3:00pm - SaturdaySat 14th AprilApr 2012
York Road | Att: 1192

Maidenhead United
0 - 1


A win to clinch the title

Brian Caffarey
7:38am, Thu 12th Apr 2012
Maidenhead United v Woking
3pm on Saturday 14 April 2012

As all Cards fans will be well aware, Garry Hill’s side need just three more points to clinch the BSBS championship and automatic promotion to the Blue Square Premier. The Cards have three games in which to achieve this target but no one can be in any doubt that Garry will be doing his utmost to get over that much-quoted ‘finishing line’ at York Road. The Cards also have a score to settle with the Magpies, who have beaten them twice this season, at Kingfield in the league and by a 4-1 margin in the FA Cup at York Road. Maidenhead themselves will not lack incentive on Saturday: they’ve slipped into the bottom three and desperately need points to avoid relegation. Make the trip if you possibly can and cheer the Cards on to the title!


Once again, the Cards will be without Adam Doyle and Kevin Betsy, both completing their suspensions, and presumably Mark Ricketts and Jay Davies, though both played in Wednesday evening’s reserve game following long-term injuries. Garry has plenty of options, however, if he wants to shuffle Monday’s starting line-up, with the bench that day including Jack King, Elvis Hammond, Mike Cestor and Glenn Wilson.

All eyes will be on Gez Sole, who has scored in eight consecutive league matches to equal the Club record. (In fact, he’s scored in nine consecutive games if you include the Surrey Senior Cup semi-final against Carshalton Athletic.) Can he claim the record outright on Saturday?


The Magpies suffered a dreadful start to the season, being walloped 4-0 in both their opening games, by Tonbridge Angels at home and Dorchester Town away. But they then went on a fine run, winning four and drawing one of their following five league games but it’s been downhill most of the way since then. Their last win, ironically, was their 2-0 league victory at Kingfield on 3 March, following which they’ve lost five games and drawn three. On Easter Monday they were dealt a huge blow, losing 3-4 at home to Farnborough after enjoying a two-goal lead.

There are Woking connections in the form of the legendary Dereck Brown, Magpies’ Assistant Manager, and striker Manny Williams, who can be expected to partner Ashan Holgate up front. Holgate scored twice in the Magpies’ FA Cup win. The Cards will need to be wary of the pace of Reece Tison-Lascaris, who also scored two in that match. But striker Alex Wall is suspended.


Maidenhead United FC
York Road

Tel: 01628636314
Website: www.maidenheadunitedfc.co.uk

By coach

The Cards Trust coach leaves Kingfield at 1pm. Members £12. Non-members £17. Phone or email the Club Shop (01483 772470 or shop@wokingfc.co.uk) to check if there are any places left.

By car

From Woking head to the M25, which you then leave at junction 15 to join the M4 (signposted The West, Reading, Slough). Leave the M4 at junction 8/9 and follow signs for Maidenhead town centre. Carry on till the first roundabout on the one-way system and take the fourth exit, thereafter taking a left at the cinema. Go down the hill and the ground is the second exit on the right.

The Maidenhead website advises that there is no parking at the ground and that street parking in the area is very limited. It recommends that you use the municipal car parks on Grove Road, Park Street or The Broadway, which are all within five minutes’ walk of the ground.

By train

You can either go via Guildford or Basingstoke, in each case then via Reading, or head up to London and travel from Paddington. The Guildford or Basingstoke routes are probably quicker and cheaper, though more reliant on connections. A possible journey on the Guildford route is to take the 12.55 from Woking to Guildford, arriving at 13.03. Then take the 13.09 to Reading, getting in at 13.54. Finally, take the 14.03 to Maidenhead, arriving at 14.17. There’s a similar journey via Basingstoke and Reading, starting with the 13.16 from Woking to Basingstoke, eventually arriving at Maidenhead at 14.32. There are comparable journeys half an hour earlier. If you prefer going via Paddington, there are trains from there at 13.27 (arriving at 14.04), 13.42 (14.25), 13.50 (14.25 after changing at Slough) and 13.57 (14.34). York Road is a very short walk from Maidenhead station. Cross the one-way system at the end of the station approach road and then walk to the end of Bell Street.


Adults £10
Concessions £6
Under 18s £3


Woking 0 Maidenhead United 2
3 February 2012

This was a classic example of what can happen if you don’t take your chances. The Cards had plenty of attacking play but were not clinical enough in front of goal, and then got hit by two late strikes from the Magpies.

