Woking punish ten-man Southport
12:00am, Sun 24th Feb 2013
Southport 1 Woking 2
Blue Square Bet Premier
23rd February 2013
Bradley Bubb returned from illness to score a brace to secure Woking's fifth away win of the season against an in-form Southport. Bubb was one of three changes boss Garry Hill made to the side that was defeated 2-0 by Barrow the previous Tuesday, with John Nutter and Joe McNerney also coming in to replace Lee Sawyer, Gavin McCallum and Brett Williams. Southport were reduced to ten men when Simon Grand was shown a straight red card midway through the first half and Woking made them pay with a goal from Bubb just before the break. Southport pulled level early in the second half with a neat free-kick from Aaron Chalmers but Bubb popped up with the winner to secure all three points for Woking.
Southport came out of the blocks quicker in Arctic conditions at the Merseyrail Community Stadium. Shaun Whalley found an opening in the box but was snuffed out before he was able to find room for a shot. Woking were unable to string many passes together in the opening fifteen minutes and Jayden Stockley was looking isolated as the Cards' lone striker.
Woking had had barely any of the play when, in the twenty-fourth minute, Simon Grand lunged in dangerously on Mark Ricketts and was shown a straight red card by the referee, giving the Cards the impetus to take the match by the scruff of the neck.
Woking now started to assert some pressure and a high ball into the box was dropped by the Southport 'keeper and fell to Joe McNerney, who was unlucky to see his effort blocked on the line. Mike Cestor was the next to have an opening when a smart back heel from Kevin Betsy found him free in the box but he completely missed his kick.
It was only a matter of time before the Cards would take one of these chances and, sure enough, it came on the stroke of half-time when Stockley released Bubb down the right wing and he used his pace to get into the box and struck a powerful low drive into the far corner of the net.
Half-time: Southport 0 Woking 1
The ten men of Southport came out in the second half with fighting spirit and were level on the hour. Andy Owens won a free-kick on the edge of the Woking penalty area and Aaron Chalmers stepped up to calmly curl the ball around the wall for the equaliser.
The home team now started to assert themselves and were unimpressed when a penalty appeal was turned down shortly afterwards as Woking's on-loan 'keeper Seb Brown looked as though he may have bundled over Shaun Whalley. Minutes later, however,and against the run of play, Woking regained the lead. Bradley Bubb received the ball on the left and accelerated into the area before unleashing a shot which went in via a defender. This was the Woking forward's thirteenth goal of the season.
Southport now had to chase the game yet again and Woking's numerical advantage was starting to show. Cestor had a good chance to increase the lead but his shot was deflected wide. The home team made a triple substitution in the seventy-eighth minute and one of these changes almost reaped an instant reward when Steven Tames headed narrowly wide from a corner.
As the fourth official indicated four minutes of added time, Brett Williams could have made the game safe but shot tamely at the 'keeper when well-placed. The Cards were not to be denied, however, and held on without further incident to bag the three points.
This victory now moves Woking up to eleventh place in the league with three successive home games to come, beginning on Tuesday evening with an appetising clash against promotion hopefuls Forest Green Rovers.
After the game, a clearly delighted Garry Hill told the Woking FC Website: "We knew it would be a tough battle. To come here today and get a good three points, a very valuable three points of course, it certainly makes it a lot easier".
Woking: Seb Brown, Adam Newton, Mike Cestor (Gavin McCallum 82), Mark Ricketts, Joe McNerney, Jack Parkinson, Bradley Bubb, Kevin Betsy, Brett Johnson, Jayden Stockley (Brett Williams 67), John Nutter
Unused Subs: Elvijs Putnins, Loick Pires, George Frith
Goals: Bubb 42, 69
Cautions: Cestor 31, Johnson 45, Stockley 59, Newton 64, Ricketts 81, Parkinson 90
Southport: Tony McMillan, James Smith, Andy Owens, Simon Grand, Neill Byrne (Steven Tames 78), Aaron Chalmers (Andrew Parry 78), Shaun Whalley, Scott Kay, Karl Ledsham (Liam Willis 78), Godfrey Poku, Chris Almond
Unused Subs: Zac Hibbert, Russell Benjamin
Goal: Chalmers 61
Sent Off: Simon Grand 24
MOTM: Bradley Bubb - took both goals well and was a danger to the Southport defence throughout.