Lovetts
5:20pm - SaturdaySat 12th FebruaryFeb 2022
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 3819

Woking
Woking
2 - 3

Southend
Southend United

Cards face resurgent Shrimpers in front of the cameras

Glen Harrington
9:07am, Fri 11th Feb 2022
Woking vs Southend United
Vanarama National League
Saturday 12th February 2022


Woking will be looking to secure a first win in four league matches on Saturday when the host Southend United at the Laithwaite Community Stadium.

Not for the first time this season, the Cards were victim of a second-half comeback last time out, as Altrincham came from two goals down to claim a point against Alan Dowson’s side. The visitors had been excellent for the first 45 minutes, scoring twice through Inih Effiong and a goal-of-the-season contender from Kyran Lofthouse, but Ryan Colclough’s second-half double sent Dowse and co home disappointed. The result leaves Woking 14th in the league table, three points behind Southend.

Woking could hand a first start to midfielder Jack Roles, who came off the bench as a late substitute against Altrincham, whilst Dowse will be hoping for good news on the likes of Max Kretzschmar, Tom Champion, and George Oakley, who have been sidelined through injury.

This game will be shown live on BT Sport and is a 5:20pm kick-off.

Opposition Watch

Southend are one of the divisions in form teams – they are second only to league leaders Stockport County over the last six games, having taken an impressive 16 points, with five wins and a draw. Their recent run has lifted them clear of the bottom three and, after successive relegations in the last two years, has given the club’s supporters some much needed optimism. Since the turn of the year they’ve beaten Weymouth, Yeovil Town, King’s Lynn Town, Dover Athletic, Barnet, and Bromley.

The Shrimpers are managed by Kevin Maher, who replaced Phil Brown in October, having previously played for the club between 1998 and 2008, and coached the club’s Under-23 side between 2015 and 2019. He is supported by veteran Head of Football John Still, formerly manager at the likes of Dagenham & Redbridge and Luton Town, and the pair have spearheaded the recruitment of a raft of talented players from lower divisions.

Their current squad includes former Woking loanee Harry Cardwell, signed after impressing for National League North side Chorley, talented ex-Dartford midfielder Noor Husin, and ex-Concord Rangers defender Ollie Kensdale. More established players include former Chelmsford and Yeovil striker Rhys Murphy and veteran Cyprus international Jason Demetriou. Their ex-Woking contingent also includes Nathan Ralph and Sam Dalby. On loan Norwich City midfielder Matthew Dennis has six goals in 15 games this season and with Murphy out injured is the main dangerman.

Recent Meetings

• Southend United 0-2 Woking – 13th November 2021, National League (Campbell, Kretzschmar)

On the Day

Ticket prices are £20 for Adults, Concessions £15, Students and Next Generation £12 and £7 for 16-year-olds and under – click here for more information and to book your tickets online.

This match will be segregated, with Southend fans being allocated the Chris Lane Terrace and some seats in the Seymours Community LGS.

Southend back to their Roots with three points

Ben Musgrove
11:47am, Sun 13th Feb 2022
Woking 2 Southend United 3
Vanarama National League
12th February 2022

The last time these two sides met was something of a role reversal. An effervescent, gritty Woking left Roots Hall with all three points, keeping their hosts at arm’s length for the entire game.

Four months later, Woking welcomed a Southend United that was third in the form table over the last ten games, taking almost three times as many points as Woking in that time. Despite using two very similar systems – a back five with a left back as a centre-half, protected by two box-to-box midfielders, with wingbacks looking to play into the front three – the Shrimpers were able to repay Woking’s away victory with one of their own, with a quick-fire double in the first half laying the groundwork despite a Woking resurgence.

The opening period certainly gave Woking a clue that they were in a battle. A first-minute free kick flashed through the Woking box by Tom Clifford, and a Harry Cardwell header that left Smith rooted to the spot as it bounced past the post, were early warning signs.

But those signs weren’t heeded, or at least not dealt with, and then came the one-two punch. First, a vicious shot from Callum Powell left Smith unsure whether to stick or twist, and his palmed save saw the ball roll to Demetriou for an academic tap-in to open the scoring, with the Woking defence scrambling to respond.

Mere minutes later, Powell would claim one for himself. A ball into the Woking box was not dealt with, and a sequence of blocked shots would see the ball spill for Powell on the left-hand side of the area. His vicious low drive found the square foot of space at the base of Smith’s near-hand post, and the net bulged for the second time in five minutes.

While there would be no more goals in the first half, the tone was pretty firmly set. Southend, for their part, were superb: a high line claimed more than one cheap offside from the home side, with Nathan Ralph happy to bomb forward down the Shrimper’s left and dovetail with the exceptional Powell. Cardwell and Sam Dalby, as two of the front three, spearheaded an aggressive press that allowed four or five Southend players to get into the Woking box on every attack, and refused to let the Cards’ settle.

Woking would grind out a chance or two before the half-time whistle, but in all honesty, there’s little of note to record. Louis Annesley should perhaps have done better at the far post with a tame drive straight at Arnold, while a volley from Kabamba just before half time arced with both pace and power down the right-hand tunnel of the Leslie Gosden Stand.

The half-time whistle offered virtually no evidence that Woking could get themselves back into the tie…

Half-time: Woking 0 Southend United 2

…so it was with surprise and gratitude that the Kingfield Road End welcomed a goal for the home side within a few minutes of the restart!

