Woking vs. Altrincham
Vanarama National League
12th August 2023
Woking will look to pick up their first win of the season when they welcome Altrincham to the Laithwaite Community Stadium on Saturday.
Despite being far from their best at Aggborough, a 0-0 draw against a potential banana skin in Kidderminster Harriers represented a decent result for the Cards, and in particular all three substitutes; Nana Boateng, Tunji Akinola and Robbie Willmott, all managed to impress and stake their claim for a starting position against Alty.
Alongside the side-lined Jermaine Anderson, five players were not included in the squad on Saturday, those being Luke Wilkinson, Sam Habergham, Charlie Wakefield, Manny Oyeleke and Dennon Lewis. There is a chance that several could make the matchday squad as Darren Sarll looks to give every player a chance to stake their claim.
Supporters are notified that roadworks are currently taking place on Kingfield Road, approaching Wych Hill, and encouraged to utilise the designated matchday carpark, Heathside (GU22 7AG), and make sure to arrive at the game in good time.
Promoted through the National League North playoffs in 2020, Altrincham are well known as a traditional non-league powerhouse, having spent much of their modern history in the National League. However, after consecutive relegations in 2015-16 and 2016-17 left the Cheshire side at step three of the non-league pyramid, current manager Phil Parkinson took charge in April 2017, and won Alty the Northern Premier League at the first time of asking, before achieving promotion back to the National League at just the second attempt.
17th place in their first season back was a solid start to life back in the National League, before 14th and 17th placed finishes in their last two seasons have seen Alty fully establish themselves at this level. Last season was something of a transition year, with the club going full time for the first time in its history, with hopes of a playoff place well and truly extinguished following a January exodus which saw key players such as Ryan Colclough and Chris Conn-Clarke depart.
However, an exciting summer has seen some promising signings, with Conn-Clarke on a permanent deal from Fleetwood by far the standout. The winger/midfielder is a versatile playmaker who is exciting to watch and productive, with ten goals last season before January for Alty. Other additions include former Woking stalwart Joey Jones, exciting forward Justin Donawa, former title winner Dior Angus and pacey winger Justin Amaluzor, who was signed from Aldershot Town.
Last Time Out
Alty turned on the style to defeat Woking 3-1 at Moss Lane, despite a 13th minute Marcus Dackers header opening the scoreline for the Cards. Goals from Regan Linney, Maxi Oyedele and Josh Lundstram condemned Woking to defeat, with Linney assisting two goals as well as scoring from the spot.
The last time these sides met at the Laithwaite was in November 2022, with a last gasp Padraig Amond free kick cancelling out Elliot Newby’s goal just after half time in a 1-1 draw.
Around the Ground
Ticket details are available here.
The Club is also giving supporters an additional opportunity to collect their season tickets, which will be available from the Kingfield Road Turnstiles from 11:00 to 14:00.
Cardinals Bar will be open to season ticket and match ticket holders for the Women's World Cup Quarter-Final between England and Colombia, with gates opening at 11:00. £4 pints of Madri, Hogsback, Carling and Cold River Cider will be available until 13:00.
Match Report | Cards edged out in five goal thriller
William Bewsey 5:02pm, Sat 12th Aug 2023
Woking 2-3 Altrincham Vanarama National League 12th August 2023
Woking welcomed Altrincham to the Laithwaite Community Stadium to kickstart their home 2023/24 season. Following last week’s draw at Kidderminster, there were first starts for Tunji Akinola and Nana Boateng, as they replaced Josh Casey, recovering from an injury in training and therefore not in the squad, as well as Padraig Amond, who took his place on the bench.
Altrincham kicked off towards the Kingfield Road End, but it was Woking who created the first chance of sorts, as a typical run from Rhys Browne saw him dance past three defenders, before firing a low shot into the hands of Ethan Ross.
However, it was the visitors who took the lead, with a clinical breakaway led by Matty Kosylo, who found Regan Linney inside the box. The striker wasn’t closed down, and his low finish into the bottom corner was too good for Will Jaaskelainen.
Alty’s lead only lasted until the 16th minute, when a free kick from Boateng wasn’t cleared, and the ball fell to Scott Cuthbert. He fired home from inside the box to lift the Laithwaite and give Woking parity.
After a flurry of Woking corners were cleared and an Alty free kick flew wide, it was another new signing who provided the helping hand in Woking’s second goal. A superb cross from Akinola was met by a brilliant header from Reece Grego-Cox, as the ball nestled into the far corner past the despairing dive of Ethan Ross.
Alty were unfortunate to equalise when another quick break saw Justin Amaluzor fire wide bearing down on goal, but just a minute later, they did have a leveller. Kosylo finished high into the net after a cutback from Eddy Jones to level the game once again.
On the stroke of half time, a nice move from Woking saw Matt Robinson hit one from range, but the ball crept just wide of Ross’s near post. That was the last action of a thrilling first half, with the game completely open.
Half-time: Woking 2-2 Altrincham
Straight after the break, Woking switched off again, when the visitors simply sliced through the Cards’ backline, and Linney finished off the move with a composed strike into the bottom corner. The end-to-end nature of the game was evident again, when a dangerous cross was met by Jim Kellermann, but luckily for Ross, the ball landed straight into his hands.
With the game fairly lifeless, Darren Sarll turned to Padraig Amond to try and make an impact. However, the first chance for some time fell to the visitors, who were denied by some superb Cuthbert defending. A ricochet fell perfectly for Linney, and it looked like he was going to get his hat trick after rounding Jaaskelainen. However, a superbly timed challenge from Cuthbert prevented the striker from surely putting the game beyond doubt.
Woking came within a whisker away from snatching a point when a free kick from Amond was brilliantly saved from Ross, but it wasn’t to be. Altrincham deserved winners in a game which calmed down in the second half, and they’ll continue to hunt for that first victory of the season when Rochdale visit the Laithwaite on Tuesday night.
Woking: Will Jaaskelainen, Dan Moss, Scott Cuthbert, Greg Taylor, Tunji Akinola (Habergham 50’), Rohan Ince (Willmott 33’), Jim Kellermann, Matt Robinson, Nana Boateng, Reece Grego-Cox (Amond 65’), Rhys Browne