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Match Preview | Woking boss Sarll faces former club

Glen Harrington
9:41am, Mon 31st Oct 2022
Woking vs Yeovil Town
Vanarama National League
Tuesday 1st November 2022

Woking manager Darren Sarll is preparing to take on his former club Yeovil Town for the first time since leaving to move to the Laithwaite Community Stadium earlier this year. The Cards’ boss will be looking to extend his team’s unbeaten run to five games in all competitions.

The Cards have lost just one of their last eight games – against National League leaders Notts County – and picked up a fifth win in that period on Saturday when they defeated Eastleigh by a goal to nil. An understrength Woking team, missing five first-team players through injury and suspension, put in a commendable performance and won the points midway through the second-half when new loan signing Jahmari Clarke turned in Ricky Korboa’s cross with his second touch.

Striker Clarke, signed on a month’s loan from Reading, was one of two new signings on the bench on Saturday, alongside Middlesbrough defender Bryant Bilongo. Jack Roles also passed a late fitness test and appeared as a late substitute for his first appearances since the Notts County game three weeks earlier. But the Cards remained without Kyran Lofthouse, Reece Grego-Cox, and Luke Wilkinson through injury, and they were joined on the sidelines by Rhys Browne and the suspended Jermaine Anderson. The latter is available again on Tuesday, but James Daly is out after picking up his fifth yellow card against the Spitfires.

Opposition Watch

Yeovil beat Woking three times last season and are unbeaten in their last five meetings with the Cards. But it’s been a challenging period for the Glovers since Sarll departed in March. They are already on their fourth manager since then – Charlie Lee took charge of 10 games as caretaker boss before handing over the reigns to former Woking defender Josh Staunton for the final game of last season; Chris Hargreaves was in charge for the first 17 games of this year, but won just two, and was sacked last week. His replacement is former Forest Green and Barrow boss Mark Cooper.

Cooper will be trying to turn around the Glovers dire form which sees them in the bottom four, with just 14 points from 15 games, a point adrift of safety. They are yet to win away from home this season, whilst their tally of 13 goals scored is the joint lowest in the league, along with bottom of the table Torquay. They were also knocked out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle by National League South side Taunton Town following a replay.

On the plus side for Yeovil fans, they have been relatively solid defensively, with just 19 goals conceded – the lowest in the bottom-half of the table. It’s their lack of goals which has proved most costly leading to a league-high eight draws so far this season. They are without a win in five in all competitions since a 1-0 defeat of Solihull in early October. Last time out they drew 1-1 at fellow strugglers Maidstone, who scored a stoppage time penalty to claim a point.

The Glovers still have the core of the squad built by Sarll over recent seasons. Their most significant summer departures were Luke Wilkinson, who joined Sarll at the Cards, and winger Tom Knowles who moved into the EFL with Walsall. Midfielder Dale Gorman also moved to National League rivals Barnet. A host of new players arrived, including strikers Alex Fisher (Newport) and Gime Toure (Carlisle), as well as Boreham Wood defender Jamie Reckford, who is currently the club’s top scorer with three.

Recent Meetings

• Woking 0-1 Yeovil Town – 29th January 2022, National League
• Yeovil Town 3-1 Woking – 18th December 2021, FA Trophy (Campbell)
• Yeovil Town 2-0 Woking – 26th October 2021, National League
• Yeovil Town 2-1 Woking – 13th March 2021, National League (Kretzschmar)
• Woking 1-1 Yeovil Town – 14th November 2020, National League (Davison)


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