Woking FC 4
Ward 23’, Ferdinand 33’, Carter 51’, Bawling 58’
A depleted United team succumbed to a 4-1 loss away to Woking FC at the Laithwaite Community Stadium.
With injury ruling out Ryan Clarke, Josh Gowling, Liam Davis, Sam Chaney, Damon Lathrope, and Jordan Lee, Robbie Herrera had a depleted squad to work with. United could only name four on the bench with the addition of non-contract signing Tallan Mitchell.
Robbie Herrera made three changes to the side that faced Solihull Moors on Saturday. Myles Anderson, James Gray and Rory Fallon came into the team and United started the game in a 4-2-3-1 formation with James Gray playing in an unfamiliar position in centre midfield. Ruairi Keating and Jon-Paul Pittman played either side of Rory Fallon who made his first start for the Club.
United started well. It looked like they were the home side and Woking were the away as they took the game to the Cards.
Although playing in an unfamiliar position, Gray saw much of the ball in the first half. He swept a delightful ball into the path of Ruairi Keating to start an attack for United in the early stages.
Woking looked nervous in defence. A few harried clearances, a few misplaced passes spoke of a team that could be got at. United came close to causing them problems, without testing Baxter too much.
Soon though, Woking were their familiar selves. Inih Effiong, Jason, Banton, and Joe Ward showed pace and drive for Woking and wrestled back some of the early impetus from United.
Woking took the lead in the 23rd minute. Joe Ward collected the ball as it came out from a corner. He took a touch and tried his luck. Lavercombe, possibly unsighted, didn’t react quick enough to keep his shot out.
Woking were a different side after the goal. Banton and Ferdinand exchanged passes inside United’s box and it was Ferdinand that found the bottom corner after a slick move.
Gray had looked dangerous from range earlier, but in added on time in the first half he made good on the early promise. Gray had spoken before the game about how not scoring so far this season had meant extra pressure falling on him. Well, he didn’t look under pressure when he scored the sweetest strikes that the Yellow Army have seen this season. Gray came from deep to meet a ball spilling out of Woking’s box. He took one touch and bent a beautiful shot into the far corner. Baxter was beaten, and United were back in the game.
Any momentum United took from Gray’s goal was soon dissipated when Woking scored their third in the 51st minute. Charlie Carter was awarded the goal but a whipped low cross by Joe Ward took a few touches before it found the net. It could have easily been an own-goal.
Woking were now full of running and pace. Substitute Bobson Bawling added some gloss to Woking’s win in the 58th minute, His strike didn’t upstage Gray’s, but it was a delightful effort that found the far top corner. He was afforded far too much space and time to pick his spot.
Around 150 of the Yellow Army made the trip to support the team. Apart from Gray’s effort, they had little to cheer about on the day.
Woking FC: 1 Nathan Baxter, 3 Nathan Ralph [2 Louis Ramsey 68’], 5 Josh Staunton, 6 Richard Orlu ©, Chez Isaac, Inih Effiong, 10 Jason Banton [7 Bobson Bawling 52’], 12 Charlie Carter [ 20 Jamie Philpot 81’], 21 Matt Young, Kane Ferdinand, 23 Joe Ward Subs Not Used: 17 Appau, 18 Mason
Booked: Josh Staunton 62’
United: 21 Daniel Lavercombe, 5 Sean McGinty, 8 Luke Young ©, 9 Jon-Paul Pittman, 10 Ruairi Keating, 11 Jake Gosling [22 Andy Haworth 74’), 14 Myles Anderson, 16 Rory Fallon [19 Jamie Reid 59’), 17 James Gray, 18, Yan Klukowski, 23 Ryan Higgins Subs Not Used: 20 Neal Osborn, 25 Tallan Mitchell
Referee: Daniel Middleton
Attendance: 1,936 (Unsegregated)