Woking did the double over Aldershot Town for the first time since the 2015/16 campaign, as they humiliated their rivals on Derby Day. Two quickfire second-half goals put the game out of reach for The Shots, meaning that the festive six points finally go to The Cards, in front of a record 5,297 home league attendance.
The game got underway in the best circumstances possible after Padraig Amond and Rhys Browne linked up perfectly down the right-hand side, before the final pass was played into Browne who lobbed it over Ashby-Hammond’s head. Just two minutes in and Kingfield had erupted.
The visitor’s first attempt didn’t arrive until the half-hour mark when Ryan Glover found Justin Amaluzor out wide, but his show flew over the crossbar.
The game started to become a bit gritty towards the end of the first half with neither team putting their foot down, but with five minutes of normal time left, former Woking man Inih Effiong found space on the left-hand side and cut in onto his right foot to fire past Craig Ross into his near post. He sent the 1,142 travelling supporters into an uproar and the game consequently had a six-minute delay after, due to pyrotechnics on the pitch.
Due to the wait for the re-start, six minutes were held aloft by the fourth official and so in 45+5, when Jim Kellermann was brought down by Effiong, Woking had a chance to regain their lead going into the break. That man Browne stepped up and sent Ashby-Hammond the opposite way to Boxing Day and restored his side’s lead. This was his third goal against The Shots in less than a week. Funnily enough, he has also scored in this fixture, but for Aldershot back in 2016, which was the last time Woking had won the derby before coming into this season.
In the second half, Amaluzor had another half-chance when his shot from outside the box, once again flew over the bar.
Now in a chaotic yet magical two minutes, Woking showed their true dominance. First of all, it was three when James Daly superbly found Kellermann who tucked in a close-range finish, then it was four directly from kick-off, as Amond chased down the ball to steal it off Ashby-Hammond and tapped it into an empty net. The atmosphere was deafening and it was a combination of scoring a quick-fire double and realising that after seven years, the six points are finally going the way of The Cards, in this brutally feisty Non-League derby. Game, set and match.
There were some nerves for us old-timers when Jermaine Anderson was shown a straight red card with 15 minutes to go after a two-footed lunge, but it subsequently didn’t affect the score line.
To some up Aldershot’s day, Giles Phillips hit the bar with a header right at the death of injury time, to well and truly end a miserable day for his side.
I honestly couldn’t tell you where to start. The connotations that these two results have are massive. It’s not just getting one over on your rivals, or taking six points from one side, it’s breaking down previous hurdles that other managers and players couldn’t. It makes you believe that we aren’t sitting fourth by luck, but that we have the best management and squad that we’ve had in years and they’re well and truly fighting for the badge on their shirts. Woking is now 15 points better off than at this stage last season.
This result (and season) will be remembered for a long time and so it should be. Amazing character and love from the players and staff to the fans and vice-versa. Despite these two brilliant results, it’s heads down and we go again now, as there are still 22 long-winded games to be played. They’re only going to get tougher, the longer we’re still high up in the standings. Anything is possible in this league and it’s impossible to predict, so let’s sit back, enjoy the journey and continue to watch new history unfold in front of our very own eyes! #COYCards
Woking Starting XI: Ross, O’Connell, Cuthbert, McNerney, Casey, Kellermann (71), Ince, Anderson, Browne (76), Amond, Daly (87)
Subs: Wady, Johnson, Lofthouse (71), Roles (76), Vokins (87)
Aldershot Starting XI: Ashby-Hammond, Davies, Harfield, Partington, Cordner, Amaluzor (60), Vincent (77), Effiong, Klass (80), Phillips, Glover
Subs: Panayiotou (60), Elva-Fountaine (80), Jordan, Alfa (77), Shroll
Man of the Match: James Daly