Joe McNerney came in to partner Alan Inns at centre back, with Adam Doyle moving to left back to replace the suspended Mike Cestor.

Paris Cowan-Hall missed a great opportunity to put Woking ahead when a close-range header, from an excellent chip by Moses Ademola, flew over the bar. But the best chance of all fell to Jack King from the penalty spot after Cowan-Hall had been brought down by keeper Aaron Lennox. Unfortunately, the normally reliable King presented Lennox with an easy save.

The Cards mounted attack after attack after the break, with substitute Gez Sole, just returned from his loan spell at Basingstoke, rounding the keeper but then putting the ball wide from a narrow angle.

The Magpies brought on substitute Charlie Strutton, on loan from AFC Wimbledon, and he almost immediately won a ‘soft’ penalty following a clash with Inns. Behzadi converted. Two minutes later Strutton added a second, evading McNerney and slotting under Howe.

The defeat reduced the Cards’ lead over Dartford to six points, with the Darts having a game in hand.

Come on, you Cards!

P.S. Make sure you’re at Kingfield the following Saturday (21 April) for the Cards’ final home game of the league campaign. It’s going to be a Kingfield Carnival day, with free admission for children and lots of activities. Come along and celebrate a great season!

Cards clinch title

Brian Caffarey
8:47am, Sun 15th Apr 2012
Maidenhead United 0 Woking 1
14 April 2012

‘Champions, champions!’ That was the cry at York Road yesterday afternoon as Garry Hill’s side clinched the BSBS title, and automatic promotion to the Blue Square Premier, with two games to spare. And it was fitting that the decisive goal should come from Gez Sole (pictured), claiming a Club record by scoring in nine consecutive league games, firing home after his first-half penalty had been initially saved by Magpies keeper Billy Lumley.

The match was not a classic: the hard, bumpy York Road pitch made it extremely difficult to get the ball down and play passing football, with players clearly having no confidence in the bounce of the ball. But the result never really looked in doubt once the Cards got their noses in front and, although a one-goal lead inevitably brought with it an element of frayed nerves towards the end, especially as the news had filtered through that Dartford were ahead at Sutton United, there was little to disturb the Cards’ almost serene progress to three points and the title.

Cards fans, far outnumbering the home support, were in celebratory mood well before the kick-off, confident that they were not going to see a third reverse at the hands of the Magpies this season. Garry made two changes to the starting line-up from Monday’s match against Tonbridge, with Jack King and Mike Cestor coming in for Dale Binns and Derek Duncan.

Although both sides had everything to play for, with Maidenhead desperately needing points to stave off a threatened relegation, the game started in a surprisingly low-key fashion and subsequently only rarely got the pulses racing, with goal attempts relatively infrequent apart from a ‘purple patch’ of some 20 minutes or so which Woking enjoyed after taking the lead in the 23rd minute.

The Cards had a shout for a penalty in the 8th minute when a Sole effort appeared to hit a defender’s hand, whilst the Magpies tested Aaron Howe with a couple of shots from outside the area and which only carried a threat because of the risk of a bad bounce in front of the Woking keeper, who nevertheless took them reassuringly cleanly.

There was little else to note before Cestor made a decisive run into the area, slipping the ball to Sole in the box. As the latter attempted to turn, he was brought down by Scarborough, with the referee immediately pointing to the spot. Sole’s penalty-taking record is excellent but even he must have felt the weight of the occasion as he placed the ball on the spot. It wasn’t a bad penalty but Lumley guessed the right way and parried the strike but Sole, following up, did well to fire home left-footed under Lumley to give the Cards a 0-1 lead.

For a while it looked as though the Cards would quickly extend that advantage as they launched a series of attacks on the home goal. Sole should have grabbed a second goal two minutes after the first as the lively Paris Cowan-Hall made a fine run down the right. But as the cross came over the ball seemed to get under Sole’s feet, only a couple of yards out, and a combination of the mis-hit and Lumley’s close attentions meant that a glorious chance went begging.

Shots then rained in from Moses Ademola, firing a fierce shot left to right, and Joe McNerney, with the latter’s effort producing a shout for a penalty, and then Lumley intercepted another testing cross from Cowan-Hall. Lumley was in action again as he clawed away an Alan Inns header. It was then Cowan-Hall’s turn to take centre stage, as he twisted to fire goalwards, only to see his shot deflected for a corner.

