3:00pm - SaturdaySat 10th OctoberOct 2020
Technique Stadium

4 - 0


Woking look to keep up perfect start to the season

Glen Harrington
3:46pm, Thu 8th Oct 2020
Chesterfield vs Woking
Vanarama National League
Saturday 10th October 2020

Woking will need to overcome Chesterfield on Saturday if they are to keep up their one hundred percent start to the season. The Spireites, meanwhile, will be looking for their first points of the season after defeat in mid-week.

The Cards were excellent on Tuesday evening as they backed up Saturday’s 2-1 success at home to Solihull Moors with a deserved 1-0 victory away to newly promoted Weymouth. Slavi Spasov, who assisted the winner against the Moors, got his name on the scoresheet for the first time as he turned in a Josh Casey free-kick at the back-post. Woking could and perhaps should have had more, the set piece deliveries of both Casey and Charlie Cooper causing all sorts of problems for the Terras defence, whilst at the other end goalkeeper Craig Ross had a refreshingly quiet evening. The result means that Alan Dowson’s side go one better than last year, when the opening day win over Dagenham & Redbridge was cancelled out by defeat to Aldershot Town three days later.

Chesterfield are coming off the back of one of the worst seasons in the club’s history, one in which they narrowly avoided relegation to National League North, and regularly underwhelmed in front of a still impressively-sized home support. Things have started little better for them this time around – their opening game at Wealdstone was called off due to a waterlogged pitch and, when their season finally did get underway on Tuesday evening, they were beaten 2-1 at home by Hartlepool United. They had led earlier in the evening through a penalty from former Woking loanee Tom Denton, but within 15 minutes of scoring they found themselves behind, and their misery was compounded 12 minutes from time when striker Scott Boden was sent off for a foul on the Hartlepool goalkeeper.

Woking – Team News

Dowse made just one change on Tuesday to the team which beat Solihull, with John Goddard coming in on the right of the front three, in place of Max Kretzschmar. There was also a first appearance from the bench for striker Connor Hall who swapped placed with Jayden Wareham and was rewarded with a five-minute cameo in place of goalscorer Spasov. It will be interesting to see if the boss freshens up his team for this one. There are certainly plenty of options, including Dave Tarpey and new signing Tyler Reid, both unused substitutes on Tuesday, whilst Matt Jarvis could be eyeing his first appearance in the matchday squad.

Chesterfield – The Boss

The Spireites are managed by John Pemberton who replaced former boss John Sheridan in January, initially in a caretaker role, before he was given the job permanently the following month. Pemberton was previously the club’s academy manager and served as caretaker once before after the departure of Martin Allen in 2018. His only previous managerial job was with Kidderminster Harriers, but he’s enjoyed plenty of other experience, coaching at the likes of Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United and Bristol City. His playing career saw him make more than 300 appearances in the Football League and Premier League, with his clubs including Crewe Alexandra, Crystal Palace and Leeds United.

One to Watch

Experienced midfielder Curtis Weston is still capable of pulling the strings for Chesterfield. With over 500 games under his belt, predominately in the Football League for the likes of Gillingham and Barnet, the 2004 FA Cup runner-up scored six league goals last season, which were crucial in helping his team stay in the division. Now 33, he remains a regular starter, with 75 league appearances over the last two seasons.

Last Time Out

Chesterfield 1-2 Woking – National League (13th August 2019)

The Cards stunned their hosts in front of nearly 4,000 fans at the Proact Stadium (now known as the Technique Stadium as of August 2020) as they notched a third win in four league games. Ibrahim Meite bundled in the opener from close range before a stunning Dave Tarpey free-kick gave the visitors a two goal advantage on the hour-mark. Scott Boden pulled one back with five minutes remaining, but it was Woking who saw the game out to take home all three points.

Next Up

The Cards host Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday evening before another home game on Saturday when FC Halifax Town will be the visitors to the Laithwaite Community Stadium.

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Cards succumb to Spireites late show

Adam Leary
12:00am, Sat 10th Oct 2020
Chesterfield 4 Woking 0
Vanarama National League
10th October 2020

Woking’s fast start to the season came grinding to a halt as they were on the receiving end of a heavy defeat in Derbyshire. Chesterfield rattled in three late goals to add a gloss to the scoreline from their perspective that would have left the Cards scratching their heads, and wondering just how they had ended up on the receiving end of such a result.

