Laithwaite Independent Financial Advisers
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 14th SeptemberSep 2019
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 1942

2 - 2

Ebbsfleet United

Cards aiming to extend unbeaten run against former boss

Glen Harrington
6:53pm, Thu 12th Sep 2019
Woking vs Ebbsfleet United
Vanarama National League
Saturday 14th September 2019

Garry Hill returns to the Laithwaite Community Stadium for the first time in two-and-a-half years on Saturday, as he brings his struggling Ebbsfleet United side to town looking to spring a surprise against the National League leaders.

It will be a somewhat surreal reunion for Woking fans with their former manager, who enjoyed almost universal support throughout more than six years at the helm, leading the Cards to the National League South title in 2012 as well as four consecutive top-half finishes in the fifth tier. However, sentiment will be put well and truly to one side during the game itself, as Woking look to continue their superb start to the season under current boss Alan Dowson. The Cards are currently on an eight-match unbeaten run, stretching back to the second game of the season, and returned to the top of the table last Saturday with a deserved point away to individual goal to secure a 1-1 draw, his first as a player at this Hartlepool United – as Paul Hodges scored a fantastic individual goal to secure a 1-1 draw, his first as a player at this level.

It’s been a tough start to the season for Ebbsfleet. Rocked by reported financial troubles behind the scenes mid-way through last season, Hill has been forced into a near-complete overhaul of his squad since his arrival at the club in November 2018, and despite securing a creditable eighth-place finish last campaign things have proved much tougher so far this year – starting with five consecutive defeats before a mild rejuvenation in recent weeks – picking up six points from their last five games, including a first win, to lift them off the bottom of the table. Their recent run has seen them pick up draws with Notts County, Dover Athletic and Eastleigh, whilst also beating Boreham Wood 2-1, but they did suffer defeat at the hands of another of this season’s struggling sides, Aldershot Town.

This should be another great game and, as well as being a chance to give Garry and a number of ex-Woking players a warm welcome, is the perfect opportunity to see the high-flying Cards as they hopefully put on another excellent performance in a season which has been full of them so far. Come along if you can and support the team!

Woking Team News

Dowse and his management team certainly have plenty of options to choose from at present. At the back, Manny Parry will be desperate to force his way back into the starting eleven, at the expense of either Ben Gerring or Moussa Diarra who have started each of the last two games. In midfield, Godfrey Poku has arguably been the standout player for the Cards so far this month, and should start again alongside Kane Ferdinand with Shaun Donnellan sidelined.

Further forward, Woking fans will be waiting with bated breath to hear whether or not Toby Edser’s loan spell from Nottingham Forest has been extended following his excellent start to the season, although Dowse does have the as yet untested Jake Gray waiting in the wings for his debut. Up front, the trio of Jake Hyde, Dave Tarpey and Tyreke Johnson continue to impress, although Hodges’ man-of-the-match cameo against Hartlepool could have forced him into the equation.

Ebbsfleet United Team News

The Fleet currently boast five ex-Woking players within their ranks. Of these, the most fondly remembered will undoubtedly be John Goddard, who made 128 appearances for the club between 2013 and 2016, scoring 27 times and winning the club’s Player of the Year Award. He has since played in the Football League for both Swindon Town and Stevenage, before less memorable spells at Bromley and neighbours Aldershot last season. Conference South winning midfielder-turned-defender Jack King has also enjoyed a career at a higher level since leaving the Laithwaite Community Stadium – playing for Preston North End, Scunthorpe United and Stevenage before moving to Stonebridge Road in 2018. Also returning will be striker Gozie Ugwu, Woking’s top scorer during the 2016/17 season with 21 goals in all competitions, defender Aswad Thomas, who made just shy of 100 appearances for the club across two spells, and midfielder Frankie Sutherland, who played a handful of games for the Cards three years ago.

In their last game, a 1-1 draw at home to Eastleigh, Hill started with Australian Jordan Holmes, currently being selected ahead of long-term number one Nathan Ashmore, in goal; in defence was King, Thomas, former Eastleigh and Maidenhead man Ayo Obileye, the experienced Lawrie Wilson, best known for spells at Stevenage and Charlton Athletic, as well as AFC Bournemouth loanee Tyler Cordner. In midfield, Sutherland started alongside James Ball, a recent addition from Stevenage who also enjoyed a successful time in non-league with Stockport County, and veteran Myles Weston who has played for the likes of Brentford, Gillingham and Southend United. Up front was Josh Umerah, released by Charlton last summer after a year on loan at Boreham Wood, and Stevenage-loanee Alex Reid. Ugwu was on the bench.

