Laithwaite Independent Financial Advisers
5:20pm - SaturdaySat 23rd NovemberNov 2019
York Road | Att: 1307

Maidenhead United
2 - 3


Cards hoping to find cutting edge in televised clash

Glen Harrington
6:48pm, Thu 21st Nov 2019
Maidenhead United vs Woking
Vanarama National League
Saturday 23rd November 2019

Woking will travel to Maidenhead United on Saturday looking to continue an encouraging run of form away from the Laithwaite Community Stadium.

The Cards were left frustrated last weekend as, despite being up against ten men for the last third of the game, they were unable to find a breakthrough against a resolute FC Halifax Town side who, like Woking, remain firmly in contention for at least a play-off place. It was the Cards’ first 0-0 draw in a competitive game since the stalemate against Boreham Wood in March 2018 and the first under manager Alan Dowson since his appointment at the start of last season. Dowse’s side have found goals a little hard to come by recently, scoring more than once in a game just three times since the end of August, but the players should be buoyed by an impressive away record which has seen the club register just two defeats on the road all season – at Yeovil and Bromley. Woking fans will also be hoping that a returning Jake Gray, recalled from a successful spell at Hampton & Richmond Borough, could be that extra ingredient which provides the missing piece of the puzzle going forward, starting this weekend at Maidenhead.

The Magpies are currently in 17th place with 25 points from 21 games, seven points behind Woking, but six points clear of the relegation places. They made an excellent start to the season, winning five of their first eight games, whilst accumulating 16 points before the end of August; but like the Cards they’ve found things getting a little tougher as winter has set in, winning just twice in the league since the start of September, beating Ebbsfleet and Solihull during the month of October – as well as knocking National League South leaders Wealdstone out of the FA Cup. So far this month they’ve lost twice away from home, at Aldershot and Boreham Wood, whilst they’ve also been beaten by League One Rotherham United in the cup. York Road has not always been the happiest of hunting grounds for the Cards, particularly against Alan Devonshire whose side won twice and drew once against Woking in 2017/18, although no doubt many Woking fans will fondly remember the win there in 2012 which sealed our promotion to the National League.

If you can, please do make the relatively short journey to support the team this weekend. If you can’t make it, remember to tune in to BT Sport for the 5:20pm kick-off, or better yet come along and watch the match in the Woking clubhouse where it will be shown following Sheerwater’s game that afternoon.

Woking Team News

Dowse named an unchanged side for the game against Halifax – with Craig Ross in goal, a back four of Jack Cook, Josh Casey, Ben Gerring and Moussa Diarra, a midfield trio of Glen Rea, Kane Ferdinand and Shaun Donnellan, with Jamar Loza, Dave Tarpey and Jake Hyde as the front three.

There will be some concern over Donnellan’s fitness following the heavy tackle he sustained against Halifax, resulting in the red card, with Godfrey Poku or Max Kretzschmar the obvious potential replacements. The boss could also play his wildcard in the shape of Gray, a more attacking midfielder by trade, who could bring a different element to the Woking attack. Otherwise, the team will likely remain settled.

Maidenhead United Team News

For last Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Boreham Wood, Maidenhead started with the experienced Chris Dunn in goal, the man formerly of Northampton, Cambridge and Wrexham amongst others; in defence was Rene Steer, a full-back briefly on Woking’s books, Joe Ellul, who was sent off and will presumably be suspended for this game, Aron Davies, Ryheem Sheckleford and Seth Nana Twumasi, a former England youth international who is the product of Chelsea’s academy, he previously spent three years with Maidstone in this division.

In midfield was Ryan Upward alongside Josh Smile, whilst the forwards were Josh Kelly, former Guiseley and Hartlepool man Jake Cassidy, as well as Danny Whitehall. A couple of players to possibly look out for from the bench are former Aldershot pair Shamir Fenelon and Bernard Mensah, although the former wasn’t involved last time out.

Last Time Out

Maidenhead United 2-1 Woking – National League (10th April 2018)

A result which ultimately went a long way to sealing the Cards’ relegation that season. Woking, without a win in ten games coming into this encounter and in just the second match under the makeshift management team of Jason Goodliffe and Geoff Chapple, were far from at their best but did take a surprise lead through Jonny Edwards 15 minutes from time. The Magpies turned it around however with two late goals of their own, netting through Adrian Clifton and Sean Marks to steal all three points, with now Woking striker Jake Hyde coming on as a late substitute. The Cards ended up going down by a single point and many will have pointed to this one as a big missed opportunity.

