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5:20pm - SaturdaySat 23rd OctoberOct 2021
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Maidenhead
Maidenhead United
3 - 2

Woking
Woking

Cards looking to bounce back in front of the cameras

Glen Harrington
5:32pm, Thu 21st Oct 2021
Maidenhead United vs Woking
Vanarama National League
Saturday 23rd October 2021


Woking will be aiming to recapture the form which saw them win three consecutive league games earlier this month when they travel to Maidenhead United on Saturday evening.

Just weeks after wins over Chesterfield, Notts County and Dagenham & Redbridge, the Cards are under pressure to produce a strong performance in front of the BT Sport cameras this weekend. Alan Dowson’s side have lost their last two games without scoring, both 1-0, first at the hands of league leaders Grimsby Town, and then in more disheartening circumstances against seventh-tier strugglers Horsham in the FA Cup. The Cards undoubtedly had the better of last weekend’s fourth qualifying round tie, but failed to take their chances, and were duly punished by Tom Kavanagh’s late free-kick.

After seeing his side net 17 goals in their first seven games, Dowse will be particularly keen to see his side find their scoring boots again, after three matches without a goal from open play. He will be boosted by the return to fitness of midfielder Max Kretzschmar, who had to be withdrawn against Dagenham, but came off the bench last weekend. However, Jordan Maguire-Drew is not due back until next month, and George Oakley remains out long-term. He could instead turn to either Tyreke Johnson or Jamar Loza, who have both had limited minutes so far this year.

Opposition Watch

Maidenhead are in their fifth season at National League level after promotion from the sixth tier in 2017. Last season, despite being many pundit’s tips for relegation, they finished in a hugely respectable 13th place with 56 points from 42 games – eight places higher than the previous season when they were only spared relegation by Bury’s expulsion from the Football League.

So far this year they are 18th with eight points from their first 10 games. They are winless in eight in the league after taking six points from their first two. So far this month they’ve lost at home to King’s Lynn Town (3-2), drawn away at Yeovil Town (0-0), and lost at Altrincham (2-0). They did win in their FA Cup qualifying match however, beating Hastings United 3-1 at home, and they’ll play FC Halifax Town in the first round proper.

The Magpies have been managed by the experienced Alan Devonshire since 2015. The former Braintree Town and Hampton & Richmond Borough boss has three former Woking players in his squad – Manny Parry, Shaun Donnellan, and Kane Ferdinand, who scored for the Cards when the two teams last met in April. They were also able to keep hold of star player Sam Barratt this summer. The wide midfielder scored 15 goals last season and has three already this campaign. Ferdinand also has three with the pair the club’s joint top scorers so far.

Recent Meetings

• Maidenhead United 2-1 Woking – 24th April 2021, National League (Ferdinand)
• Woking 0-0 Maidenhead United – 23rd January 2021, National League
• Woking 2-0 Maidenhead United – 29th February 2020, National League (Jarvis, Diarra)
• Maidenhead United 2-3 Woking – 23rd November 2019, National League (Diarra, Loza, Hyde)
• Maidenhead United 2-1 Woking – 10th April 2018, National League (Edwards)

On the Day

Maidenhead’s home ground is York Road. The postcode is SL6 1SJ.

Tickets can be purchased online here. The cost is £18 for adults, £12 for concessions and students, and £6 for those under 16. Tickets can be bought on the day at the turnstiles for the same price.

If you can’t attend the game in person, you may instead wish to consider attending the viewing event taking place at the Laithwaite Community Stadium. Full details are available here.

Magpies Start to Fly after Cards Folded

Ed Mayne
7:44pm, Sun 24th Oct 2021
Maidenhead United 3 Woking 2
Vanarama National League
23rd October 2021

A last-minute header consigned The Cards to their first away league defeat for a month, as Maidenhead grabbed the winner at the death at York Road in a dramatic 5-goal encounter, in front of the BT Sport cameras.

Despite the visitors being in the ascendency for the majority of the first half and in spells of the second, ultimately squandering two leads prior to the winner will be the biggest concern for Dowse’s men.

The line up saw one change from the previous two weeks, with Max Kretzschmar returning to the starting XI in place of Tarryn Allarakhia, who dropped to the bench.

Woking came out the stronger, commanding the first ten minutes playing towards the sizeable travelling support. This positive opening garnered an early penalty appeal for a challenge on Effiong, but was waved away by the man in the middle, Daniel Middleton. A test for the host’s shot stopper Rhys Lovett also came early in the first 5 minutes from a drilled shot by the returning Kretzschmar, resulting in one of numerous corners the visitors had throughout.

All that was profitable came through the hard work and hold up play of Effiong, who won many balls in the air coming from crosses put into the box from the industrious full backs Casey and Lofthouse.

For all of Woking’s attacking, however, the first real goal threat came at the opposite end as The Magpies sent a long ball into box from the right, headed loopingly over Craig Ross by Josh Kelly but clipped the bar then out for goal kick.

Kretzschmar’s endeavours were rewarded in the 25th minute, as his pacey curled free kick met Effiong’s head 6 yards out and was nodded in past the goalkeeper to break the deadlock.

