Woking News & Mail
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 27th OctoberOct 2012
| Att: 2088

Newport County
Newport County
2 - 3


Cards travel to league leaders

Brian Caffarey
10:38am, Thu 25th Oct 2012
Newport County v Woking
3pm on Saturday 27 October 2012

The Cards face a stern test on Saturday when they travel to league leaders Newport County, unbeaten at home in the league this season. It will mark a reunion with Justin Edinburgh, briefly at Woking with Colin Lippiatt and formerly assistant to Garry Hill at Rushden, and Jimmy Dack, Graham Baker’s assistant at Kingfield. And, of course, Lenny Pidgeley and Jefferson Louis are at Newport too! Both sides will be hoping to recover from disappointing FA Cup exits – in the case of the Exiles, a shock home replay loss to Yate Town on Tuesday night.


The Cards have hit a ‘low’ in the last couple of games, playing poorly to lose at home to Southport in the league and then putting in a lacklustre performance to go out in the Cup to a late goal against Ebbsfleet United. Garry Hill’s side are still shipping too many goals and, against Ebbsfleet at least, the front line looked off colour, with signs of weariness elsewhere. But Garry will have Joe McNerney available again after his suspension and we know that, at their best, Woking are a match for any side in this league. So, Cards fans won’t travel to South Wales without hope of a result.


The Exiles have some money behind them this season and Justin Edinburgh seems to have spent it wisely, with his side making the running so far in the BSP. They started the season at a lick, winning their first five games before coming unstuck at Wrexham and Dartford. Since then, though, they have notched up five wins and three draws in league encounters.

Newport now have 33 points from 15 games, winning five and drawing two at home. Only Stockport and Grimsby have come away with a point, both earning 0-0 draws. Home games tend to be short on goals: Newport have scored only 11 in those seven games, but they have shipped only two – so the Woking defence can’t afford to be as generous as it has been in some matches this season.

The Exiles suffered a very surprising defeat in the FA Cup at the hands of lowly Yate Town. Edinburgh’s side were fortunate to get a late equaliser in a 3-3 draw at Yate but then lost the replay 3-1 at Rodney Parade.

Aaron O’Connor, formerly with Edinburgh at Rushden, has been the main ‘danger man’ for the Exiles, notching 10 league goals. Apart from those already mentioned, familiar names in a strong squad include Tony James, the hugely-experienced former Hereford, Weymouth and Burton Albion centre-back; Lee Minshull, recently with AFC Wimbledon after moving from Tonbridge Angels; Max Porter, another former Rushden and AFC Wimbledon player; Danny Crow, the former Cambridge and Luton striker; and Ismail Yakubu, a third ex-Don, who came through the ranks at Barnet.


Rodney Parade
Rodney Road
NP19 0UU

Official website: www.newport-county.co.uk

By coach
The Cards Trust coach leaves Kingfield at 11.00am. The cost is £16 for Trust members and £21 for non-members. To find out if there are any seats left, ring the Club Shop or email shop@wokingfc.co.uk

By car
Exit the M4 at junction 25a, then take the first exit off the roundabout onto Heidenheim Way. Take first exit off the flyover and then take the second exit off the roundabout. At next roundabout take first exit across the River Usk. At the next traffic lights bear right onto Chepstow Road and then take the first right onto Cedar Road. Take first right onto Corporation Road and then take the first left onto Grafton Road. Rodney Parade is on your left-hand side.
There is no parking at the ground but parking is available in the streets around the ground and there are a number of public car parks in the city centre, which is a five-minute walk from the ground.

By train
There are various possible routes, mainly via Reading. Look up www.nationalrail.co.uk or www.thetrainline.com for details. The ground is only a ten-minute walk from Newport Station.


Away fans are seated in the corner of the Bisley Stand: the entrance is via Gate 6 off Corporation Road. Admission prices are:

Adults: £15
Senior Citizen/Student: £11
U16: £5


Newport County 1 Woking 0
27 March 2010

The sides last met in Woking’s first season in the Blue Square South –a season in which Newport County ran away with the title. The champions-elect had not been beaten at home all season. The Cards looked to have gained a point when Dave Gilroy, subsequently a disappointing signing by Graham Baker, scored from close range.


The Cards are away to Gateshead in a re-scheduled game the following Saturday (3 November). The next home game is on Tuesday 6 November when Kidderminster Harriers are the visitors.

Come on, you Cards!

P.S. Don’t forget the Cards Trust’s Race Night on Friday evening!

Impressive Cards topple league leaders

Phil Batts
9:41am, Sun 28th Oct 2012
Newport County 2 Woking 3
Blue Square Bet Premier
27th October 2012

Woking impressively saw off league leaders Newport County at Rodney Parade with a highly competent display which, with a little better concentration at crucial moments, might have resulted in a more convincing winning margin. Two early, well-taken goals from Kevin Betsy, who had an excellent first half, and a second-half strike from Bradley Bubb, shortly after his introduction as a substitute, were too much for County, who replied with a goal at the end of each half.

The Cards made one change from the team which started the previous match in the FA Cup against Ebbsfleet, Joe McNerney returning from suspension to replace Bradley Bubb, who dropped to the bench. Woking lined up with a flat back four of Newton (pictured), McNerney, Johnson and Cestor, a five-man midfield of Ricketts, Parkinson, Sawyer, Betsy and McCallum, and Pires on his own up front.

