OPPOSITION FOCUS - Woking v FC Halifax Town: “They are all fighting for each other”
We spoke to Rob Hemingway from the Woking News and Mail about FC Halifax Town’s opponents on Saturday.
How have Woking started the season?
Extremely well all things considered. A summer of turmoil saw a raft of their best players – such as Moussa Diarra and Jake Hyde - leave the club, but Alan Dowson has bought well to build a new squad and they have gelled quickly, producing excellent wins over Solihull, Weymouth and Dag & Red on Tuesday night
What’s impressed you the most about them so far?
How quickly they have already become ‘a Dowson team’. By that I mean, they are all fighting for each other, they know their roles in the team, and they are keeping it tight at the back, which always gives you a chance in this league.
The centre back partnership between Jack Cook and Saul Shotton has been a big part of the latter dynamic, which is all the more surprising given they haven’t played together before, and Cook was expected to spend the season at right back.
What’s their style of play, what can Halifax expect to come up against?
Woking typically target wing play and set pieces for most of their best attacking opportunities.
For the former, Oxford United loanee Malachi Napa has looked very dangerous cutting in from the left – he scored from such a move on Tuesday night – and from set plays, the right foot of Charlie Cooper and the left foot of skipper Josh Casey are giving the team great options from either side of the pitch.
Who will be your dangerman on Saturday and why?
I would’ve said Napa, but it remains to be seen if he features on Saturday. He went off injured in the first half on Tuesday and given the injury problems he has suffered in recent seasons, Woking may decide to be cautious with him.
In his absence, it may be that Dowson gives ex-England winger Matt Jarvis his first start of the season. He has come off the bench in the last two games, it just depends whether he has built up enough fitness to get through an hour or so.
If he does feature, then his delivery from wide areas will have the quality you expect from him.
Are there any weaknesses Halifax could exploit?
Woking’s one loss so far was the heavy 4-0 to Chesterfield, but Dowson – and many others – couldn’t believe the result, given how dominant the Cards had been.
What it did show however was that they perhaps don’t have either a really strong header of the ball at set pieces – Diarra would’ve surely taken advantage of the 12 corners they had – nor an experienced penalty box poacher, like Hyde.
Napa is a doubt to his muscular issue. Influential centre back Ben Gerring still out recovering from a broken leg.