Academy Bulletin | Emphatic wins and late winners

Ian Tilley
12:08pm, Tue 12th Mar 2024

Upcoming Fixtures – Week commencing 11th March 2024

Tuesday 12th March

19:45 – Marlow U23 v Woking U23, Suburban League Cup Plate, Quarter – Final

Alfred Davis Memorial Ground, Oak Tree Road

Wednesday 13th March

11:30 – Woking U17 v Hertford Town Whites, National League Alliance – Division E

Woking College, Rydens Way

14:00 – Woking U19 v Dover Athletic U19, National League Alliance – Academy South

Westfield FC, Woking Park

Thursday 14th March

19:30 – Haywards Heath Town U18 v Woking U18, Isthmian Football League – Youth West Division; Hanbury Park, Allen Road

Friday 15th March

19:45 – Aldershot Town U23 v Woking U23, Suburban Football League

SB Stadium, Bottom Meadow, Sandhurst

For up-to-date information on fixtures refer to the Woking Football Club Academy twitter page.

Match Reports – Week commencing 4th March

Wednesday 6th March - Southend United U19 0 – 5 Woking U19

National League Alliance – Academy South; Bowers & Pitsea FC

With 4 wins and 3 draws from their previous 7 games Woking were confident going in to this fixture against one of their mid-table rivals, and rightly so.

Southend missed their best chance to take the lead, when on 22 minutes they were awarded a penalty as Joe Poxon was brought down just inside the area. Lewis Mouland guessed correctly and turned away Beau MacDonald’s low penalty to his left-hand side.

Woking were in the ascendancy and Luke Cerullo spilt a cross before immediately atoning for the mistake by saving at the feet of Ben Mitchell. And on 38 minutes the pressure finally told on the Blues back-line and when the defence failed to clear a cross, Harry Newbould was on hand to fire a fine left-footed strike into the net.

Woking were getting to grips with how to play against the very high Southend back line, and on 44 minutes Ryan Scott doubled the advantage for Woking. Hitting a free-kick from right on the edge of the penalty area into the corner of the net. The free kick won by Woking playing in to the space behind their opponents defence, with the chasing defender fortunate not to be dismissed for the foul challenge.

Half-time: Southend United U19 0 – 2 Woking U19

Southend started the second-half well, Woking perhaps still thinking about the visit from a rat to their changing room during the break, and Blake dragged a shot narrowly wide of the right-hand post. But on 56 minutes Tom Dryer added a third for Woking, tapping in to an empty net following a misunderstanding between Cerullo and Oscar Jones.

Both sides had chances to score the next goal, but any hopes Southend had that they might be able to stage a comeback were ended on 81 minutes. Having already had one further attempt cleared off the line, Woking stretched further clear through substitute Sam Brittain, who slotted home beyond Cerullo after beating the offside trap.

And one minute later the Cards add a quickfire fifth through Mitchell, who completed an incisive break by cutting inside the retreating defender and knocking the ball in to the bottom corner.

A satisfying day, with Woking extending their winning run to three games, and now belonging in mid-table, and looking to finish as high as possible.

Woking: Lewis Mouland, Ryan Scott, Tom Gardner, Ethan Gold, Charlie Robertson (Aidy Silverstein); Ollie Mason, Alex Rihoy (Lucas Boxall), Harry Newbould; Ben Mitchell, Lui Edwards (Lewis Myrtollari), Tom Dryer (Sam Brittain). Unused Sub: Harry White (GK).

Goals: Newbould 38, Scott 44, Dryer 56, Brittain 81, Mitchell 82.

Southend: Luke Cerullo, Oscar Jones, Jake Huet, Archie McGonigle (Aidon Shehu 64), Thato Molefi (Louis Bragg 64), Joshua Jackson (Lorenzo Saponara 64), George Pulham (Cameron Hall 79), Beau MacDonald, Obinna Okafor, Ronnie Blake, Joe Poxon.

Eastleigh Blues U17 4 – 1 Woking U17, National League Alliance – Division E

Ganger Farm Sports Ground, Romsey

Although this was a game against Eastleigh’s very strong second years’ side, it could have seen a very different scoreline if Woking had not been so profligate with their chances, and careless in some of their defensive work.

Woking competed well, and sought ways to combat Eastleigh’s very effective closing down of the Cards passing game, but Louie Sullivan had already made one very good save when the Blues took the lead on 26 minutes. Woking were slower than they would like to be in closing down their opponents corner routine, and Billy Brackley was able to head home relatively comfortably at the far post.

Woking found it difficult to gain the upper hand, and were let down more than once by their passing not being as sharp, or as accurate, as they would aspire to. A number of yellow cards were indicative of the Cards struggles, but they were still in the game at the half-time break.

Half-time: Eastleigh 1 – 0 Woking

Woking started the second-half well, and should have at least drawn level, if not gone ahead. Tommy Seale, Alvaro Picon, Harvey Brook, JJ Young, Jayden Smith and Byron Mitchell were all involved in creating and trying to execute chances. Mitchell coming painfully close on 50 minutes with a deft flick past the advancing Oliver Harrison which ran agonisingly wide.

Eastleigh made the most of their repreive. Sam Godfroy had already forced Sullivan in to a good stop, when he then scored the second on 53 minutes, confidently applying the finishing touch to a very good passing move.

