MATCH REPORT | Woking 2-0 Wealdstone
Updated: Jan 24
Wealdstone fell to a disappointing defeat on the road to Woking, slipping to 20th position in the table as they suffered a fifth defeat in their last six National League games.
A first half goal from Inih Effiong, along with a second half strike from Jamar Loza ensured all three points for the Cardinals, as they swept aside the Stones at the Laithwaite Community Stadium.
Stuart Maynard made two changes to the side that edged Dover Athletic last week, with Josh Umerah and Jamie Mascoll slotting into the starting line-up, while Connor McAvoy was named to the bench.
The home side started on the front foot, galvanising a chance within the first three minutes of play as Kyran Lofthouse advanced past Ashley Charles into the box and drilled a dangerous ball across the face of the goal, but Connor Stevens was well-positioned to make a vital clearance for the Stones.
Woking continued to probe, with former Wealdstone attacker Tarryn Allarakia cutting inside and firing an effort from range which flew over the crossbar, in the 11th minute.
The Cardinals proceeded to dominate further as they peppered the Stones’ goal, with Rohan Ince shooting from the edge of the box, but astute defending from captain Jerome Okimo prevented Tahvon Campbell from converting the rebound.
The home side looked like they had broken the deadlock when Effiong stole the ball from Jack Cook in the corner, beat two defenders and fired goal-bound; however George Wickens produced an excellent save with his leg to divert the ball clear.
In the 20th minute, Woking’s pressure was duly rewarded as Max Kretzschmar’s corner was headed down at the back post by Moussa Diarra for Effiong to hook the ball home past Wickens and send Alan Dowson’s men into a deserved lead.
Wealdstone responded positively, generating a chance a minute later as Alex Dyer found Craig Fasanmade at the far post, but the forward’s header was well-saved by goalkeeper Mark Smith.
However, the Cardinals were quick to resume their dominance, nearly doubling their advantage a moment later as Effiong latched onto a long ball and dragged his shot just wide of the post.
Lofthouse was the next player from the home side to see his shot creep just wide of Wickens’ post, as Woking continued to demonstrate their attacking flair.
Woking’s flurry continued as Tyreke Johnson created space on the right wing and flashed a shot towards goal which fizzed just wide of the target, in the 26th minute.
Two minutes before the stroke of half time, the Stones were close to drawing level as former Cardinals midfielder Charlie Cooper’s free kick was flicked on by the tenacious Okimo to Fasanmade, but the striker was unable to capitalise.
The Stones returned from the interval with some added impetus as Mascoll burst forward down the left wing in the 48th minute, but his cross just evaded the outstretched leg of Fasanmade.
Five minutes later, the tireless Umerah cut inside and shot, but the top goalscorer’s effort was just wide of the target.
Wealdstone began to grow into the game during the second half with the introduction of Medy Elito as they searched for an equaliser.
Mascoll advanced down the left flank and crossed to Umerah, who was only able to poke an effort at goal for Smith to claim in the 65th minute.
Four minutes later, Dyer’s quick feet on the edge of the box created space for a shot, but his strike sailed over the crossbar.
On the 73rd minute mark, the home side looked to have doubled their lead as Johnson’s free kick was met by the head of Effiong; however the striker’s effort was just over the bar.
With just over quarter of an hour to go, Maynard rolled the dice with the introduction of Jaydn Mundle-Smith for Okimo who had been resolute throughout.
Two minutes later, the Stones got caught on the break as the Cardinals’ substitutes combined, with Nicke Kabamba releasing Loza through to coolly round Wickens and slot home.
Wealdstone’s fortunes took a further dent when they were reduced to ten men in the 83rd minute as substitute Douglas Taylor was shown a straight red card for a challenge with Lofthouse.
Deep into stoppage time, the Stones were close to notching a consolation goal as Elito threaded through Umerah, but his shot rose over the crossbar.
The Stones return to action on Tuesday evening when they entertain Notts County at The Vale in a 7.45pm kick off.
WEALDSTONE: Wickens, Stevens, Cook, Okimo (c) (Mundle-Smith 74), Tavares, Charles, Dyer, Cooper (Taylor 80), Mascoll, Fasanmade (Elito 57), Umerah.
Subs not used: Buse, McAvoy.
Attendance: 2,667 (including 232 Stones fans)
Report by Nicole Cho-Yee