A goal from debutant Alex Kiwomya, sandwiched between a late brace from substitute Luke Rawson, killed the game for the visitors, who had recovered well from the concession of a third minute goal from Tom Denton to dominate most of the open play. Woking fans watching on from afar will be left to reflect on an inability to score when well on top in the game, with, in particular, first half domination failing to result in a goal or two.

The introduction of the substitute Rawson, a graduate of the Spireites academy, proved to be the turning point in the game, after he replaced Tom Denton - the much-travelled striker who, of course, briefly turned out for the Cards in 2008/09 - in the 69th minute.

Coming into this behind-closed-doors match at the newly-christened Technique Stadium, Chesterfield were desperate to get off the mark in their second game, following a midweek home defeat to Hartlepool United, boss John Pemberton could have done without the added complication of losing Scott Boden to suspension following his red card, although was pleased to bring in new signings Alex Kiwomya and Tyler Denton on the eve of the match.

Perhaps surprisingly given Alan Dowson’s pre -match comments, Woking named an unchanged side from that which triumphed on their travels to Weymouth on Tuesday evening. The Cards did boast a notably attacking bench, with Dave Tarpey, Connor Hall, Max Kretzschmar and the returning Matt Jarvis named amongst the substitutes. The Cards were hoping to continue their impressive start to the season on a ground they won at on their only previous visit, in August 2019.

Whatever early game plan the Cards sought to adopt sadly went out of the window very early into proceedings. Woking will be kicking themselves at the nature of the opening goal of the game. After just three minutes, Chesterfield signalled their intent with the first of a series of long throws into the box from Jordan Cropper. Woking failed to deal with this at the first time of asking, with Tom Denton nodding home, catching Craig Ross by surprise at his near post. The Woking keeper, normally so impressive, will have been disappointed not to do better.

The Cards response was impressive, as they looked to gain a foothold in the match. As with the previous fixtures this season, the midfield trio of Tommy Block and Charlie Cooper , with Kane Ferdinand allowed a bit more licence to attack, looked comfortable on the ball with some composed passing between themselves. Allied to this, Josh Casey and Nathan Collier looked to venture forward from full back, and provide service to Malachi Napa on the right and John Goddard on the left. Slavi Spasov, as with the previous two games, showed a youthful willingness to chase and keep the Chesterfield defenders honest.

Woking pressed relentlessly in the first 20 minutes of the game in particular, winning a host of corners that, as on Tuesday night, were difficult to defend against with excellent delivery from Casey and Cooper. They created a glorious chance after 13 minutes from open play. Goddard, looking bright and dangerous in this match after a fairly quiet performance at Weymouth, found himself in space, between the two centre halves, on the end of a long ball forward. Goddard’s touch was excellent, however his left foot effort was well saved by Kyle Letheren.

Woking continued to press in the remainder of the half, with the hosts restricted to a couple of efforts from long range that did not unduly trouble Ross and a few of Cropper’s long throws, which were dealt with better by the Woking backline as the match developed.

Napa and Goddard switched wings, on instruction from Dowse, and this move created an opportunity when Napa was fouled 35 yards from goal. In a similar vein to his effort on the opening day against Solihull, Cooper took the free kick, which cleared the wall only to be tipped round the post by Letheren. He made an even more impressive save five minutes from the break. Cooper put in a cross from the left, and Ferdinand had made a characteristic ghosting run into the box and flicked the ball brilliantly towards the goal, only to be denied by a superb save. This was to be the closest Woking would come to scoring all match.

Half-time: Chesterfield 1 Woking 0

Both sides emerged unchanged at half time and Woking looked to continue to press, with crosses into the box, particularly from Casey and Goddard from the left hand side, remaining the most likely route to a goal for the visitors. In the 54th minute Goddard drove a superb cross into the box which just evaded Spasov.

Woking made their first change just after the hour mark, with Tommy Block, who had been cautioned, replaced by Max Kretzschmar. Rather than a like-for-like change, Kretzschmar looked to get forward, leaving Cooper as the Cards holding midfield man.

The game started to even out during this period and became a bit more attritional, the Cards continuing to look to get the ball into the box from wide areas but Chesterfield grew in confidence and organisation as the game wore on. Sensing the need to inject something fresh into the performance, Woking made their second change, with the eagerly-awaited return to action of Matt Jarvis as he replaced the impressive John Goddard.

