Solihull Moors 2 Woking 0
Vanarama National League
5th December 2021
Woking fell to a disappointing defeat at the ARMCO Arena, with two mistakes from Joe McNerney professionally dealt with by Solihull.
Alan Dowson made three changes from last week’s late defeat to Barnet, with new signings Louis Britton and Jermaine Anderson in for Jamar Loza and Rohan Ince, along with Solomon Nwabuokei for Max Kretzschmar.
The first six minutes passed without any chances of note, before all inside the stadium held a minute’s applause for Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, a six year old boy who was tragically killed by his own parents, a cause very close to the hearts of the local community in Solihull and the hearts of the country.
The first chance of the game fell Woking’s way; a good shot from Kyran Lofthouse was deflected behind for a corner, and the corner was headed into the path of Lofthouse, whose fierce effort clipped the top of the bar and went behind for a goal kick.
Solihull began to keep hold of the ball, giving Woking little time to create from midfield, and the Cards were giving the ball away constantly. Adam Rooney was on the end of a good cross, but the Solihull striker’s header went over the bar.
A good tackle by Joe McNerney stopped Rooney from getting a touch on a low cross, before Tarryn Allarakhia’s shot was blocked after good work from Lofthouse on the right. But it would be Solihull who made the breakthrough.
Mark Smith’s goal kick was headed into the path of Joe McNerney, whose back pass to Smith was under-hit, and Joe Sbarra latched onto the ball and finished brilliantly off the post to give Moors the lead.
Moments later, Sbarra almost made it two. After a long ball wasn’t dealt with by the Woking defence, the forward found himself one on one with Smith again, but Woking’s keeper made a brilliant save with his feet to put the ball behind for a corner. Moussa Diarra’s header went just wide from a corner, before Smith was again called into action, dealing well with Jamey Osborne’s effort.
Ryan Barnett fired just wide after receiving the ball from Callum Maycock, before Harry Boyes’ free kick had to be tipped over by Smith. Anderson had his first chance in a Woking shirt, but his decent left footed strike was saved brilliantly by Ryan Boot.
Half-time: Solihull Moors 1 Woking 0
Woking started the second half brightly, with Allarakhia finding time and space to get a shot away, but the ball rippled into the side netting of Boot’s goal. Another bizarre Woking defensive moment was to follow. McNerney passed the ball back into the midriff of Mark Smith, who instinctively caught the ball, meaning an indirect free kick for Solihull. The set piece effort was easily blocked away and the Cards cleared the danger.
After 66 minutes, Alan Dowson made a double change, with Josh Casey and Tarryn Allarakhia being replaced by Tyreke Johnson and Jamar Loza. Solihull made one change, with the injured Callum Howe replaced by Alex Gudger.
New man Louis Britton gets his head to the ball
Solihull sealed the three points ten minutes later. McNerney was adjudged to have fouled James Ball in the box from a corner, and the referee pointed to the spot. Adam Rooney dispatched the penalty kick down the middle.
Johnson’s first attacking involvement saw a cross loop just over the bar of Boot’s goal, before Woking’s day went from bad to worse. Loza was fouled by the dugouts, and lashed out at Osborne, before handbags on the touchline involving both sets of players and management teams. Loza and Dowson were both sent off for their role in the action, whilst Ball and Osborne picked up yellows.
Six minutes of added time were played, before Woking were condemned to defeat for the second time in two games. A lacklustre Woking showing in front of goal was matched with a continuation of the defensive woes seen in recent weeks, with boos greeting the players as they went over to the travelling support, apart from Mark Smith, whose efforts in goal kept the scoreline far lower than it might have been, and he received appreciation from the fans.
1 Mark Smith, 2 Kyran Lofthouse, 3 Josh Casey (Tyreke Johnson 66’), 4 Tom Champion, 5 Joe McNerney, 6 Moussa Diarra, 8 Solomon Nwabuokei, 17 Tarryn Allarakhia (Jamar Loza 66’), 18 Louis Britton, 19 Tahvon Campbell, 23 Jermaine Anderson
Craig Ross, Louie Annesley, Tommy Block
Joe McNerney 77’
Jamar Loza 87’ [Red card for Dowse 87’]
Ryan Boot, James Clarke, Callum Howe, (Alex Gudger 66’), Joe Sbarra, Callum Maycock, Adam Rooney, Jamey Osborne, (Jordan Cranston 89’) Ryan Barnett, (Justin Donawa 75’), Harry Boyes, James Ball, Lois Maynard.
Andrew Dallas, Danny Newton
Sbarra 28’, Rooney 78’
Sbarra 62’, Ball 87’, Osborne 87’
1214 (133 Woking fans)
Man of the Match: Mark Smith
made a few excellent saves to limit the scoreline and keep Woking in the game.