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Match Previews

Woking vs. Latics

18 November 2023

Match Previews

Woking vs. Latics

18 November 2023

Oldham Athletic return to National League action once more when they make the trip to face Woking at the Kingfield Stadium.

Alex Reid’s thumping strike was enough to secure a point against Eastleigh last weekend though it meant Latics continued their winless run of three in the league and four in all competitions.

The visitors had gone ahead just shy of the half hour mark courtesy of a Chris Maguire spot kick though it was followed by an onslaught of Oldham chances that weren’t taken.

Josh Lundstram heavily influenced play from midfield in what can arguably be regarded as his finest display in an Oldham shirt, James Norwood and Hallam Hope both got on the end of Lundstram crosses from the right but were denied by strong Joe McDonnell saves.

Reid also had an opportunity to tie things up after a neat pass by the midfielder, though his left footed strike rolled just past the far post. The forward however wasn’t to be denied a second time after latching onto a first time cross by Mark Kitching which Reid fired into the top corner.

His sixth of the season in the National League wasn’t enough however to spur Oldham onto victory, fellow substitutes Mike Fondop and Kurt Willoughby combined to create an opening for the latter, but Willoughby skewed his effort wide late on.

Micky Mellon will be pushing to see a more clinical edge from his side this weekend after a lot of opportunities went begging against Eastleigh, whilst a win will be essential to keep close touch to those chasing the final playoff spots.

The Opposition

Woking meanwhile suffered successive league defeats for the first time since September following a 3-2 defeat at Oxford City, though the result may have left a sour taste with the game ridden with errors.

Will Jaaskelainen had a game to forget, first failing to clear to allow Zac McEachran to smash home the first of the afternoon before Dennon Lewis’ misplaced pass saw Oliver Sanderson punish another mistake by coolly placing his effort into the bottom corner.

The goals sandwiched a disallowed strike from Rhys Brown that came almost immediately after the opener which sparked complaints from the Woking players though seeming to be the right decision.

The man between the sticks for the away side somewhat increased his credit after producing a fine fingertip stop to deny Lewis Coyle, before Padraig Amond latched onto Scott Cuthbert’s terrific flick on to slot home to make things interesting in the final 20 minutes.

With their tails up Woking seemed to have regained their intensity, though another error from Jaaskelainen cost the visitors. Rushing out to head clear turned horribly wrong, giving Joshua Parker the easiest goal he will ever score to restore Oxford’s two goal lead.

Amond meanwhile secured his personal brace by turning Josh Casey’s delivery goalwards to reduce the deficit in injury time, but it proved to be a very late consolation for the away side.

The result also meant consecutive defeats away from home for Woking who had previously secured a 1-0 victory at Eastleigh, which remains their only win in the last five National League games.

Woking’s defeat to Oxford was also only the second time they have conceded three in a league fixture, and the first time since matchday two where they suffered a 3-2 defeat at home to Altrincham.

Their home record may inspire confidence for Latics, only ranking better than Kidderminster, and have not won at the Kingfield Stadium since matchday six when they beat Dorking Wanderers.

A win therefore will feel imperative for both sides, though a win for Woking may feel more significant as it would see them jump ahead of Oldham, and potentially into the top nine if results go their way, though it will not be an easy task against a side who are hungry for three points.

Key Threat

Woking have struggled to see the best of any players in recent weeks, which has perhaps been a by-product of a difficult run of form and a change in management, though forward Amond has been a clinical spark.

The Irishman notched his third and fourth of the season last weekend, and his first goal since the 2-0 win over Hemel Hempstead in FA Cup qualifying almost a month ago. Both of his efforts however showed his variety in front of goal, and the different threats he will pose for National League defences.

His first strike particularly highlighted his sharp, instinctive finishing ability in the box. Amond had the thought to take it first time following the flick on and showed composure to finish into the corner to halve the deficit.

Both goals were alike meanwhile in showing his movement and anticipation. The 35-year-old clearly has the experience, but his instincts have not wavered in the box.

His ability to read play and make a run that no one else did provides an extremely difficult test for defences, and Oldham will be the next to try to contain him with the bid to stop his newfound form in front of goal before it has even begun.

In the dugout

There has been movement in the dugout at the Kingfield Stadium this week which saw Darren Sarll dismissed on Monday, whilst the club announced assistant Ian Dyer will take charge at least for the next two fixtures against Oldham and Chesterfield until a permanent appointment is made.

The 40-year-old was assistant to Sarll for 76 games at Woking and helped the former boss lead the club to the National League playoffs last season before being beaten by Bromley in the quarterfinals.

It won’t be the first rodeo for Dyer meanwhile who has been caretaker manager for a brief six-game spell in March of 2022. The club will find confidence in that run where Dyer steered the club to three wins.

The club had lost four of the last five league games before Sarll’s dismissal, whilst Dyer will face a tough challenge to raise spirits in the Woking camp ahead of an important few weeks at the club where frankly critical decisions must be made.

Match Details

The fixture is set to kick off at 15:00pm at the Kingfield Stadium on Saturday 18th November.

The referee will be Paul Cooper, who is set to be assisted by Jake Hillier and Grzegorz Kornasiewicz. The fourth official is Oliver Kaya.

Match coverage and information 

Live audio commentary is available on Latics Player, guiding you through the match. 

For more information, visit the Latics Player page by clicking here

Alternatively, supporters can also follow the game with live updates on the club's official Twitter account: @OfficialOAFC 

As this game is not being played within the blocked broadcast hours stipulated by UEFA, live streaming will be available through National League TV for supporters in the UK and overseas.

Matchday passes are available for £9.50, with further details here.

As always, we will endeavour to ensure confirmation of the line-up is published as soon as possible on social media. 

However, supporters should note that team sheets in the National League are exchanged 15 minutes later than in the EFL and, as a result, the line-up is likely to be published slightly later than in previous seasons.

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