MKJ Group
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 10th AugustAug 2019
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 1470

Woking
Woking
1 - 0

Harrogate Town
Harrogate Town

Cards aim for first home win following derby day disappointment

Glen Harrington
7:25am, Sat 10th Aug 2019
Woking vs Harrogate Town
Vanarama National League
Saturday 10th August 2019


The Cards will be looking to record a first home success of the season on Saturday, when Harrogate Town will be the visitors to the Laithwaite Community Stadium, who themselves will be looking to defend an unbeaten start to the new campaign.

Hopes were high at Kingfield on Tuesday evening as a crowd of nearly 4,000 arrived on mass to see Woking’s first meeting with local rivals Aldershot Town in over year – fresh off the back of a hugely encouraging 2-0 win over Dagenham and Redbridge on the opening day of the season. However, whilst much has changed for the better at Woking over the last 12 months, the Shots remain something of a bogey side for the Cards and so it proved once again as Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong scored the only goal of the game, handing the Hampshire-side their first win under new boss Danny Searle. Manager Alan Dowson will now be aiming to get off the mark on home soil at the second attempt as his team take on play-off chasers Harrogate Town.

Town, manager by Simon Weaver, are amongst the favourites for promotion this season. They finished sixth last year, losing in the end of season play-offs to eventual finalists AFC Fylde, a great showing having only clinched promotion from National League North the previous year. They have started this season with four points from their first two games, drawing 2-2 at home to fellow promotion hopefuls Solihull Moors, before picking up a comfortable 3-0 win away at Barrow last time out – putting them in second place in the infant league table.

The team has really appreciated your fantastic support over the last two games and we’d love to see as many of you there again as possible on Saturday to cheer on the team!

Woking Team News

Dowse has promised changes after starting each of the last two games with the same 5-3-2 formation and the same personnel: Craig Ross in goal, Jack Cook and Josh Casey as wing-backs, a defensive three of Manny Parry, Ben Gerring and Moussa Diarra, a midfield pairing of Kane Ferdinand and Shaun Donnellan, with Max Kretzschmar behind Jake Hyde and Dave Tarpey.

There are plenty of options in the squad to mix things up. Loanees Tyreke Johnson and Ibrahim Meite have both been used from the bench so far but could add an extra dimension to the Woking attack, as could Paul Hodges, who’s been out of the squad so far after missing the final part of pre-season. Godfrey Poku and Nathan Collier offer alternatives at the other end of the pitch should Dowse want to change things in midfield or defence respectively.

We could also see as many as two new arrivals before Saturday’s game. Speaking on Friday afternoon, Dowse confirmed the signing of right-back Joe Felix from Queens Park Rangers, whilst he also hinted that he’s hoping to add another attacking player in the near future.

Harrogate Town Team News

Harrogate could well name the same team which performed so well at Barrow. Against the Bluebirds, they lined up with James Belshaw in goal; in defence was George Smith, signed from Chesterfield, Warren Burrell, Connor Hall (not the former Woking loanee), and Will Smith, who was previously with Barnsley and spent time on loan at Darlington last season.

In midfield they had the experienced Josh Falkingham, who played over 150 games for Dunfermline in Scotland, along with Lloyd Kerry, Joe Leesley and, a player Dowse will be extremely familiar with, Brendan Kiernan, who previously played under him at Hampton and was with Welling United last season, where he scored 13 league goals; up front was former Lincoln and Fylde forward Jack Muldoon alongside 6 ft 5 target man Mark Beck.

One very familiar name amongst the substitutes was forward Jon Stead, now 36, who has played over 600 career games for the likes of Blackburn Rovers, Sunderland, Sheffield United, Ipswich Town, Bristol City and, most recently, Notts County.

Admission Prices

• Adults £18
• Over 65s £13
• Disabled (Including carer) £13
• Students (Under 19) £5
• U16s £5

Tickets are available on the turnstiles or in advance online. Remember, our matchday programme will also be on sale for £3. Don’t forget to grab your copy on the way in! You’ll then be able to visit the club shop for more great offers.

Next Up

The Cards face a challenging week with two lengthy away trips – they start by facing Chesterfield on Tuesday evening before making the journey to AFC Fylde the following Saturday.

