LCS Events
7:45pm - TuesdayTue 28th AugustAug 2012
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 1588

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Braintree Town
Braintree Town

Cards target home hat-trick

Brian Caffarey
7:18am, Mon 27th Aug 2012
Woking v Braintree Town
7.45pm on Tuesday 28 August 2012

Garry Hill will be very keen to maintain the Cards’ perfect home record on Tuesday evening, especially with three tough away games coming up in the following four encounters. Alan Devonshire’s Braintree side have a reputation for being direct and physical and will no doubt be a hard nut to crack but the Cards will be very keen to make up for the two injury-time goals which denied them a point at Forest Green Rovers on Saturday. Come on down to Kingfield and cheer Garry Hill’s side on to a third home win in a row.


The Cards have beaten Dartford and Barrow at Kingfield so far and must fancy their chances of continuing that record against a Braintree side which may find it hard to replicate their comfortable mid-table position last year. A win would give Garry’s side nine points out of 15 for August – which would be a very satisfactory start, particularly bearing in mind that both away games have been against fancied sides.

Garry brought in Jack Parkinson, at the expense of Brett Williams, on Saturday to strengthen the midfield. It will be interesting to see if he continues with that formation or reverts to a more attacking line-up for this home game.


Alan Devonshire’s side did well to establish themselves in the BSP last season, finishing in 12th place. The summer, though, saw the loss of two key players, former Card Aswad Thomas, who moved to Grimsby Town for an undisclosed fee, and top scorer Ben Wright, who was in Forest Green Rovers’ side on Saturday.

New arrivals include a replacement left-back, Sam Habergham, who was with Tamworth last season after leaving Norwich City; Josh Dawkin, a midfielder/winger from Norwich; Danny Sparkes, a left-sided midfielder from Histon; Callum McNish, a midfielder previously with Exeter City; keeper Danny Naisbitt; midfielder James Mulley, formerly with AFC Wimbledon; and young striker Kane Shepherd from Leyton Orient. Familiar names include skipper Kenny Davis, former Hampton and Staines defender Dean Wells, striker Sean Marks and long-serving midfielder Brad Quinton.

Devonshire has brought in Michael Gash on loan from Cambridge United to provide more firepower up front. And he has just paid an undisclosed fee to Histon for their top scorer last season, 22 year-old Dan Holmes.

The Iron’s results so far have been:

Braintree Town 2 Hyde 2
Ebbsfleet 0 Braintree Town 1
AFC Telford 3 Braintree Town 0
Braintree Town 1 Newport County 2

It sounds as though Braintree played fairly well against top-of-the-table Newport County, so they may not be too downhearted by the home defeat.


Adults £15
Over 65s/Students £10
U16s £5


Tuesday’s 56-page programme includes an intriguing interview with Loick Pires (brush up on your Portuguese!); news of the whereabouts of former Woking players; and interesting insights into Kevin Betsy’s coaching activities at Fulham; plus match reports, previews, BSP update, great action photos and much more. If you can’t get to the game, you can order a copy from the Club Shop on


The Cards Trust will be encouraging fans to join the Boost the Budget scheme, which is providing crucial funds for Garry’s playing budget. Please look out for details and sign up if you can afford to do so.


Braintree Town 2 Woking 0
29 January 2011

Garry Hill’s first game in charge saw him take the Cards to top-of-the-table Braintree Town. Woking matched a tough, hard-working Iron side in the first half only to concede the lead to a breakaway goal in injury time after coming close to scoring at the other end. The Cards shipped a second goal early in the second half when an in-swinging corner somehow crept over the line. Braintree then kept a tight grip on the game to run out comfortable winners.

This defeat was followed by a narrow 1-0 home win over Thurrock before the further disappointment of a poor 2-0 loss at home to Salisbury City in the FA Trophy. But the Cards then surged up the table, winning ten and drawing one of their following 11 league games.

Woking: Andy Little, Ricky Anane, Aswad Thomas, Mark Ricketts, Joe McNerney, Adam Doyle, Moses Ademola (Sam Hurrell 67), Reiss Noel, Dave Gilroy, Elvis Hammond, Jerome Maledon (Craig Faulconbridge 81). Subs not used: Matt Pegler, Alan Inns, Ollie Palmer.


