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Fabulous Five Star Woking Thump 10 Man Dover In Kent

Owen Parsley
12:00am, Tue 17th Nov 2020
Dover 1 Woking 5
Vanarama National League
17th November 2020

Following the 1-1 draw against bottom of the league Yeovil on Saturday afternoon, Woking travelled to 22nd placed Dover on Tuesday night in search of their first victory in five, since the derby-day win at Aldershot. Dover themselves had won just one of their last six, and had not played for over a fortnight, after their fixture on Saturday was postponed due to Covid-19 issues. Only one change to the starting line-up was made by Dowson, with Dave Tarpey replacing Slavi Spasov in the side, who dropped to the bench.

Dover’s lack of match practice and poor form this season was evident, as Woking emerged as the dominant force for much of the 90 minutes, responding well to falling behind very early on. A red card in the second half for the opposition certainly helped proceedings for the Cards, but by that point the 3 points looked firmly in hand, and they coasted to a resounding victory in south-east Kent.

It was a lively start at Crabble and in the 3rd minute a long ball floated over the top dropped kindly for Steven Rigg just inside the penalty area, his low shot clipping the heel of a recovering Jack Cook and flew past Ross in the Woking goal. It was ‘route one’ stuff from Dover, and Woking will be disappointed to concede so early on, particularly in that manner.

However, The Cards responded strongly to going 1-0 down, and a succession of free kicks from Cooper narrowly evaded a Woking touch, and Casey’s corner forced 18 year old Smith in the Dover net to palm away from danger. In the 10th minute, Davison’s flick-on from a long ball found Ferdinand’s driving run from midfield, and his attempted dink over the onrushing keeper sailed into the stands. At the other end, yet another floated ball into the middle was this time headed comfortably over by the Dover number 19, Azeez.

In the 16th minute, Dempsey pushed the ball out wide to Josh Casey, who curled a delightful cross straight onto the head of his namesake, on-loan striker Josh Davison who rose like a salmon to direct the ball back down into the ground into the left hand side of the goal. The ball into the box was pinpoint, and Davison simply had to get his header on target to secure his 4th goal in as many games during an extremely successful spell at the club.

Just minutes later, Tarpey was put through over the top down the left hand side, finding himself 1-on-1 with the Dover goalkeeper on the left hand side of the box. Controversially, Tarpey’s seemingly goal-bound effort struck the arm of the keeper outside of his area, and despite calls for blood from the Woking players, the referee let Smith off with just a caution, perhaps due to the recovering defenders arriving in the box.

Woking will feel the goalkeeper was lucky to remain on the pitch, however all was forgotten almost instantaneously as Kane Ferdinand headed in from the resulting free-kick inside the 6 yard box. Once again, another fantastic cross, this time driven into the corridor of uncertainty by Charlie Cooper, and Ferdinand did well to get in front of his man to nod home Woking’s second of the night in the 19th minute.

By this point, Woking’s confidence was sky high, and despite some nice passing moves, Dover really struggled to create any real clear-cut chances. Perhaps through frustration, Jack Munns picked up the second yellow card of the night in the 31st minute after a few poor challenges, giving Woking a central free kick 30 yards out.

Unfortunately for Dover, their weakness of being unable to defend crosses played to the Cards’ strengths. Woking loaded the box, and Kane Ferdinand completed Woking’s hat trick of headers after once again being left unmarked in the box and allowed to flick over the stranded keeper for Woking’s 8th headed goal of the season.

For the rest of the half, Woking seemed content to sit back and soak up the pressure, as Dover attempted to cause some problems for the Cardinals’ defence. Most notably, a slick move from Dover co-ordinated by Gillingham loanee Bramble led to Rigg firing into the side netting after being left unmarked at the back post – he really should have scored. On the stroke of half-time, Woking nearly had 4, as a darting run from Dempsey ended in the Whites’ keeper diverting his shot round the post.

