and Harvey Bradbury all coming off the bench on Saturday.

Hemel Hempstead Team News

Last time out, manager Joe Deeney selected the experienced former England C international Laurie Walker in goal; a back four of Joe Howe, Oliver Swaine, a recent arrival from Bedford Town, Darren Ward and Luton Town loanee Frankie Musonda; in midfield was Jordan Parkes, scorer of 11 goals this season including two against Dulwich, and fan favourite Scott Shulton who recently re-joined the club from Wingate and Finchley; out wide were Jacques Kpohomouh and Kavan Cotter, with a front pairing of former Arsenal prospect Sanchez Watt and Leon Lobjoit.

There is one former Woking connection in the squad in defender Ismail Yakubu but he was not involved last time out.

Admission Prices

• Adults £10
• Over 65s £10
• Disabled (Including carer) £10
• Students (Under 19) £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.

Remember, this is voucher number 16 for season ticket holders.

Next Up

The Cards travel to Dartford on Saturday and after the gutting last-minute defeat at the Laithwaite just a couple of weeks ago we’re sure fans will want to travel in good numbers as the teams seeks to avenge that disappointing result!

Cards depose Tudors to return to summit

Alex Wright
12:00am, Tue 19th Feb 2019
Woking 3 Hemel Hempstead Town 1
Vanarama National League South
26th February 2019

Woking climbed back to the top of the table for the first time since the turn of the year with a pulsating 3-1 victory over Hemel Hempstead Town.

A well taken header by Paul Hodges and a Dave Tarpey penalty put the Cards in control in the first half before Harvey Bradbury settled the nerves with a superbly finished last-minute goal after Hemel had halved the deficit early in the second period.

The win moves Woking two points clear of Torquay United on 62 points but with 13 games to play they will know there’s still a long way to go.

Fresh off the back of straight home victories over strugglers East Thurrock United and Weston-super-Mare, the Cards were looking to take full advantage of their game in hand and move top of the table ahead of their Devonian rivals.

Woking won the reverse fixture 2-0 against the Tudors at Vauxhall Road back in August courtesy of second-half goals from Max Kretzschmar and Duane Ofori-Acheampong when the Cards were on their fine winning run at the start of the season.

Going into the game, which had to be moved because of Woking’s FA Cup third round clash with Watford, Hemel were 13th in the table and had only won once in their previous seven league games - and that was against lowly Dulwich Hamlet.

But they still boasted a strong squad that included the likes of former Watford centre-back Darren Ward and ex-Arsenal striker Sanchez Watt. A familiar face was Ismail Yakubu, who played 32 games for the Cards between 2015 and 2017, named on Hemel’s bench.

Woking boss Alan Dowson made one change to the side that beat Weston-super-Mare 2-1 on Saturday, reuniting Ben Gerring with Jack Cook in central defence after his one-match ban and moving Ian Gayle to right-back.

Dan Spence was dropped altogether and academy youngster Charlie Hester-Cook was named among the substitutes following a loan spell at Leatherhead.

On a cold and crisp evening the game burst into action almost from the kick-off as Cook slipped on the edge of the box trying to cut out a ball but the grateful recipient Leon Lobjolt’s rasping shot was saved by Craig Ross diving low to his left.

But it was to be Woking who drew first blood in the fourth minute as Tarpey whipped in a cross from the left and Hodges timed his run to perfection, arriving at the back post to head home.

Hodges heads home; pic: David Holmes

Moments later Greg Luer fired in another ball from the other flank but Tarpey who was always struggling to get on the end of it headed just wide of the left hand post.

Then on 12 minutes Josh Casey won the ball in midfield and surged forward, feeding Tarpey with a fantastic through ball only for the on-loan Barnet man to be scythed down by Oliver Swain.

The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and handed Swain a yellow card for his misdemeanours.

Tarpey stepped up to send Laurie Walker the wrong way, stroking the ball low into the right hand corner.

Tarpey was involved again minutes later as his corner was headed narrowly wide of the right post by Gayle.

At the other end Cook handed the Tudors another gilt-edged chance when his sloppy pass was intercepted by Scott Shulton but his scuffed effort was dived upon by Ross.

With the pace of the game showing no signs of relenting, the ball then fell to Hodges on the right hand edge of the Hemel box but his half-volley piledriver was brilliantly tipped away by Walker.

