MKJ Group
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 17th DecemberDec 2011
| Att: 380

1 - 1


Cards must keep up the pressure

Brian Caffarey
3:10pm, Thu 15th Dec 2011
Thurrock v Woking
3pm on Saturday 17 December 2011

The Cards travel to Thurrock on Saturday nine points clear of second-placed Welling United, who have a game in hand. The ‘Fleet are bottom of the table but, with a new management team in place and a host of new players, cannot be taken lightly. Garry Hill will be anxious to ensure that hard-won points recently gained against top sides are not thrown away in apparently easier fixtures. Get along to Ship Lane if you can to support the team!


Injury worries have surfaced, with Paris Cowan-Hall out with a hamstring injury, sustained in the Sutton game, and Mark Ricketts expected to be missing for some six weeks with a broken leg from the Dartford match. The recent signing of Ben Smith provides valuable cover in midfield but there is no doubt that Ricketts is a key player for the Cards and will be sorely missed.

Garry Hill implied after Tuesday’s game that he wasn’t too happy with the contribution of some or all of the substitutes he put on in the second half, so he may feel that his options for covering absences are a bit more limited than previously thought. Nevertheless, the squad should be more than capable, if they play to anything like their recent form, of getting another three points from this match.


Thurrock have had a disastrous season so far. They prop up the table with only 12 points from 19 games. Their home record is particularly dire, with no wins, three draws and seven defeats, with only five goals scored and 24 conceded. The recent home defeat to fellow strugglers Staines Town led manager Robbie Garvey to quit, handing the reins over to his assistants Lee Goodwin and Grant Gordon. They’ve lost no time in bringing in a host of new players: Luke l’Anson and Nathan Ashton from Dover; Ahmed Deen, most recently on loan to Cambridge City; Jamie Davis; Anthony Furlonge, a young defender on loan from Southend United; and Blaine Hudson, a defender who had just returned to Cambridge United from a loan spell with Cambridge City.

Garvey had already brought in some highly experienced players to try to turn the club’s fortunes round. The line-up for Thurrock’s last game, a 3-2 defeat at Eastleigh, which was Lee Goodwin’s and Grant Gordon’s first game in charge, included Craig Holloway, Stuart Thurgood, Lee Boylan and Paul Terry – all very familiar names in the non-League world. Ex-Card Steve Ferguson is also in the squad, along with Dean Cracknell, Bertie Brayley and Drew Broughton.


Ship Lane
RM15 4HB

By Coach

Departs: 12.30pm
Cards Trust Members: £13
Non-Members: £18

Phone the Club Shop or email to book your place.

By Car

Head for the M25 Eastbound. When going through the Dartford tunnel use the left-hand bore. On emerging from the tunnel leave the motorway at the first exit, Junction 31. This leads to a large roundabout controlled by traffic lights. Take the third exit, which is Ship Lane, and the ground is about 75 yards on the right.

By Train

Nearest stations: Purfleet or Chafford Hundred (Lakeside Shopping Centre)

From Waterloo take the Jubilee Line to West Ham, then the train to Purfleet.
The journey should take around 2 hours altogether.

Both stations are around 2 miles away so it would be a long walk to get there on foot. However, the number 372 bus runs from Lakeside to Ship Lane.


Adults: £12
Concessions: £7
U15: £3


Woking 1 Thurrock 0
1 February 2011

Garry Hill’s second game in charge marked the beginning – though it was far from obvious on the day – of a fantastic run of league results which took the Cards into the play-off places. On a foggy, chilly evening Thurrock came to Kingfield with a good recent record and proved tough opponents. In the end the difference came down to a superb piece of finishing from Elvis Hammond on the half-hour mark. Picking up, to the right of the area, a pass or shot from Dave Gilroy, Woking’s ace striker lashed the ball back across keeper Woolley. Kieran Murtagh, making his debut, showed glimpses of the excellent form which was to follow.

Thurrock 0 Woking 1
12 March 2011

This narrow win in a scrappy error-strewn game was Woking’s ninth win in ten league games, with only one goal conceded. New signings Andy Burgess and James Walker were on the bench. Woking’s cause was helped midway through the second half when burly defender Rob Swaine, who’d threatened at set pieces, was shown a straight red for upending Jay Davies. But it took an own goal in injury time – Olima deflecting into his own net an excellent cross from Aswad Thomas – to gain the Cards three more precious points.

