Cards Bag Victory In Pre-Season Opener
12:00am, Tue 9th Jul 2019
Badshot Lea 1 Woking 3
9th July 2019
Here we go again. Woking kicked off their 2019-20 pre-season schedule with a local away trip to Combined Counties Premier Division outfit Badshot Lea, in what was only the second game to be contested at their new ground freshly opened this past weekend in Westfield Lane, Wrecclesham.
Opting for a welcomed 'team per half' approach, for the first period Dowse set his team up in the usual 4-2-3-1 formation. In front of Craig Ross, Manny Parry was the only new face within a familiar looking Cards defence of Ben Gerring, Josh Casey and Nathan Collier. No. 4 Trialist partnered Kane Ferdinand in front of the back four, with Max Kretzschmar then deployed in behind front man Dave Tarpey, Jack Skinner and No. 7 Trialist completing the line-up in the wide areas.
It was an opening forty-five dominated by the Cards, who from the outset looked to play the ball at a quick tempo and to mix it up, going through the middle and using the channels, certainly showing a strong competitive spirit and not offset by the lower level of opposition. Inside the first couple of minutes Max Kretzschmar was unlucky not to open the scoring, played in by No. 7 Trialist through the middle; his placed effort inside the area came back off the post.
No. 7 and Skinner were particularly influential in the first half in terms of using their turn of pace and low centre of gravity to get past players, but for all the collective endeavour it was only leading to blocked and wayward efforts as the home side maintained a decent shape and kept numbers at the back.
The Cards did make the breakthrough just before the half-hour mark, after good hassling to win the ball back by Woking's No. 7, the ball fell then fell for Kane Ferdinand on the edge of the area and, in typically chilled out fashion, the midfielder struck a classy effort into the bottom left corner with the outside of his boot.
Dave Tarpey's industrious graft and running wasn't going unnoticed up top, linking up well with his attacking colleagues, but as the half went on he cut an increasingly frustrated figure as his final efforts were blocked from close range or agonisingly close to coming off.
It was Kretzschmar who again came closest near the interval, after good work from Skinner to retain the ball through the middle of the park he played in Max on the edge of the area and his dipping effort forced a good save from goalkeeper Kallum Lunn.
Completely unexpectedly, Badshot came back into the game a minute before the break. On one of the very few successful ventures forward by the home side during the half they won a corner, and were awarded a penalty for what appeared to be a push spotted by referee James Amadori. Striker Reece Connolly stepped up and struck a confident effort into the roof of the net, sending the sides in level at the break.
Half-Time: Badshot Lea 1 Woking 1
The second-half line up for the Cards saw all players switch except for Jack Skinner. Sam Howes took over in goal, behind a back four of Jack Cook (deployed at right back), Moussa Diarra, Joe Morrison and No. 14 Trialist at left back. Godfrey Poku skippered the side and sat in front of the back four with Jack Skinner switching position and playing just ahead of him in the middle. A quartet of trialists played in the attacking positions ahead.
Like the beginning to the first half, Woking had another great chance inside the opening couple of minutes, Moussa Diarra scooping over in front of an open goal after a quick headed flick on from a free kick.
It wasn't the only 'continuity' from the opening period as despite the substantial change in personnel Woking continued to play at a quick tempo, mixing up play and being competitive across the park. No. 21 Trialist picked up the baton left by No. 7 Trialist and was in the thick of much of the Cardsâ€™ best attacking work, and was getting more success in the final third, firing a couple of efforts just past the post, delivering a couple of threatening crosses and dispatching a neat through ball for No. 12 who nicked it past the keeper but his touch took it out of play.
Both full backs were more involved in the attacks through the second half, both finding No. 12 (Trialist) on a number of occasions but like Tarpey earlier, he was showing plenty of running but the ball was just not falling kindly enough for conversion, his best chance a header over the bar following a good delivery from the left side.
On 67 minutes Woking re-took the lead through Jack Skinner who had carried on his good work albeit in the new position. After sound link up play from Godfrey Poku and No. 20, they found Skinner on the edge of the area and following some good footwork he placed a composed effort into the bottom left corner.
Five minutes later the Cards notched a third goal, Jake Hyde had only come off the bench a minute earlier for Jack Skinner but scored with his first touch as he was first to react to a loose ball after a corner kick. Tarpey and No. 12 must have been shaking their heads.
The hosts had made a few more inroads in the second half getting down the flanks but nothing to really trouble the back four, Joe Morrison often quick to mop up, and the Cards saw out the victory.
A good night's work and start to pre-season for Dowse's men. Across both halves there was consistency in the style of play and performances and a real competitive spirit throughout, especially pleasing given the number of trialists involved, the majority surely deserve 'another go' in the next couple of games. The Cards will be hoping to continue the momentum and positives as they go again on Saturday back at The Laithwaite, League One's Oxford United the visitors.
Woking â€“ 1st half: 1 Craig Ross, 2 Nathan Collier, 3 Josh Casey (c), 6 Manny Parry, 15 Ben Gerring, 4 Trialist, 8 Kane Ferdinand, 11 Jack Skinner, 10 Max Kretzschmar, 7 Trialist, 9 Dave Tarpey
Woking â€“ 2nd half: 1 Sam Howes, 22 Jack Cook, 5 Moussa Diarra, 16 Joe Morrison, 14 Trialist, 18 Godfrey Poku (c), 11 Jack Skinner (19 Jake Hyde 72'), 17 Trialist, 20 Trialist, 21 Trialist, 12 Trialist
Goals: Ferdinand 28â€™, Skinner 67â€™, Hyde 72â€™
Badshot Lea: 1 Kallum Lunn, 2 Darren Blake, 3 Liam Roberts, 4 Ryan Scott, 5 Liam Flanagan, 6 Nick Sowden, 7 Danilo Cadete, 8 Stacey Tripp, 9 Reece Connolly, 10 Zac Hawker, 11 Gav Muir
Subs: 12 Ben Hutchings, 21 Jordan Carter, 14 Sam Hutchings, 15 Josh Pound, 16 Nick Medcraft, 17 Drew Matthews, 18 Nic Ciardini, 19 Brad Smith, 20 Charlie Bath, 22 Cam Blackie, 23 Lewis Mitchell-Donald
Goals: Reece Connolly 44'
Referee: James Amadori
Man of the Match: Jack Skinner - a really strong evening for the academy graduate, playing well in two positions, demonstrating he has a lot to his game. Rewarded with a goal in the second half and good graft and attacking play throughout.