A well-fought second-half performance saw Woking come from behind to beat an inform Maidstone United at home for the first time. Goals from Rohan Ince, Rhys Browne and Jim Kellermann saw The Cards keep their unbeaten league run and stretch it to eight games.
The hosts were immediately into the action from the whistle when Jermaine Anderson put a dangerous ball across the 6-yard box, but no one managed to get on the end of it.Maidstone created their first opening when Jack Barham burst through before cutting the ball to Sam Corne, but his tame shot was comfortable for Craig Ross.
The Stones ‘keeper Ryan Sandford produced a fantastic left-handed save from Reece Grego-Cox moments later, which looked to be going in the top corner.Anderson was involved in the action again when he was played through on the right-hand side, but his drive was straight at Sandford, who parried it wide.
The visitors took the lead though when Sam Corne drove a shot from 20 yards out which Ross couldn’t push away from the goal. The side who started the day just outside the relegation zone, had only lost once in their previous six games, their best run of form all season.
Just before halftime, Sandford couldn’t shake off an injury he picked up moments before, so was replaced by Yusuf Mersin.
In the second half, Woking brought on new signing Charlie O’Connell, who is on loan from Peterborough United. Reports were going around saying that interest from both Spanish giants, Barcelona and Real Madrid, were interested in him but Kingfield Stadium was where he was playing his football today.
The Cards were level on the hour mark when Rohan Ince rifled home just inside the box following good pressure from his side. He has found his scoring boots in recent weeks, taking his tally to three for the season, one more than he acquired during the whole of the 2021/22 campaign.
Barham almost put Maidstone back in front with two separate opportunities. Firstly, he fired over the bar from close range. Then he also beat the offside trap and tried to bend the ball from an acute angle, but the save was comfortable for Ross.
Woking then took the lead for the first time when great skill from Padraig Amond on the wing, gave him some space to find Rhys Browne at the back post, who nodded home. That takes his season’s tally to ten goals, three of them for The Cards.
Despite some Maidstone breaks, it was game, set and match for the home side when a brilliant Jimm Kellermann strike from distance bounced awkwardly in front of Mersin who couldn’t keep the ball out of his net.
Without sounding like a broken record, this Woking side keep defying the odds, week in, week out. As mentioned at the top, this was the first time Woking have beaten Maidstone in a home game, in all competitions. To us faithful, these little statistical breakthroughs mean one hell of a lot and don’t go unnoticed.
Woking now move up to third, yes third, in the Vanarama National League on goal difference, due to Chesterfield’s hick-up against FC Halifax Town, but The Spireites do still have a game in hand. The gap to eighth is now nine points, with Woking clearly stating that they are not sitting pretty just in the meantime.
The focus will now turn to next Saturday’s fixture, once again at home, as York City will be the visitors in the first league double of the season. In the reverse fixture on the opening day of the season, the newly promoted side were 2-0 winners, so hopefully Woking can show how far they have come as a team since that poor display in Yorkshire and continue their fine form.
Woking Starting XI: Ross, Lofthouse (46), Casey (59), Cuthbert, McNerney, Grego-Cox (88), Amond, Browne, Kellermann, Anderson, Ince
Subs: Daly, Johnson (88), O’Connell (46), Roles, Vokins (59)
Maidstone Starting XI: Sandford (45+2), Galvin, Ellul, Fowler, Corne, Barham (76), Odusanya (81), Booty, Pattisson, Greenidge, Deacon
Subs: Mersin (45+2), Fawole (76), Al-Hussaini, Lyons-Foster, Adarkwa (81)
Man of the Match: Reece Grego-Cox