3:05pm, Fri 21st Oct 2022
Gateshead vs Woking
Vanarama National League
Saturday 22nd October 2022
Woking will be looking to build on last Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup victory and return to winning ways in the National League when they travel to Gateshead this weekend.
The Cards scored their first victory in the last three games on Saturday when they defeated Southend United 2-1 to advance to the first-round proper of the FA Cup. It was Woking’s first win in three after a draw at Southend 10 days earlier, followed by a narrow 3-2 home defeat against league leaders Notts County. It was a memorable afternoon at the Laithwaite Community Stadium as Padraig Amond and Ricky Korboa both scored their first goals for the club and helped put to bed memories of last season’s fourth qualifying round defeat.
Manager Darren Sarll will now turn his attention to building on recent improvements away from home – after losing the first two on their travels this season, the Cards have lost just one of their last five, taking eight points in the progress. He’ll have a fully fit squad to call upon for the trip to the North East, with 18 players in contention, following the departures of Sid Nelson and Tyreke Johnson, who have joined Welling United and Dagenham & Redbridge respectively on 28-day loan deals. Saturday could also see the league debut of new signing Rhys Browne, who enjoyed a successful cameo against Southend following his signing from Wealdstone, playing a role in the winning goal.
Gateshead are in their first season back in the National League after a three-season absence. They were demoted to the National League North in 2019 due to financial irregularities, despite finishing well clear of the relegation places, which meant a reprieve for our local neighbours Aldershot. But they were promoted back as champions at the end of last season – having missed out on promotion via the play-offs in 2020, whilst the following season was curtailed due to the pandemic.
The Heed have had a relatively challenging start to the season. They are in 19th place after the first quarter of the season, outside of the relegation places on goal difference alone, having accrued 12 points from 13 games. They have however proved hard to beat, with just five defeats, the same as the Cards, and only 20 goals conceded, the joint-least of anyone in the bottom seven. Just two of those defeats have come at home, against Wealdstone and Altrincham, who they gained a measure of a revenge against by defeating in the FA Cup, via a replay, this week.
The Tynesiders are led by player-manager Mike Williamson. A former Premier League player with Newcastle United, he has been with Gateshead since 2018, initially as a player alone, before becoming manager in 2019. His playing duties are far lighter these days, but he has made one first-team appearance this season.
His squad suffered some major departures over the summer, including the loss of star striking duo Macauley Longstaff and Cedwyn Scott to Notts County, who scored 52 goals between them last year and have already netted 21 for their new club. They have added 15 new players to help fill that void, including strikers Will Harris (Sunderland), Adi Yussuf (St Joseph’s FC), Aaron Martin (Harrogate Town), and Lewis Knight (Notts County). Their top scorers this season are Paul Blackett and Adam Campbell who have four apiece.
• Gateshead 1-1
Woking – 23rd January 2018, National League (Grego-Cox)
• Woking 2-1
Gateshead – 5th August 2017, National League (Effiong, Ward)
• Gateshead 2-1
Woking – 18th March 2017, National League (Thomas)
• Woking 3-0
Gateshead – 26th November 2016, National League (Ugwu 3)
• Woking 1-1
Gateshead – 9th April 2016, National League (Robinson)
Ticket prices are £17 for Adults, Concessions £11 (65+, veterans), £7 Students (17-21), £4 Youth (15/16), and Under 14s are FREE when accompanied by an adult. For more information and to book your ticket please click here