Then on the half-hour a long free-kick from Casey evaded the Hemel back line and fell to Cook in the six-yard box but he was unable the control the bobbling ball and scooped his shot over the bar.

Half-time: Woking 2 Hemel Hempstead Town 0

With the second half only three minutes old Woking were rocked back on their heels when the ball fell kindly for Lobjoit and his snap-shot beat Ross at his near post.

Christian Jolley then found his way into the book for a crude challenge on the edge of the Woking box.

Coventry City loanee Reise Allassani followed suit shortly after for shoving Tom Hamblin in a brief tussle.

Jack Snelus then hauled down Allassani in full flight to complete the trio of yellow cards as the game threatened to descend into melee.

A Casey deep free-kick then fell to Luer in the box and his shot was parried and landed at the feet of Hodges but his stinging shot was saved by Walker.

On 65 minutes Dowson made his first change, bringing on Jake Hyde for the lively Allassani.

Hyde had a chance almost straight away after being slipped in by Hodges, but his shot was smartly blocked by Walker when one-on-one.

A slick move then saw Luer feed Tarpey down the wing who played a superb ball into Hyde but the substitute could only put his effort over the bar under pressure from the advancing Walker.

Having run himself into the ground, Tarpey was then replaced with Bradbury in the 79th minute.

Then with Hemel threatening to lay siege to the Woking goal Ward made an absolute hash of a hopeful ball forward from defence, Bradbury picked his pocket and rounded the keeper to finish with aplomb in the 90th minute.

Despite a few nervy moments in the second period, it was a good all-round performance from the Cards, however, with games coming up against five of the top seven they will need to be on their mettle to maintain top spot.

Next up Woking travel to Princes Park Stadium on Saturday with their tails up looking to avenge the last-minute 1-0 home defeat against Dartford Town earlier this month.

Woking: 1 Craig Ross, 2 Ian Gayle, 3 Josh Casey (c), 4 Jack Cook, 5 Ben Gerring, 6 Christian Jolley, 7 Paul Hodges, 8 Nathan Collier, 9 Dave Tarpey (12 Harvey Bradbury 79’), 10 Greg Luer, 11 Reise Allassani (15 Jake Hyde 65’)

Unused subs: Dunn, Hester-Cook, Hudson-Odoi

Goals: Hodges 4’, Tarpey pen 12’, Harvey 90’

Bookings: Jolley 52’, Allassani 60’

Hemel Hempstead Town 1 Laurie Walker, 2 Joe Howe, 3 Oliver Swain (15 Arel Amu 46’), 4 Jordan Parkes (c), 5 Darren Ward, 6 Tom Hamblin (14 James Kaloczi 72’), 7 Kavan Cotter, 8 Frankie Musonda, 9 Leon Lobjoit, 10 Jack Snelus, 11 Scott Shulton (12 Ismail Yakubu 78’)

Unused subs: Mendy, Cawley

Goals: Amu 48’

Bookings: Swain 12’, Shulton 56’, Snelus 64’, Parkes, Hamblin, Musonda, Lobjoit

Referee: Alex Blake

Attendance: 1,633

Man of the Match: Josh Casey - led by example with surging runs down the left starting many of Woking’s best attacks, setting up Tarpey for his penalty.
1Craig Ross
2Ian Gayle
3Josh Casey
4Jack Cook
5Ben Gerring
6Christian Jolley
7Paul Hodges
8Nathan Collier
9Dave Tarpey ('79)
10Greg Luer
11Reise Allassani ('65)
12Harvey Bradbury ('79)
14Charlie Hester-Cook
15Jake Hyde ('65)
16Bradley Hudson-Odoi
18James Dunn
Hemel Hempstead Town LINEUP
1Laurie Walker
2Joe Howe
3Oliver Swain ('46)
4Jordan Parkes
5Darren Ward
6Tom Hamblin ('72)
7Kavan Cotter
8Frankie Musonda
9Leon Lobjoit
10Jack Snelus
11Scott Shulton ('78)
12Ismail Yakubu ('78)
14James Kaloczi ('72)
15Arel Amu ('46)
16Matteo Mendy
17Steve Cawley

Woking 3 - 1 Hemel Hempstead Town | Ian Dyer Interview

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