Boz's Fruit & Veg
5:20pm - SaturdaySat 23rd AprilApr 2022
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 2697

Woking
Woking
2 - 1

Wrexham
Wrexham

Match Preview | Cards aiming to cause an upset against promotion-chasing Wrexham

Glen Harrington
4:29pm, Fri 22nd Apr 2022
Woking vs Wrexham
Vanarama National League
Saturday 23rd April 2022


The Cards will look to play spoilers on Saturday as they host automatic promotion chasers Wrexham at the Laithwaite Community Stadium, in a game which will be played live on BT Sport.

Wrexham are seven points behind Stockport County at the top of the National League table and know that they’ll likely have to win all six of their remaining games, and hope that other results go their way if they are to overturn that deficit in the final weeks of the season. And whilst the Cards have comparatively little to play for, the prospect of upsetting one of the division’s most in form sides, in front of the cameras, should be more than enough motivation for Darren Sarll’s side, who themselves come into the game off the back of an impressive 4-1 win at lowly Dover Athletic.

Nicke Kabamba scored a brace and David Longe-King scored his first Woking goal as the Cards dispatched the already relegated Whites last Saturday, whilst a Dover own goal helped the away side score four in a game for the first time since early October. It was a Woking team showing six changes from the side which narrowly lost out at home to Torquay two days earlier, with starts also for Mark Smith, Moussa Diarra, Rohan Ince, Jack Roles, and Jamar Loza. It will be interesting, therefore, to see how Sarll approaches Saturday’s game, with the likes of Roles and Loza pushing to retain their place in the side.

Opposition Watch

Wrexham, bankrolled by American duo Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, have enjoyed an excellent second-half of the season. They’ve won eight and drawn two of their last 10 league games, whilst also progressing to the final of the FA Trophy, where they will play Bromley next month. Their last loss in any competition came against Torquay United – a 1-0 away defeat at the start of February. Since then they are unbeaten in 15 games and have scored 44 goals.

Whilst their form in the first-half of the season was far from poor, they were 13th at the end of October, and were only in seventh as recently as mid-February, so the fact that they now have a 13-point cushion on eighth place shows the extent to which they have improved. Recent results have seen them defeat Altrincham (4-0), draw with Solihull Moors (1-1), and beat both Eastleigh (3-2) and Barnet (6-0). They have also made something of a habit of late goals – with a quarter of their 44 strikes since February coming in the 85th minute or later.

Manager Phil Parkinson’s cause has been aided by the arrival of several high-profile signings, none more so than former Woking academy player Ollie Palmer, who joined from League One side AFC Wimbledon. Palmer has scored 11 goals in 15 league games thus far, forming a deadly partnership with top scorer Paul Mullin (22 in 32). Another former Woking striker, Jake Hyde, is also on the Wrexham books, but hasn’t played since December due to a calf injury.

Recent Meetings

• Wrexham 1-0 Woking – 11th September 2021, National League
• Woking 0-4 Wrexham – 17th April 2021, National League
• Wrexham 2-0 Woking – 16th February 2021, National League
• Wrexham 3-0 Woking – 18th January 2020, National League
• Woking 1-1 Wrexham – 5th October 2019, National League (Ferdinand)

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 Wrexham fans being allocated the Chris Lane Terrace and some seats in the Seymours Community LGS.

Cards complete comeback to slay Dragons on St George's Day

Nigel Beesley
10:06pm, Sun 24th Apr 2022
Woking 2 Wrexham 1
Vanarama National League
23rd April 2022

Woking made two changes from the 4-1 win at Dover on Easter Monday with Craig Ross returning in goal in place of Mark Smith and Inih Effiong replacing Nicke Kabamba, who dropped to the bench. A large crowd, bolstered by a healthy travelling support, observed a minute’s applause for long-time club servant Andy Turner before the late kick-off in front of the BT Sport cameras got underway.

