Woking 2 Aldershot 3
Vanarama National League
2nd January 2022
As befits a local derby which – even for the quietest of games - generates strong emotions in both sets of fans, this match was an incident-packed dramatic humdinger from start to finish, played out in front a bumper crowd. In the end, Aldershot’s apparent superior fitness and sense of ‘wanting it’ resulted in them securing all 3 points yet again – assisted, as they were, by more defensive flaws from the Cards.
The starting line-ups of both teams showed significant changes compared to the respective outings on Boxing Day – 3 in / out for Woking and 6 for Aldershot. Tommy Block and Josh Casey – both on the bench last time - and returning Tahvon Campbell, came in, while Joe McNerney and Rohan Ince returned to the squad. Kyran Lofthouse dropped to the bench, while Louie Annesley, Louis Britton and Taryn Allarakhia were absent from the squad.
On a damp and overcast but very mild Sunday afternoon, the start of the game was delayed by 10 minutes because large numbers were still stuck in queues snaking their way round to the entrances to the ground. Eventually, the Shots kicked off towards the KRE. Woking were playing in a 4-4-2 formation, with Campbell and Inih Effiong up front.
There was a lively start to the game. Tommy Block was on the receiving end of a bad foul from Whittingham in front of the CLT. Shortly afterwards, Max Kretzschmar found his way into the opposition box but his shot was deflected away for a corner, which was floated harmlessly over the goal area. A shot from a visiting forward hit the Woking bar, and was scrambled clear.
On 7 minutes, Inih Effiong found the ball at his feet near the CLT / LGS corner and evaded his man to put in a an accurate pass to Kretzschmar who drove the ball into the far corner of the net. 1-0 to Woking and the home crowd erupted
Kretzschmar and Woking’s early moment of encouragement
An awkward ball reached Craig Ross just outside of his area and he drove it against Jayden Harris standing immediately in front of him; fortunately it span away and went out for a throw-in.
In the 14th minute, Tyreke Johnson advanced on the left and struck the ball against the Shots bar; it rebounded to Kretzschmar who shot over the bar as he fell.
The Shots won a series of corners to no available, before Effiong exchanged a one-two with Campbell and flashed a ball across the Shots goal. It was proving to be a lively game at this point.
Moussa Diarra put in a tame header, easily saved by the keeper, from a long Kretzschmar free kick in front of the CLT. Diarra was putting in a performance greatly improved on recent outings, but there was uncertainty between him and Tom Champion in the 36th minute, which allowed Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong to pull a ball back from the Woking byline to Harris who fired wide to the left of Ross’ goal.
Shots captain, Lewis Kinsella – his reputation going before him - received a yellow card for dissent after a decision went against him for what looked like a dive on his part.
Johnson’s disappointing corner from in front of Moaners in the 38th was one of a number that floated over the heads of those close to goal, and went harmlessly out.
When Solomon Nwabuokei made what some might have construed as a good tackle in front of the CLT, the referee came to a different conclusion; yellow card and free kick awarded.
2 minutes were added on at the end of the first half. Following a Kinsella free kick in front of the Press Box, Harris executed the ‘sweetest of shots’, a thunderbolt that was palmed away in stunning fashion by Ross, as his hand deflected it over the bar; a great footballing moment. The resulting corner was headed behind for another; the whistle for half-time followed shortly after.
Half-time: Woking 1 Aldershot 0
While the Cards had edged the first half, Aldershot wasted no time at all in demonstrating a renewed resolve.
They were clearly fired up and looking dangerous. In the opening minute, Kinsella crossed from the left for Harris to head low pass Ross into his net, levelling up the score.
Woking fans were conspicuously quiet about now. A Kretzschmar foray into the opposition area led to a shot which was deflected out for what became another over-hit corner.
In the 58th , Champion went into the ref’s book for a challenge just 2 yards outside of the Woking area, which caused Berkeley-Agyepong to stumble. Kinsella’s free kick was blocked in the box, returning to him; he fired it back in only for Glover to slice it into the top row of the LGS.