Cards weather the storm to record unlikely win

Ian Toft
12:00am, Sat 10th Aug 2019
Woking 1 Harrogate Town 0
Vanarama National League
10th August 2019

Shaun Donnellan’s deflected first half strike was enough to secure Woking three precious points despite spending much of the encounter under a torrent of pressure, both from the visitors and from the weather. After perhaps feeling somewhat aggrieved to have suffered defeat in the previous home game against local rivals Aldershot Town when on top for much of that game there was perhaps a sense of the Cards’ luck having evened out by the end of a busy week.

On an overcast and gusty afternoon the Cards welcomed Harrogate Town to Kingfield for the first ever match contested between the two clubs. Having surpassed expectations to make last season’s National League Play Offs, Town arrived in buoyant mood having recorded an impressive 3-0 win at Barrow on Tuesday.

Alan Dowson made two changes to the disappointing defeat to Aldershot by selecting Ibrahim Meite and Godfrey Poku in place of Jake Hyde and Max Kretzschmar. Woking attacked the Kingfield Road End in the first half but instantly found themselves on the back foot.

Early on, Leesley and Kiernan found themselves regularly getting the better of Cook and Casey on each wing resulting in a series of impressive crosses that had to be cut out by an alert Ross and his supporting back three. Both Beck and Muldoon found back post opportunities to put Town ahead but narrowly failed to get their efforts on target. A wonderfully weighted clipped ball from Kerry found Kiernan clear through but Ross sensed the danger and made sure to be there first. A further goalmouth cross from Burkell, then immediately leading to a powerful shot by George Smith, all within the first ten minutes gave Cards fans the dread that they could be in a long afternoon.

It wasn’t until a third of the half had passed before Woking registered their first attack of note. A ball was clipped over to Meite, wide of the left touchline. His cut back pass appeared to be intended for Tarpey but instead ran loose for Donnellan who sliced his effort wide of the far post.

After a Cards corner had initially come to nothing, Donnellan then collected a loose ball. At least twenty yards out he hit a speculative effort which initially looked set for the centre of the goal. George Smith sensed the shot and reached out to attempt to block but could only deflect the effort towards the top corner of the Harrogate goal. The ball’s change in direction appeared to catch Belshaw wrong-footed and it hit the back of the net to give the home side the lead entirely against the run of play.

The goal appeared to give Woking confidence and it was not long before they were again pushing forward. Cook took a few strides down the right wing before cutting inside and passing outside to Meite. His cross was aimed for Tarpey, expectantly waiting on point. However, just as the Cards’ striker appeared to be pulling the trigger, the ball was pulled away from him by an alert Town defender. The ball fell loose to Donnellan but his effort was high and wide.

Harrogate reasserted themselves and again built up another spell of sustained pressure. Kerry’s lay off wide to Kiernan set him free on the right and his hard low cross appeared between goalkeeper and defence. Parry stuck out a leg when facing his goal in an attempt to intercept but the ball ran loose to the goal line. Ross scrambled to collect the ball in time, much to the relief of the Cards fans sat behind in the Leslie Gosden Stand.

Another gilt-edged chance fell to the visitors when Falkingham played a long pass through to Leesley in space on the left wing. Allowing the strikers to get up into the danger zone the Town winger curled a precise cross deep into the six yard box. Muldoon timed his run to perfection but somehow his effort was sent wide of the post with an open goal at his mercy.

At the other end Meite carved out a rare opportunity for the Cards with a fierce shot. Having had his back to goal, he turned quickly and unleashed a low hard drive that drew out an impressive save from Belshaw to turn the ball away for a corner.

Unfortunately the final minutes of the half saw further sustained pressure from Town. Further good work from Kerry set up Leesley who hit a driving shot that narrowly cleared the crossbar. Soon after Leesley clipped a pass over to Muldoon which got the better of the Cards’ offside trap. This time Muldoon made sure his effort was bound for goal. From nowhere Ross produced the save of the game to tip the shot away via his crossbar.

Half-time: Woking 1 Harrogate Town 0

Having experienced a whirlwind first half it was rather apt that both teams returned to the pitch in tornado-like conditions with strong winds and driving rain. The weather was not the only thing beating down on the Cards players as Harrogate’s sustained pressure continued.

A Kerry corner drifted over to Beck at the far post. However Ross was able to get across to palm his headed effort away. Another corner, this time from Leesley, passed through a huge crowd of players, all managing to somehow fail to connect with it, as it rolled to the safety of a goal kick.

