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Academy Bulletin | U18s clinch league championship

Ian Tilley
9:12am, Mon 29th Apr 2024

Upcoming Fixtures – Week commencing 29th April 2024

Monday 29th April

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

Woking College, Rydens Way. (This is the under 19s final game of the 2023/24 season.)

19:45 – Welling United U23 v Woking U23; Suburban Football League – Premier Division

Holmesdale FC, Oakley Road, Bromley

Thursday 2nd May

19:45 – Worthing U18 v Woking U18: Isthmian Football League – Youth – Champion of Champions Cup, Semi-Final

The Sussex Transport Community Stadium, Worthing FC, West Sussex

Woking enter as winners of the Youth West Division, with Worthing from South, Metropolitan Police from Central and Cray Valley PM from East completing the line-up.

Friday 3rd May

19:30 – Hartley Wintney U23 v Woking U23; Suburban Football League – Premier Division

Memorial Ground, Hartley Wintney FC, Green Lane, Hook. (This is the under 23s final game of the 2023/24 season.)

Thursday 9th May

Under 18s Champion of Champions Final: If Woking beat Worthing in their semi-final then the final will be played at 19:30 on this date at Bedfont Sports FC.

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

Match Reports – Week commencing 22nd April

Monday 22nd April: Camberley Town U18 0 - 2 Woking U18

Isthmian Football League – Youth West Division; Krooner Park, Camberley

Woking went in to this game knowing that a draw was good enough for them to become league champions, but their intent to go forwards and play for the win was evident from the outset. Camberley were determined upon a physical, direct approach, which was more than matched by the well-motivated Cards.

Woking started brightly, kicking up the Krooner Park slope, and Harvey Brook was nearly in on goal after two minutes, Dominic West quickly off his line. Woking looked the stronger, and Tom Dryer came close after nine minutes, cutting inside and shooting narrowly wide. The wing-play of Brook and Dryer a feature of Woking’s play.

Camberley pressed too, and Mikey Verga had to make a good recovery save after missing his clearance, followed up by a great punch clear from the resulting corner. Verga then made a fine save diving to his right when Jude Sullivan found himself in on goal.

The first thirty minutes had been well-contested, Camberley had made sure this was not a game for the purists. On 32 minutes Clayton MacKenzie was cautioned for what was not his first foul on Dryer, a display of intent from the Town captain, but one which would come to be of greater significance. The referee ensuring the game did not get out-of-hand.

On 37 minutes came the moment Woking had been waiting for, Tommy Seale sending in a beautifully struck long, diagonal, free-kick, and Stanley Kyle with a fine run and leap to send his header from 14 yards beyond West’s dive and in to the bottom corner.

Camberley responded well and a Harrison Stevens’ block, and defensive cover from Dryer, helped Woking defend Camberley’s very testing corner-kicks, and survive a goalmouth scramble, to go in at half-time with their well-deserved lead intact.

Half-time: Camberley Town 0 – 1 Woking

Woking again started strongly, and resisted their opponent’s attempts to get back in to the game, although Alvaro Picon was cautioned for a trip when he was beaten by his man, the Cards cleared another goalmouth scramble, and Brook was also cautioned for a foul.

Woking were still creating chances, Lucas Boxall seeing his shot saved, but some of their defending was getting scrappy and reinforcements were needed. On 66 minutes, Sam Brittain, one of those who could consider themselves unlucky not to make the starting line-up, replaced Brook, and on 73 minutes Ellis Byrne replaced JJ Young.

Byrne was straight in to the game, his shot calling West in to action, and combining well with Picon on Woking’s right, although at the other end there was a further goalmouth scramble to negotiate.

On 83 minutes MacKenzie’s earlier caution came home to roost, as not heeding the referee’s final warning late in the first-half saw him dismissed for a foul on Brittain. Camberley, now down to ten men, and needing two goals, had a mountain to climb.

Woking did not sit back, Kyle hitting the side netting with a half-chance, whilst Camberley persevered and Woking brought on Ben Smith as a third centre-back to strengthen the defence. Stan Pickup did get his head to one chance, but his effort went wide of the Woking goal.

