3:00pm - SaturdaySat 7th DecemberDec 2019
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 2127

2 - 1

Hartlepool United

Cards aiming to kick-off festive period with a win

Glen Harrington
4:54pm, Fri 6th Dec 2019
Woking vs Hartlepool United
Vanarama National League
Saturday 7th December 2019

Woking entertain Hartlepool United at the Laithwaite Community Stadium this weekend, in what is the Cards’ first of seven league and cup games in a four-week period over December and early January.

Alan Dowson’s side will be looking to bounce back from last week’s disappointing defeat at Boreham Wood, a result which ended a run of 10 points out of 12 throughout the rest of November, and had previously elevated Woking back to within three points of the top of the league table. The Cards are yet to beat Hartlepool in three attempts since the Monkey Hangers’ relegation to non-league football in 2017, drawing twice and losing once, although they came within a crossbar’s width of a stoppage time winner the last time Pools came to town in September 2017. After also coming close at Victoria Park this September, live on BT Sport, Dowse and co will no doubt be determined to take all three points this time around.

It’s been a challenging season so far for Hartlepool who started the year with promotion ambitions but have been held back by their own inconsistencies. They are currently in 12th place with 32 points from 23 games, six points behind Woking in fifth, but nine points clear of the relegation places. Manager Craig Hignett was sacked in October after just under nine months in charge and was replaced last month by former AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor who has remained unbeaten in five games so far – drawing 2-2 with both Ebbsfleet United and Boreham Wood, before thrashing Chesterfield 5-1 last time out. They’ve also kept their place in the FA Cup, impressing with a 4-1 win at Yeovil, before coming from behind to secure another 2-2 draw with Football League side Exeter City.

This should be an entertaining game so please come along if you can and support the team!

Woking Team News

After enjoying a settled team over the last few weeks, Dowse will be forced into changes for this one, with two at least guaranteed – Jamar Loza is suspended following his sending off against Boreham Wood, whilst Glen Rea has returned to Luton Town following the completion of his loan spell. Moussa Diarra is also a doubt after being forced off at half-time in Tuesday’s Surrey Senior Cup win over Chertsey Town.

The boss will at least be boosted by the return of Godfrey Poku, who has completed his one-match ban, whilst Kane Ferdinand is also thought to be close to full fitness after missing the last three league outings. Both players would be a natural fit in midfield. Further forward, Paul Hodges or Ibrahim Meite could take Loza’s place, whilst at the back Nathan Collier could start in lieu of Diarra.

Hartlepool United Team News

For their last league outing, the win over Chesterfield, Challinor selected Ben Killip in goal. The England C international was with Braintree Town last season having spent his early career with Chelsea and Norwich City. In defence was Peter Kioso, an energetic full-back who was a real danger the last time the two sides met, Mark Kitching, a product of Middlesbrough’s academy who was signed from Rochdale, the experienced Michael Raynes, who has played the majority of his career in the Football League for the likes of Stockport, Scunthorpe, Oxford United and Carlisle, plus Fraser Kerr, an addition from Gateshead last season.

In midfield was Ryan Donaldson, who has first-team appearances for Newcastle United and has also played for Cambridge United and Plymouth, Nicky Featherstone, who has racked up over 200 appearances for the club since his debut in 2014, Gus Mafuta and youngster Josh Hawkes. Up front was the ever-dangerous Gime Toure, who has 11 goals this season, including four in his last five, and another England C international, Luke James, who’s in his second spell with the club after time at Peterborough and Forest Green Rovers.

The man to look out for from the bench is undoubtedly Nicke Kabamba, a player Dowse knows well from his time at Hampton, and who has scored six goals in his last 11 games.

Last Time Out

Hartlepool United 1-1 Woking – National League (7th September 2019)

In this televised fixture, the Cards started the brighter and were unlucky to fall behind in first-half stoppage time, when Liam Noble scored from the penalty spot. However, Paul Hodges rescued a point for Woking 10 minutes from time with a brilliantly taken goal, his first in the National League. The result extended the Cards’ unbeaten run to eight-games in all competitions.

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 travel to Kingstonian next Sunday in an FA Trophy fixture. Our next league match is six days later away to Ebbsfleet United – our fourth meeting with the Kent-side this season.

