3:00pm - SaturdaySat 18th NovemberNov 2023
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 3057

0 - 1

Oldham Athletic

Match Preview and Guide | Oldham Athletic (H)

William Bewsey
12:57pm, Thu 16th Nov 2023
Woking vs Oldham Athletic
Vanarama National League
Saturday 18th November 2023
15:00 Kick-Off

Woking will hope to finally end their winless run at home when they welcome Oldham Athletic to the Laithwaite on Saturday.

After the news that Darren Sarll was relieved of his duties as manager on Monday, Ian Dyer will take charge of the team to take on the Latics, the first time he's been the main man in the dugout since March 2022. His record as caretaker was impressive, registering three wins, a draw and two losses with four clean sheets, and he'll be hoping that more of that is to come.

Reece Grego-Cox returned to the squad defeated by Oxford City, and came off the bench in a positive sign, whilst other injury news will be eagerly awaited ahead of Saturday.

Around the Ground
Ticket pricing and other details are available here.

The Club reminds supporters, in light of the forecasted weather, that pointed umbrellas are not permitted in the ground. Smaller, non-pointed umbrellas are.

Opposition Watch
After an excellent second half to last season under David Unsworth saw Oldham finish in a comfortable 12th position, hopes were high going into the new season, with the Latics considered title challengers following some impressive signings such as the prolific James Norwood from Barnsley, centre half Shaun Hobson from Southend and midfielders Josh Lundstram and Dan Ward from Altrincham and Gateshead respectively.

However, after just one win in nine games, and following a 3-0 hammering at Bromley, Unsworth departed, and in came another big appointment in Micky Mellon. But since the successful former Tranmere manager arrived at Boundary Park, the Latics have just one league win in four games, also being eliminated by Newport County in the FA Cup. Norwood so far this season has scored 7 in 18 games, scoring two in Mellon's first four, whilst experienced midfielder Brennan Dickenson has 5 in 15 games; the former Carlisle man has already registered a couple of goal of the season contenders as well.

All of this ultimately means that the Latics sit two points and four places above the Cards in 10th, having won five, lost five and drawn nine thus far. They've scored 27 but conceded 28, with 10 scored away from home and 18 conceded, picking up 10 points from their 9 away games.

Last Time Out
A dramatic Nathan Sheron injury time winner gave Oldham all three points at Boundary Park on a freezing cold Tuesday night in March, as the Latics were 1-0 victors. Before that, the reverse fixture saw Woking win 3-0 at the Laithwaite in September, two goals for Tyreke Johnson either side of a goal for Luke Wilkinson, in what was to prove to be his last game in charge of the Latics before he got sacked.

Before last season, the two sides had never met, so at present the head to head is one win for each side.

Match Report | Oldham-bits die hard; Cards lose again to Latics

Ben Musgrove
1:55pm, Tue 21st Nov 2023
Woking 0 – 1 Oldham
Vanarama National League
18th November 2023

The last time these two teams met, in grim conditions and under dark skies, a tough game with no lack of endeavour saw the Latics snatch a well-placed finish to win the game 1-0.

The last time Woking FC changed manager, the incumbent made way for his assistant, Ian Dyer. In his first game, Dyer took charge of a group with ebbing confidence and underperforming players, ultimately ending in a 1-0 defeat against tough, high-spending opposition.

Is any of this sounding familiar yet?

If the end result was familiar, the Woking team did at least see some significant changes. Dyer’s reversion to a 442 saw the deployment of Pavey and Grego-Cox as a two-man pairing for the first time, with Amond out right to cover for a plethora of midfield injuries. Alexis Andre Jr. stepped between the sticks for his Woking debut, with Will Jääskeläinen going down with a bug following the Cards’ frustrating afternoon at Oxford City last week.

The first twenty minutes was defined by hard work and tough, busy defending as much as anything else. Amond could have opened the scoring with a deflected drive after just a few minutes, while Mark Kitching and Dan Ward wasted long-range efforts. Dennon Lewis then came as close as the Cards would all afternoon, with some dancing feet to evade Dan Gardner and Charlie Raglan before forcing keeper Matt Hudson into a near-post save.