Woking took the addition of seven minutes at the end of the 90 as a sign to keep going forwards. Kyle forcing another save, before Dryer removed any remaining nerves. Covering defender Fin Cullen could not get a strong enough challenge in and Dryer was able to guide the ball past West.

To be league champions is a great achievement by this group of young players, who put in a comprehensive performance on the night under pressure. A superb performance over the whole season justly rewarded. With credit due to Manager Matt Winter and his team for their knowledge, inspiration and encouragement.

Last season’s under 18s found the start of this season difficult, so we look forward to how this group progresses next season.

Camberley Town (4-3-3): Dominic West, Hayden Stedman, Stan Pickup, Fin Cullen, Luke Jarvie; Jude Sullivan, Quinn Ryan (Lucas Wynn 72), MacKenzie Clayton (c); Jadyn Dundas, Kris Eccleston (Alfie Bradley 46), Josh Ewing (Isaac Dinsdale 72). Unused subs: Zahir Al Nawab, Harry Baker.

Woking (4-3-3): Mikey Verga, Alvaro Picon, Harrison Stevens, Aidy Silverstein, James Orton; Jermaine Young (Ellis Byrne 73), Tommy Seale, Lucas Boxall (Ben Smith 89); Harvey Brook (Sam Brittain 66), Stanley Kyle (c), Tom Dryer. Unused subs: Bob Honey (GK), Byron Mitchell.

Goals: Kyle 37, Dryer 90 + 5.

Referee: Thomas Berry.

Attendance: 81.

Wednesday 24th April

Woking U19 7 - 0 Boreham Wood U19; National League Alliance – Academy South

Westfield FC, Woking Park

A much more straightforward victory than the recent 2 – 1 win for Woking at Boreham Wood. With Woking’s quick, quality footwork a constant threat to their opponents.

Lui Edwards opened the scoring on eight minutes, getting across the defender to toe poke/flick home a great cross from Louis Pask. A great finish to compliment his general excellent centre-forward play.

It was two after 18 minutes, a good passing move involving Edwards and Sam Brittain setting up KJay Bailey to dribble past his marker and tap in.

A few minutes later Bailey had another, following good interplay with Aiden Payne-James, as he neatly side-footed in to the bottom corner from 8 yards.

It was something of a surprise that that was the scoring done for the half. Alex Rihoy, Jamie Hilton and Bailey all coming close to adding to Woking’s tally.

Half-time: Woking 3 – 0 Boreham Wood

The second-half continued in much the same way. Brittain, Edwards and Payne-James all having strikes at goal, and more goals looked inevitable.

And so it proved, when a minute after coming off the substitutes bench Jayden Langford made it 4 – 0 after 62 minutes. As is often the case Payne-James was involved in the set-up, and Langford shot across Kai Callum, and in off the post.

Strong and unselfish play from Bailey nearly gave Langford a second on 75 minutes, Callum forced in to another good save. A minute later it was five, Payne-James controlling neatly and hitting on the turn in to the bottom corner.

The chances kept coming, Bailey was unlucky not to complete his hat-trick, and Rihoy and Payne-James also worked Callum. The 6th came from Ollie Mason, slotting home after more good work from Payne-James and Bailey.

Wood persevered and nearly spoilt Woking’s prized clean sheet. Owen Crawford saving from Ali Tauchkaft, Keann Flemmings and, most notably Shay Rawatt, who forced a very good piece of shot-stopping.

The highlight of the game for me was saved until the 90th minute, Payne-James sprinting to keep in a ball that looked to be going out of play, and without breaking his stride flicking it past the defender’s lunging tackle in to the path of Bailey, whose cross was met by a fine sliding finish, unfortunately for him, from Wood’s Adam Bskiri. The emphatic scoreline completed. A clinical performance, although a little to work on with a slight drop in concentration towards the end.

Woking (4-3-3): Owen Crawford (c), Louis Pask (Jayden Langford 51), Harrison Stevens, Aidy Silverstein, Charlie Robertson; Alex Rihoy, Jamie Hilton (Oliver Mason 63), Aiden Payne-James; KJay Bailey, Lui Edwards (Tom Dryer 63), Sam Brittain (Bradley Murphy 63).

Goals: Edwards 8, Bailey 18, 21, Langford 62, Payne-James 71, Mason 84, Bskiri, og, 90.