Last Time Out

Ebbsfleet United 2-1 Woking – National League (20th February 2018)

A Woking team which would ultimately be doomed for relegation fell just short against an Ebbsfleet side which would go on to make the play-offs. The Cards did put up a fight, with Charlie Carter scoring for the visitors, but ultimately a brace from veteran striker Danny Kedwell proved decisive. Goalkeeper Nathan Baxter was chosen as Woking’s man-of-the-match which gives a better impression of the flow of the game. However, the Cards did taste victory the last time the two sides met at the Laithwaite Community Stadium, with Inih Effiong scoring the game’s only goal.

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 consecutive away games against two teams at opposite ends of the table – starting at Chorley next Saturday before a trip to unbeaten Bromley the following Tuesday. Our next home game is on the last Saturday in September against Boreham Wood.

Cards Denied Three Points by Late Ebbsfleet Rally

Bob Raikes
12:00am, Sat 14th Sep 2019
Woking 2 Ebbsfleet United 2
Vanarama National League
14th September 2019

The sky was blue and the grass was green for the visit of Ebbsfleet, and the return of John Goddard, Gozie Ugwu, Jack King, Frankie Sutherland and last, but never least, Garry Hill.

The Woking team was unchanged from the starting line-up against Hartlepool, but with Max Kretzschmar back on the bench after his injury at the expense of Ibrahim Miete. Before the kick off there was a very well observed one-minute applause in memory of Charlie Mortimore who died this week.

Ebbsfleet kicked off with Woking defending the LGS stand end of the ground, After the first two and a half, the Cards finally started to get the ball out of their half and towards the Ebbsfleet goal. An early indication of the battles to come was a clash of heads between Godfrey Poku and Goddard. A free kick to Woking on six minutes made its way to Hyde but the ball went out for a corner. Edser swung in a great cross that Gerring was only inches from.

Ebbsfleet gave the ball away and Johnson moved into the space in the middle but didn’t pass when the Fleet expected him to. He hit a superb goal from more than 20 yards into the far corner; just eight minutes and 1-0 to Woking.

The visitors tried to get straight back into the game although a long ball almost saw Johnson in again, but Holmes charged out from the goal to clear. Ebbsfleet tried to get the down to the corner, but conceded a 'Casey special' free kick near the corner flag.

After 13 minutes, Tarpey, who looked sharp all game, nutmegged the defender and got a fierce shot away that the keeper was just able to tip the ball over for a corner.

A couple of minutes later, Alex Reid, who was a threat throughout the game, attacked down the wing and hit a shot that flashed across the front of the Woking goal.

At this point, the game was end-to-end - there was no sustained possession by either side.

Woking won a free kick after good work between Tarpey and Hyde, but it was defended well. Poku then went in the book for a strong tackle on Goddard.

Weston of Ebbsfleet was booked on 25 minutes for a tackle. The resulting free kick came in from near the corner flag and nearly made its way into the net, but was parried by the keeper from Hyde. Tarpey then beat his man and got a low cross in to Hyde, but Hyde couldn't turn fast enough and the ball was cleared.

A header from an Ebbsfleet throw-in looped over the bar onto the roof of the net, but Ross had it well covered all the way. Both the Woking full backs were doing well and in general, Woking did well down the wings, while Ebbsfleet seemed to have more strength through the middle.

Woking made an attack down the left - Casey got the ball to Hyde who passed it onto Johnson who was fouled 25 yards out and in line with the left hand edge of the penalty area, but the ball was blazed over the KRE stand from the free kick by Tarpey. After that Johnson switched to the right with Tarps moving to left for the rest of the half.

On 35 minutes Reid - who was looking Ebbsfleet's most dangerous player - was well tackled by Ben Gerring.

Two minutes later, the Fleet intercepted a Casey throw in and the ball was got to Weston who hit a powerful shot that flashed across the goal. Woking also scrambled the ball clear from another attack.

Weston blatantly pulled Cook back, but was not booked – a second yellow would have seen him off.

Three minutes of added time saw Ebbsfleet trying to equalise but solid defending by the Cards maintained the the one goal advantage.

Half-time: Woking 1 Ebbsfleet United 0

Gozie Ugwu replaced Goddard at half time for the visitors..

Soon after the restart, Cordner won a corner on the Woking left. The ball got to Obileye who was unmarked beyond the back post, but his header missed the goal by some distance.

Johnson went on a run diagonally across corner of the Ebbsfleet penalty area and was taken out by late tackle by Holmes, the Fleet's keeper. Sutherland was booked, but Holmes stayed on for the penalty. Jake Hyde was very quick to get to the ball to take the penalty, but his hard shot hit the underside of the bar and the keeper's back and bounced out, leaving the Cards with just a one goal lead.

From a corner Ebbsfleet came close, but a header was well saved by Ross at close range. The Fleet then made a penalty appeal for handball (from where this reporter was, it looked like handball, but the ref was at a different angle!). There were several good attacks by Ebbsfleet, but with no goals and at 55 minutes, Casey lost the ball and in the subsequent attack, Reid made a great cross, but Umerah missed the header and let Woking off the hook.

