LCS Events
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 20th MarchMar 2021
Victoria Park

Hartlepool United
1 - 0


Cards seeking first win in four against promotion chasers

Glen Harrington
8:50am, Sat 20th Mar 2021
Hartlepool United vs Woking
Vanarama National League
Saturday 20th March 2021

Woking travel to Hartlepool United for a challenging encounter against one of the divisions in form sides. The Cards will be looking to pull off a repeat of one of their best performances of the season from back in December, when they beat the Pools 3-0 at the Laithwaite Community Stadium.

Manager Alan Dowson was left fuming on Tuesday evening after his side conceded a late penalty to draw 1-1 with Altrincham. Kyran Lofthouse’s first goal for the club had earlier given the Cards a deserved lead but the home side were left to rue missed chances after Ben Gerring’s stoppage time foul. The result leaves Woking without a win in three, following the draw with Boreham Wood and the narrow defeat to Yeovil Town, although that was the first time the Cards have failed to win in their last five outings on a Saturday, rather than a Tuesday evening. That run of results leaves Woking sitting in 18th place in the league with 31 points, seven clear of the bottom three.

Hartlepool are enjoying an excellent season and currently sit in second place with 50 points from 29 games, six adrift of leaders Sutton United, albeit having played three games more. Since losing to Woking just before Christmas they’ve suffered defeat in just two of their last 16 league games, winning nine, including wins over Stockport County, Notts County, Sutton United, and Torquay United. They have suffered a slight dip of late however, winning one and drawing four of their games so far in March, including being held 2-2 at King’s Lynn Town on Tuesday, when they twice had to come from behind to claim a point.

Woking – Team News

Dowse has promised changes after Tuesday’s game and he has plenty of options for freshening up his team. Malachi Napa and Niko Muir were both unused substitutes that night, whilst Max Kretzschmar and Jayden Wareham played less than 10 minutes. Jack Cook is the only absentee having limped out of the previous game at Yeovil.

Hartlepool United – The Boss

The Monkey Hangers are coached by former Tranmere Rovers, Stockport County and Bury defender Dave Challinor, who is perhaps best known for his eight years managing AFC Fylde between 2011 and 2019. Challinor took Fylde from the Northern Premier League Division One North to the National League, winning three promotions in six seasons, before consecutive National League play-off appearances – including defeat to Salford City in the 2019 final – and an FA Trophy win. The 45-year-old left the Coasters in October 2019 and joined Pools a month later, guiding them to a 12th place finish last season.

One to Watch

Striker Luke Armstrong has been one of the most consistent strikers in the National League so far this season. The 24-year-old, who is on loan from Salford City, has scored 10 goals in 18 appearances since joining the club in December, including a brace on his debut against King’s Lynn. Before joining Salford, he enjoyed a prolific season at Blyth Spartans, which earned him a move to Middlesbrough in 2017. After loan spells at Gateshead and Accrington Stanley, he joined the Ammies in 2019.

Last Time Out

Woking 3-0 Hartlepool United – National League (12th December 2020)

Spurred on by the support of a socially distanced crowd at the Laithwaite Community Stadium, Woking turned in arguably their most memorable performance of the season, to claim a convincing win over Hartlepool. Matt Jarvis opened the scoring after less than two minutes, Jack Cook made it two as he turned in a Charlie Cooper set piece, and Slavi Spasov put the icing on the cake with a fine finish after good work from Ben Dempsey. Max Kretzschmar was sent off late on, but the Cards protected their lead with ease to claim a deserved three points.

Next Up

Woking travel to newly promoted Wealdstone on Tuesday, the two club’s first meeting since the infamous play-off semi-final of 2019, before the big game at Hereford in the FA Trophy semi-final next Saturday, when a place at Wembley will be on the table.

in association with LV BET

Oates’ supreme shot sees the Monkey Hangers to a narrow victory over the Cards

Nigel Beesley
12:00am, Sat 20th Mar 2021
Hartlepool United 1 Woking 0
Vanarama National League
20th March 2021

The game was played at Victoria Park on a sunny, almost balmy spring-like afternoon. Hartlepool enjoyed the best of the first half action but Woking more than matched their opponents after the interval and were unlucky not to score. The game’s decisive moment came with ten minutes left to play as Oates struck the winner in off the far post to seal a single goal victory for the hosts.

Dowse’s Cards showed three changes from the midweek draw with Altrincham. Mark Smith making his debut in goal and Malachi Napa (pictured) and Niko Muir replacing Charlie Cooper and Jamar Loza. The latter was originally amongst the substitutes but was injured in the warmup and replaced on the bench by Woking academy graduate Jack Skinner.

The first ten minutes produced very little in the way of chances for either side. Featherstone and White controlled midfield well, and the first touch for either goalkeeper was when Killip collected a cross from Sam Ashford.