Interrupted only by a couple of efforts from Daniel Brown, which went comfortably wide, the Cards continued to dominate play with a succession of goal attempts. Cowan-Hall went close and there were further strikes from Ademola and Sole with a scissor kick which went narrowly over. But, as the minutes ticked away, it seemed increasingly likely that the Cards would have only a one-goal advantage to show at half-time for all the possession and chances they had enjoyed. And so it proved in spite of a couple of good runs down the right by Adam Newton, attempting to set up Sole and Cowan-Hall.

Half-time: Maidenhead United 0 Woking 1

The Cards seemed to find it hard to pick up the pace again after the break and, for a while, the home side gained more of a foothold in a midfield which the excellent Tom Davis, Jack King and Keiran Murtagh had largely ruled in the first half. Nevertheless, the best chance fell to Sole, picked out by an inch-perfect curling cross from Murtagh. A defender did just enough, though, to ensure that Sole’s lunging attempted strike went wide.

It wasn’t until the 65th minute that the Cards strung together a really fluent move as Sole and Murtagh combined well in the box. Murtagh swung the ball back to Ademola, who put an awkward left-foot volley wide. The same players, plus King, combined well again immediately afterwards but without testing Lumley. And then Sole was unable to connect with a difficult chance which came over his left shoulder as he ran into the box.

At this point Garry Hill decided to make a couple of substitutions, bringing on Elvis Hammond for Cowan-Hall and Dale Binns for Ademola. Hammond’s arrival in particular seemed to give the Cards a greater degree of control up front as he successfully held off defenders to retain possession.

There was yet another shout for a penalty in the 77th minute when a defender seemed to handle the ball, just in front of the line, in order to block McNerney’s goalbound strike, but the referee and linesman waved away the Woking claims.

Intermittent Maidenhead attacks caused a degree of apprehension as we moved into the final ten minutes of the game – subsequently extended by four minutes of extra time – but the only goal attempts were well wide or blocked by an efficient Woking defence, which protected Howe well all afternoon.

Alan Inns came within a whisker of wrapping things up in the 87th minute as he beat Lumley to a Murtagh free-kick, with his header looping onto the post, but, apart from that, the remainder of the game was played out uneventfully as the Cards fans, increasingly reassured that there were to be no last-minute upsets, noisily celebrated a famous victory at the end of a wonderful season. And when the final whistle went many of them surged onto the pitch to cheer Garry Hill, Steve Thompson and all the players.

Well done to everyone at the Club who has helped to achieve a thoroughly-deserved promotion. Let’s all celebrate it in style at Kingfield next Saturday when Woking play their last home game of the season.

Woking: Aaron Howe, Adam Newton, Mike Cestor, Keiran Murtagh (Derek Duncan 86), Alan Inns, Joe McNerney, Paris Cowan-Hall (Elvis Hammond 76), Tom Davis, Moses Ademola (Dale Binns 76), Giuseppe Sole, Jack King

Unused subs: Glenn Wilson, Andy Little

Maidenhead United: Lumley, Behzadi, Solomon, Brown, Nisbet (Semakula 90), Scarborough, Powell, McKain, Holgate (Tison-Lascaris 70), Barney, Pritchard (Williams 81)

Unused subs: Hippolyte, Opara

Booked: Scarborough 15; Solomon 80

Attendance: 1192

My MOTM: Very much a team performance but my vote has to go to Gez Sole on his record-breaking day
Maidenhead United LINEUP
1Billy Lumley
2Bobby Behzadi
3Leon Solomon
4Daniel Brown
5Mark Nisbet ('90)
6John Scarborough
7Martel Powell
8Devante McKain
9Ashan Holgate ('70)
10Lee Barney
11Harry Pritchard ('82)
12Manny Williams ('82)
14Reece Tison-Lascaris ('70)
15Paul Semakula ('90)
16Jonathan Hippolyte
17Emmanuel Opara
1Aaron Howe
2Adam Newton
3Mike Cestor
4Keiran Murtagh ('89)
5Alan Inns
6Joe McNerney
7Paris Cowan-Hall ('76)
8Tom Davis
9Moses Ademola ('76)
10Giuseppe Sole
11Jack King
12Elvis Hammond ('76)
14Dale Binns ('76)
15Derek Duncan ('89)
16Glenn Wilson
18Andy Little

Maidenhead United 0-1 Woking (Garry Hill Interview)

Interviews from Maidenhead

David Holmes
7:01pm, Sat 14th Apr 2012
Interviews from today's match at Maidenhead where the Cards became Champions.

Mike Smith:

Adam Newton:

Alan Inns:

Dereck Brown:

Giuseppe Sole:

Kevin Betsy:

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