Come on, you Cards!

P.S. Don’t forget that Woking are at home on Boxing Day to Farnborough. Kick-off is at 1pm. Going to a match on Boxing Day is a great football tradition, so line up your family and friends now for a trip to Kingfield!

Cards draw but extend lead

Brian Caffarey
8:01pm, Sat 17th Dec 2011
Thurrock 1 Woking 1
17 December 2011

On the face of it, a draw at bottom-of-the-table Thurrock this afternoon looks like two points lost. While you can certainly take that view, the fact is that on the day the Cards had to come from behind to rescue a point and their closest challengers, Welling United, were defeated at Sutton United, extending the Cards’ lead to ten points.

With Mark Ricketts missing with a broken leg, Garry Hill drafted Ben Smith into an advanced central midfield role alongside Jack King and Jay Davies, with Elvis Hammond the lone front man. On a cold afternoon, with probably more away fans present than home supporters, the Cards showed up well for the opening few minutes, with Dale Binns seeing plenty of the ball down the left flank. An early cross was well taken by the Fleet keeper, Craig Holloway, and a nice move led to a Moses Ademola effort, which was similarly comfortably held. There was promise too in some clever play by Hammond in the box before the home side started to string some passes together in midfield and to ask questions of the Woking rearguard. A flowing Thurrock move led to a dangerous cross from their left flank, with Aaron Howe punching clear and then Terry shooting over.

Adam Doyle responded with some adventurous play down Woking’s left before the Fleet ramped up the pressure, with Terry unlucky to see a nice chip come back off the bar. With Thurrock often seemingly able to bypass the Woking midfield with quick interchanges, anxiety grew among the Woking fans and, after Howe had been forced to parry another effort from Cutler, it was no great surprise when the home side took the lead in the 25th minute. The ball pinged around the box, finding Jamie Guy to the right of the area, whose low shot beat Howe.

The Cards certainly knew now – if they hadn’t appreciated it before – that they had a game on their hands. They responded with some clever interplay between Hammond and Smith, with the former’s shot being deflected over the bar. But the momentum still seemed to be with Thurrock as they continued to make good progress through the midfield. Woking, on the other hand, found it hard to gain possession further upfield, with Hammond no match for the Thurrock defenders when high balls were thrown forward.

On the half-hour mark Howe got low to hold another decent effort from Cutler, and Woking added to the pressure on themselves by conceding several free-kicks. One of these led to the woodwork coming to Woking’s rescue again, with Howe just getting a hand to the ball before it clipped the bar. In contrast, Woking’s free-kick just outside the ‘D’, taken by Smith, sailed harmlessly over.

Woking finally seemed to get their act together in the five minutes leading to half-time as they fashioned several promising attacks on both flanks, with Adam Newton getting in an excellent cross which was headed clear, but the equaliser eluded them.

Half-time: Thurrock 1 Woking 0

Garry Hill no doubt had some harsh truths to impart at half-time to his charges and it was soon clear that they would show much more urgency in the second period. First, though, they had to survive another scare when a dangerous cross just missed Drewe Broughton.

The Cards should probably have been back on level terms in the 51st minute when Hammond latched onto a through ball. Holding off defenders as he advanced into the area, he shot – but fractionally too high, as the ball cannoned back off the bar. Jack King, following up, let fly but his shot was deflected over the bar.

The tide had now turned, however, and, apart from a couple of breaks out of defence, the pressure was nearly all one-way as the Cards, with much vocal support, fought desperately to get back on level terms.

Binns, set free by King, put in a tantalising cross, which Holloway did well to snaffle. Alan Inns, frequently popping up in attack now, turned and shot from a corner, only to see his shot deflected to the keeper.

In the 56th minute Garry Hill threw on Wayne Gray and Gez Sole for Moses Ademola and Jay Davies, neither of whom had seemed to be able to make much headway on a heavy pitch. Sole, looking much livelier than on Tuesday at Dartford, was soon in the thick of things, putting in a great cross, which McNerney’s glancing header put just wide. Another Sole cross was intercepted by the keeper. The award of a free-kick raised hopes of a ‘Gez Sole special’ but it wasn’t to be, with the ball flying well over the bar.

