3:00pm - SaturdaySat 23rd DecemberDec 2023
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 2425

0 - 0

Maidenhead United

Match Preview and Guide | Maidenhead United (H)

William Bewsey
11:31am, Thu 21st Dec 2023
Woking vs Maidenhead United
Vanarama National League
Saturday 23rd December 2023
15:00 Kick-Off

Woking will hope for a positive start to the Michael Doyle era when they welcome Maidenhead United to the Laithwaite on Saturday.

After ending a run of seven straight defeats thanks to Paul Osew's late goal against Dorking at Meadowbank, caretaker manager Ian Dyer will resume his duties as assistant to Doyle, who will have a positive selection dilemma for his first game in charge.

The likes of Rhys Browne and Reece Grego-Cox missed out at Dorking, and Rohan Ince was a late substitute, with returns for Manny Oyeleke and Jim Kellermann proving highly successful. There was also no place in the matchday squad for Morgan Williams, who has been impressive on loan from AFC Wimbledon, so it will be interesting to see if Doyle brings him back into the fold.

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
Taking charge of Maidenhead United for the ninth consecutive season, Alan Devonshire once again had to deal with big squad changes in the summer as the likes of 'keepers Dan Gyollai and Alexis Andre Jr, now of course at Woking himself departed, but the Magpies pulled off something of a coup in securing the services of popular Woking stopper Craig Ross, who has been a key part of a Maidenhead side currently clear of danger in 12th, having kept seven league clean sheets.

Other changes included striker Emile Acquah securing a move to League Two Barrow where he is playing a big hand in a promotion push there, and the Magpies have been unable to fully replace his output. However, winger duo Reece Smith and Ashley Nathaniel-George have earned much praise across the division. Smith, a Maidenhead academy graduate, scored five in what was a real breakout season last year, and already has seven in 21 appearances this season ahead of a January where the Magpies will hope to retain his services. Nathaniel-George, meanwhile, has found a real home at Maidenhead, and the 28-year-old will prove tricky to stop with his skill and end product from the wing.

As previously mentioned, Maidenhead currently sit 12th, five points ahead of the Cards having played a game more, winning seven, drawing nine and losing eight of their 24 games thus far. They've scored 28 and conceded 33, and come to the Laithwaite unbeaten in seven league games, having won five and drawn two of them, which has propelled them away from danger.

Last Time Out
A captivating 0-0 draw at York Road in September saw both sides spurn chances, but ultimately the points were shared. Last season, Woking were victorious in March with a regulation 2-0 win thanks to goals from Padraig Amond and Luke Wilkinson, but the reverse fixture in Berkshire in September went the way of the Magpies by a 1-0 margin.

Overall, in their last 21 meetings with Maidenhead, Woking have been victorious eight times, with five draws and eight Maidenhead wins.

Match Report | Cards settle for a point in Doyle's first game

William Bewsey
5:00pm, Sat 23rd Dec 2023
Woking Maidenhead United
Vanarama National League
23rd December 2023

Woking returned to the Laithwaite for the last time in 2023, in what was new manager Michael Doyle’s first game in charge. There was just one change from the team victorious at Dorking last week as Rhys Browne replaced Paul Osew, who missed out on the squad completely, which meant Charlie Wakefield returned to the bench.

Former Woking duo Craig Ross and Kane Ferdinand started for Alan Devonshire’s Magpies, with this being Ross’s first game back at the Laithwaite since leaving the Cards in the summer. It would be Jim Kellermann to kick the game off, and it would be Woking to create the first moment of note after 7 minutes. Good link up between Dan Moss and Dennon Lewis saw the latter dink the ball across goal, but Luke Wilkinson couldn’t quite convert at the back post.

Another good Lewis cross on 12 minutes saw Kellermann this time unable to convert at the back post, as Woking continued to press. After great work from Browne to dispossess Casey Pettit, Lewis was unable to finish from a tight angle.

After a quiet period in the game, a loose backpass was seized upon by Browne on 31 minutes, and he forced a good save out of Ross, before Padraig Amond’s header went just wide. However, the best chance of the game thus far came on 35 minutes, when a Sam Barratt free kick went to the back post, causing havoc but somehow not being turned in by someone in blue.

A long free kick in first half injury time saw Lewis do well to beat his man, before squaring across goal, but Amond just couldn’t meet the ball. The half time whistle went straight after, a half in which Woking dominated play and had chances but with their opponents looking lively as well.

Half-time: Woking 0-0 Maidenhead United

Woking began the second half on the front foot. First, Dan Moss’s angled shot was just deflected wide off Amond before minutes later, Browne danced past two defenders and unleashed a speculative effort that just cleared the crossbar.

Much of the second half was Woking trying to force an opening against a stubborn Maidenhead defence. Cross after cross went unpunished by the Woking frontline, but the Magpies’ full backs Zico Asare and Sam Beckwith were exceptional in particular in dealing with Lewis and Kellermann out wide.

After another unsuccessful Woking onslaught in the final stages, the sides shook hands on a draw. A game which lacked quality from both teams, and that cutting edge that has been absent from the Cards' season thus far was not there again.

Still, after only six days in the job, Michael Doyle will take positives out of his side's play ahead of the big Aldershot double header after Christmas.

Woking: Alexis Andre Jr, Dan Moss, Josh Casey, Scott Cuthbert, Luke Wilkinson, Manny Oyeleke, Jim Kellermann (Pavey 85’), Tunji Akinola (Ince 68’), Padraig Amond, Dennon Lewis, Rhys Browne

Unused subs: Wakefield, Bradshaw, Odusina

Bookings: Kellermann 84’

Maidenhead United: Craig Ross, Zico Asare, Sam Beckwith, Will De Havilland, Ashley Nathaniel-George, Kane Ferdinand, Jayden Mitchell-Lawson (Keetch 57’), Casey Pettit, Chanka Zimba (McCoulsky 76’), Alan Massey, Sam Barratt.

Unused subs: Jinadu, Sho-Silva, Kinsella

Bookings: Nathaniel-George 6’, Zimba 10’, Pettit 61’, Ross 93’

Attendance: 2425

Man of the Match: Dan Moss
1Alexis Andre Jr.
2Dan Moss
3Josh Casey
6Luke Wilkinson
4Scott Cuthbert
18Manny Oyeleke
17Jim Kellermann ('86)
16Tunji Akinola ('69)
14Rhys Browne
11Dennon Lewis
10Padraig Amond
21Timi Odusina
20Zak Bradshaw
24Rohan Ince ('69)
19Charlie Wakefield
29Alfie Pavey ('86)
Maidenhead United LINEUP
13Craig Ross
2Zico Asare
3Sam Beckwith
4Will de Havilland
24Alan Massey
8Ashley Nathaniel-George
10Kane Ferdinand
16Casey Pettit
25Sam Barratt
11Jayden Mitchell-Lawson ('56)
21Chanka Zimba ('76)
1Daniel Jinadu
26Lewis Kinsella
12Bradley Keetch ('56)
9Shawn McCoulsky ('76)
14Tobi Sho-Silva

Woking 0-0 Maidenhead United | Michael Doyle Interview

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