3:00pm - SaturdaySat 6th AprilApr 2019
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 4589

3 - 3

Torquay United

Top two clash as Cards look to slow Gulls’ title march

Glen Harrington
8:10pm, Thu 4th Apr 2019
Woking vs Torquay United
Vanarama National League South
Saturday 6th April 2019

The top two teams in the National League South face-off this weekend as second-place Woking host runaway leaders Torquay United at the Laithwaite Community Stadium.

It’s been a tough few weeks for the Cards who have seen Saturday’s visitors pull clear at the top of the table for the first time this season after the two had remained neck and neck for much of the second-half of the campaign. Commendable draws at play-off chasing Welling and Bath, either side of a disappointing home defeat at the hands of Slough, have handed the Gulls the advantage at just the wrong time and with five games to go the Devon-based side now have a seven-point lead at the top of the table. Whilst a place in the end of season play-offs now looks to be the most likely outcome for Alan Dowson’s side, the Cards will be keen to ensure that the title race does go as close to the wire as possible, whilst at the same time looking to cement home advantage for throughout any potential play-off run – second place guaranteeing that all of our matches will be played at Kingfield.

Gary Johnson has done a remarkable job at Torquay this season. After inheriting an underperforming side at its lowest ebb, having started the season slowly following relegation from the National League last season, he has transformed the Gulls into the near all-conquering outfit seen over the last six months. His team have lost just five times in all competitions since he took charge in September and have now amassed an impressive 81 points. Aided by a quartet of talented loanees from Bristol City, managed by son Lee, the Gulls have also put together both the best attacking and the second-best defensive records in the league – with 83 goals scored and just 35 conceded. Only our opponents last weekend, Bath City, have conceded fewer. Their recent form is also as strong as is to be expected from the league leaders, with five consecutive victories chalked up since a shock loss at home to Weston-super-Mare at the start of last month, as well as an ominous 11 wins out of 14 since the turn of the year. The Cards have, at least, offered some resistance to Johnson and his team – holding them to a 2-2 draw at Plainmoor in the league before winning 1-0 on the same ground in the FA Cup late last year.

This promises to be an exciting game between two great teams in front of a near capacity crowd. Please remember that this game is all ticket but we hope as many season ticket holders as possible will come down and support the team!

Woking Team News

James Ferry and Kieron Cadogan could make their home debuts after joining ahead of last week’s game against Bath City. Both new players impressed during the 1-1 draw as part of a new-look front six alongside Olu Durojaiye and Armani Little in midfield, as well as Jake Hyde and scorer Max Kretzschmar up front. Dowse also has plenty of options to choose between should he wish to rotate with the likes of Greg Luer, Paul Hodges, Kieran Glynn and Reise Allassani waiting in the wings.

In defence, it will be interesting to see if the Cards stick with Jack Cook playing in the slightly less natural position of right-back, after the centre-half took the place of Nathan Collier against Bath.

Torquay United Team News

During Wednesday’s 3-1 win over Chelmsford, Johnson lined up with Shaun MacDonald in goal; a back-four of Ben Wynter, Newcastle United academy graduate Kyle Cameron, Jean-Yves Koué Niate, and former Southampton prospect Ryan Dickson, who played over 100 Football League games for Yeovil Town; in midfield was the experienced Liam Davis, who has played in the Football League for Northampton and Oxford United amongst others, along with Asa Hall, who was part of Barrow’s team last season and was also with Johnson at Cheltenham Town, and the dangerous Connor Lemonheigh-Evans who is one of the four Bristol City players; the front three were Ruairi Keating, Kalvin Lumbombo Kalala and Jamie Reid, who has a league high 27 goals this season, including two against Woking.

Second-top scorer Saikou Janneh, also on loan from Bristol City and scorer of 16 league goals this season, missed the game through injury. Three former Woking players started the season with Torquay but all have since been moved on by Johnson – Jason Banton joined Truro City on loan, after short-lived spells at St Albans and Dulwich Hamlet, Bobson Bawling moved to Oxford City, whilst Brett Williams made the switch to Sutton United.

Admission Prices

This game is all ticket and tickets must have been purchased in advance. Woking season ticket holders are permitted to attend as normal. The game will be strictly segregated. Please see the pinned article on our homepage for more information.

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 19 for season ticket holders.

