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7:45pm - TuesdayTue 19th MarchMar 2013
| Att: 506

Braintree Town
Braintree Town
1 - 1

Woking
Woking

Tough Tuesday trip

Brian Caffarey
8:26pm, Sun 17th Mar 2013
Braintree Town v Woking
7.45pm on Tuesday 19 March 2013

Assuming Braintree’s ground isn’t waterlogged again, the Cards will be travelling to Cressing Road on Tuesday evening to take on Alan Devonshire’s side, who are in excellent form with four impressive wins on the trot. Woking rarely do well against Braintree, so a very determined display will be needed, no doubt on a boggy pitch, if Garry Hill’s side aren’t to come away empty-handed.

WOKING

The Cards are up to 10th place after their 5-2 home win over Telford on Saturday. The scoreline suggests a very comfortable victory but some casual play in the second half allowed the bottom-of-the-table side to get right back in the game before a couple of somewhat fortuitous goals enabled the Cards to ease away in the last few minutes. It’s very unlikely that Braintree will be as forgiving on Tuesday evening.

Lee Sawyer will be missing again as he completes his two-match ban for picking up his 10th yellow card of the season at Macclesfield.

BRAINTREE TOWN

Braintree’s last four results show what the Cards are up against:

Braintree Town 2 Grimsby Town 0
Braintree Town 2 Luton 0
Gateshead 1 Braintree Town 1
Stockport County 1 Braintree Town 3

The Iron now sit in 14th place, five points behind the Cards but with four games in hand. At home they’ve won six, drawn three and lost seven, scoring 21 goals and conceding 28.

Fixture congestion means that the Iron will be playing two midweek games, with Nuneaton Town visiting Cressing Road on Thursday evening.

Garry Hill and Steve Thompson will be well aware of the threat Dan Holman and Sean Marks represent up front, well supported by Luke Daley and skipper Kenny Davis. Other familiar names include defender/midfielder Dean Wells, who was with Devonshire at Hampton and Richmond, and ex-Don James Mulley.

GETTING THERE

The Amlin Stadium,
Clockhouse Way,
Braintree,
Essex
CM7 3RD

Website: www.braintreetownfc.org.uk

By coach
The Cards Trust coach leaves Kingfield at 4.30pm. The cost is £16 for members and £21 for non-members. Phone the Club Shop or email shop@wokingfc.co.uk to book your place.

By car
Leave the M25 at J27 and head north on the M11. Leave at J8A and head east on the A120 for 16 miles until you reach the Galleys Corner roundabout, recognisable by the large McDonalds logo. Take the first exit towards Braintree College. This is Cressing Road and the ground is hidden behind new flats (called Iron View, as the higher ones get a free view of the ground) on the left-hand side, 0.7 miles from the roundabout. Look out for the Orange Tree pub on the right-hand side and then take the next turning on the left into Clockhouse Way. There is a small road sign pointing the way on the right-hand side of the road.

By train
Trains take about an hour from Stratford (which can be reached via the Jubilee Line from Waterloo). The service isn’t very frequent. The 17.26 (with a change at Chelmsford) would get you there at 18.28. The next train at 18.09 is direct but doesn’t arrive till 19.19. Braintree Station is about a 15-minute walk from the ground, although there is a taxi rank outside the station. On the way back you’d have to make sure you got the 22.00, arriving at Stratford at 22.54.

LAST TIME OUT

Woking 1 Braintree Town 4
28 August 2012

This result came as a shock for Cards fans after home wins against Dartford and Barrow. The Iron took an early lead after Dan Holman punished a defensive slip by Mike Cestor. Brett Williams levelled things up before the break but more poor defending shortly after the interval restored the Iron’s lead via a Cestor own goal and then two wonder-strikes in the second half – one from the half-way line after Aaron Howe had mis-kicked – produced a scoreline that flattered the visitors on a night when everything seemed to go their way.

NEXT GAME

The Cards are away at Nuneaton Town next Saturday (23 March) and then travel again, to in-form Kidderminster Harriers, the following Tuesday (26 March). Woking’s next home game is against Hereford United on Saturday 30 March.

Come on, you Cards!

Woking battle for hard-earned point

Phil Batts
12:00am, Wed 20th Mar 2013

Braintree Town 1 Woking 1
Blue Square Bet Premier
19th March 2013

Woking had to show all their powers of concentration and determination to come away from the Amlin Stadium with a point on a bitterly cold Essex evening. Despite taking the lead against the run of play midway through the first half courtesy of a wonder strike from Jayden Stockley and holding their advantage until late in the game, even the most ardent of Cards' supporters would have been hard-pressed to suggest that the home side deserved anything less than a draw.

There had been some doubt during the day as to whether or not the pitch would be fit for play. In the event, however, although it was well-sanded throughout and became heavier as the game wore on, the surface held up remarkably well, allowing both teams to play with the ball on the ground rather than having to resort to route-one tactics.

The Cards made one change to the team which defeated AFC Telford United on Saturday with Mike Cestor replacing John Nutter at left back, who dropped to the bench. If the Cards were hoping to operate an attacking 4-4-2 system against their in-form opponents, such an approach was immediately shelved as the home team were quickly into their stride forcing the visitors onto the back foot and causing Bradley Budd to augment the numbers in midfield, leaving Jayden Stockley as a lone front-runner.

The Iron had much the better of the opening twenty minutes, seeming to be first to most of the loose balls and making good use of the overlap, Sam Habergham being particularly eye-catching down the left flank. That said, Seb Brown in the Woking goal was largely untroubled as first midfielder and captain Kenny Davis blazed over the bar when well-positioned in the penalty box and then Brett Johnson had to make a timely intervention to break up another promising move. The quick and agile Braintree forwards Dan Holman and Sean Marks were proving a real handful for the Cards' defence and at this point, it looked as though the away team would be in for a long and difficult evening.

