Cards see off local rivals

Alan Barnes
6:37pm, Sun 27th Dec 2015
Aldershot Town 0 Woking 1
Vanarama National League
26th December 2015

Woking entered the busy holiday fixture list in good form, having won five of the last six games. Aldershot, meanwhile, won last Saturday for the first time in eight.
An overcast day with a swirling wind made it difficult for the players at the EBB stadium as both sets of fans in the 3,000 plus crowd made for a great atmosphere.

Woking started with the side that had done so well at Gateshead the previous week. The home side, however, made four changes from the side which had started the previous week against Guiseley.

The opening exchanges were evenly contested as both teams strove to gain the upper hand in the difficult conditions. The first shot in anger saw Sam Hatton pull well wide from outside the box. This was followed by a Dan Holman effort which was also wide, the travelling Cards fans no doubt relieved to see their marksman fully recovered after limping off late in the game at Gateshead.

Ten minutes into the match, Tom Richards crossed from the left for Aldershot, but his low ball evaded everyone. Woking man of the match Joey Jones then found Bruno Andrade with a long ball left to right. The resulting corner was flicked just wide by Joe Quigley at the near post. The next chance fell to the home side but a cross from the right could not be turned in.

Woking were now starting to impose themselves on the game and quickly broke up field where Holman made space for himself, but Phil Smith grabbed the ball before he could finish the move.

Jake Caprice was making some good runs down the right, but without managing to cause any real threat to the home rearguard.

Aldershot started to gain a modicum of control around the half hour mark, but the Woking defence held firm. Any shot that did get through was either wide or easily dealt with by Jake Cole in the Woking goal.

With only five minutes of the half remaining, the visitors broke the deadlock with the only goal of the game - and a classy affair it was too. Jones found Holman, who slipped a great reverse ball into the path of John Goddard who finished with aplomb.

Half-time: Aldershot Town 0 Woking 1

Aldershot were more urgent in their play at the start of the second period, but could not breach the Woking defence. Although the visitors tended to sit deep during this period they were never seriously troubled.

As the half wore on, the home side resorted to pumping long balls into the Woking penalty area. Although these occasionally found the heads of Aldershot forwards, they rarely looked likely to threaten an equaliser with Cole dealing competently with anything which came his way.

Indeed, with a bit of luck, the Cards might have extended their lead on a couple of occasions with a little more composure in front of goal.

Overall, it was a solid performance from the visitors who looked much the better team in the first half and dealt effectively with a fairly lacklustre opposition in the second.

This win leaves the Cards five points off fifth place. It also sees them just ten points shy of the fifty point mark, which is always Garry Hill's initial safety target at the start of each season. The big question now for all fans is how many of the current crop of loanees, most notably Dan Holman, will the manager be able to retain as he looks to continue the team's push towards the play-off places.

Next up will be a home fixture tomorrow against Boreham Wood, before the eagerly anticipated return match against Aldershot on January 2nd.

WOKING: Jake Cole, Jake Caprice, Mark Ricketts, Brian Saah, Bruno Andrade, John Goddard( Guiseppe Sole 84), Matt Robinson, Bruno Andrade( Keiran Murtagh 69), Joe Quigley (Chris Arthur 77), Dan Holman, Cameron Norman

Goal: John Goddard (40)

Unused subs: Nick Hamann, Jimmy Keohane

Caution: Guiseppe Sole (90+2)

ALDERSHOT TOWN: Phil Smith, Joe Oastler, Sean McGinty, Sam Hatton (Dan Walker 72), Jim Stevenson, Tom Richards, Cheye Alexander, Omar Beckles, Jake Gallagher, Richard Brodie, Daniel Carr ( Charlie Walker 63)

Unused subs: Dan Thomas, Damon Lathrope, Luke Oliver

My Man of the Match: Joey Jones - a colossus in defence, coupled with some excellent forward runs also

Attendance: 3150 (710 Woking fans)

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