On 59 minutes, Gerring, who had been impeccable until then, made a clumsy tackle on Umerah in the D on the edge of the box. After a dummy run over the ball, Sutherland hit it round the wall towards the bottom corner but Ross pushed it out for a throw in.

Woking then started to come back in to the game. Poku, Hyde, Tarpey and Edser were combining well but couldn't get the breakthrough. From a corner in the 63rd minute, Diarra headed powerfully just over the bar and soon after Hyde got the ball from Tarpey, but headed it wide.

Tarpey made a surging run half the length of the field after an Ebbsfleet attack broke down. He hit a strong shot on target, but it was just too close to the keeper.

On 70 minutes, an injury to Gerring saw Parry come onto the field. Woking were pressing better at this point, but couldn't break down the Fleet's defence.

Woking then had a let off when what could have been a penalty for grappling by Parry was waved away by the ref.

Finally Cook got the ball to Tarpey who was tackled, but the ball went through to Jake Hyde who coolly put the ball into the back of the net. At 77 minutes it was Woking 2 Ebbsfleet 0.

Poku put a ball through to Johnson who put in a good shot, but it was well saved and the danger averted. At this point, it looked as though the fight had gone out of the Fleet, but that didn't turn out to be the case. Still, a Tarpey shot was deflected for a corner, and Parry flashed a header just wide of the far post.

The play was interrupted by two substitutions for Ebbsfleet and one for Woking - Collier came on for Edser - presumably to beef up the defence but that didn't work. Straight from the restart, a good ball to Wilson was tapped in by Reid to make the score Woking 2 Ebbsfleet 1 on 83 minutes. Game on!

On 87 minutes, man of the match Johnson came off to a strong ovation from the LGS and Hodges came on.

Just as five minutes of additional time was announced, a soft free kick for Ebbsfleet was dummied by Cordner, and Weston put a very good free kick around the wall and into the far corner - Ross had no chance. Now it was 2-2.

As usual, there were a couple of late chances. Woking had a free kick, but Tarpey, who rushed to take it, hit the wall and the header looped over the bar for a corner. A scare for the Cards saw Cook nearly give the ball away with a weak chest back to Ross, but the Ebbsfleet forward couldn't get his feet organised quickly enough and it was eventually cleared.

In the end, a draw was probably a fair result, but Woking will be frustrated, having been 2-0 up with less than 20 minutes to go. On the other hand, Cards fans will know that you can't write off a Garry Hill team. There is talk that Dowse tried to sign Alex Reid and on this performance, you can see why.

Woking: 13 Craig Ross, 2 Jack Cook, 5 Ben Gerring (4 Manny Parry 72’), 6 Moussa Diarra, 3 Josh Casey ©, 14 Godfrey Poku, 8 Kane Ferdinand, 20 Toby Edser (12 Nathan Collier 84’), 7 Dave Tarpey, 17 Tyreke Johnson (11 Paul Hodges 88’), 9 Jake Hyde

Unused subs: 1 Sam Howes, 10 Max Kretzschmar

Goals: Johnson 8’, Hyde 78’

Bookings: Poku 23’

Ebbsfleet United:N21 Jordan Holmes (GK), 6 Lawrie Wilson, 10 John Goddard (9 Gozie Ugwu 45’), 2 Jack King (c), 20 Tyler Cordner, 19 Frankie Sutherland (18 Alfie Egan 83’), 8 James Ball (4 Alex Lawless 83’), 5 Ayo Obileye, 11 Myles Weston, 12 Josh Umerah, 23 Alex Reid

Unused subs: 13 Harry Palmer (GK) 15 Jamie Grimes

Goals: Reid 84’, Weston 91’

Bookings: Weston 25’, Sutherland 49’, Holmes 94’

Referee: Scott Jackson

Attendance: 1,942

Sponsor’s (Laithwaite Financial Services) Man of the Match: Tyreke Johnson – well deserved.
13Craig Ross
2Jack Cook
3Josh Casey
5Ben Gerring ('72)
6Moussa Diarra
14Godfrey Poku
8Kane Ferdinand
20Toby Edser ('83)
17Tyreke Johnson ('88)
7Dave Tarpey
9Jake Hyde
1Sam Howes
4Manny Parry ('72)
12Nathan Collier ('83)
11Paul Hodges ('88)
10Max Kretzschmar
Ebbsfleet United LINEUP
21Jordan Holmes
2Jack King
5Ayo Obileye
20Tyler Cordner
6Lawrie Wilson
8James Ball ('82)
19Frankie Sutherland ('82)
11Myles Weston
10John Goddard ('46)
12Josh Umerah
23Alex Reid
13Harry Palmer
15Jamie Grimes
4Alex Lawless ('82)
18Alfie Egan ('82)
9Gozie Ugwu ('46)

Woking 2 - 2 Ebbsfleet United | Extended Highlights

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