Boreham Wood: Kai Callum, Adam Morley, James Korsky (Jonnie Lillie 66), Miller Arms (Adam Bskiri 71), Daniel Issac, Max Chan, Oleksandr Martynniuk (Denilson Da Sousa 71), Ptdjo Ndala (Hayden Barns O’Toole 46), Feliepe Miguel (Shay Rawatt 46), Keann Flemmings, Ali Tauchkaft.

Boreham Wood U17 3 - 2 Woking U17; National League Alliance – Division E

Boreham Wood FC, Meadow Park, Broughinge Road

Woking went 1 – 0 down shortly before half-time to be behind at the break. Two goals early in the second-half put them 2 – 1 up, but the lead only lasted a few minutes. Unfortunately, Woking fell away in the second-half and were defeated by Wood’s 78th minute winner.

As their season draws to an end the under 17s should be pleased with their mid-table finish in a league where they often played teams at least one, if not two, years older.

Boreham Wood: Dhorian Bitalo, Delfin Castellino Dominguez, Darius Cnacoschi, Nathapon Cooper, Hector Ikaka (Ezra Clarke 7), Jacob Johnson (Cherif Hydara 58), Bukunmi Oke (Dennis Afolabi 87), Freddie Quinn, Francesco Tortora, Kyle Walford, Aston Watson-Weaver.

Goals: Clarke 42, 51, Tortora 78.

Woking: Dom Wall, Alvaro Picon, Ben Smith, Max Goldsworthy, Dylan Hawkins, Saadiq Bangura-Kerr, Fynn Lawrence (Bob Honey 65), Jayden Smith, Harvey Brook, Byron Mitchell, Roshaun Cooper (Jack Bashford 70). Unused subs: Mikey Verga (GK), George Elston, Jiyah Kapotwe.

Goals: Brook 46, Bangura-Kerr 48.

Thursday 25th April

Woking U23 0 - 0 Dunstable U23; Suburban Football League – Premier Division

Knaphill FC, Redding Way

A game of mishit long-shots and missed half-chances, with both sides coming close without either making a decisive breakthrough.

Woking came close to breaking the deadlock on 57 minutes, Lucas Boxall with a fine effort, cutting inside and curling a shot from the edge of the penalty area which hit the outside of the post.

Dunstable came close themselves, hitting the crossbar on 79 minutes, Melvyn Lubaki heading down, and somewhat dismayed to see his effort bounce high enough to hit the woodwork and then bounce down without crossing the line.

Woking could have won it in the 4th minute of the six added at the end of the second-half. Tommy Seale and Tom Dryer combined to set up Matt Farrelly, who had done well to find space 10 yards out, but he got under his shot and it went over the bar. Matt brightens up the game with his skill and endeavour, and would have been disappointed not to add a goal.

Overall, a little disappointing as games go, but with at least the positive of a clean sheet.

Woking: Bob Honey, Chris McCormick, Tom Gardner, Owen Sims, Bradley Murphy; Ollie Mason (c), (Tommy Seale 46), Henry McDonald, Lucas Boxall; Jayden Langford (Keion Vassell 69), Stanley Kyle (Matt Farrelly 83), Tom Dryer. Unused sub: Mikey Verga (GK).

Dunstable: Matthew Bonsu, Aidan Sanzah (Enaan Hussain 61), Krisztian Pal, Alfie Garratt (Josh Aris 52), Finn Rolfe (Timothy Cheng 46); Samuel Naylor (c), Austin Collins (Dylan Steffans 46), Bobby Knight, Jeffery Yeboah (Jacob Anderson 61), Callum Martin.

Referee: Ernie Moore.

Loan (Dual Registered Players) watch:

Saturday 27th April

Ollie Mason, Centre Midfield, 2nd year – Ascot United: Came on as a substitute after 62 minutes of the 3 – 2 win at Northwood.

Jamie Hilton, Centre Midfield, 3rd year - Guildford City: Played in 1 – 1 draw with Epsom & Ewell.

Ben Mitchell, Forward, 2nd year - Guildford City: Played in 1 – 1 draw with Epsom & Ewell. Forced a good save on 41 minutes, and then scored on 73 minutes to guarantee Guildford safety from relegation, and win the ‘man of the match’ award to boot.

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