Next Up

The Cards face another top side in the shape of Chelmsford City next weekend. That’s followed by our penultimate regular season home game against Concord Rangers on Good Friday.

Gulls swoop late to deny Woking at the death

Ian Toft
12:00am, Sat 6th Apr 2019
Woking 3 Torquay United 3
Vanarama League South
6th April 2019

Woking surrendered a two goal lead late on against Torquay for the second time this season as an entertaining game finished all square.

Ben Wynter scored in the dying moments for the visitors to ensure that the league leaders retained their seven point lead over the Cards with four games remaining. It was a disappointing end to what had been an enjoyable game packed with incident. Woking now have four games remaining in which to secure a likely second place and home advantage through the end of season playoffs.

On an overcast Spring afternoon manager Alan Dowson made one change to the draw at Bath City in the previous outing. Greg Luer returned to the side in place of the injured Jake Hyde.

Woking attacked the Leslie Gosden stand in the first half in front of a packed crowd in attendance including 1,400 supporters who had made the trip from Devon. Early on, Little collected the ball deep in his own half. After a searching run which resulted in a free kick out on the left, the resulting cross was found by Ferry who in turn hit a rasping goal bound shot which was charged down.

Torquay’s first opportunity to attack came when Wynter crossed in for Reid leaving him clean through. With just Ross to beat the Gulls’ striker coolly placed the ball past him only to see it rebound off of the post. The loose ball was scrambled clear to safety.

Moments later the significance of that let off was underlined as the Cards took the lead. Casey led the ball out from the back and fed through to Kretzschmar. Sensing the timing of Luer’s run he calmly slipped the ball through and with MacDonald rushing out Luer expertly placed his ball past to nestle inside the far post.

Greg Luer places his shot perfectly for the Cards’ first; pic: David Holmes

Woking were still celebrating having taken the lead when they were immediately pegged back. Janneh broke free of his marker and played a well-weighted ball forwards to Reid, beating the offside trap to send him clean through. Having taken a touch to steady the Gulls’ striker picked his spot to level the scores with an immediate reply.

Torquay pushed on and looked to have again beaten the offside trap when Kalala fed Reid, seemingly again with just Ross to beat. Fortunately for the Cards, Cook sensed the danger and tracked back well to get a well timed tackle in and clear to safety.

A good phase of passing in midfield led to Gerring being caught out by the visitors’ fluency, his late tackle earning the first booking of match from referee Durkin.

Woking retook the lead midway through the first half. Some great work by Cadogan in midfield led to a short pass being played in to Luer this time out on the right. As MacDonald advanced out to narrow the angles, Luer again made no mistake with a second expertly placed finish.

A clash of heads led to a short delay when Diarra was marginally late on Keating. After playing some minutes with ten men whilst attempts were made to ensure the recuperation of the Gulls’ midfielder Torquay manager Gary Johnson made two quick substitutions with Andrews and then Dixon introduced for Hall as well as Keating.

Andrews made an immediate impact for the visitors as he surged forward and sent Janneh clear to the left, who appeared to foul Gerring in the move. The Gulls’ striker switched onto his right foot before unleashing a low powerful shot. Ross read the move well and got down extremely well to palm the shot wide of his far post.

A Kretzschmar corner late in the half was hit deep from the right to the back post. This was met by Diarra who sent the ball goal bound. Only an unorthodox block on the goal line from Davis prevented the Cards extending their lead.

Half-time: Woking 2 Torquay United 1

Woking continued after the half-time break on the front foot. Luer got the better of Wynter and found himself clean through. Sensing the oncoming support a square pass was played to Little who composed himself to shoot for the bottom corner. MacDonald got down well to save and despite the ball running loose Little was unable to bundle the ball over the line before the Torquay defence were able to get back and clear.

Later in the half, a Kretzschmar corner seemed to deceive the Torquay defence when it was played short. The ball was sent back towards the goal line by Luer and Little appeared to get there first before being felled by a Torquay defender in the penalty area. Despite the protestations from the Cards players and supporters referee Durkin waved play on.

The Cards’ quest for a third goal was not to be denied as they extended their lead with one of the goals of the season. Cadogan brought the ball out from his own defensive line. Despite several attempts to tackle by the visitors he continued to advance forward. As he reached Little he passed the ball through to him but continued to run forward. Sensing this, Little turned and played short straight back into Cadogan’s path. Now with just the goalkeeper to beat and having run approximately 75 yards, mostly with the ball, the Cards winger calmly slotted the ball into the net to send the home fans into celebration.