The Cards are away to Mansfield Town on Saturday 1 September and travel to Hereford United the following Tuesday (4 September). The next home game is on Saturday 8 September when Nuneaton Town visit Kingfield.

Come on, you Cards!

Cards slip to second successive defeat

Glen Harrington
8:23am, Wed 29th Aug 2012
Woking 1 Braintree Town 4
Blue Square Premier
28th August 2012

An efficient and organised Braintree Town side condemned the Cards to their second defeat in four days, as their unbeaten start to the season at Kingfield came to a spectacular end.

It was a difficult night for Woking as, despite playing some good football at times, they were undone by a combination of needless mistakes and quality finishing.

Danny Holman gave the visitors an early lead, taking advantage of a slip from Mike Cestor (pictured) by thumping a long-range effort into the bottom right-hand corner.

Brett Williams levelled things for the hosts shortly before the half-time interval, but a Cestor own goal and further wonder-strikes from Nicky Symons and Holman deservedly won their side three points.

Following Saturday’s last-minute heartbreak at promotion-chasing Forest Green, Garry Hill’s side reverted to the 4-4-2 formation that had served them so well in the wins against Dartford and Barrow. This meant a return to the team for Williams at the expense of Jack Parkinson, who dropped to the bench.

Meanwhile the Iron, whose first choice striker Sean Marks was only fit enough for the bench, paired new signings Michael Gash (on loan from Cambridge United) and Holman up front. The latter joined from Blue Square North side Histon at the weekend, having scored an impressive 29 goals last season.

Just sixteen minutes in, and it became very clear why manager Alan Devonshire had been so excited about his new man, as Holman quickly side-stepped the fallen Cestor and unleashed an unstoppable drive past Aaron Howe.

This after the Cards had enjoyed the better of the opening stages – coming close through a Joe McNerney header, that had to be smartly tipped round the post by Danny Naisbitt following Bradley Bubb’s long throw.

Before this encounter Woking had never so much as managed a goal against Braintree in five previous meetings, four of which had ended in defeat. A second goal for the visitors would therefore have put them in firm control, and they should have had it mere moments after their first, as Brad Quinton picked up possession from a stray McNerney pass and squared for Gash, who somehow failed to deliver the vital touch when in space six yards out.

Woking responded well to falling behind and looked dangerous in possession, especially when the class of Kevin Betsy and Lee Sawyer was involved in the play. Nonetheless, while Mark Ricketts came close to testing Naisbitt with a back-post drive which flew narrowly wide, clear-cut chances were few and far between.

Unfortunately, the Cards looked far less comfortable when their visitors stormed forward. McNerney, who had been widely complimented on his excellent start to the season, was having a particularly challenging evening, and it was his defensive header that went straight to Braintree midfielder Kenny Davis, who lashed a volley back goalwards, only to see the ball cannon back off a post.

Enter stoppage time and it was time for an error at the other end: a long and hopeful ball up-field from Brett Johnson caught Braintree’s centre-halves slacking and allowed Williams to steal possession off their toes. The Reading loanee raced clear and coolly slotted home his first Woking goal.

Half-time: Woking 1 Braintree Town 1

Arguably, the game’s defining moment came just three minutes after half-time, with the goal that so nearly was. The visitors again failed to deal with Bubb’s long throw and Pires’ flicked header might have crept in, were it not for a spectacular goal-line clearance from the Iron’s defender.

Five minutes later, and the game was all but over. With Howe having just made an excellent stop to deny Gash, who had beaten the offside trap to go through one-on-one, the Cards back-line dallied too long over clearing the ball and was quickly robbed of possession.

Braintree were not to miss a second time: Danny Sparkes's cross from the left turned in from close-range by the head of an unlucky Cestor, who could have done little else with Gash lurking behind him ready to tap home.

Having understandably been unable to do anything about the first two, Howe was at fault for Braintree’s third. His poor clearing kick, which he had taken from the edge of his penalty area, flew straight to an unmarked Symons, who gleefully executed an unbelievable strike from just inside the Woking half, that the Cards keeper could only watch fly back over his head and into the net.