As the Shots continued to have the edge on proceedings, Ross was in the action again in the 60th minute, blocking a shot which rebounded to Harris, from whose close-range blast he made another strong save.
The man in black showed his impatience with Walker’s time-wasting as he dished out a yellow card; the complaining keeper was told to shut up by Glover, and made to retreat a few yards for his free kick.
In the 64th minute, Johnson and Block were replaced by Kyran Lofthouse and Jamar Loza, presumably with the intent of freshening up the flanks that fed Campbell and Effiong.
Balance had been restored to the game now, with Woking having recovered after the Shots momentum that continued after their equaliser. Then, in the 71st minute, Loza skilfully evade a couple of Shots defenders with a jinking run at the Aldershot goal and was floored for his troubles. Kretzschmar blasted the penalty into the corner of the net with his now customary aplomb. 2-1
10 minutes later, Ross made another fine save from Harris, pushing the ball out to his right with both hands. Berkeley-Agyepong then saw yellow for a foul in front of his side’s fans on the CLT.
A Shots double substitution in the 83rd minute looked, with the benefit of hindsight, an inspired one. Tommy Willard and Mikael Ndjoli came on for Glover and Whittingham. Within a minute, the visitors secured a debatable penalty after Willard went down in front of goal. It all kicked off about now, including an incident in the dug outs which flared up and resulted in both managers going into the book; Casey also joined the list of ‘felons’. Andrews stepped up to put the penalty away.
This, and time taken to attend to injure d players, explained the 7 minutes added on. The Cards were clearly the more tired of the two teams and were defending deep. An incident 3 minutes into that time saw Lofthouse and Phillips join the ref’s extensive list of names.
Then Kinsella put in another incisive cross from the CLT / LGS corner of the pitch, and Ndjoli was on hand to fire it home for the Shots’ winner.
Jubilation from the packed CLT and a mixed sense of despair and inevitability from the home fans.
In the remaining time, Ndjoli’s 14-minute ‘cameo’ ended as he came off for Scott Wagstaff. Woking put a couple of balls into the Shot area, and one – from a Kretzschmar free kick - was met by Diarra’s head but Walker saved easily.
Next up for Woking is a trip to King’s Lynn and a visit from Wealdstone. A glance at the table would suggest a good opportunity to pick up valuable points.
13. Craig Ross; 3 Josh Casey, 4. Tom Champion, 6. Moussa Diarra, 21. Tommy Block (2 Kyran Lofthouse 64’); 11. Tyreke Johnson (7 Jamar Loza 64’), 8. Solomon Nwabuokei, 23. Jermaine Anderson, 10. Max Kretzschmar; 9. Inih Effiong, 19 Tahvon Campbell
1. Mark Smith, 5 Joe McNerney, 24 Rohan Ince
Kretzschmar 7’, 71’ pen.
Campbell 35’, Nwabuokei 43’, Champion 58’, Casey 86’, Lofthouse 90+3’ (and mgr. Dowson 85’)
37 Laurie Walker, 16 Corey Jordan, 14 Ryan Glover (27 Tommy Willard 83’), 3 Lewis Kinsella, 12 Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain, 22 Giles Phillips, 10 Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong, 11 Corey Andrews, 23 Jayden John-Lloyd Harris, 18 Mohamad Sylla, 7 Alfy Whittingham (20’ Mikael Ndjoli 83’ (4 Scott Wagstaff 90+7’))
1 Mitch Walker, 21 Ben Shroll
, Harris 46’, Andrews 88’ Ndjoli 90+4’
Kinsella 37’, Walker 62’, Berkeley-Agyepong 81’, Phillips 90+3’ (and mgr. Moseley 85’)
Sunny Sukhvir Gill
Sponsor’s Man of the Match:
All action Max Kretzschmar who continued to display the outstanding form he’s shown most of this season, and scored both of Woking’s goals, including one from the spot.
Thank you to our Match Sponsor Peacock Construction and our Match Ball Sponsor Ashfield Accounting
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