With 7 minutes to half time, rather against the run of play, Sam Barratt found himself with the ball just inside the Woking box and took a shot from nothing, deflected off McNerney, leaving Ross with no chance as it sailed past his right to level the scores.

The equaliser halted the Woking pressure, and the midfield became scrappier with free kicks given away. A final few Maidenhead attacks tested Ross, but he was alert enough to be equal to them, ensuring the visitors went in level at half time.

Half-time: Maidenhead 1 Woking 1

The second half began with a more energised crowd as most home fans were now in the same stand as the Cards’ support, and this livelier atmosphere helped the home side start this half brightly. It didn’t take long however for Woking to get on the front foot and in the 51st minute a series of corners led to firstly Effiong heading goal-wards which deflected out to McNerney who bulleted it into the top net to give the Surrey men the lead once again.

McNerney strikes
McNerney strikes
Phil Fiddes


Minutes later came a flash point, as a high through ball for former Woking star Kane Ferdinand drew a foul from the goal scorer McNerney. This led to both players being down for a couple of minutes needing physio attention. Once upright, McNerney saw straight red, deemed to have been the last man preventing the goal scoring opportunity.

The one-man advantage gave the hosts and their fans a renewed vigour, seeing threats come from a myriad of free kicks and corners in the intervening minutes. The Maidenhead goal scorer Barratt proving to be the main catalyst for these. Calls for him to be sent off from the Woking fans were loud, with justification, after he went through late on Kretzschmar in the Woking area. He could count himself lucky being given just a yellow.

Rallying efforts from the visitors saw efforts by Effiong go close, created by Kretzschmar, with powerful runs through the middle from both Ince and Nwabuokei frequently breaking up the midfield and defence.

The pressure from the home side’s full complement told when in the 76th minute their frontman Kelly collected the ball on the edge of area, passed two, struck it with right foot with pace, into the top right corner to equalise. This second equaliser didn’t deter The Cards’ attack, with a powerful run by Ince, good through ball to Effiong in space, who chased through but was adjudged to foul a defender.

The final minutes saw The Magpies attacking well, drawing saves from Ross. One was pushed out for a corner, from which a ball was whipped into the front post, met by the head of Barratt for his second of the game, providing further reason for BT Sport to award him Player of The Match.

This defeat will doubtlessly give Dowson further headaches, given the two previous results, whilst losing the impressive McNerney will also call for an unwanted defensive reshuffle. They remain on the road for next week’s league fixture in Somerset versus fellow midtable side Yeovil Town, who they’ll hope to get back to winning ways against.

Maidenhead 1 Rhys Lovett, 5 Manny Parry, 6 Remy Clerima, 9 Nathan Blissett (Emile Acquah 83’), 10 Kane Ferdinand, 15 Sam Beckwith (Dan Sparkes 83’), 19 Ryan Upward, 21 Jay Mingi (Reece Smith 69’), 22 Josh Kelly, 24 Alan Massey ©, 25 Sam Barratt

Unused subs: 7 Asonganyi, 27 Adams

Goals: Barratt 38’, 90’, Kelly 76’

Bookings: Kelly 15’, Mingi 31’, Barratt 61’, Clerima 87’

Woking: 13 Craig Ross, 2 Kyran Lofthouse, 3 Josh Casey ©, 4 Tom Champion, 5 Joe McNerney, 6 Moussa Diarra, 8 Solomon Nwabuokei, (Kane Thompson-Sommers, 81’) 9 Inih Effiong, 10 Max Kretzschmar (Jamar Loza, 90’), 19 Tahvon Campbell (Tyreke Johnson, 69’), 24 Rohan Ince

Unused subs: 1 Smith, 17 Allarakhia

Goals: Effiong 25’, McNerney 50’

Bookings: Ince 19’, Champion 22’,

Sent off: McNerney 58’

Referee: Daniel Middleton

Attendance: 1,165

Man of the Match: Max Kretzschmar – an impactful and creative return to the starting XI and was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet.
Maidenhead United LINEUP
1Rhys Lovett
24Alan Massey
15Sam Beckwith ('83)
5Manny Parry
6Remy Clerima
19Ryan Upward
21Jay Mingi ('69)
10Kane Ferdinand
25Sam Barratt
22Josh Kelly
9Nathan Blissett ('83)
BENCH
11Dan Sparkes ('83)
17Reece Smith ('69)
27Charlee Adams
7Dylan Asonganyi
18Emile Acquah ('83)
WOKING LINEUP
13Craig Ross
2Kyran Lofthouse
3Josh Casey
5Joe McNerney
6Moussa Diarra
4Tom Champion
24Rohan Ince
8Solomon Nwabuokei ('81)
10Max Kretzschmar ('90)
19Tahvon Campbell ('69)
9Inih Effiong
BENCH
1Mark Smith
17Tarryn Allarakhia
22Kane Thompson-Sommers ('81)
11Tyreke Johnson ('69)
7Jamar Loza ('90)

Maidenhead United 3 - 2 Woking | Extended Highlights

Maidenhead United 3 - 2 Woking | Dowse Interview

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