Courageous Cards get deserved 3 points

Liam O'Sullivan
12:00am, Sat 7th Dec 2019
Woking 2 Hartlepool United 1
Vanarama National League
7th December 2019

Woking returned to the Laithwaite Community Stadium in the National League, to face a mid-table but in-form Hartlepool United. The visitors came into the game unbeaten in their last five games, scoring 15 goals in the process. Two of these came from their recent 2-2 FA Cup away draw with League 2 Exeter City.

The two sides already met this season in September, where a then top of the table Woking were unfortunate to not get all three points in a televised 1-1 draw at Victoria Park.

Woking made 3 changes from their 1-0 away defeat in the league to Boreham Wood last Saturday, as they were without Jamar Loza (suspended), Moussa Diarra (injured) and Glen Rea (returned to Luton at end of loan), meaning Nathan Collier, Kane Ferdinand and Godfrey Poku came into the side. Hartlepool on the other hand were understandably unchanged from their impressive 2-2 cup draw against the League 2 playoff-placed side.

Woking fell behind in the first half to a Gime Toure penalty, and were controversially denied a Kane Ferdinand equaliser on the stroke of half time by the linesman’s flag. Nonetheless, Woking showed great spirit in the second half, and likely goal-scorers Jake Hyde and Dave Tarpey both found the net to merit a brilliant 2-1 win.

The opening 15 minutes of the game saw little action in front of goal for both teams. Hartlepool looked the most likely to score in the opening stages, controlling possession and limiting Woking from playing passing football. An edge-of-the-box thunder strike from Gus Mafuta was bravely blocked by Shaun Donnellan, preventing a Hartlepool goal that would’ve warranted their positive start to the game.

Woking tried to respond to Hartlepool’s frantic start through a Max Kretzschmar long range curler, but his ambitious effort was high and wide of the goal. This shot reflected Woking’s struggles in the opening 20 minutes.

In the 24th minute, the creative Josh Hawkes played an exquisite through ball for the rapid Luke James, knowing his teammate would give Jack Cook trouble in a race for the ball. James managed to beat Cook, getting in front of him for a one-on-one chance. However, Cook was far too close to the forward as he entered the 18-yard box, and caused James to lose his balance after clear contact was made, giving referee Tom Reeves no option but to point to the spot.

Gime Toure stepped up, who came into the game with 4 goals to his name in his last 5 appearances, 2 of which were penalties. Hartlepool’s top goal scorer found the net for the 11th time this season, firing it down the middle of the goal and beating the helpless Ross who dived to his right.

Following the Monkey Hangers’ opener, Woking saw plenty of possession, but little opportunities to get an equaliser. The hosts’ first goal scoring opportunity came just over 5 minutes before half time, when skipper Josh Casey floated a cross into a very dangerous area on the edge of the six-yard box. An incoming Jack Cook looked to make up for his earlier foul and threw himself towards the ball, but couldn’t get enough height in his jump to head it home, and instead narrowly fired his header over the bar.

Inside stoppage time, another Casey cross caused problems for Hartlepool’s defence from a deep free kick. Woking’s captain took the set piece delightfully, and the ball found itself in the heart of the penalty area. Kane Ferdinand met the ball powerfully with his head, thundering the ball past Ben Killip. To his despair however, his goal was very questionably disallowed for offside, with a late flag from the linesman denying Woking a crucial equaliser.

Half-time: Woking 0 Hartlepool United 1

The opening 15 minutes of the second half were almost reminiscent of the opening third of the first half; Hartlepool continued to suffocate Woking when in possession, and looked dangerous going forward.

A succession of chances for the visitors 10 minutes into the second half reflected this promising spell for Hartlepool. One of these was as a result of a poor defensive header from Ferdinand from a teasing cross, falling kindly to goal-scorer Toure, but his strike was fantastically and importantly blocked by Ferdinand.

Woking continued to show fearlessness at the back minutes after, when two power strikes from full back Mark Kitching in an inviting area on the edge of the box, were bravely blocked again by red and white shirts. This was perhaps an indicator of the resilience of this Woking side, and their chance to get something out of the game.

The game’s momentum drastically changed in Woking’s favour just past the hour mark, and this was evident when a Gerring flick on from a trademark Jack Cook long throw found itself in a goal-scoring position in the penalty box, but was cleared for a corner before a Woking player could get there.

