Cards looking to restore pride against old foes Torquay

Glen Harrington
10:48am, Fri 2nd Apr 2021
Torquay United vs Woking
Vanarama National League
Friday 2nd April 2021

Woking will look to put the disappointment of last Saturday’s FA Trophy semi-final defeat to Hereford behind them as they travel to promotion-chasing Torquay United in the National League.

The Cards were far from their best last weekend, falling at the final hurdle in their quest to reach Wembley, and it could mean that we see some stark changes in personnel for the remainder of the campaign, as manager Alan Dowson starts his preparations for next season. Woking currently sit 18th in the league table, with 31 points from 27 games, seven points clear of the bottom three.

Long-time National League leaders Torquay have endured a difficult spell, which included their FA Trophy quarter-final defeat to the Cards in February, and they now find themselves 10 points adrift of Sutton United. They are also six points adrift of second-place Hartlepool United, albeit with three games in hand. Since the turn of the year, they have won just four of 14 league games, although that has included two of the last three. They have remained competitive, only one of their six defeats has been by more than one goal, but the free-flowing attacking football that was a cornerstone of their early season form, demonstrated by 11 wins in 15 to start the campaign, does seem to have temporarily abandoned them. Last time out they were beaten 1-0 by Dagenham & Redbridge.

Woking – Team News

Woking fans could be treated to a first-hand look at some of the club’s younger stars this afternoon, with Dowse likely to rotate his team following last weekend’s disappointment. Jamar Loza, Malachi Napa, Matt Jarvis, and Sam Ashford are all unavailable through injury, whilst Niko Muir’s loan from Hampton & Richmond Borough has ended, and their remain doubts over both Jack Cook and Nathan Collier. Academy graduates such as Jack Skinner, Sam Evans, and Leo Hamblin could all play a part, whilst recent signing Paul Hodges, cup-tied against Hereford, is also available.

Torquay United – The Boss

The hugely experienced Gary Johnson, who masterminded the Gulls’ promotion to this level alongside the Cards in 2019, is now eyeing another promotion to the Football League, having won the same title with both Yeovil Town and Cheltenham Town during his career. The 65-year-old has also managed in the Football League with the likes of Bristol City, Peterborough United, and Northampton Town.

One to Watch

Former Woking loanee Armani Little, who has missed large parts of this season due to injury, is available again and played the full 90 minutes against Dagenham. New signing, Sunderland striker and Sweden youth international Benjamin Mbunga-Kimpioka is also worth keeping an eye on. However, one to watch will be Connor Lemonheigh-Evans. The 24-year-old always seems to cause Woking problems and the former Bristol City man will be looking to add to his five league goals this season.

Last Time Out

Woking 1-0 Torquay United – FA Trophy (27th March 2021)

The Cards added Torquay to their list of FA Trophy scalps, alongside fellow National League sides Dover Athletic, Bromley, and Sutton United. Jamar Loza scored the only goal with a well-taken finish from the corner of the penalty area and the Cards dogged defending won out against a depleted Torquay side missing a number of key players through injury and suspension. The Gulls thought they had grabbed a late equaliser when they bundled the ball in from close range, but the linesman’s flag denied them as the offside call was made.

Next Up

Woking host fellow FA Trophy semi-finalists Notts County on Easter Monday. That’s followed by a trip to Eastleigh next Saturday.

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