Steve Harris – @steveharris84
Steve Harris previews the game at Plainmoor
TORQUAY UNITED VS WOKING FC
Date: Monday 29th August, 2022
HEAD TO HEAD
Year founded: 1887
Nickname: The Cards
Last season’s league finish: 20th National League
Football Conference/Blue Square Premier/National League:
Runners-up: 1994-95 & 1995-96
Conference South/National League South:
MANAGER: DARREN SARLL
Darren Sarll left Yeovil Town to replace Alan Dowson as Cards manager last month and oversaw a 1-0 win over Boreham Wood in his first game in charge.
After enjoying a nomadic career as a central midfielder in South East non-league football, it was as a coach that Sarll would really make his mark in the game.
Sarll began his coaching career with Stevenage in the 2006-07 season before moving on to Brentford as youth team manager on the eve of the 2008-09 campaign. During the course of that season, following Andy Scott’s appointment as first team manager, Sarll worked with Scott as first team coach and also managed the Bees’ reserve side.
In the 2011-12 season, he followed Scott to Rotherham United where he was employed as head of player development before returning to Stevenage as head of youth before working as first team coach under Teddy Sheringham. In the wake of Sheringham’s dismissal in February 2016, Sarll was appointed as caretaker manager before taking charge on a full-time basis.
He left Stevenage in 2018 and briefly worked as a youth team coach at Watford before he was appointed as the permanent successor to Darren Way as Yeovil Town manager in the summer of 2019. In his first season in charge, he led the Glovers to the National League play-offs, where they were beaten by Barnet at the quarter final stage.
PLAYER TO WATCH: PADRAIG AMOND
Experienced striker Padraig Amond joined Woking in the summer of 2022 on a two-year deal after leaving League Two side Newport County. The former National League golden boot and promotion winner, who has scored 200 career goals.
Amond began his career in the Republic of Ireland with Shamrock Rovers, spending a decade at Tallaght Stadium, graduating from the club’s academy in 2006 and going onto play 75 times for the first team. In his debut season he won promotion from the First Division to the Premier Division of the Irish pyramid and in 2008 he was voted as the club’s Young Player of the Year.
In 2010 he joined Shamrock’s rivals Sligo Rovers, who finished third as his former club became champions, but he enjoyed a breakout season as he scored 23 times in all competitions, won two cup competitions, and earned a move to Portuguese Premier League club Pacos de Ferreira.
He moved to England for the first time in the summer of 2011, joining Accrington Stanley, initially on loan, before moving on to Morecambe two years later. He played a combined 160 games in League Two for those two clubs, scoring 35 times, and netted three further goals in the EFL Trophy. However, his most prolific year came in the National League for Grimsby Town in 2015-16, where he scored 30 times (37 in all competitions), as the Mariners secured promotion to the Football League via the play-offs, whilst he tied for the golden boot with former United striker Dan Holman.
His exploits earned him a move back to the Football League with Hartlepool United, where he scored 15 times (14 in League Two), despite the Monkey Hangers relegation to the National League at the end of the following season. He remained in League Two as he joined Newport County, where he scored 59 times in 203 appearances. The Exiles also enjoyed a number of memorable FA Cup runs during his time at Rodney Parade – which he saw him net goals against the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City, Middlesbrough, and Manchester City.
Last season was spent on loan at Exeter City, where he scored five times in 30 appearances, and added another promotion to his CV as the Grecians finished runners-up in the League Two.
Date of Birth: 15th January, 1988 – 34 Years Old
Birthplace: Carlow (Ireland)
Former Clubs: Shamrock Rovers, Kildare County, Sligo, Pacos Ferreira, Accrington, Morecambe, Grimsby, Hartlepool, Newport, Exeter City
NL Stats 22-23: Played 5, Goals Scored 0, Yellow/Red 1/0
PREVIOUS HEAD TO HEAD
WOKING FC 0-1 TORQUAY UNITED
15th April 2022
Torquay United kept their late bid for a play-off spot on track as they made it four wins out of four against Woking.
Armani Little’s first half strike against his former club proved to be the difference in what was Darren Sarll’s first home game in charge of the Cards.
The visitors edged ahead on 19minutes when Armani Little latched onto a long ball from Ben Wynter before beating the offside trap to score his 14th goal of the campaign.
Woking threatened an equaliser in the 23rd minute as Joe McNerney glanced a header wide following a corner.
Two minutes later, Tyreke Johnson blasted wide from 25-yards.
On 35minutes, Connor Lemonheigh-Evans looked well-placed to double the Gulls’ lead, but he was crowded out by the Cards defence.
Five minutes before the break, Max Kretzschmar connected with a cross from Tyreke Johnson and volleyed into the side netting.
In the second half, Gulls defender Dean Moxey blasted a free-kick from the edge of the penalty area on 53 minutes straight at Woking keeper Craig Ross.
Woking sub Nicke Kambaba had a header deflected onto the bar and behind for a corner in the 65th minute, with his first touch after coming off the bench. From the resulting flag kick, Kretzschmar hit the side netting again for the Cards.
With five minutes to go, sub Jamar Loza fired across the face of goal for Woking, and moments later Loza set up Innih Effiong for a golden opportunity which the Cards’ leading scorer fired wide.
In the 89th minute, Cards sub Jack Roles had a free-kick parried away by United keeper Shaun MacDonald.
Nevertheless, there was still time for the Gulls to carve out a chance in injury time as Little picked out Lemonheigh-Evans, who was denied by Ross, as United held out for the three points.
Torquay United (3-5-2):
Ross Marshall – Ali Omar – Dean Moxey
Dylan Crowe – Brett McGavin – Ryan Hanson – Asa Hall – Ben Wyatt
Corie Andrews – Will Goodwin
Dan Moss – Luke Wilkinson – Scott Cuthbert – Josh Casey
Reece Grego-Cox – Rohan Ince – Jim Kellerman – Jermaine Anderson – James Daly