The Cards produced arguably one of their best performances of the season to defeat second place Wrexham on an excellent surface, coming back from an unlucky first half own goal to equalise from the spot and then seal all three points four minutes from time. The Red Dragons were unbeaten in their previous 15 matches, but the way Woking nullified the visitor’s attack was particularly impressive, with Joe McNerney and Moussa Diarra both outstanding at the back.

The visitors kicked off but were forced into an early change with Liam McAlinden replacing Callum McFadzean on the left-hand side after only six minutes. A minute later Jack Roles had a shot from distance which was easily held by Dibble. Johnson then drove forward with pace and, as he entered the area, he appeared to be clipped by the outstretched boot of a defender; however the man in the middle was uninterested in awarding anything for the perceived transgression and play continued.

A series of free kicks then ensued followed by the first corner of the game to the home side after 15 minutes; this reached Longe-King who put his header wide of the post to the relief of the visitors. The visitors replied with a corner of their own, following a deflection from a free kick, but this too went wide to keep the game goalless. On 27 minutes Davies beat the offside trap but his effort was smothered by Craig Ross to deny them the opening goal.

The first booking was then handed out to McNerney for a push which seemed a tad harsh; the resultant free-kick was played out to Mullin who fed Jones but his fierce shot crashed off the underside or the bar and away to safety. Wrexham seemed aggrieved that things weren’t going their way (as tends to happen for sides at or near the top of the league) and were contesting every decision. As halftime approached Woking were seeing a little more of the ball with Johnson and Effiong both dispossessed when in good positions. A minute before the interval Wrexham took the lead when Liam McAlinden’s cross was inadvertently headed past his own goalkeeper by Tyreke Johnson. This sent the 650+ travelling supporters into raptures knowing that the leaders had earlier lost at Yeovil and a win would narrow the gap between themselves and Stockport.

Three added minutes produced little of note and the teams headed down the tunnel for a well-earned break in proceedings. The visitors would have been happy with their first-half performance, although somewhat fortunate to be a goal to the good. Woking on the other hand knew that they would have to up their game if they were to prevent Wrexham taking the points home on the team bus.

Half-time: Woking 0 Wrexham 1

The Cards emerged from the dressing room with renewed vigour and seemed determined to atone for their first half misfortune. Darren Sarrl had clearly told them to cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!’ to overcome the Red Dragon Army and repel them back to Wales. Jamar Loza made two runs down the left, the second of which forced a corner which was taken short into the box where it found McNerney, but his effort went wide.

Ten minutes into the second period the visitors had a chance to increase their lead with a free kick on the edge of the box. Davies took this and his curling effort was expertly tipped over the bar by Craig Ross to concede a corner; more importantly it kept the Cards in the hunt to get something from the game. On the hour there was another minute’s applause for Andy Turner with his name shining brightly on the electronic scoreboard. This, along with the introduction of Kabamba for Effiong, further boosted Woking’s determination to level the scores.

The Cards were handed the opportunity to equalise when Davies was penalised for handball in the area and the referee pointed to the spot after a few seconds deliberation. Penalty king Max Kretschmar stepped up and sent Dibble the wrong way finding the bottom left-hand corner for his thirteenth goal of the season whereupon the home crowd behind the goal surged forward in celebration.

Woking then enjoyed a period of good possession as they strived for a second goal. Hayden had his name taken for a late challenge as the game approached the final fifteen minutes. Wrexham counter-attacked with Mullin finally evading the home defence but he blazed high and wide into the Leslie Gosden Stand and the chance was gone. Johnson was then carded for a foul and immediately substituted with Nwabuokei taking his place; Wrexham then made a change with Jarvis coming on for Jones.

With ten minutes to play Woking had a great chance to take the lead when Kabamba found himself free in the area but his shot was saved by Dibble. Wrexham then forced another corner which was cleared by Captain Casey. The defining moment of the evening was the introduction of Jermaine Anderson for Kretzschmar with 85 minutes on the clock. His fresh legs allowed him to make a great run into the box to find Jamar Loza arriving in time to sweep the ball home to give Woking the lead. He removed his shirt which led to an inevitable booking, but he didn’t seem to mind.