Half-time: Dover 1 Woking 3

The second half picked up where the first half ended - lively - but there was a distinct lack of quality with some scrappy play in the middle of the park followed by the stereotypical non-league style of “hoofball�. This suited the Cards quite nicely, considering the scoreline; however the Dover boss promptly made a change up top, hoping for an impact.

Nonetheless, Woking kept their concentration and did not allow Dover any way back into the game, with all 3 of Dover’s substitutes rendering ineffective. In the 65th minute, following a sharp turn Charlie Cooper was crunched in the centre of the park by Goburn, who was promptly given his marching orders by referee Ryan Atkin. It was a horrific challenge, summing up Goburn’s all around poor performance.

Despite the red card, Dover still had life in them yet, and moved the ball around tidily, but like in the first half lacked the creativity and cutting edge needed to really threaten Ross in the Woking goal. Fantastic work from Kretzschmar pushed Dover out wide in one of their more forthcoming moves, and captain Casey took the pressure off his side by winning a free kick deep in the defensive third in trademark fashion.

In the 76th minute, Woking finally got the space to launch a counter-attack, with Davison being unleashed down the right hand side. He drove towards the Dover goal, spotted Kretzschmar in space, and picked him out with an excellent driven pass across the edge of the box, leaving Mr. Reliable with the simple task of smashing home for Woking’s fourth. Credit too must go to Tarpey, whose last action of the night was a fabulous decoy run to give Kretzschmar all the time in the world to take his chance.

With that goal all but sealing the win for the Cards, the quality football started flowing again, as Davison struck the bar, nearly scoring his second of the night. Casey played a beautiful ball down the line to substitute Matt Jarvis, and the ball found its way to Davison at the back post – admittedly, the ball seemed to take a bobble, turning an attempted cross into a rocket of a shot that would have been a goal of the season contender, had it rippled into the net.

In the 83rd minute, yet another set-piece resulted in a 5th (Fifth!) goal for the Cards, as Charlie Cooper’s superb whipped corner was bundled in by the arriving Slavi Spasov with his first touch, who had only seconds before replaced Davison.. He didn’t seem to know much about it, but it just goes to show that when you put the ball in dangerous areas, goals will come.

The closing minutes were relatively uneventful, courtesy of a resolute defensive performance from the Cards to see the game out.

Dowson will be delighted with the performance, and to be able to take 3 points back home to Surrey from Crabble for the second consecutive time. The Cardinals return to the Laithwaite Community Stadium on Saturday for a standard 3pm kick-off against yet another struggling side in Barnet, who sit 1 point clear of the relegation zone, albeit with games in hand.

Woking: 13 Craig Ross, 2 Jack Cook, 3 Josh Casey, 4 Charlie Cooper, 6 Saul Shotton, 7 Dave Tarpey (Jarvis 77’), 8 Kane Ferdinand, 10 Max Kretzschmar, 16 Kyran Lofthouse, 18 Ben Dempsey, 25 Josh Davison (Spasov 82’)

Unused subs: 5 Ben Gerring, 12 Nathan Collier, 23 Jayden Wareham

Goals: Davison 16’, Ferdinand 19’, 32’, Kretzschmar 76’, Spasov 83’

Bookings: N/A

Dover: 24 Tom Smith, 2 Josh Passley, 3 Sam Wood, 4 Oscar Gobern, 6 Will de Havilland, 8 Kurtis Cumberbatch (Collins 63’), 10 Steve Rigg, 11 Jack Munns, 14 TJ Bramble (Hinchiri 77’), 19 Ade Azeez (Rose 54’), 20 Marvel Ekpiteta

Unused subs: 1 Yusuf Mersin, 22 Bayli Spencer-Adams

Goals: Rigg 3’

Bookings: Smith 18’, Munns 31’, Passley 82’

Sent off: Goburn 64’

Referee: Ryan Atkin

Attendance: N/A

Man of the Match: Perhaps one of the most difficult decisions to date, after top class performances from the likes of Cooper, Casey and of course Davison. However, my Man of the Match was Kane Ferdinand for his dominance in the air and tenacity in the tackle, not forgetting his two first half goals.

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