3:00pm - SaturdaySat 20th JulyJul 2019
Wellington Road | Att: 187

Dunston UTS
1 - 1


Cards travel north for pre-season double header

Glen Harrington
8:31pm, Thu 18th Jul 2019
Woking vs Salford City and Dunston UTS
Pre-Season Friendly Double Header
Friday 19th and Saturday 20th July

Despite suffering a first defeat of their pre-season campaign, the Cards will no doubt have been encouraged once again by Tuesday’s performance against League One side Wycombe Wanderers, where a stoppage time Adebayo Akinfenwa goal condemned the hosts to a narrow 3-2 defeat.

Both of the Woking goals were scored by one of the two remaining trialists, both of whom have now featured against both Oxford United and Wycombe, whilst manager Alan Dowson also took the opportunity to hand starts to some of those who hadn’t featured from the outset during the first two games. It will be interesting to see the contrast in the two squads this weekend – with potentially some additional trialists or academy prospects taking part.

The Cards will travel first to take on newly promoted League Two side Salford City on Friday evening (kick-off is at 7:30pm), before going on to face Gateshead-based Dunston the following day, with the kick-off at the normal 3:00pm.


As promised, Dowse swapped his team around for the game against Wycombe, with captain Josh Casey, fellow defender Manny Parry, plus midfielders Godfrey Poku and Shaun Donnellan, and one of the trialists, the only players starting both on Tuesday and the previous Saturday. In came goalkeeper Sam Howes, defenders Nathan Collier and Moussa Diarra, midfielder Jack Skinner, winger Paul Hodges and a second trialist – all of the other signed players were on the bench. Kane Ferdinand was the only player to take no part in the game itself.

The Cards have been operating with a squad of 19 for the last two games with the two trialists and academy defender Joe Morrison making up the numbers. So, either, there will be some new faces this weekend or there will be at least a couple of players pulling double duty.

Salford City

The Ammies, partially owned by the famous ‘Class of 92’, made up of former Manchester United players Phil Neville, Gary Neville, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and David Beckham, are preparing for their first ever season in the Football League after consecutive promotion campaigns. In fact, the club has been promoted four times in the last five seasons, twice as champions and twice as play-off winners, as was the case last season as they defeated AFC Fylde 3-0 at Wembley.

It's a squad, managed by Graham Alexander, which is packed with talent. Players to watch include striker Adam Rooney, who netted 23 goals in all competitions last season, following his move from Scottish Premiership side Aberdeen; midfielder Danny Whitehead, who has won consecutive National League promotions, having also gone up with Macclesfield Town the previous season; and veteran defender Nathan Pond, who has made over 500 career league appearances – the majority coming in a 15 year spell with Fleetwood Town. New signings this summer include former Woking player Joey Jones, Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Richie Towell, and England C international Dan Jones.

Salford play at the The Peninsula Stadium (Moor Lane, Salford, M7 3PZ). Ticket prices on the day are £4 for adults and £2 for concessions. Please note only the North and West stands will be open, and these can be accessed by Turnstiles B and C on Nevile Road and Moor Lane respectively.

Dunston UTS

Like both Woking and Salford, Dunston won promotion from their league last season, finishing as champions of Northern League Division One (the ninth tier of English football), which has subsequently earned them promotion to Northern Premier League Division One North West – which is two steps below the National League North and three below the Cards. They amassed an impressive 83 points from their 34 games – finishing a massive 17 points clear of their nearest challengers.

Dunston are managed by Chris Swailes who, during a lengthy playing career, featured for the likes of Doncaster Rovers, Ipswich Town, Bury, Rotherham United, Oldham Athletic and Hamilton Academical, typically as a defender. He spent three years with Dunston as a player between 2011 and 2014 before becoming the club’s manager two years later. Dunston, nicknamed The Fed, won the Northern League – League Cup under his coaching in 2018 before clinching promotion twelve months later. They were also FA Vase winners back in 2012.

The club plays at the UTS Stadium (Wellington Road, Dunston, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, NE11 9JL). Ticket prices on the day are £4 for adults and £2 for concessions.

Woking encounter tough lower league opposition at Dowse’s old stomping ground

David Legrand
12:00am, Sat 20th Jul 2019
Dunston UTS 1 Woking 1
Pre-season Friendly
20th July 2019

Woking travelled to the far north-east of England and Dunston UTS for the second leg of their whirlwind tour of the north, having taken on and beaten League newcomers Salford City less than 24 hours previously. This game was arranged through Alan Dowson’s contacts, as it was his club when he was younger, in the part of the world where he grew up.

A small crowd – less than 200 – gathered to watch the match at Dunston’s small ground in the middle of an industrial estate. Storms had been hinted at in the weather forecast, but they didn't materialise and it turned out to be a nice day.

With a couple of exceptions, Woking’s first team squad were present again with a couple of trialists who have appeared in previous PSFs in the starting line-up. As members of the Northern Premier League Division One North West, Dunston are 3 levels below Woking in the football pyramid and, in gaining a well-earned draw from this pre-season friendly, they provided stiff and credible opposition. The short time gap and additional travel for Woking may have been a factor in that it induced a degree of tiredness.

Some key moments from the first half:

15’: Jack Skinner had to come off with a serious head injury following a clash, and was replaced by Josh Casey.

27’: Woking’s No. 19 Trialist came away with the ball after a tussle with a Dunston defender, and finished well from a 1-on-1 situation with the keeper.

39’: Dunston come close to scoring, with an effort from outside the area going just wide of Ross’s goal, passing a number of Woking players on the way.

45’: The 1-0 lead at half-time was looking a fair scoreline, with Woking having looked threatening from set plays.

Half-time: Dunston UTS 0 Woking 1

50’: A tussle between Hodges (pictured above) and Dunston’s No. 8 Page resulted in a brief confrontation/‘afters. The referee intervened to calm things down

55’: Dunston broke with the ball following a Woking corner. Eventually, Heslop was played in and scored their equaliser.

57’: Hodges came close to scoring after running past a number of Dunston players into the opposition box

85’: A Dunston attack after Woking gave the ball away required a smart close-range save from Ross to prevent them from taking the lead.

Woking: 13 Craig Ross, 18 Joe Morrison, 12 Nathan Collier ©, 4 Manny Parry (2 Jack Cook 45’), 14 Godfrey Poku, 8 Moussa Diarra, 15 Jack Skinner (3 Josh Casey 19’), 17 Trialist, 19 Trialist, 10 Max Kretzschmar, 11 Paul Hodges

Unused subs: 1 Sam Howes, 8 Kane Ferdinand, 16 Shaun Donnellan, 9 Jake Hyde

Goals: 19 Trialist 27’

Bookings: None

Dunston UTS 1 Karl Dryden, 2 Liam Marrs (12 Callum Elliott 57’), 3 Dan Halliday ©, 4 Michael Pearson, 5 Andrew Grant-Soulsby, 6 Craig Scott, 7 Liam Brooks, 8 Luke Page, 9 Mark Fitzpatrick, 10 Scott Heslop (14 Dan Lowther 65’), 11 Callum Smith (16 Dessie da Silva 68’)

Unused subs: Dan Capewell

Goals: Heslop 55’

Bookings: None

Referee: Michael Oliver

Attendance: 187

Man of the Match: Max Kretzschmar. Always looking for the ball during Woking attacks and delivered some threatening set pieces. Worth mentioning Poku, who was very vocal in organising the team, and Hodges who had a strong 2nd half.

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