Jamar Loza celebrates Woking’s winner
Jamar Loza celebrates Woking’s winner
David Holmes


The visitors were then forced to respond by making a final change with Ponticelli coming on for Cleworth and then pushing forward in search of an equaliser which left them vulnerable to the counterattack. Into the five additional minutes they fashioned a chance which was blocked by the Mighty Moussa and then Roles became the final name taken in the referee’s almost full notebook.
Brilliant play by Loza to set up Rohan Ince but his goal-bound shot was cleared off the line by a defender who seemed to appear from nowhere. It mattered not as the man in the middle blew the final whistle shortly afterwards to the delight of the home crowd who had been royally entertained.

A liberal smattering of yellow cards were handed out by Mr Whitton and, although the toothless Red Dragons evaded most of his attentions, they were left grounded and had to head back to North Wales with their tails between their legs disappointed at not being able to close the gap on the leaders. Next up for The Cards is a visit from King’s Lynn on Bank Holiday Monday followed by the last home game of the season against Eastleigh, both matches kicking off at 3pm.

Woking: 13 Craig Ross, 3 Josh Casey ©, 5 Joe McNerney, 6 Moussa Diarra, 7 Jamar Loza, 9 Inih Effiong (18 Nicke Kabamba 61’), 10 Max Kretzschmar (23 Jermaine Anderson, 85’), 11 Tyreke Johnson (8 Solomon Nwabuokei, 78’), 20 Jack Roles, 22 David Longe-King, 24 Rohan Ince

Unused subs: 4 Tom Champion, 14 George Oakley

Goals: Kretzschmar 61’(p), Loza 86’

Bookings: McNerney 35’, Johnson 78’, Loza 87’, Roles 90+4’

Wrexham 21 Christian Dibble, 2 Reece Hall-Johnson, 3 Callum McFadzean (11 Liam McAlinden 6’), 5 Aaron Hayden, 6 Ben Tozer, 7 Jordan Davies, 8 Luke Young ©, 10 Paul Mullin, 30 James Jones (12 Dan Jarvis 78’), 32 Max Cleworth (19 Jordan Ponticelli 87’), 35 Ollie Palmer

Unused subs: 23 Lee Camp, 15 Tyler French

Goal: Johnson 44’(og)

Bookings: McAlinden 63’, Hayden 73’

Referee: Robert Whitton

Attendance: 2697 (658 away)

Man of the Match: As chosen by the Match Sponsors, Laithwaite, Moussa Diarra was a giant at the back and was always on hand to clear any threat posed by the Wrexham attack


Thank you to our Match Sponsor Laithwaite and our Match Ball Sponsor Peacock Construction

You can check out Laithwaite here
WOKING LINEUP
13Craig Ross
22David Longe-King
3Josh Casey
5Joe McNerney
6Moussa Diarra
24Rohan Ince
20Jack Roles
10Max Kretzschmar ('85)
11Tyreke Johnson ('78)
7Jamar Loza
9Inih Effiong ('61)
BENCH
4Tom Champion
23Jermaine Anderson ('85)
8Solomon Nwabuokei ('78)
14George Oakley
18Nicke Kabamba ('61)
Wrexham LINEUP
21Christian Dibble
2Reece Hall-Johnson
3Callum McFadzean ('6)
5Aaron Hayden
6Ben Tozer
32Max Cleworth ('87)
7Jordan Davies
8Luke Young
30James Jones ('79)
10Paul Mullin
35Ollie Palmer
BENCH
23Lee Camp
15Tyler French
12Daniel Jarvis ('79)
11Liam McAlinden ('6)
19Jordan Ponticelli ('87)

Woking 2-1 Wrexham | Darren Sarll Interview

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