4:22pm, Thu 19th Aug 2021
Wealdstone vs Woking
Vanarama National League
Saturday 21st August 2021
A brand-new National League season starts for the Cards at Wealdstone on Saturday. After a successful pre-season, Alan Dowson and his new-look side will be aiming for a fifth successive opening day victory but face a Stones side revitalised with a couple of familiar faces.
Woking closed out their pre-season campaign with an emphatic 4-0 victory over neighbours Westfield, with a brace from new signing Jordan Maguire-Drew and further goals from Jack Skinner and George Oakley making it four victories out of seven for the Cards this summer. Dowse and his side have come a long way from the team beaten emphatically by Wealdstone on the final day of last season, having used the summer break to complete a transition to full-time football, whilst also refreshing both the playing and coaching staff.
Eleven new signings, headlined by returning favourites such as Joe McNerney and Inih Effiong, have provided a much-needed morale boost for players and supporters alike, whilst a late July comeback win, 4-3 over a strong Chelsea XI, set pulses raising at the Laithwaite Community Stadium for the first time in 18 months. But it’s this weekend’s game which should give supporters the first true impression of exactly how much progress the club has made over the last few months.
Like Woking, Wealdstone endured a difficult season last year, battling the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on a newly promoted squad content with seeing out the season as unscathed as possible. The 2019/20 National League South winners finished in 19th place, one spot higher than the Cards, with 37 points from their 42 games – as well as a division-high of 99 goals conceded.
Whilst tipped by many to be facing another tough 12 months, they too have had a busy summer, with 11 new arrivals of their own, including former Woking pair Jack Cook and Charlie Cooper – who will no doubt be a threat from set pieces this weekend. Other new signings include Matt Buse, Josh Umerah (both from Torquay United), Rhys Browne (Sutton United) and Medy Elito (Barnet). Former Woking players Ross Lafayette and Moses Emmanuel are among those who have moved on, as have Michee Efete (Grimsby Town) and Jacob Mendy (Boreham Wood), who could both be significant losses.
Manager Stuart Maynard has been in charge since February, initially taking over as caretaker following the departure of Dean Brennan, before taking the job on a permanent basis the following month. He was previously Brennan’s assistant at Wealdstone, Billericay Town and Kingstonian.
• Woking 2-4
Wealdstone – 29th May 2021, National League (Own Goal, Gerring)
• Wealdstone 0-1
Woking – 23rd March 2021, National League (Diarra)
• Woking 3-2
Wealdstone – 5th May 2019, National League South play-offs (Diarra, Kretzschmar, Hyde)
• Woking 0-2
Wealdstone – 26th January 2019, National League South
• Wealdstone 1-0
Woking – 13th August 2018, National League South
On the Day
Wealdstone’s home ground is Grosvenor Vale Stadium. The postcode is HA4 6JQ. The Cards Trust is running a supporters coach to the game which leaves the Laithwaite Community Stadium at 13:00. The cost is £13 for Trust Members and £18 for non members. U16 £8 for members and £13 for non members. Click here
Woking have been allocated 400 tickets for the clubhouse side of the ground, from the 1966 Stand up to and including the terracing behind the dugouts. These tickets are available to buy here
. Once the 400 tickets are sold, no further tickets will be allocated. If the allocation is unsold, then tickets can be purchased on the gate via debit/credit card, but the allocation is still limited to 400 maximum and will not be increased. The prices are £15 for adults, £10 for concessions, £5 for under-18s.
Further details are available here