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Aldershot Town FC

Rollercoaster First Week For The Cards Ends On Harrogate High

By Jacob Greenwood

Football is officially back, and it hasn’t been a quiet week for The Cards. In fact, the highs and lows of football were summed up in the last week.

Curtain Raiser In East London

Dagenham away has become somewhat of an important stage, and a happy hunting ground, for Woking in the last few years – and so it should be if we are paying £21 to get in! Between staying up on the last day in 2016/17 season, finding (what we thought was) a new lease of life in Jason Godliffe’s first game as caretaker manager and now an opening day showdown – it’s always memorable. It was no different this year, as everything went right for The Cards, from the new 5-3-2 formation to Joe Quigley missing a shot that would have been easier to score, it was a brilliant way to lay down a marker and send out a message to the rest of the league.

It’s always a buzz when unfancied, part-time Woking are spoiling the big boys’ party and being one of the hundreds of Cards fans singing at full-time as the squad celebrated, I can safely say that’s why we stick with the club through thick and thin.

Most Notably:
-Good creativity for Gerring’s new song – “Stands at 6ft3, f**ing hates Torquay”
-Moussa Diarra/Manny Parry partnership was outstanding and the new song to the tune you Kolo/Yaya Toure wasn’t bad
-Perfect away performance, utilising our strength and height
-If you charge away fans £21, you don’t deserve home wins

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Poku Celebrates Opening Day Success 

Death, Taxes and Losing To Aldershot

It was of course only fitting, that in true football style, we came crashing back down to earth only a few days later. Although there are plenty of forum posts about how and why we lost, I can put it down to three things – the 5-3-2 being anticipated and countered well by The Shots, our hit-and-hope approach and a voodoo curse being placed on the club when we play our neighbours. I’m starting to think the third reason is the most valid!

However, a crowd of just under 4,000, the home kit not being as awful as everyone made out and knowing if we took our chances we might have been okay, gave fans a few things to cling on to that night. Still, truding out of Kingfield as the opposition wildly celebrate a derby win will always be a low-blow.

Most Notably:
-The home kit was ready in time and was surprisingly nice
-The Shots fans didn’t break the barrier
-Jack Cook as a RWB outlet, not the best tactic

Bouncing Back To Blow Harrogate Away

Okay, we didn’t blow Harrogate away, but there was an opportunity to use a weather-related pun. However, after a shaky first 15 minutes, what a performance! Harrogate reached the play-offs last season and after winning 3-0 away at Barrow on Tuesday, it was clear this was going to be a tough game. Tactically I think Dowse got this one spot on and once we got into the game, we more than matched Harrogate. They squandered good opportunities and we got a bit of luck in the winner and keeping them out, but don’t underestimate some great performances across the park. Poku and Meite took their chances as they both got started their first games of the season and Johnson’s pace and skill look like they will be an important outlet this season.

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If you don’t shoot…

A battling performance was exactly what Woking needed after Tuesday’s defeat and if our luck was out against The Shots, it was in yesterday and we made it count.

Most Notably
– Donnellan proved if you don’t shoot, you don’t score
-Johnson gave their left back the run-around and will be more than a handful this season
-We’ll be no pushovers this season
-Jon Stead is still playing at 38

A week is a long time in football, and the first of the season was a rollercoaster ride, but there’s a long way to go yet, so hold on tight!

Images by David Holmes and can be viewed at wokingfc.co.uk

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Getting To Know Aldershot Town

By Jacob Greenwood

Woking travel to local rivals Aldershot Town on Boxing Day and will be hoping for a repeat of last season’s success against The Shots.

After recording wins against Gateshead and Bromley, Woking fans would have hoped that Garry Hill’s side would have pushed on. However, Cup and Trophy disappointment followed and with Woking failing to beat Guiseley last time out in the league, Cards fans are again looking at the shrinking gap to the relegation zone (just goal difference is keeping Woking above the line).

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Guiseley Hold Woking to a Goalless Draw

If you listen to football folklore then form goes out of the window in derby games. This statement will be music to the ears of both Cards and Shots fans as both sides have been struggling of late. We caught up with Tommy Anderson, Chairman of The Shots Trust, to find out what we can expect on Boxing Day.

