Woking v Aldershot Town – Match Preview – Monday 1 January 2018
Aldershot Town completed their 2017 fixtures with a 1-1 draw at home to Maidstone United on Saturday. A 93rd minute headed equaliser from Jim Kellermann secured a late point for The Shots, after they had gone behind to Aaron Collins’ 48th minute opener for The Stones. On New Year’s Day, Gary Waddock’s men make the short trip to Kingfield to take on Woking for the second time in six days, having taken all three points in the 3-1 victory over The Cards on Boxing Day at the EBB Stadium.
Rob Worrall previews the action…
Callum Reynolds missed Saturday’s game on Doctor’s orders, following stitches in a leg wound picked up last week, but could return to the side at Kingfield. Waddock will await news on Will Evans, who sustained an eye injury in the opening few minutes against Maidstone, whilst Jake Gallagher came off just after half-time on Saturday after feeling unwell and is a doubt for the Woking match. However, James Rowe came off the bench to return from injury which gives Waddock some options, which could include starting Bobby-Joe Taylor in the left-back position that he finished the Maidstone game, allowing Cheye Alexander to return to the right side of defence and Kellermann to a midfield berth. Nick Arnold continues to make good progress after his long-term knee injury.
Opposition – Woking FC:
Nickname: The Cardinals
Ground: Kingfield Stadium
Manager: Anthony Limbrick
Current Position: 13th
Woking struggled throughout the season, which turned out to be their sixth and final one with Garry Hill at the helm. They eventually finished in eighteenth place, just three places and three points above the relegation zone.
Woking decided against renewing Garry Hill’s contract and appointed former Southampton youth coach Anthony Limbrick as their new manager on 7 May 2017. Limbrick, an Australian who grew up in Tasmania, has previously been an assistant coach with the England Under-17 squad and had most recently been in a role with West Ham United’s Academy.
Limbrick released six players from last season’s playing squad and was unable to hang on to the prolific Gozie Ugwu, who moved up to the Football League with Chesterfield, or Keiran Murtagh, who signed for fellow National League outfit Boreham Wood. He retained just five players: ex-Shots loanee Nathan Ralph, utility player Joey Jones and midfielders Charlie Carter, Kane Ferdinand and Fabio Saraiva. He then put together a relatively young playing squad with goalkeeper Nathan Baxter, on season-long loan from Chelsea, one of his first key signings. Other youngsters who have joined from Football League clubs to try to prove themselves in the National League include right-back Louis Ramsey (Norwich City), winger Bobson Bawling and striker Jason Banton (both Crawley Town), winger Joe Ward (Brighton & Hove Albion), Regan Charles-Cook (Charlton Athletic) and striker Jamie Philpott (Millwall). They have been joined by centre-backs Josh Staunton (Dagenham & Redbridge) and Richard Orlu (Dover Athletic). Striker Inih Effiong joined from Barrow and is the club’s top scorer with eight goals. Ward and Philpott have also each scored six goals to date. Chez Isaac was sent off in Woking’s 2-2 draw at Eastleigh on Saturday and will miss out on New Year’s Day.
Limbrick settled quickly into his new role at Woking and his The Cards began the National League season well, often occupying a place in the top ten in the first half of the season. They have won ten, lost eleven and drawn just four of their twenty-five matches. Recent form has been mixed, with a good showing in the FA Cup, where they beat Bury after a replay and then held fellow League One outfit Peterborough United at Kingfield before going out 5-2 with a spirited performance in the replay at London Road. In the National League, however, they have lost three and drawn one of their last four matches and have only won once since mid-October.
Since their first meeting in the FA Cup in October 1998, these two clubs have met each other on 25 occasions, with the Shots winning thirteen (including ten of the last thirteen), drawing six and losing six.
Aldershot Town have prevailed at The EBB Stadium on the last two Boxing Days. Last week, two Shamir Fenelon strikes and a third from Manny Oyeleke saw The Shots to a 3-1 win, with Effiong scoring The Cards’ goal. Twelve months earlier, Scott Rendell’s hat-trick and a Jake Cole penalty save were the key highlights, as The Shots romped to a 4-0 victory. On New Year’s Day 2017, The Shots won it late on, Jake Gallagher sliding in to prod home after Max Kretzschmar’s leveller had cancelled out another Rendell strike.
In the 2015-16 season, The Cards completed their only double over Aldershot Town. John Goddard scored the only goal at the EBB Stadium on Boxing Day, whilst his goal also proved to be the winner at Kingfield seven days later. Joe Quigley had given the hosts the lead, with Rhys Browne notching what proved to be a consolation for Aldershot Town in the second half.
The 2014-15 campaign saw both clubs winning the away fixture, with the Cards’ victory in the September coming courtesy of a stunning 35-yard free kick from Giuseppe Sole – the one true moment of quality in an uneventful game. The reverse fixture in December saw Andre McCollin and Brett Williams give the Shots a 2-0 lead in the opening thirty minutes before Jack Marriott got one back for the home team in the 88th minute.
The Shots also won at Woking by the same score in the previous season, goals from Brett Williams and Mark Molesley giving Andy Scott’s side the three points they needed to secure National League survival.
The referee on New Year’s Day is Carl Brook, who has refereed 12 matches so far this season, showing 43 yellow cards and two red cards to date. He previously refereed Aldershot Town in their 2-0 victory at Bromley in November, in which he showed six yellows and sent off Shots’ Adam McDonnell and Bromley’s Jordan Higgs.
BBC Surrey Sport will have live radio and online coverage of the game, from 12pm on New Year’s Day, with Gary Smith and Rob Worrall. You can contact them throughout the afternoon via Twitter. Get in touch by tweeting @BBCSurreySport @GTSSport and @RobShot66.