The Cards’ change in fortune was aided by the introduction of Paul Hodges inside the 65th minute, who replaced Shaun Donnellan, emphasising Dowson’s intention to get all three points. Instantly, Hodges – like in the away fixture – made a huge impact, when another Cook long throw caused problems defensively for Hartlepool, and Hodges fired a shot on the turn on the edge of the box, only for it to fall to Woking’s top goal-scorer Jake Hyde. The number 9 had little space to work with, but clinically found the side netting of the goal, and deservedly levelled things up for Woking, scoring his 12th of the season.

Woking fans were in great voice, and encouraged their spirited side to get a win. Paul Hodges almost found the back of the net with a very decent effort from long range which was arrowing into the top left, but it was comfortably saved in the end by Killip. Woking players were putting in a tireless effort, and were dominating the game on all areas of the pitch.

Inside the 77th minute, Woking’s high pressing was rewarded when Tarpey blocked a defensive clearance inside Hartlepool’s half. He made a powerful run forward, dribbling his way towards the edge of the box. This fantastic run ended up with a fantastic goal, when Tarpey exquisitely leathered the ball into the top left corner, putting Woking in front for the first time in the game. This scorcher was undoubtedly a contender for goal of the season.

Dave Tarpey's wonder goal; pic: David Holmes

Although Woking had taken the lead, there was no sign that they were going to drop their intensity. They retained possession brilliantly, and defended with discipline when they needed to. There was almost late drama however, inside the 8th minute of stoppage time (3 minutes past the additional 5, due to a late injury to Josh Casey), when a wonderful Nicky Featherstone corner gave Kenton Richardson a header from no more than 8 yards out. The full back leapt up, but somehow rattled the bar, in what was the last action of the game.

This late chance would’ve been a cruel goal for Woking to concede, but the Cards got all 3 points in a very courageous performance, bouncing back from their unfortunate away defeat to Boreham Wood last Saturday.

The Cards will make the short trip to Kingstonian in the FA Trophy 1st round next Sunday, looking to get a cup run to make up for their early FA Cup exit.

Woking: 13 Craig Ross, 2 Jack Cook, 3 Josh Casey ©, 12 Nathan Collier, 5 Ben Gerring, 16 Shaun Donnellan (11 Paul Hodges 65’), 8 Kane Ferdinand, 14 Godfrey Poku, 10 Max Kretzschmar, 7 Dave Tarpey (24 Jake Gray 86’), 9 Jake Hyde

Unused subs: 21 Christian Paulat-Brigg, 4 Manny Parry, 18 Ibrahim Meite

Goals: Hyde 66’, Tarpey 77’

Bookings: Cook 24’, Poku 42’, Casey 54’

Hartlepool United 1 Ben Killip, 3 Mark Kitching, 4 Michael Raynes, 5 Fraser Kerr, 7 Ryan Donaldson ©, 8 Nicky Featherstone, 11 Josh Hawkes (9 Nicke Kabamba 86’), 15 Gus Mafuta (24 Tyler Hamilton 81’), 19 Kenton Richardson, 23 Gime Toure, 33 Luke James

Unused subs: 10 Niko Muir, 22 Romoney Crichlow-Noble, 28 Jason Kennedy

Goals: Toure 25’ (pen)

Bookings: Mafuta 4’, Toure 63, Hawkes 76’

Referee: Tom Reeves

Attendance: 2,127 (205 away)

Sponsor’s Man of the Match: Paul Hodges

13Craig Ross
2Jack Cook
3Josh Casey
5Ben Gerring
12Nathan Collier
14Godfrey Poku
16Shaun Donnellan ('65)
8Kane Ferdinand
10Max Kretzschmar
7Dave Tarpey ('87)
9Jake Hyde
21Christian Paulat-Brigg
4Manny Parry
24Jake Gray ('87)
11Paul Hodges ('65)
18Ibrahim Meite
Hartlepool United LINEUP
1Ben Killip
19Kenton Richardson
3Mark Kitching
4Michael Raynes
5Fraser Kerr
7Ryan Donaldson
8Nicky Featherstone
15Gus Mafuta ('81)
11Josh Hawkes ('86)
33Luke James
23Gime Toure
22Romoney Crichlow-Noble
28Jason Kennedy
24Tyler Hamilton ('81)
10Niko Muir
9Nicke Kabamba ('86)

Woking 2 - 1 Hartlepool United | Dowse Interview

Woking 2 - 1 Hartlepool United | Paul Hodges Interview

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