On a wide and bumpy pitch, seemingly not conducive to good football, particularly with a strong wind blowing, Woking made the perfect start after only six minutes. Gavin McCallum did well to control and keep in play a cross-field pass deep into the County penalty area. His clever ball inside to Kevin Betsy still gave the Cards' talisman plenty to do but he found the far corner of the net from the tightest of angles for an excellent goal.

This fine start settled any early Woking nerves, as they started to play some excellent football with Betsy, McCallum and Lee Sawyer all showing up well with some fine offensive play. As a result, it was no surprise when Kevin Betsy extended the lead on the quarter hour. From a Woking corner, he picked up the ball on the edge of the area and effortlessly beat two defenders before calmly drilling the ball low to the goalkeeper's right.

It was now all Woking, with County appearing to be short of confidence following their surprise midweek FA Cup defeat at home to lower league opposition. As the half wore on, however, the home team began to see more of the ball but, with Woking looking well-organised and working hard to deny their opponents space, it seemed as though they would see out the half with a comfortable two-goal lead. All this was to change on the stroke of half-time, however, when Joe McNerney conceded a free-kick twenty-five yards from goal. Up stepped Andy Sandell to blast home an unstoppable shot wide of Aaron Howe's right hand, leaving Garry and Steve to deliver a slightly different team talk from the one they had envisaged a few minutes earlier.

Half-time: Newport County 1 Woking 2

Not surprisingly, given the fillip of a goal in first-half stoppage time, County came out all guns blazing at the start of the second and forced two early corners, which were resolutely defended by the Cards' defence. The league leaders were now starting to enjoy much more of the play than they had done previously but without causing any serious threat to the Woking goal. Indeed, this pressure was allowing the Cards midfielders to impress with some swift counter-attacking. From one such break, Loick Pires found himself bearing down on goal. A desperate lunge from ex-Cards keeper Lennie Pidgeley had the Woking players appealing for a penalty but the referee, who had an excellent game, waved away the protests. Down at the other end, a mix-up between Mike Cestor and Aaron Howe almost led to the equaliser before the ball was scrambled clear.

It was clear at this stage, with the game opening up, that there could be more goals to come and, fortunately for Woking, they extended their lead on sixty-seven minutes. Another inspired substitution from Garry and Steve two minutes earlier saw a straight swap of Bradley Bubb for Loick Pires, who had worked tirelessly up front on his own all afternoon. Immediately, Bubb found himself with time and space in the County area and his low shot gave Pidgeley no chance.

The restoration of the Cards' two-goal advantage seemed to renew the team's belief and confidence as they continued to take the game to County and to knock the ball about with some sensible and stylish football. The excellent and vociferous travelling support was also starting to sense that the game was all but over. Woking fans should know from bitter experience that things are never that simple, of course, and out of nowhere County reduced the deficit with two minutes to go when Michael Flynn rose unopposed to head home a corner from eight yards. Fortunately, an uneventful last few minutes ensured that the Cards held on to their lead to complete a deserved victory.

In truth, for a team riding high at the top of the league, County were a little disappointing, seeming to be low on confidence and lacking ideas in the final third of the pitch. Take nothing away from the Cards, however. They scored three excellent goals and played some quality football in difficult conditions. They showed resolve in defence when required, allied with real team spirit, and could easily have come away with a wider margin of victory. This result lifts them to tenth in the league (and level on points with the team in eighth place). If they can steer clear of injuries to their key players, there would seem to be no reason why they cannot cement a position at the upper end of the table.

Woking: Aaron Howe, Adam Newton, Joe McNerney, Brett Johnson, Mike Cestor, Mark Ricketts, Jack Parkinson, Lee Sawyer, Kevin Betsy, Gavin McCallum (Adam Doyle 90) Loick Pires (Bradley Bubb 65)

Unused subs: Sam Beasant, Dean Sinclair, Brett Williams

Goals: Betsy 6 &1 5; Bubb 67

Cautions: Ricketts 24

Newport County: Lenny Pidgeley, Andrew Hughes, Tony James, Lee Minshull, Danny Crow, Andy Sandell, Jake Thomson (Jefferson Louis 71), Max Porter, Ben Swallow (Conor Washington 81), Aaron O'Connor, Lee Evans (Michael Flynn 84)

Unused subs: Jake Harris, Joe Perry

Goals: Andy Sandell 45; Michael Flynn 89

Attendance: 2088

MOTM: Adam Newton. Solid and reliable in defence at all times, particularly in the second half.
Newport County LINEUP
40Lenny Pidgeley
3Andrew Hughes
5Tony James
4Max Porter
8Lee Minshull
12Ben Swallow ('82)
13Andy Sandell
14Jake Thomson ('71)
16Lee Evans ('84)
7Aaron O'Connor
9Danny Crow
22Joe Perry
15Jake Harris
17Michael Flynn ('84)
10Jefferson Louis ('71)
25Conor Washington ('82)
1Aaron Howe
2Adam Newton
3Mike Cestor
5Joe McNerney
16Brett Johnson
4Mark Ricketts
8Jack Parkinson
15Lee Sawyer
11Kevin Betsy
7Loick Pires ('66)
19Gavin McCallum ('90)
18Sam Beasant
6Adam Doyle ('90)
17Dean Sinclair
9Bradley Bubb ('66)
14Brett Williams

Newport County 2 - 3 Woking (Garry Hill Interview)

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