Cards Dispel Fears of FA Cup Hangover with Sparkling Performance

Bob Raikes
1:21pm, Sun 9th Dec 2018
Weston-Super-Mare AFC 2 Woking FC 4
Vanarama National League South
8th December 2018

The Cards dispelled any fears that the great result last week against Swindon might be affecting their desire to win by playing perhaps their best 30 minutes of football so far this season in difficult cold and wet conditions at the Woodspring Stadium, the home of “The Seagulls�, in Weston-Super-Mare. The wind gusted throughout the game, with rain stopping and starting, but the team focused on playing great football and got their just rewards, bringing the goal tally to 10 for, 2 against for the week.

Unsurprisingly, the team found it hard to maintain that level of intensity for the full game and the Seagulls managed to poach a goal in each half, but in the end, the team, which was unchanged from last week, always looked as though it could get another goal if needed. The sight of Kane Ferdinand running laps around the pitch before the game was welcome, even though he didn’t make the bench.

Although the first few minutes were fairly cagey, Weston-Super-Mare (Weston) seemed to be trying to get their number 9, Marlon Jackson, behind the Woking defence with long passes, a tactic that didn’t really work out as Cook and Gerring were able to get back and were not out-paced. Both sides were trying to play passing football and the spirit of the game was good.

By eight minutes, the Cards were starting to dominate with crisp passing at pace between Armani Little, Toby Edser (pictured above) and Christian Jolley, who were very effective. Dowse has spoken very positively about Jolley and this was a chance to see how his willingness to do the less glamorous work of ‘putting his foot in’ complemented the work of the other two in the trio. The first good chance for Woking fell to Jolley in the eighth minute, but he blazed over.

However, just a minute later, passes from Max Kretzschmar to Jake Hyde and on to Edser and eventually Jamar Loza saw Loza put the ball beautifully across the keeper and into the far corner (the keeper’s left) of the Weston goal. 1-0 to the cards and a great start!

'He shoots, he scores' - Jamar Loza's first; pic: David Holmes

Just a minute later, Hyde got a great chance, provided by Loza, but he hit the ball wide. Another attack led to an inviting cross for Hyde, but he couldn’t get on the end of it. For the next few minutes, it was all Woking - there was really only one team in the game.

On 16 minutes, Little got the ball and surged through to rifle another shot into the same corner as the first goal – 2-0 to the Cards and they looked fantastic. Although Weston were trying to get back into the game, Woking were pressing all over the field and giving them no time or space.

Hyde got another good pass in to Loza, but his shot was blocked. Jolley was snapping in with tackles and the trio of Edser, Little and Jolley were pinging the ball very fast and accurately.
At 26 minutes, the Weston defence got itself in a mess and Little applied great pressure to win the ball, which worked its way to Loza who took a shot, this time into the other side of the goal to give the Cards a 3-0 lead.

At this stage, my notes were a bit thin as I had to protect my PC from the driving rain. There was a setting sun to the left, glowering black clouds above the middle of the pitch and blue sky at the right!

Eventually, the Cards pressing eased a little and Weston started to get some half chances, but Woking also had more chances. On 39 minutes, there was a half chance for Loza and in the ensuing corner, the ball went to Hyde who got it to Cook, in front of goal, but he couldn’t turn to get the shot away.

In the 40th minute, Craig Ross had to make his first real save, which was from Jackson.

Two minutes later, Weston’s Jake Lee got their first goal from a corner, with a good header into the near corner post. Edser was on the post and got a foot to it which deflected the ball to the far corner of the goal, but it was behind the posts, so Weston got a foot back in the game, just before half time. It was a reward for not giving up when for long periods of the game they had been second best.

Half-time: Weston 1 Woking 3

Weston clearly had a pep talk from the management at half time and they were putting much more pressure on the Woking players. An attacking move by Woking ended with Jolley putting a shot well over the bar. The wind was making long balls very difficult with the gusts changing every few seconds, so the effect was very variable.

After 54 minutes a sharp counter attack saw Gerring taking the Weston number 10 down on the half way line and getting a yellow card for the deliberate spoiling of what could have been a dangerous break for the hosts. Shortly after, a long ball from Weston almost got blown into the Woking goal as the wind again strengthened. If it had gone in, it would have been the most bizarre goal of the season!

Woking continued to threaten and three minutes after Gerring’s booking, Hyde got the ball to Edser who passed to Loza, but his shot hit the post. On 61 minutes, Jake Hyde, who had, as always, worked very hard at holding up and distributing the ball, went off, to be replaced by Greg Luer who quickly got the ball into the net, but was offside.

At 64 minutes, Edser was clearly tripped in the area for a penalty (even the Weston fans around the press area didn’t complain). Loza stepped up to take it and put it away cleanly to get his hat trick. The move was a counter attack after a real threat by Weston that saw Ross make his best save of the match. The cards could have been back to 3-2 but within a minute were 4-1 up.

Weston had a free kick that swirled in the wind and the shot was deflected onto the post. The ensuing corner saw another good shot, but it went wide.

By this stage, Woking were sitting back more although on 76 minutes, Luer seemed to be through on goal, but inexplicably chose to cross although his pass was not close to anyone.

After 80 minutes, Weston added a second goal with a header from a cross by midfielder, Alex Byrne.

Woking brought on Wheeler for Loza and Hodges for Edser. Greg Luer then got booked for kicking the ball away just before the 90 minutes were up.

There were five minutes of extra time and although Weston pressed to get closer, there were no real moments of tension for Woking fans.

So, the cards had a fantastic 30 minutes which won them the game and showed that the Swindon result has not affected the desire to keep winning. In his Friday catch up, Dowse said that five new players were needed, but that changed to ‘one to two’ by the end of this match! The match was played in good spirit and in tough conditions. The only negative was, probably, that Armani Little’s loan period seems to be coming to an end which will mean breaking up a midfield trio that looks as though it could be in a league three or four levels higher!

Woking: Craig Ross, Nathan Collier, Josh Casey, Jack Cook, Ben Gerring, Christian Jolley, Toby Edser (Paul Hodges 72), Armani Little, Jake Hyde (Greg Luer 61), Max Kretzschmar, Jamar Loza (Nicky Wheeler 80)

Unused subs: Ian Gayle, Berti Schotterl

Goals: Loza 9’, 26’, 66’ P, Little 16’

Bookings: Gerring 54, Luer 88

Weston-Super-Mare AFC Luke Purnell, Louis McGrory, George Nurse, Jacob Cane, Jason Pope, Matthew Bower, Jake Lee (Cory Thomas-Barker 81), Alex Byrne, Marlon Jackson, Jennison Myrie-Williams, Gethyn Hill

Unused subs: Liam Kingston, Jamie Lucas, Ben Swallow, Tom Llewellyn

Goals: Jake Lee 42’, Alex Byrne 81’

Referee: Dan Lamport

Attendance: 640

Man of the Match: Jamar Loza for his goals, but Armani Little was also a strong contender and Christian Jolley and Toby Edser could have got the award!

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