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Cards looking to make it derby double in Hampshire

Glen Harrington
8:47am, Thu 24th Dec 2020
Aldershot Town vs Woking
Vanarama National League
Saturday 26th December 2020

After ending a near five-year wait for victory at Aldershot back in October, the Cards will look to make it back-to-back wins away to their local rivals on Boxing Day, as they make the short trip to Hampshire for the first-part of a festive season double header.

Alan Dowson’s side chalked up successive wins with victory at home to Dover Athletic last Saturday, as goals from Charlie Cooper and Slavi Spasov saw the Cards come from behind to book their place in the fourth round of the FA Trophy. The Cards have now won four of their last six games in all competitions, including an impressive 3-0 win over Hartlepool United, in their last league outing. They currently sit in eighth place in the distorted league table, with a game in hand on each of the four teams above them, but with the likes of Solihull Moors, Stockport County and Eastleigh all with games in hand below them. Victory over the Shots, however, would go a long way to ensuring the Cards enter the new year in the play-off places.

Aldershot have begun to recover from their challenging start to the season and are currently in 17th place, with 15 points from 13 games, including four wins and three draws. Like Woking, they progressed in the FA Trophy last weekend, beating minnows Welwyn Garden City 5-1. They have lost their last two league games, coming from two goals down to draw level with Boreham Wood, before eventually losing 3-2, and surrendering a first-half lead to lose 3-1 at home to FC Halifax Town – former Card Jake Hyde netting a brace. Their only league win since mid-November came in a 2-1 home success against Dagenham & Redbridge.

Woking – Team News

Max Kretzschmar remains suspended following his red card against Hartlepool. He will also miss the game on Monday against Eastleigh. Jack Cook will serve his one-match suspension for accumulating five yellow cards, having also missed the Dover game through illness. Ben Gerring has now returned from his one-month loan with National League South side Oxford City, but is also suspended for this game, meaning Nathan Collier will likely keep his place in the centre of defence. New signing Jamar Loza will also be eyeing a start after making his latest debut for the club from the bench on Saturday.

Aldershot Town – The Boss

The Shots are coached by Danny Searle, who took over ahead of last season, following the departure of Gary Waddock. Searle was expecting to be managing in National League South, but saw his side returned to the National League following the club’s late reprieve. He endured a challenging first campaign in charge but ultimately steered the club clear of the relegation places, finishing in 19th place, and of course earned the local bragging rights with his win at the Laithwaite Community Stadium. He was previously manager of Braintree Town during the 2018/19 season.

One to Watch

The Aldershot squad includes two former Cards, striker Chike Kandi and midfielder Toby Edser, but star player Craig Tanner and striker Ross McCormack are both currently sidelined through injury. The Shots have responded by adding a number of talented loan players, including Watford winger Joseph Hungbo, Wycombe defender Giles Phillips, and Middlesbrough goalkeeper Brad James; but striker Mohamed Bettamer, who scored against Woking last time out, remains the biggest threat. The former Staines Town and Braintree Town man will be looking to add to his five league goals this season.

Last Time Out

Aldershot Town 1-2 Woking – Emirates FA Cup (24th October 2020)

Despite falling behind early on to Bettamer’s close-range finish, the Cards fought their way back into the game, and deservedly levelled shortly before the half-time interval through debutant Josh Davison. The visitors continued to have the better of the second-half and were eventually rewarded with a winning goal 13 minutes from time as Max Kretzschmar beat goalkeeper Mitch Walker to the ball and slotted home from the edge of the penalty area.

Next Up

Woking are at home to Eastleigh on Bank Holiday Monday, in a game which will be shown live on BT Sport, that’s followed by the return match at home to Aldershot next Saturday.

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