Woking go down to Bromley in seven-goal thriller

Justin Burns
12:00am, Tue 13th Apr 2021
Woking 3 Bromley 4
Vanarama National League
Tuesday, 13th April 2021

Woking lost out harshly 4-3 to play-off chasing Bromley in an all-action seven-goal thriller at the Laithwaite Community Stadium last night, extending their winless league run to four games after the visitors came back from 3-2 with eight minutes left to play to nick the three points.

Dowse made three changes to the starting side that drew 0-0 with Eastleigh on Saturday, with Josh Casey coming in at left-back and captaining the team, Charlie Cooper into central midfield and 18-year-old Zach Robinson started up front, the day that he signed on loan from AFC Wimbledon.

The Cards made the worst possible start, as lively Bromley took the lead in the 3rd minute after some poor defending in midfield from Woking. Charlie Wakefield was allowed to make a break through central midfield with ease, before slipping it to Jack Bridge on the left-hand side of the penalty box, who drilled a left footed drive into the bottom corner giving Craig Ross no chance.

Woking started slowly, but were unlucky not to win a penalty in the 12th minute as Max Kretzschmar brilliantly took down a ball on the edge of the box before darting into the penalty area and went down after seemingly being fouled by the right-back, but the referee waved play on.

Moussa Diarra was then booked for a foul in the 13th minute for a foul on Courtney Duffus just inside the Woking half as Bromley looked threatening on the break.

Out of nowhere the Cards were level in the 17th minute with their first effort on goal and Diarra’s 4th of the season. The big defender finished like a seasoned centre forward with his left peg after the ball came back to him in the box following a cross.

Woking then took the lead in the 21st minute when Cooper whipped in a dangerous free-kick into the box, and the flapping visitor’s keeper Mark Cousins failed to deal with it and Cook got his head on the end of it to make it 2-1. Poor defending again from Bromley who looked suspect at defending set-pieces with the keeper looking shaky under high-balls.

The goals settled the Cards down and they started to get more possession, looking more comfortable and in control in central midfield and the most likely to score the next goal.

The Cards should have taken a two-goal lead in the 30th minute, as first the energetic Dempsey had a shot deflected wide, but from the resulting corner Cook missed a golden opportunity after Cooper’s well-flighted corner was stuck back into the mixer by Kretzschmar. Unfortunately, Cook couldn’t get over the ball in from Kretzschmar and lifted it over the bar from six yards out with the keeper nowhere.

Josh Casey then went into the book in the 39th minute for a fall on the left flank that seemed fairly innocuous and was his first foul of the game after Arthurs had flicked it past him and looked to make a break down the right. Robinson then nearly got on the end of a cross-shot from the right-hand side as he looked for a goal on his debut, as the Cards finished the stronger of the sides and deserved to be in front at the break.

Half-time: Woking 2 Bromley 1

Kicking off towards the Leslie Gosden Stand in the 2nd half, Woking started on the front foot and Sam Dalby won a corner on the left after having a shot deflected wide and from the Cooper corner, Diarra nearly made it 3-1 but it was headed over the bar from a few yards out by Bromley centre back Joe Kizzi after it seemed certain Diarra would have his second of the game.

Lofthouse then made a marauding run into the box from the right and pulled the ball back to Kretzschmar in the box but he failed to get a decent effort in on goal and his tame effort drifted harmlessly across the goal. Another great opportunity for the Cards, who were once again hoping they were not going to rue missing these chances.

Bromley had struggled to get into the half but the Cards were given a wake-up call in the 55th minute as a poor clearance from Ross gave them a chance, but Cheek couldn’t keep his effort down from Maloney’s cross, lifting his effort over the bar.

Robinson had made a strong debut, holding the ball up well and looking composed in possession, and superbly won a corner on the right in the 60th minute despite the pressure from two defenders. From the set-piece, Diarra who could have had a hat-trick on the day, had a header hacked off the line as Woking’s search for a potentially 3-point winning two-goal lead went on.

