Woking News & Mail
FAT (R3)
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 19th DecemberDec 2020
The Laithwaite Community Stadium

Woking
Woking
2 - 1

Dover Athletic
Dover Athletic

Cards start FA Trophy campaign against Dover

Glen Harrington
8:58am, Sat 19th Dec 2020
Woking vs Dover Athletic
Buildbase FA Trophy
Saturday 19th December 2020


Woking will begin their FA Trophy campaign this afternoon as they welcome National League strugglers Dover Athletic to the Laithwaite Community Stadium.

These two sides have met once already this season, with the Cards winning 5-1 at Crabble, but manager Alan Dowson will know that his side could face a tougher test this time around. But the Cards will come into the game off the back of, arguably, their best performance so far this season, having dispatched Hartlepool United 3-0 last time out, with the goals coming from Matt Jarvis, Jack Cook, and Slavi Spasov. Dowse will also be desperate for a run in the competition, having fallen at the first hurdle for each of the past two seasons, going out in extra time at Maidstone United in 2018/19, before a shock exit at the hands of Kingstonian last season. As three-time winners, the Cards have a proud history in the competition, and will no doubt be keen to reach a first final since 2006.

Dover remain routed to the foot of the National League table, with just six points so far, although it’s worth noting that having played just nine times so far, they do have as many as four games in hand on the teams around them. Their wins against Notts County and Eastleigh also prove they’re not to be underestimated. Their last game was a 2-0 defeat at King’s Lynn Town back in November. Coincidentally, King’s Lynn also knocked Dover out of last season’s FA Trophy, winning on penalties after a 2-2 draw in Norfolk. The Whites’ best performance in the competition was a run to the semi-finals in 1997/98.

Woking – Team News

Dowse will have close to a full squad available for this game. Max Kretzschmar starts his three-match ban following his red card in the last game. Kane Ferdinand is still nursing an injury suffered against Notts County but is close to returning. John Goddard and Tyler Reid are both available after being out of the squad for several weeks. Youngster Jayden Wareham and Jack Skinner, who made his league debut last weekend, will no doubt be eyeing an opportunity to impress. Woking fans will also be hoping new signing Jamar Loza, confirmed by the club on Friday, has signed in time to make his third debut for the club.

Dover Athletic – The Boss

Andy Hessenthaler has been in charge at the Crabble since 2018, having joined from fellow National League club Eastleigh. He’s currently in his second-spell with Dover. He won two promotions during his first period with the club between 2007 and 2010, whilst he also finished his playing career. The former midfielder has also played and coached at Gillingham, along with a brief spell at Leyton Orient.

One to Watch

Striker Ade Azeez is one of the more established names in Dover’s new-look squad. The former Charlton Athletic academy graduate has Football League experience with AFC Wimbledon, Cambridge United, and Newport County. He’s also played in the Scottish Premiership for Partick Thistle. Last season he spent time on loan at Torquay United. He’s scored once this season, getting the winner in the 3-2 success against Eastleigh.

Last Time Out

Dover Athletic 1-5 Woking – National League (17th November 2020)


These two sides met a little over a month ago. The home side struck first, with Steven Rigg opening the scoring, but it was all Woking after that. Josh Davison headed home Josh Casey’s cross to level before Kane Ferdinand nodded the Cards in front from a Charlie Cooper free-kick. Casey then combined with Ferdinand to make it three before half-time, before Max Kretzschmar made it four, after more excellent work from Davison. Slavi Spasov bundled in number five from close range as the Cards scored an emphatic win and all three points.

Next Up

The Cards are back in action on Boxing Day when they travel to neighbours Aldershot Town. Our next home game comes two days later when Eastleigh will be the visitors in a game set to be shown live on BT Sport.

Woking fight back to down Dover in FA Trophy

Haydn Cobb
12:00am, Sat 19th Dec 2020
Woking 2 Dover Athletic 1
Buildbase FA Trophy – 3rd round
Saturday 19th December 2020

Woking battled back against a spirited Dover Athletic side to progress into the fourth round of the FA Trophy thanks to goals from Charlie Cooper and Slavi Spasov.

Dover took an unexpected lead through Ade Azeez in the first minute of the second half, but a strong comeback from the Cards ensured they didn’t slip up against the Vanarama National League’s bottom side, as Cooper’s penalty provided the equaliser before his cross set up Spasov to head home the winner.

Woking stood firm against late Dover attacks to secure a place in the next round of the FA Trophy and defeat the Kent side for a second time in a little over a month following on from a 5-1 away win in the league.

Alan Dowson made two changes to the starting line-up that comprehensively beat Hartlepool United at Kingfield seven days earlier, with Max Kretzschmar suspended and Jack Cook dropping out of the matchday squad, which saw Dave Tarpey return to the attack and Nathan Collier slot into the defence. New signing Jamar Loza completed a strong bench for the Cards as he started his third stint at the club.

While the opening exchanges were relatively tame, Tarpey had Woking’s best opportunities to grab the opening goal, firstly through a cross from Josh Casey which he mishit, then a fierce shot from a scramble after a corner which was blocked.

