Woking fall to defeat against resolute Slough Town
12:00am, Sat 23rd Mar 2019
Woking 0 Slough Town 1
Vanarama National League South
23rd March 2019
Woking suffered a frustrating home defeat against Slough Town to see their hopes dented in the Vanarama National League South title race.
A solitary goal from Francis Amartey in the first half settled the tie with Woking shut out against a team who had pulled off surprise victories against Hemel Hempstead and Billericay Town coming into the match.
The defeat, coupled with Torquay Unitedâ€™s win against Concord Rangers, sees the Cards moved off the top of the league and now sit two points behind, while their title rivals also have one game extra to play.
Cards boss Alan Dowson made three changes to the starting line-up which earned a dramatic draw at Welling United last week, with loan signing Kieran Glynn slotting straight into midfield in place of Armani Little, while Reise Allassaniâ€™s two goals last weekend gained him a place at the expense of Christian Jolley. The final change saw Jack Cook (pictured) return to defence to replace Moussa Diarra.
A healthy Kingfield crowd, bolster by a good showing of support from the travelling Slough Town fans, produced a sense of expectation with Wokingâ€™s campaign getting down to the sharp end in the fight for the league title and automatic promotion.
Woking came close to opening the scoring inside 60 seconds when smart wing play between Paul Hodges and debutant Glynn saw the loan signing provide a perfect cross to Jake Hyde who headed inches wide of the far post.
Despite positive early play by Woking, the visiting side took the lead with their first period of sustained pressure. After an earlier header from Mark Nisbet from a long throw was palmed away by Craig Ross, a deep cross dropped to Francis Amartey at the back post and he poked the ball past Ross which went in off the post.
Woking appealed for a foul on Ben Gerring, who appeared to be pulled down by Slough Town captain Sam Togwell when the cross came in, but referee Matthew Russell waved away the protests.
The goal stalled Wokingâ€™s fluidity in attack while the Rebels remained dangerous from their long throw routines.
In the closing stages of the first half Hodges had a strong case for a penalty after being tripped over in the box by an outstretched leg from Nesbit but once again the referee was unmoved.
Half-time: Woking 0 Slough Town 1
In a copy of the start of the first half, Woking had an almost instant opportunity to score when Gerring headed wide from a corner. That gave the Cards the early momentum hunting an equaliser as Slough Town looked content to counter attack.
But with no breakthrough by the hour mark Dowson turned to Harvey Bradbury to bolster the forward line next to Hyde. The Oxford United loan player almost made the perfect impact as he won the ball in the box with his low strike blocked out.
As the second half wore on Woking cranked up the pressure on the Slough Town defence which triggered the visitors into timewasting tactics, while goalkeeper Jack Turner took a turn of the amateur dramatics.
Despite Wokingâ€™s best efforts, Slough Townâ€™s defence stood resolute and offered limited opportunities. In the last minute of normal time Jack Cook had a header saved by Turner but a late Woking goal didnâ€™t come having found breakthroughs in the last two games against Oxford City and Welling United.
Woking will look to kickstart their title charge with a tricky away game at Bath City next weekend before the crunch tie at Kingfield against Torquay United in two weeks.
Woking: 1 Craig Ross, 2 Nathan Collier (2 Moussa Diarra 69â€™), 3 Josh Casey Â©, 4 Jack Cook, 5 Ben Gerring, 6 Olu Durojaiye, 7 Paul Hodges, 8 Kieran Glynn (1 Harvey Bradbury 62â€™), 9 Jake Hyde, 10 Max Kretzschmar, 11 Reise Allassani
Unused subs: 15 Christian Jolley, 16 Nicky Wheeler, 18 Sam Mason
Slough Town 1 Jack Tuner, 2 Josh Jackman, 3 George Wells, 4 Guy Hollis, 5 Mark Nisbet, 6 Lee Togwell, 7 Sam Togwell Â©, 8 Matt Lench, 9 Manny Williams (1 Sean Fraser 83â€™), 10 Francis Amartey (2 Dan Roberts 84â€™), 11 Billy Clifford (3 Simon Dunn 87â€™)
Unused subs: 14 Simon Dunn, 15 Louie Soares, 17 Trent Phillips
Goals: Amartey 20â€™
Bookings: Clifford 45â€™, Williams 69â€™, Hollis 71â€™
Referee: Matthew Russell
Man of the Match: Olu Durojaiye â€“ A tireless performance marshalling the Woking midfield.