Goalmouth action; pic: Onion Bag

The former England international made an instant impact. Fine footwork on the left enabled the ball to be played back to captain Casey, whose cross into the box found the head of Kretzschmar, but his header went wide of the post. On 76 minutes, Kretzschmar showed his creative side, working his way into a dangerous position in the inside left channel, the midfielder flashed a ball across the face of goal forcing a good stop from Letheren, unfortunately no one was close enough to capitalise.

On 81 minutes Woking made their third and final change, with the attacking intent from the visitors clear as Collier made way for Connor Hall. The intention, confirmed by Dowson post-match, was to continue to press for an equaliser and get as many attacking players on the pitch as possible.

Unfortunately the move backfired, as the Cards pushed men forward, with really only Saul Shotton and Jack Cook assuming full defensive duties. On 83 minutes the Cards paid for this understandable gamble. Chesterfield looked to exploit the space on the Woking right in the area vacated by the substitution, and soon were rewarded when a cross from that area wasn’t fully dealt with by Jack Cook, allowing Rawson to fire home from six yards out, to the delight of the Chesterfield players and officials in the stadium.

Three minutes later it got worse for Woking, as the dejected Cards allowed Cropper too much space to cross from the opposite flank. Kiwomya ghosted between Cook and Shotton and, in fairness, opened his body up well to intelligently steer the ball past Ross.

Finally, to add insult to injury, the impressive Rawson completed the scoring with a fine right foot strike, after cutting in from the left flank. Three minutes of injury time passed without any further damage being done.

Make no mistake about it, this was a heavy defeat that will bring the Cards down to earth after two excellent results to kick off this belated National League campaign. However, there were positives to take from this match. After the final whistle Dowson stated his team had played well for 80 minutes, and that home keeper Kyle Letheren was probably the best player on the pitch.

A yield of 6 points from the first three games, with two fixtures away from Surrey, is a return most fans would have been pleased with. Attention now turns to back to back home matches, starting with the visit of Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday night.

Woking: 13 Craig Ross, 2 Jack Cook, 3 Josh Casey ©, 4 Charlie Cooper, 6 Saul Shotton, 8 Kane Ferdinand, 12 Nathan Collier (9 Connor Hall 81’), 14 Slavi Spasov, 20 Malachi Napa, 21 Tommy Block (10 Max Kretzschmar 63’), 22 John Goddard (11 Matt Jarvis 72’).

Unused subs: 7 Dave Tarpey, 30 Sam Cartwright

Goals: n/a

Bookings: Tommy Block, Jack Cook, Kane Ferdinand

Chesterfield 1 Kyle Letheren, 32 Jordan Cropper, 20 Jamie Sharman, 5 Will Evans ©, 6 Laurence Maguire (10 Liam Mandeville 80’), 3 David Buchanan, 23 Jonathan Smith, 8 Curtis Weston, 13 Milan Butterfield (33 Tyler Denton 64’), 11 Alex Kiwomya, 24 Tom Denton (25 Luke Rawson 69’)

Unused subs: 31 Dylan Wharton, 21 Jack McKay

Goals: Tom Denton 3’, Luke Rawson 84’, 90’, Alex Kiwomya 87’

Bookings: n/a

Referee: Matthew Dicicco

Attendance: N/A

Man of the Match: John Goddard – This was a hard game to analyse, and an even harder one to pick a Woking MOTM in a match where they played pretty well and lost 0-4. John Goddard was an encouraging bright spark in the team though, looking bright and creative before being replaced.

Chesterfield LINEUP
1Kyle Letheren
32Jordan Cropper
3David Buchanan
5Will Evans
6Laurence Maguire ('80)
20Jamie Sharman
8Curtis Weston
13Milan Butterfield ('64)
23Jonathan Smith
11Alex Kiwomya
24Tom Denton ('69)
31Dylan Wharton
33Tyler Denton ('64)
10Liam Mandeville ('80)
21Jack McKay
25Luke Rawson ('69)
13Craig Ross
12Nathan Collier ('81)
3Josh Casey
6Saul Shotton
2Jack Cook
21Tommy Block ('63)
4Charlie Cooper
8Kane Ferdinand
22John Goddard ('72)
20Malachi Napa
14Slavi Spasov
30Sam Cartwright
10Max Kretzschmar ('63)
11Matt Jarvis ('72)
7Dave Tarpey
9Connor Hall ('81)

Chesterfield 4 - 0 Woking | Dowse Interview

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