Kretzschmar was booked in the 67th minute for time wasting, before the Cards were dealt a blow that seemed to turn the momentum of the game, when the impressive Dempsey, who had covered acres of ground in central midfield both in defence and attack, had to come off injured in the 71st minute and was replaced by Jack Skinner (pictured above).

Dalby then fashioned a chance for himself in the box when he turned on a six-pence and made room for a shot, but his left foot effort was well saved. It was another good chance for Woking to kill the game off.

The last roll of the dice came from Bromley in the 76th minute as they brought on the forward James Alabi for central midfielder Trotter. It paid off, as first Cheek scored the equaliser in the 79th minute with his 20th goal of the season as Woking’s defence failed to get tight after Duffus knocked it back to him from a ball into the box and his precise left foot strike beat Ross in the far corner.

Suddenly it was Bromley dictating the play but within two minutes the determined Cards broke well and Ferdinand calmly squared it to Robinson, who after going past the keeper had an effort well saved but Dalby was on hand to tuck it away from close range with his left-foot to make it 3-2 and score his first goal for the Cards.

Dalby opens his Woking account; pic: David Holmes

Woking’s joy was short-lived though, as it was 3-3 a minute later, when substitute Alabi scored a worldy, smashing in a pile-driver from 25 yards off the underside of the bar, giving Ross no chance.
The three points was anyone’s now in a frenetic finish with both teams throwing everything at each other, but the visitors took the three points in the 88th minute when a cross by Vincent bounced off Cook and past Ross for an own goal, making it 4-3 to Bromley.

There was still one last chance for the Cards in injury time and a great one it was, as Cooper floated a ball in that was met by Kretzschmar, but he failed to get a good powerful connection with his header a few yards out and the keeper smothered it on the line.

Despite going down to defeat, the Cards were the better side for much of the game, and after responding well to going a goal down so early, they created a number of great chances and can take a number of positives out of the game. Robinson and Dalby worked tirelessly up front in tandem and held the ball up well, and the midfield, driven by Kretzschmar and Dempsey supported them well from midfield, something that has been needed in past few games.

The defeat leaves Woking in 19th place with 32 points in the National League and they next entertain another play-off chasing side in 7th-placed Wrexham at home on Saturday afternoon in a 12.30pm kick-off when they will be looking to get back to winning ways.

Woking: 13 Craig Ross, 2 Jack Cook, 3 Josh Casey, 4 Charlie Cooper, 6 Moussa Diarra, 8 Kane Ferdinand, 16 Kyran Lofthouse, 18 Ben Dempsey (15 Jack Skinner 71’), 10 Max Kretzschmar, 19 Zach Robinson, 30 Sam Dalby

Unused subs: 17 Sam Evans, 24 Leo Hamblin, 26 Jamar Loza, 32 Paul Hodges

Goals: Diarra 17’, Cook 21’, Dalby 81’

Booked: Diarra, Casey, Kretzschmar, Skinner

Bromley: 1 Mark Cousins, 3 Charlie Fox, 4 Joe Kizzi, 9 Michael Cheek, 11 Courtney Duffus, 13 Chris Bush, 15 Taylor Maloney (22 Liam Vincent 65’), 16 Liam Trotter (10 James Alabi 77’), 20 Jude Arthurs, 23 Charlie Wakefield (8 Frankie Raymond 56’), 24 Jack Bridge

Unused Subs: 14 Kory Roberts, 18 Ben Williamson

Goals: Bridge 3’, Cheek 79’, Alabi 83’, Cook 88’ OG

Booked: Kizzi, Cheek

Referee: Robert Massey-Ellis

Attendance: Behind Closed Doors

MotM: Ben Dempsey – all-action central midfield performance and no surprise that the momentum of the game switched in Bromley’s favour after he went off injured in the 71st minute

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