But as the half wore on, the Latics started to establish themselves as the dominant force both in possession and attack, and Andre. Jr had to show his quality. The visitors should’ve opened the scoring when a fabulous Josh Lundstram ball split the Woking defence in half, with Ward teeing up James Norwood – only for the veteran striker to be denied by Andre Jr’s feet at close range.

Mike Fondop should’ve sent the visitors in ahead just moments later, only to totally fluff his lines from a Norwood cross – the ball hitting his standing leg as he swung for a half-open goal. The Cards would head in level and hope to reassert themselves in the second period.

Half-time: Woking 0 – 0 Oldham

Unfortunately, that assertion was not forthcoming. A thirty-yard, outside-foot volley from Raglan, clawed out of the top corner by Andre Jr, set the tone for what was to come. While the Cards maintained their effort levels, Oldham retained their control, and were ultimately rewarded with what would prove a scrappy winner.

Failing to properly defend the second phase of a Kitching corner, a ball looped in by substitute Devarn Green evaded the Woking centre-halves would drop kindly in the six-yard box for James Norwood. The forward smuggled the ball through marker Alfie Pavey, managing to get the other side of the Woking striker and to stab the ball home from just a couple of yards out.

It should’ve been two just minutes later, as the Cards were hit on the break. A Latics clearance would drop in the Woking half for James Norwood, who nudged Dan Moss aside to drive at goal and find Green bursting towards the area from the right. Green would switch to the left to find Ward, who hammered his effort off the crossbar with the keeper beaten.

The Cards would look to inject some energy and impetus with the introduction of Morgan Williams and Zak Bradshaw in midfield, but a long-range effort from the latter was the only meaningful shot of the second half for the home side. Oldham continued to apply pressure, with Norwood and Green standing out as particularly dangerous; the former set up Fondop for another close-range miss, and was denied well by Andre. Jr just before the final whistle.

The result means that the Cards have just one league win since the start of October, just nine points off the playoffs – but also firmly wedged in the mass of sides floating just a few points above the relegation zone. The team needs the clarity and direction to move into the post-Sarll era – and so the coming weeks will prove to be defining ones for Woking.

Woking: 1. Alexis Andre Jr.; 3. Josh Casey, 4. Scott Cuthbert, 5. Greg Taylor, 2. Dan Moss; 11. Dennon Lewis (Morgan Williams 76’), 24. Rohan Ince, 16. Tunji Akinola (Zak Bradshaw 72’), 10. Padraig Amond; 9. Reece Grego-Cox (Charlie Wakefield 46’), 29. Alfie Pavey

Unused subs: 21. Timi Odusina, 28. Sam Habergham

Bookings: Pavey 61’, Williams 77’

Oldham 13. Matt Hudson; 3. Mark Kitching, 16. Charlie Raglan, 5. Harrison McGahey, 23. Kieron Freeman; 11. Dan Ward (Devarn Green 62’), 8. Josh Lundstram, 14. Nathan Sheron, 19. Dan Gardner,; 9. Mike Fondop, 30. James Norwood

Unused subs: 1. Magnus Norman, 6. Mark Shelton, 7. Kurt Willoughby, 21. Will Sutton

Goals: Norwood 61’

Bookings: Freeman 79’

Man of the Match: Alexis Andre Jr. On an afternoon with little to report from Woking’s offence, the debutant keeper made several smart stops to keep the scoreline to just one, and impressed fans with his distribution to boot.
1Alexis Andre Jr.
2Dan Moss
3Josh Casey
4Scott Cuthbert
5Greg Taylor
24Rohan Ince
16Tunji Akinola ('73)
9Reece Grego-Cox ('46)
11Dennon Lewis ('76)
29Alfie Pavey
10Padraig Amond
21Timi Odusina
28Sam Habergham
20Zak Bradshaw ('73)
25Morgan Williams ('76)
19Charlie Wakefield ('46)
Oldham Athletic LINEUP
13Mathew Hudson
23Kieron Freeman
3Mark Kitching
17Harrison McGahey
32Charlie Raglan
8Josh Lundstram
14Nathan Sheron
19Dan Gardner
11Dan Ward ('62)
30James Norwood
9Mike Fondop
1Magnus Norman
21Will Sutton
6Mark Shelton
15Devarn Green ('62)
7Kurt Willoughby

Woking 0-1 Oldham Athletic | Ian Dyer Interview

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