Woking News & Mail
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 28th AprilApr 2012
| Att: 1080

Chelmsford City
Chelmsford City
2 - 3


Cards look to finish with strong display

Brian Caffarey
4:29pm, Thu 26th Apr 2012
Chelmsford City v Woking
3pm on Saturday 28 April 2012

The Champions travel to sixth-placed Chelmsford City on Saturday for their final league game of the season. Garry Hill will be keen to put on a good display against his local side but will nevertheless be relieved that his team managed to secure promotion ahead of this game since the Clarets had the better of the two previous encounters this season. It’s a very big game for Chelmsford, who have to win – and also rely on Basingstoke Town losing away to Welling United – to claim the remaining play-off place on goal difference.


Subject to any new injury worries, Garry Hill will have everyone available for this game and will therefore have some difficult selection decisions, with, for example, Jack King, Tom Davis and Keiran Murtagh probably competing for two central midfield places and Joe McNerney and Adam Doyle looking to start alongside Alan Inns at centre back. Nice dilemmas for a manager to have!


Clarets fans must be disappointed that their side, which has reached the play-offs for the last three seasons, is not better placed as they head into the last game of the campaign, especially since, at times, they have looked more than capable of challenging Woking and Dartford for pole position. But they have compounded a slow start to the season with some inconsistent form in recent months to leave themselves short. They had a very fine unbeaten run in the autumn but the turn of the year saw them lose at home to Sutton United 2-3 and in the following 17 league games they won only six, drawing four and losing seven. Crucially, one of those defeats was a 0-1 home reverse to Basingstoke Town.

The Clarets have a strong squad, which includes the experienced Stuart Searle in goal; full back Justin Miller, whose enterprising runs caused the Cards problems in the previous two games; ‘player of the year’ central defender Kenny Clark, whose robust shackling of the Woking forwards was also a key factor in those games; skipper Dave Rainford in midfield; and Cliff Akurang, Kezie Ibe and ex-Card Jamie Slabber among the strikers. Winger Ricky Modeste and full back Ben Nunn are both suspended, however.


Melbourne Stadium
Salerno Way


By Coach

Departs: 12 noon
Members: £15
Non-Members: £20

Please ring the Club Shop on 01483 772470 or email shop@wokingfc.co.uk to book your place on the Cards Trust coach.

By Car

Exit junction 28 of the M25, onto the A12. After 10 miles exit junction 15 onto the A414. After two miles take 2nd exit at roundabout, then 1st exit at roundabout straight after, onto A1016 / Westway. After another two miles take a left onto Rainsford Road, then right into Park Avenue. Turn left onto Swiss Avenue, then immediately right onto Kings Road. Left onto West Avenue and keep straight on to Langton Avenue. Turn right onto Melbourne Avenue, and then immediately turn left onto Salerno Way, where the ground is on the left near the end of the road.

By Train

Nearest station: Chelmsford

From Woking the journey takes about two hours. Get the train to Waterloo, then Jubilee Line to Stratford, and then the train to Chelmsford. Trains leave Stratford at 09, 25, 38, 45 and 55 minutes past the hour and the journey takes about 25 minutes.

The station is 1.5 miles from the ground. Walking would take around 30 minutes, or you can take a taxi or bus. H1 and H2 services run to the ground: check at the bus station for the best option.


Adults: £11.50
Concessions: £7.50
U16s: £3.50
U11s: Free
Stand Transfer: £1


Chelmsford City 2 Woking 0
FA Trophy
26 November 2011

In midweek at Kingfield the two sides had shared the points in an entertaining 1-1 draw in the league, thus preserving their respective unbeaten home and away records but leaving the Clarets eleven points adrift of Garry Hill’s side.

Garry rang a few changes for the FA Trophy clash, with Jay Davies and Paris Cowan-Hall missing and Dale Binns and Wayne Gray dropping to the bench. In came Derek Duncan, Elvis Hammond, Giuseppe Sole and new loan signing Ben Smith.

The first half was a scrappy affair in blustery conditions, with little sign of the pacy, attacking play seen at Kingfield. However, the Cards more than held their own and had the better of the relatively few chances created, with Moses Ademola and Jack King going close before half-time.

Disappointingly, the Cards allowed Chelmsford to take control after the break. After five minutes the ball was in the Woking net direct from a corner but the effort was disallowed for a foul on Aaron Howe. After 69 minutes Garry brought on Binns and Gray for Duncan and Sole but the changes did not wrest back the advantage and, eight minutes later, the home side took the lead, with Aiden Palmer netting direct from an excellent free-kick from 25 yards, guiding the ball over the wall and into the bottom corner.

The Cards nearly responded with their next attack but two minutes after conceding the first goal they let in a soft second goal, Kezie Ibe collecting from a throw-in and shooting home.

Come on, you Cards!

P.S. Don’t forget that Woking play Sutton United in the Surrey Senior Cup Final at 7.30pm on Tuesday 8 May at Kingsmeadow. The Cards Trust are running a coach to this game, so contact the Club to book your place.

Cards finish with a win

Alan Worth
11:18pm, Sat 28th Apr 2012
Chelmsford City 2 Woking 3
Blue Square Bet South
28th April 2012

Woking brought their season to a successful conclusion at a wet, windy and cold Melbourne Stadium. Still trying to play their brand of passing football, quick on the break and dangerous at set pieces, a Cards side unsurprisingly brimming with confidence, secured a final three points despite the best efforts of the home side particularly in an open first half.

