Woking v FC Halifax Town: Opposition focus

Woking's Jake Hyde (centre). Photo: Getty ImagesWoking's Jake Hyde (centre). Photo: Getty Images
Woking's Jake Hyde (centre). Photo: Getty Images | Getty Images
Two sides performing well above expectations go head-to-head on Saturday when Woking host FC Halifax Town.

Rob Hemingway, from the Woking News and Mail, gives us the lowdown on The Shaymen’s opponents.

How have Woking done so far this season?
Obviously it was a stunning, unexpected start to the season. Promoted from National South last season, keeping seven of that team, it was not at all thought of to be in the upper reaches of the league, let alone top as they were in August/early September.
With the club being part-time and having one of the lowest budgets, really the expectation from the board was to stay in the league, so expectations are being exceeded by far at the moment.

Did this two week break come at a good time for them?
Yes and no. Before the Stockport win, you would have said absolutely yes as the club had been on a long run without a win. But that game last Saturday was one of their best results/performances of the season, so you could argue they will lose some momentum from that.
But overall, the team have been conceding too many goals, and Alan Dowson told me last week he wanted to do some hard work on defensive shape – so it’s come at a good time in that sense.

Why did their form tail off so much recently?
No one reason, but a combination of a long slog of a season starting to tell, Tuesday night fixtures being hard for the team as they work in the day (of their five losses so far, four have been on a Tuesday), injuries, and some defensive lapses when ahead in games

What’s Woking’s style of play - what kind of team can Halifax expect to come up against?
Dowson tends to employ various tactics based on the opponent, but you can always expect a team that works their socks off, and that is a threat from set pieces.

Which players in particular have impressed, and why?
Jake Hyde through sheer volume of goals, Dave Tarpey’s Luis Suarez-esque displays down the right, and ‘keeper Craig Ross who has made a number of outstanding saves this season

Who will be your dangerman on Saturday, and why?
Tarpey. Proven quality up the leagues and invariably seems to be Woking’s most creative player.

Any injuries/suspensions?
Tyreke Johnson (on loan from Southampton) was one of Woking’s star men in the early part of the season but he got injured back in September vs Chorley – he will be out until January. Otherwise unaware of any injuries.

Likely line-up and formation?
Usually a 4-2-3-1 but personnel has been changing a lot lately with injuries, loss of form and resting players with the quick Saturday-Tuesday turnarounds. Dowson said last week he wants to get back to a consistent team though, so whoever he plays would seem to be in his nominal first choice XI.