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Match Report | Hoops run rings around sorry Cards

William Bewsey
5:00pm, Sat 11th Nov 2023
Oxford City 3-2 Woking
Vanarama National League
11th November 2023

Woking returned to league action with a trip to newly promoted Oxford City. Darren Sarll made two changes to the side beaten by Ramsgate last week, with the injured Timi Odusina replaced by Greg Taylor, whilst Charlie Wakefield dropped to the bench in place of Padraig Amond.

A strong start from the Cards saw in-form Dennon Lewis cut inside and fire just wide of the near post inside the first five minutes as the Woking press caused trouble for the Oxford defence. However, a big mistake on 13 minutes saw the hosts take the lead. A backpass to Will Jaaskelainen was hit against an Oxford player, who passed to Zac McEachran, and he finished calmly into the vacant Woking net.

Four minutes later, Woking had the ball in the back of the net, but the linesman’s flag went up for offside against Rhys Browne after he converted Bradshaw's pass.

They shot themselves in the foot once again on 29 minutes when Lewis’ pass was intercepted by Latrell Humphry-Ewers, and he charged forwards before finding Olly Sanderson who slotted home into the bottom corner.

The half ended with a spell of home pressure, summing up Woking frustrations after a positive start, with two mistakes giving the hosts a comfortable lead.

Half-time: Oxford City 2-0 Woking

Darren Sarll responded to the first half by making a double change, with Reece Grego-Cox and Tunji Akinola replacing Zak Bradshaw and Dennon Lewis.

But it was the hosts who kept threatening at the other end, with Jaaskelainen forced into a couple of saves before Sanderson hit the side netting after a swift breakaway.

On 70 minutes, Woking had one back. A header from Scott Cuthbert saw Padraig Amond run in behind the Oxford defence and finish calmly past Jack Bycroft to give the Cards hope.

This lifted the Woking fans behind the goal, and they began to sniff blood. Good work from Grego-Cox saw Akinola fire just over, but on 90 minutes, another Jaaskelainen mistake saw him head the ball straight to Josh Parker for a tap in.

Yet with a hundred minutes on the clock, a ball in was tapped home by Amond to at least reduce the margin of defeat, but it was full time shortly after. In truth, an inadequate response to last week's cup humiliation, and a defeat that was mostly self inflicted by the Cards. They will need to improve hugely before the visit of Oldham Athletic to the Laithwaite next Saturday.

Woking: Will Jaaskelainen, Dan Moss, Josh Casey, Scott Cuthbert, Greg Taylor, Zak Bradshaw (Akinola 45’), Morgan Williams, Rohan Ince, Padraig Amond, Rhys Browne (Pavey 57’), Dennon Lewis (Grego-Cox 45’)

Unused subs: Wakefield, Habergham, Pavey

Goals: Amond 71’, 90+9'

Bookings: Grego-Cox 85’

Oxford City: Jack Bycroft, Andre Burley, Lewis Coyle, Olly Sanderson (Bushell 89’), Zac McEachran, Mitchell Roberts, Josh Parker, Renny Smith, Canice Carroll, Latrell Humphrey-Ewers, Tafari Moore

Unused subs: Miccio, Kirby, Brzozowski, Ofosu

Goals: McEachran 13’, Sanderson 29’, Parker 90’

Referee: Sam Mulhall

Attendance: 761

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