Ten-man Yeovil Town secured a first victory of 2022 as Charlie Wakefield’s early goal was enough for three points against Woking.
After taking the lead in the 15th minute, Yeovil did excellently to hold firm against a physical Woking side, despite having reduced numbers following Mark Little’s second yellow card.
Despite not creating too much in the way of chances with reduced numbers, the heroic defending from the men in Green was enough for the Glovers to deserve three points from the fixture.
After a frustrating defeat against Wrexham last time out, Darren Sarll made two changes, as he looked to find a winning formula once again. Grant Smith remained in goal, but the defence saw a return for skipper Luke Wilkinson and a debut for Ben Barclay. Morgan Williams began at left-back, with a view to defend the Cards’ physical attributes, whilst Little remained at right-back.
Dale Gorman began at the base of the midfield, with Jordan Barnett and Matt Worthington either side of him. Sonny Blu Lo-Everton and Tom Knowles began in the wider attacking positions and Wakefield led the line on his own.
As expected with the size of the Woking side, they began looking to utilise their physical presence from set-pieces, but did little to test Smith.
At the other end, Yeovil looked to find a way in behind on the counter attack. In the 8th minute, Worthington pounced onto a loose ball and found Sonny Blu Lo-Everton. The Watford loanee then cut onto his right foot but saw his strike blocked.
On the fifteen minute mark, the Glovers’ counterattacking play paid dividends. After Williams picked up the ball in his own half, he lofted the ball over Woking captain Joe McNerney’s head to find Wakefield in space to drive towards goal. With just the goalkeeper to beat, Wakefield made no mistake to open the scoring.
The goal only boosted Town’s confidence, with efforts continually coming Mark Smith’s way, most notably from Knowles and Barnett.
As the half grew on, the game grew disjointed with a number of set-plays which led to very little for either side. Frustratingly for the Glovers, Knowles received a yellow card for taking too long to take one of these set-pieces, meaning he will sit out on Tuesday against Weymouth.
At the break, Woking made a number of changes, with Tarryn Allarakhia and Josh Casey joining the action, and this improved the hosts’ fortunes who enjoyed a lot more of the ball in the second half.
Just before the hour mark, the Cards worked a way in behind through former Glover Jamar Loza but Smith was equal to his effort.
Looking to hold onto a slim lead, this became much more difficult with Mark Little sent off for his second booking of the afternoon in the 62nd minute.
This upped Woking’s intensity, as they threw bodies forward in the hope of finding a route back into the game.
Sponsors man of the match Rohan Ince was a continued threat, cutting in from the left flank at every opportunity, but at the end of every one of his shots was a Yeovil body to turn the ball wide for a corner.
With the physical attributes within the Woking squad, manager Alan Dowson will be feeling disappointed his side did not test Smith often enough, with balls bouncing well over when met by a Woking player on multiple occasions.
Ultimately, it was excellent game management from Town who saw out the closing stages with the ball in Woking’s half, going into Tuesday’s derby against Weymouth with that winning feeling once more.
Yeovil Town: Smith; Williams, Wilkinson, Barclay, Little (sent off); Barnett (Bradley), Gorman, Worthington; Lo-Everton (Robinson), Knowles (Yussuf); Wakefield.
Bookings: Knowles, Little, Barclay, Wilkinson
Subs not used: D’Ath, Reid