On the Day

The ground can be found on York Road; the postcode is SL6 1SH – a drive of around 50 minutes from the Laithwaite Community Stadium. Maidenhead Railway Station is located less than half a mile away from the York Road Ground and is only a five-minute walk to the Bell Street turnstiles or ten minutes to the main entrance. The station is served by trains from London Paddington, Oxford and Reading.

There will be a coach for supporters running for this game. Travelling fans should arrive by 2:45pm for departure at 3:00pm. The cost Is £20 for adults and £15 for those under-16. Cards Trust members receive a £5 discount per person.

Ticket prices are £15 for adults, £10 for concessions and £5 for under-16s.

Next Up

The Cards are back in action on Tuesday evening at home to Bromley. We finish November with a trip to Boreham Wood next Saturday.

Cards move into the play-offs with well-earnt win

Justin Burns
12:00am, Sat 23rd Nov 2019
Maidenhead United 2 Woking 3
Vanarama National League
Saturday 23rd November 2019

The Cards moved into seventh spot and back into the play-off positions with a deserved 3-2 victory away to Maidenhead United on Saturday evening in front of the BT Sport cameras. Woking were by far the better side for long periods of the game, but after looking like they had wrapped up the three points by making it 3-1 with 15 minutes left had to withstand a late fightback from Maidenhead.

On a drizzly afternoon at York Road, Woking were set up in Dowse’s favoured 4-3-3 formation, but had to make a late change after Kane Ferdinand was ruled out and was replaced by Godfrey Poku in central midfield, in what was the only change from last week’s 0-0 draw at home to Halifax Town.

The Cards started the game with energy and purpose and nearly took the lead early doors, when in the fifth minute Jake Hyde swivelled on the edge of the box and hit a low right foot effort that was well saved to the left, before Shaun Donnellan had a shot saved in the ninth minute after striking an effort just inside the box after a cross from the right.

After having far, the better of the early exchanges, Woking deservedly made the breakthrough in the 10th minute when Moussa Diarra (picture above) scored his second goal of the season, when he bundled the ball home from close range after a corner from the left.

The Cards continued to threaten and nearly went further in front in the 15th minute when the lively Loza put in a lovely cross from the left after getting in behind the static Maidenhead defence, which somehow managed to scramble it away. Then in the 22nd minute, Josh Casey whipped in a left foot cross from the right that Diarra headed just wide.

Maidenhead finally got into the game when they first registered their first shot of the game in the 28th minute when Jake Cassidy dragged wide of Craig Ross’ right post and then Ben Gerring defended superbly when he blocked a shot 10 yards out.

The Cards’ fans were getting a little concerned that a second goal had not come after having the lion’s share of possession and some good chances missed. More opportunities for the crucial second went begging after incisive breaks, as the final ball let them down when crosses in dangerous positions were cut out.

Finally, Woking took a 2-0 lead in the 44th minute, much to the relief of the travelling Woking fans, and what a finish it was by Loza, who picked up a wayward header on the edge of the box and flicked it past a man before rifling a right footed shot into the bottom left-hand corner. The Cards fully merited a 2-0 advantage at the break.

Half-time: Maidenhead 0 Woking 2

Both sets of fans were treated to some fireworks at half-time that were part of the Maidenhead town centre Christmas lights switch-on and the home team, who were second best for most of the first half reacted by making two substitutes during the interval.

This seemed to give Maidenhead some impetus and substitute Danny Whitehall made an immediate impact in the 49th minute when his left foot shot was well defended by the hard-working Cards defence. Then in the 55th minute Woking somehow managed to scramble the ball away when Ross first made a great save from Cassidy and then Mensah had his shot blocked thanks to some superb last-ditch defending.

After weathering the storm in the early part of the second half, the Cards nearly went 3-0 up in the 59th minute when Hyde glanced a header from a Poku cross that was well tipped over the crossbar by Dunn.

The game was turned on its head on the hour mark, when Maidenhead pulled a goal back through Whitehall, who tapped home into an empty net after Ross had parried an effort from the pacey Mensah, who had broken free on the left after a fast break.