As the minutes wound down the frenetic pace of the game appeared to be slowing. When Ross noticed that a yellow flare had been thrown onto the field of play he held back from taking his goal kick. Believing that it was an attempt to delay the game referee Durkin felt that Ross’s actions were worthy of a yellow card, much to the surprise and outrage of the Woking bench.

With around twelve minutes remaining Torquay halved the deficit. Andrews’ corner was hit long and headed back in to the mix by Cameron. Janneh sensed the return header fastest and muscled in to head the ball into the net.

The pendulum turned further minutes later when Torquay escaped with the ball down the left wing. In an attempt to prevent a turn towards goal Gerring mistimed his tackle and brought the Gulls’ winger to the ground. Referee Durkin instantly produced a second yellow card to the Cards’ defender and his afternoon was brought to a premature end.

Despite an effort from Alan Dowson to shore up his defence by bringing on Nathan Collier unfortunately it proved to be not enough to hold out the barrage of attack from the visitors. A long throw from Andrews was not fully cleared and as the ball ricocheted into Wynter’s path he hit a shot through a crowd of bodies which Ross was unable to keep out. The goal had not only secured a late point for Torquay but had also meant that their seven point lead would be maintained.

Woking had been moments from defeating the team at the top but it proved to not quite be enough. Alan Dowson must now pick up his team up for a busy run of fixtures to finish the season beginning with a visit to playoff hopefuls Chelmsford City next Saturday.

Woking:1 Craig Ross, 2 Jack Cook, 3 Josh Casey (Capt), 4 Scott Durojaye, 5 Ben Gerring, 6 Moussa Diarra, 7 James Ferry, 8 Armani Little (14 Nathan Collier 87’), 9 Greg Luer, 10 Max Kretzschmar, 11 Kieron Cadogan

Unused subs: 12 Harvey Bradbury, 15 Paul Hodges, 16 Reisse Allassani, 18 Sam Mason

Goals: Luer 7’ 24’, Cadogan 64’

Bookings: Gerring 20’, Durojaiye 28′, Kretzschmar 45′, Little 45′, Ross 78’

Sent Off: Gerring 86’

Torquay United 1 Shaun McDonald, 2 Ben Wynter, 3 Liam Davis, 7 Ruairi Keating (16 Ryan Dickson ’30), 8 Asa Hall (capt) (18 Jake Andrews 28’), 10 Saikou Janneh, 11 Connor Lemonheigh-Evans, 15 Jean-Yves Koue Niate, 17 Kyle Cameron, 19 Jamie Reid, 20 Kalvin Kalala (14 Frank Vincent 76’)

Unused subs: 6 Jamie Sendles-White, 13 George Burton

Goals: Reid 9’, Janneh 80’, Wynter 90’

Bookings: Dickson 52’, Andrews 62’, MacDonald 90′

Referee: James Durkin

Attendance: 4,589 (1,403 Away Supporters)

Man of the Match: Man of the Match - Greg Luer: Put in one of his strongest performances in a Woking shirt. Not only worked extremely hard as a lone striker but made sure that he linked up play with the midfield. Finished his two goals with fantastic accuracy.
1Craig Ross
2Jack Cook
3Josh Casey
4Olu Durojaiye
5Ben Gerring
6Moussa Diarra
7James Ferry
8Armani Little ('87)
9Greg Luer
10Max Kretzschmar
11Kieron Cadogan
12Harvey Bradbury
14Nathan Collier ('87)
15Paul Hodges
16Reise Allassani
18Sam Mason
Torquay United LINEUP
1Shaun MacDonald
2Ben Wynter
3Liam Davis
15Jean-Yves Koue Niate
17Kyle Cameron
8Asa Hall ('28)
10Saikou Janneh
11Connor Lemonheigh-Evans
7Ruairi Keating ('30)
20Kalvin Kalala ('76)
19Jamie Reid
6Jamie Sendles-White
13George Burton
14Frank Vincent ('76)
16Ryan Dickson ('30)
18Jake Andrews ('28)

Woking 3 - 3 Torquay United | Dowse Interview

Woking 3 - 3 Torquay United | Greg Luer Interview

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