William Smith was booked for a late charge on Ferdinand where the elbow was raised. From the resulting free kick Poku was able to nod down a high floated ball to the back post. However nether Cook or Meite could get to it before Belshaw was able to collect.

Another full-bodied encounter between Poku and Kerry led to a lengthy delay whilst the visiting midfielder received treatment before being stretched off. This delay enabled Alan Dowson to bring on first Collier and then Johnson to give new energy to his hardworking side.

Johnson was soon involved when he skilfully escaped on the left and put in a searching cross for Meite. With Belshaw beaten the Cards striker was narrowly unable to get his head to the ball which could have put the game beyond the visitors’ reach.

As it was, the single goal lead looked more fragile as Harrogate continued to apply even under pressure. Former Premier League striker Jon Stead was introduced for the visitors to add extra menace to an already potent attack and he nearly made an instant impact as a far post effort was narrowly scrambled away by Ross.

Woking thought they had done a good job of soaking up the seven additional minutes by successfully keeping the ball safely at the opposite end of the pitch. However in the dying seconds one final opportunity arose for an equaliser when Stead collected on the left side of the penalty area, his lay off to Leesley saw him hit a quick fizzing shot at Ross. Though the effort was parried away the rebound fell to Falkingham who hit a low effort which rolled narrowly wide of the post.

With this final attempt, referee Lewis Smith blew for full time to confirm what will feel to some supporters as one of the Cards least likely victories for some time. To have sustained the sheer amount of pressure across ninety minutes and kept a clean sheet was no mean feat and great credit should go to goalkeeper and back three for a resolute performance.

Dowse must now prepare the team for two long trips north next week. First they visit the Proact Stadium on Tuesday to take on former FA Cup Semi-Finalists Chesterfield before heading to Lancashire next Saturday to take on AFC Fylde.

Woking:1 Craig Ross, 2 Jack Cook, 3 Josh Casey (Capt), 4 Manny Parry, 5 Ben Gerring, 6 Moussa Diarra (12 Nathan Collier 66’), 7 Dave Tarpey (17 Tyreke Johnson 69’), 8 Kane Ferdinand, 14 Godfrey Poku, 16 Shaun Donnellan, 18 Ibrahim Meite (9 Jake Hyde 86’)

Unused subs: 1 Sam Howes, 11 Paul Hodges

Goals: Donnellan 19’

Bookings: Gerring

Harrogate Town 1 James Belshaw, 3 George Smith, 4 Josh Falkingham, 6 Warren Burkell, 9 Mark Beck, 11 Joe Leesley, 14 Brendan Kiernan, 17 Lloyd Kerry (8 Jack Emmett 66’), 18 Jack Muldoon (16 Jonathan Stead), 20 Connor Hall, 22 William Smith

Unused subs: 2 Ryan Fallowfield, 13 Joe Cracknell, 21 Scott Brown

Bookings: Smith

Referee: Lewis Smith

Attendance: 1,470

Sponsor's (MKJ) Man of the Match: – Shaun Donnellan, showed improvement against his home debut on Tuesday and was rewarded with the vital goal that saw the Cards take all three points.
WOKING LINEUP
13Craig Ross
2Jack Cook
3Josh Casey
4Manny Parry
5Ben Gerring
6Moussa Diarra ('66)
16Shaun Donnellan
14Godfrey Poku
8Kane Ferdinand
7Dave Tarpey ('69)
18Ibrahim Meite ('86)
BENCH
1Sam Howes
12Nathan Collier ('66)
11Paul Hodges
17Tyreke Johnson ('69)
9Jake Hyde ('86)
Harrogate Town LINEUP
1James Belshaw
20Connor Hall
3George Smith
6Warren Burrell
22Will Smith
4Josh Falkingham
17Lloyd Kerry ('66)
11Joe Leesley
14Brendan Kiernan
9Mark Beck
18Jack Muldoon ('74)
BENCH
13Joe Cracknell
2Ryan Fallowfield
8Jack Emmett ('66)
21Scott Brown
16Jon Stead ('74)

Woking 1 - 0 Harrogate Town | Dowse Interview

Woking 1 - 0 Harrogate Town | Shaun Donnellan Interview

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