It’s been a while since we played each other and since we last met there was quite a big summer for The Shots off the pitch with Gary Waddock returning to the club. Fans must have been delighted to see him return?

There were big changes at Aldershot back in the summer both on the playing side and of course the return of Gary Waddock as manager which was just what the club needed! Season ticket sales rose dramatically following Gary’s return, a good, competitive squad was assembled and our start to the season was extremely encouraging. Our recent form has dipped and cup exits in the FA Cup and FA Trophy at the hands of lower opposition was disappointing, no question about that, however I think we need to be realistic and honest and say if 10th position was offered to us back in June at this present time, we would have had accepted it. From a personal point of view, I am content overall with how the season has panned out. I expect the squad to bounce back from recent disappointments and improve as the season goes on and put pressure on the teams above.

A few other additions included Scott Rendell and Jake Cole from Woking. How have both players settled in at The Rec?

They’ve done ok. Jake Cole in particular has significantly improved us in the goalkeeping position. Earlier on in the season, he made some crucial saves at key times in games to preserve our lead, he offers big assurances to the defenders ahead of him with his talking and direction, a real leader. Scott Rendell for me is slowly getting better and better, the goals haven’t produced what he had done previous, this is down to mostly being played in a deeper position and also people need to realise that this season he came back from a cruciate ligament injury that put him out of action for all of last season, arrived at Aldershot and played lots of games in a short space of time and was clearly shattered! However, Scott has now really worked on his fitness and is looking sharper and sharper and I’m fully confident that the goals will flow in the not so distant future.

It has been an up and down season so far for yourselves with disappointment in the FA Cup and Trophy (similar to Woking!) but a steady mid-table position has been maintained. There have been a few big results in there too. How do you think things are working out and are the play-offs the aim?

Overall, I’m fairly content with how the season has panned out. Major disappointments in exiting both cup competitions early and for clubs like ourselves, there is a lot of financial gain to be had from a decent run in both competitions, however our league campaign has been a vast improvement on recent years, we are playing an entertaining, attacking style of football which we long sought for at the a EBB Stadium! Early doors, we started in superb fashion scoring plenty of goals and putting good sides under the sword! However, like all clubs, we are currently on a disappointing run of results and that needs to be addressed quickly. We now have a perfect chance with the next two fixtures to get our season back on track and to make an almighty push for the play-offs which for me has to always be the target, despite the fact it would be an overachievement on our budget for that to happen this season.

Who will Woking have to watch out for on Boxing Day?

Jake Gallagher – A tenacious, hardworking player who now plays in a further forward role since Gary’s arrival and has an attacking edge about him that not a lot of people would expect him to have. A player that always gives 100% and from speaking to him in the week, he is completely fired up and ready for the festive fixtures!

Idris Kanu – A highly rated youngster who is attracting plenty of interest higher up the football pyramid certainly has the game to create and muster chances and goals out of nothing. With the TV cameras circulating the EBB Stadium on the 26th, Idris will see this as a fine chance to impress and put a statement out to the interested suitors.

Scott Rendell – Scott will be relishing coming up against his former side and will be really chomping at the bit to get his goalscoring boots firing. A natural finisher who certainly has plenty of goals left in the tank and always one for any team to watch out for.

Finally, what is your score prediction?

I’m predicting Aldershot Town to get back to winning ways, after last year’s disappointing matches against Woking. It’s time for us to attempt to get the double crown back! Woking will certainly cause problems and come with a game plan but I’m backing Aldershot to win 3-1!

Photos by David Holmes. For a full set go to wokingfc.co.uk.

Exclusive – No restrictions on pubs before Woking v Aldershot

Woking Police have confirmed to Everything Woking FC that there will be no restrictions on the opening of pubs in the Woking area on Monday.

Pubs in Woking town centre were closed under police advice when Woking played Luton in January 2013 but @Wokingbeat have told u this won’t be the case on Monday. They Tweeted:

“There are no restrictions (on pubs) on Monday. Good Luck with the game”

Woking welcome local rival Aldershot Town to Kingfield. The game kicks-off at 1pm on Easter Monday.

Aldershot Town beat Woking 2-1 earlier in the season.
Aldershot Town beat Woking 2-1 earlier in the season.

 

Photo by David Holmes. A full set can be viewed at wokingfc.co.uk

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