The second half saw two changes, with Tarryn Allarakhia and Anderson introduced for the struggling Nwabuokei and Jack Roles, and both were involved in the midfield build-up that found Nicke Kabamba in the penalty area. The striker was bundled over protecting the ball, which rolled to Effiong to fire a deflected shot over Arnold and halve the deficit.

The substitutes and the goal seemed to entirely re-energise the home side. Easy five-yard passes rolling out for throw-ins, or picked off for interceptions, were suddenly replaced with a fizzing tempo of play that Southend were not able to press in a meaningful way. Kabamba’s header past the post just a few minutes after the goal – a carbon copy of Cardwell’s near-miss in the first half – ratched up the momentum further still.

And then, just before the hour, it was level. A brilliant kick from Smith released Effiong down the left wing, and the forward won his battle with Hobson to turn in a low cross towards Allarakhia, who was chopped down by Hobson to win a penalty. Effiong immediately grabbed the ball to take responsibility, and dispatched his effort straight down the middle to level things up.

Inih Effiong puts away his penalty
Inih Effiong puts away his penalty
David Holmes


The Cards’ best spell of the game threatened a third without a genuinely clear-cut chance. Two dangerous corners would lead to Effiong’s hooked effort looping just over Arnold’s bar, while Ralph had to take a sensible but cynical booking to stop Lofthouse bursting into an exposed penalty area from the right wing. Southend would gradually stymie the Woking onslaught though, partially helped with the departure of Callum Powell for Harrison Neal.

And then, with their first real chance of the half – as has so, so often been the case this season – Southend lead again. Woking were caught with too many bodies forward on the counter, and the visitors were able to work the ball behind a retreating Lofthouse to cross from the left. Cardwell and Johnson challenging for a header was always going be a mismatch, and the former bulleted his header into the ground and past the despairing Smith.

Woking would up the ante again with their final change, replacing Kabamba with Jamar Loza, but in truth another clear-cut chance was hard to come by for the home side. Not so for the visitors, who were able to sit deeper and counter through the superb Cardwell – who, with five minutes to go, set up Noor Husin to strike the post with Smith beaten.

The final whistle followed shortly after, and the result encapsulated much of the frustration with Woking’s form and performances at present. The side clearly boasts talent, especially in terms of scoring goals, but too often it is culpable of undoing its own good work – or piling up a mountain it then has to climb.

The Cards have won three games since defeating Southend in October: Weymouth, Wealdstone, and Dover. With playoffs now a vanishing pipe dream, some semblance of consistency is required to pursue the top-half finish targeted at the beginning of the campaign.

Woking: 1. Mark Smith; 3. Josh Casey, 6. Moussa Diarra, 16. Louis Annesley; 11. Tyreke Johnson, 8. Sol Nwabuokei (Jermaine Anderson 45’), 24. Rohan Ince, 2. Kyron Lofthouse; 20. Jack Roles (Tarryn Allarakhia 45’), 9. Inih Effiong, 18. Nicke Kabamba (Jamar Loza 76’)

Unused subs: 13. Craig Ross, 4. Tom Champion

Goals: Effiong 47’, 59’ (pen)

Bookings: Annesley 90’

Southend United 1. Steve Arnold; 3. Nathan Ralph, 5. Shaun Hobson, 22. Kacper Lopota; 12. Tom Clifford, 20. Will Atkinson (James Dunne 89’), 38. Noor Husin, Jason Demetriou (Leon Davies 84’); 11. Callum Powell (Harrison Neal 68’), 39. Harry Cardwell, 10. Sam Dalby

Unused subs: Jack Bridge, Ollie Kensdale

Goals: Demetriou 8’, Powell 11’, Cardwell 76’

Bookings: Ralph 71’, Harrisson 90+2

Referee: Elliot Swallow

Attendance: 3,819

Man of the Match: Inih Effiong. The striker was the focal point for everything that Woking did well when playing as a coherent force, scoring both goals and proving a constant issue for the Southend centre-halves, despite a first-half knock that drew enough blood to demand a change of shirt.


Thank you to our Match Sponsor Jewson and our Match Ball Sponsor Tyson Carpentry & Joinery Ltd.

You can check out Jewson here: here
WOKING LINEUP
1Mark Smith
2Kyran Lofthouse
11Tyreke Johnson
3Josh Casey
6Moussa Diarra
16Louie Annesley
24Rohan Ince
8Solomon Nwabuokei ('46)
20Jack Roles ('46)
18Nicke Kabamba ('78)
9Inih Effiong
BENCH
13Craig Ross
4Tom Champion
23Jermaine Anderson ('46)
17Tarryn Allarakhia ('46)
7Jamar Loza ('78)
Southend United LINEUP
1Steve Arnold
24Jason Demetriou ('83)
3Nathan Ralph
5Shaun Hobson
22Kacper Lopata
12Tom Clifford
20Will Atkinson ('89)
38Noor Husin
11Callum Powell ('68)
39Harry Cardwell
10Sam Dalby
BENCH
27Leon Davies ('83)
35Ollie Kensdale
7Jack Bridge
8James Dunne ('89)
21Harrison Neal ('68)

Woking 2 - 3 Southend United | Alternative Highlights

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