The Cards continued their good form over the Gulls as they came out 2-1 winners at Plainmoor after goals from Fabio Saraiva and Brian Saah. Substitute Brett Williams pulled one back for United with just a couple of minutes on the clock but it United didn’t produce enough on the day to justify a comeback.
Player-manager Kevin Nicholson chose to give a debut to Bournemouth loanee Jordan Lee who replaced Paul Rooney. Shaun Harrad was given his first start since joining the Gulls for the second time. He replaced Sam Chaney who dropped to the bench.
United started nervously. Neither side had really threatened in any significant way until Woking were awarded a penalty after debutant Jordan Lee clipped wing-back Nathan Ralph inside the penalty box.
Lee’s initial challenge was a little rash, and once Ralph had gotten behind our man from Bournemout, Lee clipped his heels trying to regain the ball.
Fabio Saraiva put Brendan Moore the wrong way and Woking into the lead.
Another nervous moment for United came in the 17th minute. A low cross was clipped by an attempted clearance by Sean McGinty. United were lucky that a Ben Gerring header got the ball away from danger.
United’s first attack nearly resulted in a goal. It would have been a great goal to cap a lovely move. It started on the left with Dan Sparkes before some first time passing by Courtney Richards and Jamie Reid placed the ball into the path of Shaun Harrad. Unfortunately the ball had a too much pace on it and evaded the run of Harrad.
David Fitzpatrick called Michael Poke into action at his near post. He collected the ball from Jamie Reid as United searched for an opening. He took a touch and found some space and sent a powerful right-footed drive towards goal. Poke was alert to the danger with a two-handed save to push the ball wide of goal.
United fell further behind in the 36th minute when then lost concentration defending a corner. First Chigozie Ugwu sent a header towards the far post. Brian Saah was between Ugwu and Brendan Moore and got a faint touch to squeeze the ball in and double Woking’s lead.
United needed something big in the second half. It didn’t come. Woking continued where they left matters in the first half.
Dan Sparkes put in an inviting ball from the left wing in the 52nd minute but the was no-one in the six yard box to take advantage.
Midfielder Sam Chaney replaced Jordan Lee in the 58th minute. United switched to a 3-5-2 formation with Sparkes and Fitzpatrick becoming wingbacks and Chaney supporting Reid and Harrad in attack.
United were caught out badly in the 65th minute. Brendan Moore had to come out of his penalty box to intercept a through ball that was heading into the path of Connor Hall. Moore got the better of the first attempted clearance but Woking reclaimed the ball and United were caught short with Moore stranded. Luckily enough was done by United to keep Woking at bay and stop a clear shot on goal.
Charlier Carter nearly made it 3-0 to Woking in the 71st minute when his low shot just went wide of goal from an acute angle.
The match was seemingly petering towards its conclusion. Woking were happy with their three points and United were labouring over mounting a comeback. That was until substitute Brett Williams got one back for the Gulls in the 88th minute.
A ball from Aman Verma split Woking’s defence and left Dan Sparkes to pick out Brett Williams inside the box. The forward took a touch to steady himself and then rattled the ball into the near corner of the net to give United a chance to spark into action.
Sparkes could have equalized in the 89th minute when a shot from Courtney Richards took a few touches on its way to the six yard box. Sparkes did well to get a shot on goal but it was deflected wide by a last-ditch challenge.
United now have to take stock before heading to Maidstone in seven days time.