Aldershot Town v Woking – Match Preview – Tuesday 26 December 2017
On Tuesday, Aldershot Town and Woking will once again contest what has now become a traditional Boxing Day derby. The Shots come into the game having secured a late point up at Nethermoor Park, thanks to Shamir Fenelon’s scrambled 94th minute effort. The Cards, meanwhile, lost 2-1 at home to a resurgent Barrow.
Rob Worrall previews the action…
Callum Reynolds, Scott Rendell and Matt McClure all returned to the playing squad at Guiseley on Saturday, and Shots manager Gary Waddock has no fresh injury concerns. He will await news on the fitness of James Rowe, whilst Nick Arnold will be out until Spring.
Opposition – Woking:
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 relegation.
Woking decided against renewing 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, in 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 (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-ack 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 joint top scorer with seven goals. Ward and Philpott have also each scored seven goals to date.
Limbrick settled quickly into his new role at Woking and his Cards began the season well, occupying a place in the top ten of the National League throughout the majority of the first half of the season. They have won ten, lost ten and drawn just three of their twenty-three matches, less than any other team. Recent form, though, has been mixed, despite 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, they have lost their last three matches and last won on 21st November.
Since their first meeting in the FA Cup in October 1998, these two clubs have met each other on 24 occasions, with the Shots winning twelve (including nine of the last twelve), drawing six and losing six.
Last season, Aldershot Town managed a comfortable win on Boxing Day, as Scott Rendell hit a first-half hat-trick and Jake Cole saved a penalty, as both met their former team for the first time since leaving Kingfield. In the return match on New Year’s Day, 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 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, as goals from Brett Williams and Mark Molesley gave Andy Scott’s side the three points they needed to secure National League survival that season.
The referee on Boxing Day is David Rock, who has refereed 12 matches so far this season, showing 27 yellow cards and no red cards to date. He previously refereed Aldershot Town in their 1-1 draw at Maidstone United in August and the 2-2 home draw with Leyton Orient back in September.
BBC Surrey Sport will have live radio and online coverage of the game, from 2pm on Boxing Day, with Gav Denison presenting from the EBB Stadium and live commentary of the match with Rob Worrall and Woking FC Press Officer, John Moore. You can also contact them throughout the afternoon via Twitter. Get in touch by tweeting @GavinDenison @BBCSurreySport and @RobShot66.