The first real chance of the game came in the 14th minute. After slipping past Moussa Diarra, Oates cut the ball back to Molyneux who hit the top of the Woking crossbar with his effort.
This was a warning to the Cards that their hosts were keen to keep up their excellent home record.

Gerring leaps for a ball; pic: MI News

Two more opportunities followed with Williams dragging a close-range chance wide and Tom White firing over from 25 yards. It was then Woking’s chance to attack. A long ball through the middle found its way to Matt Jarvis; his hooked cross was headed over by former Pools’ striker Niko Muir.

Johnson found himself in the referee’s notebook on 37 minutes after he took exception to the assistant’s decision to signal a free kick. It was the only card of the game by the man in the middle Paul Marsden, who let the game flow with a pleasing performance in an age where officials often take centre stage over the players.

A good three minutes before the interval by Ben Dempsey resulted in some ping-pong in the box with no positive outcome and shortly afterwards the half came to an end goalless with just one added minute.

Half-time: Hartlepool United 0 Woking 0

The home side started the second half well and had a chance when experienced defender Liddle could only head straight at Mark Smith, although the assistant had raised his flag for offside.

Niko Muir was replaced just before the hour mark as Woking pressed forward. They were very nearly rewarded for their ambition when Matt Jarvis found some space and crossed for Sam Ashford. The forward forced an incredible fingertip save from Killip who palmed his point-blank effort away when he had seemed certain to score.

Shortly afterwards Sam Ashford pulled clear of his marker only to see his shot cannon back off the post with Killip well beaten. This was to prove pivotal in the final analysis as these chances need to be taken when they arise.

Josh Casey then had a long-range effort fly over the crossbar and a cross from Oates was claimed by Mark Smith, but much of the game at this point was lost in the middle of the park.

Hartlepool made a double substitution with 20 minutes left; Holohan and Shelton coming into midfield for White and Williams. Johnson had a half-chance after another corner from Ferguson (seven in total) but the Woking defence resisted stoutly.

It was the introduction of Shelton that led to the only goal after 80 minutes. Collecting the ball 30 yards out, the midfielder slid the ball through to Oates who hit his shot across Mark Smith and into the bottom corner of the net via the far post. It was a good finish from a striker in his second spell with the club.

Sam Ashford was replaced by Jayden Wareham with seven minutes to go and he had the visitors’ best chance to equalise in the final minute of the match when his goal-bound shot was blocked. Three added minutes produced little action as the hosts closed out the game to claim the points.

To be fair to Woking they never gave up but were ultimately undone by the one decisive moment that consigned them to defeat. The referee was one of the best seen this season and both sides contributed to an entertaining contest.

The Cards travel to newly promoted Wealdstone on Tuesday, the two clubs’ first meeting since the infamous play-off semi-final of 2019, before heading West to Hereford next Saturday for the eagerly awaited FA Trophy semi-final with a place at Wembley the reward for the victors.

Woking: 31 Mark Smith, 3 Josh Casey, 5 Ben Gerring, 6 Moussa Diarra, 16 Kyran Lofthouse, 18 Ben Dempsey, 8 Kane Ferdinand, 11 Matt Jarvis, 19 Niko Muir (Max Kretzschmar 57’), 20 Malachi Napa, 25 Sam Ashford (Jayden Wareham 83’)

Unused subs: 4 Charlie Cooper, 21 Tommy Block, Jack Skinner

Goals: None

Bookings: None

Hartlepool United 1 Killip, 23 Sherry, 4 Liddle, 15 Johnson, 3 Ferguson, 8 Featherstone, 19 White (Holohan 70), 18 Williams (Shelton 70), 11 Oates, 10 Molyneux (Donaldson 90), 29 Armstrong

Unused subs: Cooper, Bloomfield

Goals: Oates 80’

Booking: Johnson 37’

Referee: Paul Marsden

Attendance: Behind Closed Doors

Man of the Match: A difficult choice but Sam Ashford was unlucky not to score and put in a good all-round performance for the Cards before going off injured
Hartlepool United LINEUP
1Ben Killip
23Jamie Sterry
3David Ferguson
4Gary Liddle
15Ryan Johnson
8Nicky Featherstone
19Tom White ('70)
18Luke Williams ('70)
10Luke Molyneux ('90)
11Rhys Oates
29Luke Armstrong
33Jake Cooper
6Mark Shelton ('70)
7Ryan Donaldson ('90)
14Gavan Holohan ('70)
9Mason Bloomfield
31Mark Smith
16Kyran Lofthouse
3Josh Casey
5Ben Gerring
6Moussa Diarra
18Ben Dempsey
8Kane Ferdinand
20Malachi Napa
11Matt Jarvis
25Sam Ashford ('83)
19Niko Muir ('57)
4Charlie Cooper
21Tommy Block
10Max Kretzschmar ('57)
15Jack Skinner
23Jayden Wareham ('83)

Hartlepool United 1-0 Woking | Dowse Interview

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