Woking vs. Boreham Wood
Saturday 11th December 2021, 3.00pm
The Laithwaite Community Stadium, Vanarama National League
Match Preview written by Aaron Bennis (BWFC Media Assistant)
This Saturday, Wood return to league action after the historic win over rivals St Albans in the FA Cup, travelling to Kingfield to take on Woking.
The Cardinals will be keen to get back to winning ways having lost their last two games, and currently sit 14th with eight wins and ten defeats this season.
Wood remained in second after being unable to play in their trip to Grimsby Town due to weather conditions, but will be full of confidence after reaching the FA Cup Third Round on Monday night and will be keen to close the gap on league leaders, Chesterfield.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
A vastly experienced defensive-minded player, Tom Champion is a versatile defender who is comfortable playing in midfield as well and arrived at Woking in the summer after his release from the Wood. Initially coming through the youth setup at Watford, Champion left in 2004 without making a senior appearance for the Hornets and began his professional career with Barnet. A one-month loan spell with Wealdstone preceded seven appearances as the Bees won the Conference title in his first season, before he departed for Bishop’s Stortford the following July. He would feature over 100 times over five years with the Blues, before a short stint at Braintree Town that was succeeded by a move to Dartford, where he played a pivotal role in their successful promotion campaign in 2011/12. A two-year stint with Cambridge United followed where he appeared in every game of the 2013/14 season, going on to win the FA Trophy as well as achieving another promotion this time to League Two before captaining the side on their return to the fourth tier. A return to Barnet followed at the end of the season, and he played 57 times over a further two years at the Hive either side of a short loan spell at Lincoln City in September 2016 in which he made a small contribution to their title-winning campaign. He was released at the end of 2016/17, moving to rivals Boreham Wood. He would spend four years at Meadow Park during an extremely successful part of the club’s history, making over 150 appearances in all competitions that saw him play a part in two play-off runs, with Champion featuring in the final of the first one in a 2-1 defeat to Tranmere Rovers. His time at Meadow Park came to an end in the summer, moving to Woking at the age of 35.
Having initially spent time with the Southampton academy, Max Kretzshmar graduated from the Wycombe Wanderers youth setup and would go on to make 86 appearances for the Chairboys in all competitions between 2012 and 2016. After being released, he began his first stint with Woking on a one-year deal, making his debut at the start of the 2016/17 season. He helped the club stay in the National League with a goal in a 1-1 draw with Dagenham & Redbridge that secured their survival, before leaving at the end of the season at the expiry of his contract. A season away saw him join Hampton & Richmond Borough for the 2017/18 campaign and he helped them win promotion back to the National League with 20 goals in all competitions, but followed manager Alan Dowson back to Woking and marked his return with the winner on the opening day of 2018/19. Another promotion was on the cards as he helped Woking re-join the National League at the first time of asking, finishing as the club’s joint-top scorer with 15 goals in all competitions from an attacking midfield role. Primarily playing as an advanced playmaker or occasionally as a winger, Kretzshmar has gone from strength to strength since re-joining the Cards and signed a new one-year deal in the summer.
A West Bromwich Albion academy graduate, Tahvon Campbell enjoyed loan spells with Kidderminster Harriers, Yeovil Town, Notts County, Solihull Moors and Forest Green Rovers before leaving the Baggies in 2018 without making a senior appearance, after 12 years with the club. He returned to Forest Green on a permanent basis where he spent the first half of 2018/19, taking his total tally for the club to seven goals in 38 appearances before leaving on loan to Gillingham for the remainder of the campaign, spending it in a higher division. After being released by Forest Green, he joined Cheltenham Town on a two-year deal where he featured in 15 games, but spent the majority of his time with the Robins out on loan, with further temporary stints away with Gloucester City and FC Halifax Town. He netted five goals in seven games for the former and joined National League play-off chasing Halifax for the second half of the campaign where played 11 times, sealing one goal to his name. An exciting winger with over 100 Football League appearances to his name, he signed for Woking in the summer of 2021 and has already scored 13 goals in just 17 National League appearances so far this season, including four in the space of a few days during September in a 3-2 defeat to Eastleigh and a 3-1 victory over Chesterfield.
LAST TIME WE MET
Woking 0-0 Boreham Wood
Tuesday 9th March 2021
Laithwaite Community Stadium, National Premier
A disappointing encounter between Woking and Boreham Wood ended in a goalless draw.
The hosts showed their intent from the off as Max Kretzschmar went close to opening the scoring after just two minutes, but Femi Ilesamni was alert to produce an excellent block on the line to prevent the deadlock being broken. Chances were certainly at a premium throughout the first half with little going on, and there wouldn’t be another clear opening until the 18th minute, when Nathan Ashmore would be on hand himself to deny Jamar Loza in a one on one scenario. Corey Whitley would have the Wood’s best chance of the half when his effort whistled past the post shortly before the break, before the referee brought an end to a dull opening 45 minutes. The second half would bring more of the same, with the ever dangerous Loza having another one on one with Ashmore, but he squandered the opportunity and screwed his shot wide. Although there was little in the way of clear chances for the visitors, Kabongo Tshimanga was adamant he was tripped in the box on the hour mark and demanded a penalty, but the appeals were waved away. Woking continued to dominate the game, however they struggled to break down a stubborn Wood defence. Despite a lacklustre performance on the whole, the Wood proved to be extremely resolute at the back and deserved praise for the display from their back three who, along with the impressive Mark Ricketts, was tasked with withstanding plenty of pressure from the hosts. This continued when Sam Ashford’s free kick was headed over by Ben Gerring, which was followed by Jayden Wareham bringing out a fantastic acrobatic save from Ashmore to tip the ball over and keep the score goalless. They could have snatched it right at the death through Moussa Diarra when he headed over on 92 minutes, but it wasn’t to be and the Wood brought a hard-earned point back to Hertfordshire.
PRE MATCH WORDS
HOW TO WATCH
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