Still Woking looked for a way back in to the game, Seale and Mitchell both coming close to scoring. And then on 67 minutes a chance for Mitchell following excellent buil-up play from substitute Roshaun Cooper. A goalmouth scramble looked as if it would fall invitingly but the striker saw his effort to divert the ball goalwards come back off the post.

Eastleigh had ridden their luck a little, and made it 3 – 0 on 74 minutes. Sullivan misjudged his coming out of his penalty area, and Joe Ryan rounded the ‘keeper and tapped the ball home.

There was hope for the Cards on 78 minutes, a good run and cross from Brook finished by Mitchell, the pair with at least something to show for their tireless running. But another defensive lapse exposed the Cards again on 87 minutes, Connor Underhill making the most of the confusion in the Woking ranks.

The closing stages did raise a familiar question about players who have already been cautioned not being cautioned again when they commit an offence that would usually see a yellow card. Eastleigh’s Joe Mahony the beneficiary of the referee’s good nature on this occasion. Although Woking were not without similar blemish themselves.

So, a game that will provide valuable lessons as these young Cards forge their futures in the game.

Eastleigh: Oliver Harrison, Sam Godfroy, Zac Ford, Sam Aitken, Billy Brackley (Bobby Gorman 62); Yuvras Landa, Joe Mahony; Luke Pothas (Josh Bristow 69), Lewis Puleo (Ethan Duell-Merritt 66), Joe Ryan (c), Connor Underhill. Unused Sub: Ellis Aldridge.

Goals: Brackley 26, Godfroy 53, Landa 74, Underhill 87.

Woking: Louie Sullivan, Alvaro Picon, Ben Smith, Charlie Sweeney (George Elston 78), Sean Bull; Tommy Seale (c), Harvey Brook, Finn Lawrence (Roshaun Cooper 62), JJ Young (Saadiq Bangura-Kerr 62), Jayden Smith (Ollie Saword 78), Byron Mitchell. Unused sub: Mikey Verga (GK).

Goal: Mitchell 78.

Thursday 7th March - Woking U23 1 – 0 Hartley Wintney U23

Suburban Football League, Knaphill FC, Redding Way

On an evening of missed chances it was Woking who found a winner in the fourth of six minutes added on at the end of the ninety.

With games coming thick and fast those who had come on as substitutes at Southend the previous day - Silverstein, Boxall, Myrtollari and Brittain - all took their places in the starting line-up. Encouraging too, that a number of first years are featuring at this level.

In an open attacking game, with both sides wanting to get the ball down and play, it was Harry White in the Woking goal who was the busier of the goalkeepers, certainly in the first-half, and earnt a well deserved clean sheet.

Many chances ultimately went over the bar, but on 21 minutes White made a very good save from Sam Bartlett, who had hit his shot well, and towards the bottom corner, but not beyond the Woking stopper.

CJ Fubler in the Hartley Wintney goal was called in to action five minutes later, when Louis Pask’s free–kick cross/shot nearly found its way all the way in and needed tipping around the post.

On 35 minutes White again thwarted Bartlett, with another close range save, as both sides struggled to make a breakthrough.

Half-time: Woking 0 – 0 Hartley Wintney

If Hartley had edged the first-half, then it was Woking in the ascendency in the second. The referee waving away appeals for a penalty for a challenge on Myrtollari after 52 minutes. And as the half progressed, Silverstein, Pask, Stanley Kyle and Jamie Hilton all saw chances come and go.

Woking had to make a change on 64 minutes as Jayden Wynter caught a stray arm in the eye, and could not continue. Substitute Charlie Robertson was quickly in to the game and the Cards momentum was not broken, and fellow substitute Matt Farrelly put a difficult chance over the bar.

Woking won a number of corners, with Owen Sims pressing forward very effectively from right full-back, but they could not make the most of these, and the game seemed to be heading for a stalemate.

Then, with 94 minutes on the clock the breakthrough came. Another corner found its way to the left hand side of the box, where Jack Matton, with a Cruyff turn, was able to dribble to the by-line and pull the ball back for Kyle, six yards out, to control with his left foot and deftly flick home with the outside of his right, just inside the foot of the post. With what was to prove to be the late winner much celebrated by all in the Woking camp. Two more minutes were played, and the victory was secure.

Woking move up to a commendable fourth place and will look to catch Bromley in third.

Woking: Harry White, Owen Sims (c), Jack Matton, Aidy Silverstein, Jayden Wynter (Charlie Robertson 64) ; Jamie Hilton (Jamie Hilton 85), Lucas Boxall, Stanley Kyle; Louis Pask (Kjay Bailey 68), Lewis Myrtollari (Matt Farrelly 73), Sam Brittain: Unused sub: Louie Sullivan (GK).

Goal: Kyle 90 + 4.

Hartley Wintney: CJ Fubler, Paolo Baiati, Jake Hunter, Arokya Shrestea, Alex Livingston; Lukas Weyler (Hershel Mukaro 80), Mateo Jelicich (Anas Moussaid 90 + 2), Razvan Roman (c) (Qailo Stewart 59); Sam Bartlett, Aaron Gardiner, Isaiah Blankental (Kamal Scott 68). Unused sub: Hugh Scott (GK).

Referee: Ian Kitchen.

Attendance: 24.

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