Garry Hill’s champions were applauded onto the pitch by the Clarets with Andy Little making a first league start since 1st January against Farnborough. Adam Doyle returned to the side after suspension at left back with Dale Binns introduced on the left side of midfield in place of Moses Ademola. Gez Sole played up front supported by Keiran Murtagh pushing forward from midfield. Tom Davis started in midfield with Paris Cowan-Hall moved to the bench.

Both sides attempted to play passing football from the start but it was never easy. The greasy surface, much rutted in places due to the hardwork of the Chelmsford staff to get the game on following torrential rain earlier in the week, made it difficult to control the ball and players were constantly losing their footing. Not helped by some fussy refereeing, the game still managed to produce plenty of chances – the Cards had not come to “make up the numbers� particularly in ‘the Gaffers’ back yard!

Woking’s most potent attacking threat came down the right-hand flank with Betsy, Newton and Murtagh regularly combining to find space and create opportunities. The Cards' first goal came after ten minutes from their second corner on the right taken by Dale Binns. It was a well-executed and simple goal. Binns’ cross was met at the far post by Jack King, who powered his header past Searle and into the far corner. The Champions were up and running.

Almost immediately Chelmsford had an opportunity to equalise but Akurang’s finish was weak. However, with sixteen minutes on the clock the Clarets had their equaliser. This time Akurang did manage to finish from close range after the ball had been played across the Woking area from the left wing.

Chelmsford were now looking very threatening going forward and within minutes of their equaliser had the ball in the net again. Fortunately for the Champions, it was ruled out for offside. Then at the other end in an increasingly open game and despite the dreadful conditions Woking had an excellent chance to go ahead. Kevin Betsy beat his man on the left flank and played in Murtagh with a great cross field ball. One-on-one with the keeper Murtagh slipped on the greasy surface when a goal looked certain.

Woking then had cause to ride their luck! A great strike on the 28th minute saw Chelmsford hit the post with Little beaten and ten minutes later a moment of real controversy. Referee Blackledge waved away raucous appeals for a Chelmsford penalty after the ball, played in from a corner on the right, bounced up on the muddy surface and appeared to strike Adam Newton’s hand.

But the Clarets got their second goal shortly after and took the lead. A misplaced pass from Jack King enabled Slabber to break away and he finished impecabbly, firing past Andy Little and into the far corner of the net.

Almost at the break and this time it was record-breaker Gez Sole who managed to grab a second goal for the Cards and send the teams in on equal terms. For once it was a close-range header after the ball had been knocked back across goal from a corner. Gez has now scored in eleven consecutive league games and has extended his record even further – a remarkable achievement.

Half-time: Chelmsford City 2 Woking 2

Woking were now playing with a strong wind at their backs and managed to control most of the second half as Chelmsford flagged – no doubt not helped by the news of Basingstoke’s march towards the play-offs.

The winner came on the hour mark and after Woking had put together the best move of the match. Again the initial threat came down the right-hand side with Newton, Murtagh and co combining well to retain possession with some superb close control and a delightful back heel. The ball was eventually played into the box only for it to be half cleared to Murtagh prowling on the edge of the box. He finished superbly from ten yards slotting his shot through a crowded penalty area and into the net.

As both managers made the inevitable substitutions so the game began to wind down – the Championship already secured and the play-off places finalised. There was still time for Clark to clatter Dale Binns and the inconsistent Mr Blackledge to simply wave play on, much to the consternation of the Woking bench.

Paris Cowan-Hall, on as a late substitute, set up Jack King for a thunderous drive that clipped the top of the Chelmsford cross bar. At the other end the Clarets hit the post for a second time from a corner and with minutes remaining a sweet curling shot from Cowan-Hall was deflected wide.

Woking were able to see out the remaining four minutes of time added on with no alarms and bring this historic season to a satisfying conclusion. Nine points clear at the top of the table and a record that showed they had remained in first postion without interuption since 20th September 2011. True champions to the season’s end!!

Woking: Andy Little, Adam Newton, Adam Doyle, Keiran Murtagh, Alan Inns, Joe McNerney, Jack King, Tom Davis, Dale Binns (Moses Ademola 81), Giuseppe Sole (Paris Cowan-Hall 72) Kevin Betsy

Unused subs: Elvis Hammond, Derek Duncan, Aaron Howe

Chelmsford City: Stuart Searle, Justin Miller, Aiden Palmer, Adam Tann, Kenny Clark, Dave Rainford, Warren Whitely, Jamie Slabber, Cliff Akurang (Kezie Ibe 76), Max Cornhill, Ishmael Walsh (Alex Osborn 69)

Unused subs: Seny Diedhiou, Craig Parker, Conor Gough

Cautions: Max Cornhill

MOTM: Keiran Murtagh – an excellent goal and constantly creative on an afternoon when playing good football was never easy

Attendance: 1080
Chelmsford City LINEUP
1Stuart Searle
2Justin Miller
3Aiden Palmer
4Adam Tann
5Kenny Clark
6Dave Rainford
7Warren Whitely
8Jamie Slabber
9Cliff Akurang ('76)
10Max Cornhill
11Ishmael Walsh ('69)
12Seny Diedhiou
14Kezie Ibe ('76)
15Alex Osborn ('69)
16Craig Parker
19Conor Gough
1Andy Little
2Adam Newton
3Adam Doyle
4Keiran Murtagh
5Alan Inns
6Joe McNerney
7Jack King
8Tom Davis
9Dale Binns ('81)
10Giuseppe Sole ('72)
11Kevin Betsy
12Elvis Hammond
14Moses Ademola ('81)
15Derek Duncan
16Paris Cowan-Hall ('72)
18Aaron Howe

Chelmsford City 2-3 Woking (Steve Thompson Interview)

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