The end-to-end nature continued and there were clearly more goals in the game, especially for the Cards as the Maidenhead defence looked shaky. In the 64th minute Tarpey nearly scored against his former club when his shot was well blocked near the six-yard box after the dangerous Loza beat his marker and delivered a lovely ball in.

Hyde, like Tarpey, was also playing against his former club, as he played for Maidenhead for around 18 months from 2016 to 2018, and nearly made it 3-1 in the 68th minute but headed over the bar from eight yards out after Cook put in a pin-point cross from the right.

However, Hyde was not to be denied and in the 75th minute he scored his 11th goal of the season when he beat the keeper to the ball and turned home from close range after a teasing chip over the top by Loza. The finish was typical Hyde - a calm, poacher’s finish, which sent the few hundred Cards fans who had made the journey into raptures.

Jake Hyde evades the Magpies keeper to score; pic: David Holmes

After going 3-1 up, Woking seemed to sit back and let Maidenhead back into the game and in the 86th minute Maidenhead set-up a grandstand finish for the BT Sport television cameras by making it 3-2, when Whitehall scored his second of the game when he struck a right foot shot from 10 yards out that went through the legs of Ross and into the back of the net.

The goal tested the nerves of the travelling fans, but Woking played out the last few minutes in a composed fashion, particularly Loza, who ran the ball deep into the corner to waste valuable minutes and there were no more chances for Maidenhead to snatch an equaliser.

The Cards deservedly took home all three points and are now unbeaten in three games, but four on the road and will be looking to continue that run on Tuesday night at the Kingfield when they entertain high-flying Bromley, who are now second in the National League.

Woking are now in seventh place, just inside the play-off positions in a congested division where it seems anyone can beat anyone, and after building up some momentum again, they will be looking to carry on their improved form as they enter the key Christmas period that can make or break a season and when the games come thick and fast.

Woking: 13 Craig Ross, 2 Jack Cook, 3 Josh Casey, 5 Ben Gerring, 6 Moussa Diarra, 23 Glen Rea, 16 Shaun Donnellan, 14 Godfrey Poku (Max Kretzschmar 80’), 22 Jamar Loza, 9 Jake Hyde, 7 Dave Tarpey (Jake Gray 86’)

Unused subs: 11 Paul Hodges, 12 Nathan Collier, 26 Christian Paulat-Brigg

Goals: Diarra 10’, Loza 44’, Hyde 75’

Booked: Donnellan, Kretzschmar

Maidenhead United: 1 Chris Dunn, 2 Remy Clerima, 3 Rene Steer, 5 Aron Davies, 8 James Comley, 16 Ryheem Sheckleford, 19 Ryan Upward, 9 Jake Cassidy, 10 Josh Kelly (James Akintunde 87’), 27 Ibra Sekajja (Danny Whitehall 46’), 28 Josh Smile (Bernard Mensah 46’)

Unused subs: 6 Freddie Grant, 20 Jaden Brissett

Goals: Whitehall 60’, 85’

Booked: Kelly, Whitehall

Attendance: 1,307

Referee: Adrian Quelch

Man of the Match: Jamar Loza – caused havoc down the left with his pace and direct running and got the all-important second goal just before half-time
Maidenhead United LINEUP
1Chris Dunn
2Remy Clerima
3Rene Steer
5Aron Davies
16Ryheem Sheckleford
19Ryan Upward
28Josh Smile ('46)
8James Comley
27Ibra Sekajja ('46)
10Josh Kelly ('87)
9Jake Cassidy
6Freddie Grant
11Bernard Mensah ('46)
14Danny Whitehall ('46)
18James Akintunde ('87)
20Jaden Brissett
13Craig Ross
2Jack Cook
3Josh Casey
5Ben Gerring
6Moussa Diarra
23Glen Rea
16Shaun Donnellan
14Godfrey Poku ('80)
22Jamar Loza
7Dave Tarpey ('86)
9Jake Hyde
21Christian Paulat-Brigg
12Nathan Collier
24Jake Gray ('86)
11Paul Hodges
10Max Kretzschmar ('80)

Maidenhead United 2-3 Woking | Matt Winter Interview

Maidenhead United 2-3 Woking | Godfrey Poku Interview

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