Having weathered the early attacks, Dover grew into the contest, with Ahkeem Rose seeing an acrobatic effort tipped over the crossbar by Craig Ross. The attack gave the away side encouragement, with the following corner testing Woking’s backline, to show positive signs from the team which hadn’t played in almost a month due to positive COVID-19 cases.

That set the pattern of the first half with both sides displaying encouraging build-up play but without a cutting edge, with Woking’s Cooper seeing a 30-yard shot deflected wide shortly before the break.

Half-time: Woking 0 Dover Athletic 0

Woking were caught napping at the restart as Dover broke the deadlock within a minute, as Rose escaped down the left wing to produce a pinpoint cross for Azeez to tap in from five yards.

The rude awakening to the second half triggered Woking into a response, as they again displayed slick passing and movement to find a way through the Dover defence. Dowson also added Loza into the attack, with Tarpey coming off, to provide fresh legs on the right wing.

Woking continued to keep Dover under intense pressure through quick passing, made trickier by heavy rain arriving on the hour mark, and the persistence paid off as Kyran Lofthouse charged into the box and was tripped by Dover captain Sam Wood, giving referee Adrian Quelch no choice but to award a penalty.

With regular penalty taker Kretzschmar not on the pitch, Cooper stepped up to calmly slot into the bottom-right corner with goalkeeper diving the wrong way for his first goal of the season.


Charlie Cooper slots his penalty home; pic: David Holmes


The Cards seized the momentum with a second goal just three minutes later, as Cooper turned provider with a delightful cross from the right wing to pick out Spasov, whose powerful header fired the ball into the top-left corner past Yusuf Mersin in goal to notch up his fourth goal of the campaign.

With little to lose in the cup tie, Dover bolstered their attack to find an equaliser, while Tommy Block came on for Matt Jarvis for the home side, and Dover went close to scoring again with 10 minutes to go as Azeez’s powerful shot from the edge of the box was pushed over the bar by Ross.

In the closing stages the visitors were reduced to 10 men through injury when right-back Josh Passley was helped off the pitch with a suspected dislocated shoulder, with Dover unable to call on a replacement having already made three substitutes.

Dover had a late penalty claim as Nathan Collier marshalled Azeez in the box as Ross collected a through ball but the referee and linesman were unmoved by the appeals. But moments later Collier did concede a foul, this time on the edge of the box, with Omar Mussa’s threatening freekick deflected wide for a corner. But Woking’s backline led by captain Casey saw out the final attacks to secure their place in the fourth round of the FA Trophy.

Woking: 13 Craig Ross; 3 Josh Casey ©, 12 Nathan Collier, 6 Saul Shotton, 16 Kyran Lofthouse; 4 Charlie Cooper, 18 Ben Dempsey; 7 Dave Tarpey (56’ Jamar Loza), 14 Slavi Spasov, 11 Matt Jarvis (21 Tommy Block 76’); 25 Josh Davison

Unused subs: 8 Kane Ferdinand, 19 Tyler Reid, 22 John Goddard, 23 Jayden Wareham, 31 Mark Smith

Goals: Cooper (pen) 70’, Spasov 73’

Dover Athletic 1 Yusuf Mersin; 2 Josh Passley, 3 Sam Wood ©, 5 Paul Rooney (23 Omar Mussa 75’), 6 Will De Havilland; 8 Kurtis Cumberbatch, 9 Ahkeem Rose (7 Louis Collins 79’), 14 TJ Bramble, 18 Harry Ransom (15 Joe Bedford 63’); 19 Ade Azeez, 22 Bayll Spencer-Adams

Unused subs: 10 Steve Rigg, 24 Tom Smith

Goals: Azeez 46’

Bookings: Rooney, De Havilland

Referee: Adrian Quelch

Attendance: N/A

Man of the Match: Charlie Cooper – Outstanding in midfield all game and played a vital part in both goals to oversee Woking’s comeback.
WOKING LINEUP
13Craig Ross
16Kyran Lofthouse
3Josh Casey
6Saul Shotton
12Nathan Collier
18Ben Dempsey
4Charlie Cooper
7Dave Tarpey ('56)
11Matt Jarvis ('76)
14Slavi Spasov
25Josh Davison
BENCH
31Mark Smith
19Tyler Reid
8Kane Ferdinand
21Tommy Block ('76)
22John Goddard
26Jamar Loza ('56)
23Jayden Wareham
Dover Athletic LINEUP
1Yusuf Mersin
2Josh Passley
3Sam Wood
5Paul Rooney ('75)
6Will de Havilland
18Harry Ransom ('61)
14TJ Bramble
8Kurtis Cumberbatch
22Bayli Spencer-Adams
9Ahkeem Rose ('78)
19Ade Azeez
BENCH
24Tom Smith
15Joe Bedford ('61)
23Omar Mussa ('75)
7Louis Collins ('78)
10Steve Rigg

Woking 2-1 Dover Athletic | Dowse Interview

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