Barnet Walker way with 3 points
12:00am, Wed 11th Mar 2020
Woking 1 Barnet 3
Vanarama National League
10th March 2020
Woking were looking to regain a play-off place as they welcomed Barnet to the Laithwaite Community Stadium, in a fixture which was Alan Dowsonâ€™s 100th competitive game in charge at the club. The Cards were unchanged from their brilliant win at FC Halifax on the weekend, and in a highly anticipated game against playoff chasing rivals, a third win in a row wouldâ€™ve been massive for the Cards in their chase for a spot in the top 7. A momentous occasion for the Woking manager didnâ€™t turn out as planned however, as Barnet took away all 3 points on a rainy evening at Kingfield, thanks to a goal from Paul McCallum and a double from substitute Josh Walker.
The opening 5 minutes of the match saw Wokingâ€™s defence instantly under pressure, when successive attacks gave Barnet a corner, which was cleverly delivered onto the edge of the box. An unmarked Cheye Alexander met the ball with a volley after running from deep, but he was denied by one of the numerous red and white shirts on the goal-line, preventing the visitors from taking an early lead.
Woking responded well though, and enjoyed a spell which presented them with many goalscoring opportunities, including a defended cross which fell kindly to Dave Tarpey (pictured above) on the volley but was deflected, and narrowly missed the target denying the ex-Barnet player a goal against his former side. Minutes later, sharp and precise touch passing from the right flank led to a fantastic opportunity for Woking, when Tarpey found Wokingâ€™s top goal scorer Jake Hyde on the edge of the 6-yard box. Hyde couldnâ€™t repeat a goal from the weekend however as his shot on the turn was crucially blocked.
The best chance in the first half for the home side came inside the 17th minute, when Jamar Loza excellently cut inside of Alexander on the left-hand side, and instantly put in a wicked cross with his right foot. The wingerâ€™s fantastic play shouldâ€™ve resulted in a goal when his cross met the head of Kane Ferdinand, but the midfielder mistimed his header and fired it just wide of the post.
The Cards would rue this missed opportunity as the gameâ€™s momentum turned once again. This began when a beautifully timed sliding challenge from Moussa Diarra only moments after, stopped a dangerous 1-on-1 situation for Barnetâ€™s top scorer Simeon Akinola.
It was inside the 26th minute when the visitors opened the scoring. Tutonda carried the ball in a rare attack coming from Barnetâ€™s left-hand side, and played a through ball to Paul McCallum who timed his run to perfection, despite pleas of offside from Woking assistant manager Ian Dyer. Ross almost saved the strikerâ€™s 1-on-1 effort, but couldnâ€™t get enough contact on it and instead the ball trickled into the back of the net.
For the remainder of the first half, Barnet showed a professional display, defending resiliently and retaining possession well, with captain James Dunne dominating the midfield and keeping it ticking for the away side.
A succession of chances came Wokingâ€™s way however in the final minutes of the half, with the first of which coming from a thunderous strike from distance by Tarpey, which took a huge deflection, but goalkeeper Scott Loach adjusted his feet well and got strong hands behind the shot, forcing a corner to Woking. Moments later, another good move fell on a plate for Hyde once again after a teasing cross from Tarpey was cushioned on the volley by the number 9, but somehow the target was completely missed.
James Dunneâ€™s dominant display in midfield was topped off right before half time, when another brilliant Tarpey cross was heroically headed away by the Barnet skipper and kept the score at 0-1 going into half time.
Half-time: Woking 0 Barnet 1
The Bees carried their solid first half performance in the second half, limiting Wokingâ€™s attacks and causing the home side to often play route 1 football. Woking kept it a 1-goal deficit thanks to brilliant last ditch defending from Cook and Diarra, denying fantastic chances for substitute Josh Walker on 2 separate occasions.
Just before the hour mark, a silky turn from Tutonda inside Barnetâ€™s half initiated a counter attack for the visitors, which ended up presenting Dunne with a marvellous opportunity in the 18-yard box to double Barnetâ€™s lead, but surprisingly the Barnet captain missed the target with his effort whistling past the right post.
It was evident the visitors were hunting for a 2nd and it was proving to be very difficult for Woking to find their stride. However, great defending from Woking, particularly from Moussa Diarra, was making it a difficult task for Barnet in finding a break through.
With 20 minutes left, the games momentum had turned once again in favour of the Cards, and substitute Matt Jarvis was showing real threat coming off the bench. Inside the 76th minute, the former West Ham man made a darting run down the left flank and whipped in a dangerous cross which had beaten the outstretched Loach. The ball looked as though it would fall perfectly to Loza in a goal-scoring position, but Sweeney intervened crucially which was greeted by cries of handball by the Woking fans.
Referee James Bell saw nothing wrong with the challenge, and almost immediately after, a long ball forward which looked like it would be dealt with by Diarra, was completely missed by the centre back, and gifted a 1-on-1 for Walker. The substitute delicately chipped the ball over Ross, doubling Barnetâ€™s tally in style. This was a cruel moment for Diarra, who was having an exceptional game at the back.
This goal couldâ€™ve easily disheartened this Woking side, but they responded well, and with 5 minutes of the 90 left on the clock, Jarvis once again made a powerful run on the left and put in a phenomenal delivery into the penalty area. The towering Jack Cook met it powerfully with his head, and thundered it past Loach to bring it back to 1-2. Hyde was claiming a final touch, but it looked as though the goal belonged to the right back.
With players committed forward, Woking desperately looked for an equaliser, and looked to replicate Barnetâ€™s comeback in the reverse fixture in October, where the Bees snatched an equaliser in stoppage time after being 2-0 down. Instead, despite the Cardsâ€™ best efforts, they were caught on the counter attack with so many players forward, and it was once again the substitute Walker who finished it off, placing it into the bottom corner and securing the 3 points for Barnet.
It was a frustrating night for the Cards, and one which couldâ€™ve quite easily gone differently had Woking taken their chances in the first half. However, they return to Kingfield this Saturday to face a struggling Dagenham and Redbridge, and keep their promotion chase alive.
Woking: 13 Craig Ross, 2 Jack Cook, 3 Josh Casey Â©, 5 Ben Gerring, 6 Moussa Diarra, 7 Dave Tarpey (11 Matt Jarvis 57â€™), 8 Kane Ferdinand, 9 Jake Hyde, 10 Max Kretzschmar (20 Josh Neufville 68â€™), 18 Ben Dempsey (23 Jayden Wareham 79â€™), 22 Jamar Loza
Unused subs: 25 Adam Guest, 16 Shaun Donnellan
Goals: Cook 85â€™
Bookings: Gerring 65â€™
Barnet 1 Scott Loach, 2 Cheye Alexander, 3 Elliott Johnson, 5 Ricardo Santos, 6 James Dunne Â©, 14 Simeon Akinola (22 Josh Walker 45â€™), 15 Paul McCallum (8 Charlee Adams 85â€™), 16 Harry Taylor, 18 Wesley Fonguck (27 Ephron Mason-Clarke 53â€™), 23 David Tutonda, 26 Dan Sweeney
Unused subs: 11 Dan Sparkes, 20 Mauro Vilhete
Goals: Tutonda 26â€™, Walker 77â€™, 94â€™
Bookings: Walker 51â€™
Referee: James Bell
Attendance: 1,486 (120 away)
Sponsorâ€™s Man of the Match: Ben Dempsey â€“ picked up many second balls and kept possession well for the Cards.