Everything appeared to be going the way of the visitors, while the hosts certainly seemed to be short of a little luck. The home side might have struck back quickly, but McNerney’s header only flicked the top of the crossbar, while Williams narrowly failed to connect with a potential close-range effort of his own.

Soon it was four, and the score-line was suddenly very harsh on the Cards. It was route-one stuff from Braintree this time as Holman out-muscled McNerney under the dropping long-ball, and unleashed yet another stunning effort that left a despairing Howe as nothing more than a spectator.

A stream of changes followed from both sides, with Woking bringing on Jack Parkinson, Gavin McCallum and Adam Doyle, but with the visitors content to defend what they had won, it was an unenviable task for those coming into the game in a red and white shirt to try and make something happen.

Williams continued to have the best of the Cards chances. However, he found Naisbitt in inspired form, the Braintree stopper sprawling at the striker’s feet to deny him once, while tipping another goal-bound effort spectacularly over the bar. When the forward did belatedly find a way through, he was still denied, this time by the offside flag.

While this will go down as a bad night for Woking, who stretch their miserable winless streak against Braintree to six games, it is a score-line that does not tell the whole story: with two evenly-matched teams separated by a couple of sloppy errors, and a pair of exquisite finishes from Holman.

It is a harsh lesson that, unlike in Blue Square South, mistakes at this level will not go unpunished, and opposition sides will be far more ruthless.

On a more positive note, Brett Williams had easily his best game for Woking so far, while the Cards' passing and general attacking play were good. It’s perhaps only that clinical cutting-edge effect –provided by the likes of the departed Paris Cowan-Hall, Keiran Murtagh and the currently injured Giuseppe Sole last season – that still remains to be found. Prior to today, Garry Hill’s side have looked solid defensively, and despite a bad night, wholesale changes are surely unlikely and unnecessary.

It will be interesting to discover whether any more new faces join the Club before the closing of the transfer window, which comes a day before an away trip to Mansfield Town.

Woking: Aaron Howe, Adam Newton, Mike Cestor, Joe McNerney (Adam Doyle 73), Brett Johnson, Mark Ricketts (Jack Parkinson 68), Lee Sawyer, Bradley Bubb, Kevin Betsy, Loick Pires (Gavin McCallum 68), Brett Williams

Unused Subs: Sam Beasant, Dean Sinclair

Goal(s): Williams 45

Booked: McNerney 70, Bubb 72, Newton 90

Braintree Town: Danny Naisbitt, Ryan Peters, Adam Bailey-Dennis, Dean Wells, Samuel Habergham, Daniel Sparkes (James Mulley 89), Nicky Symons, Kenny Davis (Matthew Paine 89), Bradley Quinton, Michael Gash, Dan Holman (Josh Dawkin 82)

Unused Subs: Nathan McDonald, Sean Marks

Goal(s): Holman 16 & 64, Cestor o.g. 51, Symons 54.
Booked: Holman 42

MOTM: Mike Cestor – Had an uncomfortable night, as did the majority of his teammates in a defensive sense, but his surging runs down the left were a regular threat.

Attendance: 1,588
1Aaron Howe
2Adam Newton
3Mike Cestor
5Joe McNerney ('73)
16Brett Johnson
4Mark Ricketts ('68)
15Lee Sawyer
11Kevin Betsy
7Loick Pires ('68)
9Bradley Bubb
14Brett Williams
18Sam Beasant
6Adam Doyle ('73)
8Jack Parkinson ('68)
17Dean Sinclair
19Gavin McCallum ('68)
Braintree Town LINEUP
22Danny Naisbitt
2Ryan Peters
19Dean Wells
4Adam Bailey Dennis
3Sam Habergham
11Sammy Sparkes ('89)
8Kenny Davis ('89)
7Nicky Symons
6Brad Quinton
15Michael Gash
20Danny Holman ('82)
5Matt Paine ('89)
10Josh Dawkin ('82)
17James Mulley ('89)
9Sean Marks
1Nathan McDonald

Woking 1-4 Braintree Town (Garry Hill Interview)

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