With the Woking pressure mounting all the time, attacks now came thick and fast. A loose ball in the box looked inviting but no-one could latch onto it. A header hit the post but the linesman’s flag had already been raised. Inns chipped over the bar from a corner and another testing Sole cross was cleared.

Inevitably, as Woking drove forward, they left themselves open to swift counter-attacks, and they were nearly made to pay for this on a couple of occasions around the 70-minute mark. Osborn made space and drove the ball inches wide of Howe’s post. Then Deen got through and attempted to chip Howe but, fortunately, he applied too much power and the ball flew harmlessly over the bar.

Woking redoubled their efforts, with a fine move seeing the ball whipped off Smith’s toes as he was about to shoot. But Hammond came to the rescue in the 75th minute, with a characteristically ‘classy’ bit of finishing. A Sole corner was headed back across the box. Hammond’s superbly-executed scissor-kick sent it back inside the far post to make it 1-1.

Woking lived dangerously two minutes later as Broughton failed to make the most of a free header, but it was then mainly a question of whether the Cards could go on to grab all three points. A well-struck effort from Sole went straight into Holloway’s midriff. McNerney’s fine ball sent Hammond away down the left but Sole couldn’t get a shot away from his team mate’s cross.

There was a final Thurrock ‘break’ as Doyle just managed to foil Osborn before Garry Hill threw on Ola Sogbanmu for McNerney with five minutes remaining in a last attempt to secure another away win. Another corner saw King’s shot blocked, with Ola losing his bearings with Smith’s resulting chip back into the box. Gray, working hard as always, was then just beaten to a through ball before the referee ended an entertaining game.

If Garry Hill’s side needed a warning that games against bottom-of-the-table sides won’t necessarily be plain sailing, then Thurrock certainly provided a salutary lesson this afternoon. They were good value for their point and might well have made Woking’s task even harder if they had taken another of several presentable chances which fell to them. The Cards seemed to miss the drive and determination of Ricketts in midfield and didn’t really get going till the second half. They will need to do better in the ‘holiday double’ against Farnborough.

Woking: Aaron Howe, Adam Newton, Joe McNerney (Ola Sogbanmu 85), Ben Smith, Alan Inns, Adam Doyle, Jay Davies (Giuseppe Sole 56), Jack King, Moses Ademola (Wayne Gray 56), Dale Binns

Unused subs: Derek Duncan, Andy Little

Booked: Adam Doyle 82, Giuseppe Sole 88

My MOTM: Adam Newton (pictured), narrowly from Elvis Hammond and Alan Inns.

Thurrock: Craig Holloway, Peter Furlonge, Nathan Ashton, Stuart Thurgood, Peter Grant, Luke l’Anson, Paul Terry (Ben Bowditch 73), Sam Cutler (Jamie Davis 90), Jamie Guy (Alex Osborn 63), Drewe Broughton, Ahmed Deen

Unused subs: Sam Holloway, David Hughes

Attendance: 380

Thurrock LINEUP
1Craig Holloway
2Anthony Furlonge
3Nathan Ashton
4Stuart Thurgood
5Peter Grant
6Luke I'Anson
7Paul Terry ('73)
8Sam Cutler
9Jamie Guy ('63)
10Drewe Broughton
11Ahmed Deen ('90)
12Ben Bowditch ('73)
14Alex Osborn ('63)
15Jamie Davis ('90)
16Sam Holloway
17David Hughes
1Aaron Howe
2Adam Newton
3Joe McNerney ('86)
4Ben Smith
5Alan Inns
6Adam Doyle
7Jay Davies ('57)
8Jack King
9Moses Ademola ('57)
10Elvis Hammond
11Dale Binns
12Wayne Gray ('57)
14Giuseppe Sole ('57)
15Derek Duncan
16Ola Sogbanmu ('86)
18Andy Little

Thurrock 1-1 Woking (Garry Hill Interview)

Mark Ricketts Interview

David Holmes
4:06pm, Sat 17th Dec 2011
Interview with Mark Ricketts during half-time at Thurrock.

Mark Ricketts:

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