Very much out of nowhere and against the run of play, however, the Cards found themselves in the lead on twenty-two minutes. There seemed to be no danger for the home team as the ball dropped about twenty-five yards from their goal. Jayden Stockley had other ideas, though. With an attacker's instinct, the confident young striker hit a tremendous volley into the top left-hand corner of the net before Nathan McDonald, the Braintree 'keeper, had time to move.

Despite this setback, the home team redoubled their efforts and continued to take the game to their opponents. They were looking particularly dangerous from set plays and, from one corner, midfielder Nicky Symons shot over from a good position. The goal had clearly given Woking a huge boost, nevertheless, and finally they started to string together some good passing movements. From one such move, Bradley Bubb blasted over just past the half-hour mark when he might have done better. Deep into stoppage time at the end of the half, Stockley won a free-kick on the edge of the home team's penalty box and Joe McNerney's low drive was palmed away by the home 'keeper to bring the first half to a close.

Although Braintree had had the better of the opening forty-five minutes, the Cards had scored a truly fine goal and had shown great character to keep their noses in front. One sensed, however, that it might be a long second half.

Half-time: Braintree Town 0 Woking 1

As to be expected, the home side started the second half on the front foot and immediately applied early pressure on the Woking goal as they went in search of an equaliser. Joe McNerney was then booked for a challenge in the fifty-fifth minute and from the resultant free-kick, Kenny Davis hit his effort over the bar.

Woking were starting to have some promising moments themselves, however, and might have doubled their lead in the fifty-eighth minute following an excellent move. The increasingly influential Billy Knott played a neat one-two with Jayden Stockley on the edge of the Braintree penalty box and hit a thunderous shot which Nathan McDonald could only parry to the feet of the onrushing Jack Parkinson who gleefully netted. Celebrations were short-lived, however, as the assistant referee had raised his flag for what must have been a very marginal offside decision against the midfielder.

Although the home side continued to look dangerous, as the game wore on one wondered if this might just be the Cards' night. Indeed, with time running out, the visitors had two chances in quick succession to seal victory, both chances instigated by Kevin Betsy. Firstly, a good break from the midfielder in the seventy-fifth minute saw him play in Bradley Bubb, but the striker's heavy first touch allowed the 'keeper to snuff out the danger. Then, five minutes later, the two players were involved again. A superb weaving run from Betsy saw him ghost past a number of defenders before he set up Bubb, whose shot was excellently saved by Nathan McDonald.

As full-time approached, it looked as though the Cards would achieve a creditable victory, particularly when substitute Jordan Cox's effort was ruled out in the eighty-second minute for a foul in the Woking six-yard area. It was not to be, however. Just when it seemed as though the home team might be running out of impetus and ideas, up stepped home striker Dan Holman who, much like Jayden Stockley in the first half, unleashed a fine shot from the edge of the area with barely five minutes remaining to beat the despairing right hand of Seb Brown.

There was still time for one last chance in the match and it fell to the Cards. Jayden Stockley was fouled on the edge of the penalty area but, after taking precise aim, Joe McNerney blasted his shot into the defensive wall and the referee brought the game to an end.

On the face of it, being so close to victory this might have seemed like two points dropped. In reality, however, it was probably a case of one point gained. Although the Cards had a couple of chances to make the game safe late in the game, on the balance of play and opportunities created, a slick and impressive Braintree side deserved a share of the spoils and Garry and Steve will probably be satisfied overall. Another away trip beckons on Saturday, to Nuneaton, as the team hunt down the manager's second target. Having reached Garry's "safety" target of fifty points possibly a little sooner than expected, the new target is twelve points from the remaining eight games to reach sixty-five points, an achievement which Garry feels would surpass winning the Conference South title last season.

Woking: Seb Brown, Adam Newton, Joe McNerney, Brett Johnson, Mike Cestor, Mark Ricketts, Jack Parkinson, Kevin Betsy, Billy Knott (George Frith 85) Bradley Bubb, Jayden Stockley

Unused subs: Elvijs Putnins, John Nutter, Adam Francis, Gavin McCallum,

Goal: Stockley (22)

Cautions: McNerney (55), Stockley (75)

Braintree Town: Nathan McDonald, Ryan Peters, Alan Massey, Dean Wells, Sam Habergham, Luke Daley (Jordan Cox 68), Nicky Symons, Kenny Davis, Dan Sparkes, Dan Holman, Sean Marks

Unused Subs: Danny Naisbitt, Ryan Watts, Aaron Wickham, Jake Turner

Goal: Holman (84)

Cautions: Symons (63), Davis (68)

Attendance: 506

My MOTM: Billy Knott. Applied himself well, showing his customary flashes of skill but also prepared to roll up his sleeves and work hard for the good of the team.
Braintree Town LINEUP
1Nathan McDonald
3Sam Habergham
15Alan Massey
19Dean Wells
7Nicky Symons
8Kenny Davis
11Dan Sparkes
12Luke Daley ('70)
2Ryan Peters
9Sean Marks
20Dan Holman
BENCH
22Danny Naisbitt
28Ryan Watts
31Aaron Wickham
34Jake Turner
4Jordan Cox ('70)
WOKING LINEUP
30Seb Brown
2Adam Newton
3Mike Cestor
5Joe McNerney
16Brett Johnson
4Mark Ricketts
8Jack Parkinson
24Billy Knott ('85)
11Kevin Betsy
9Bradley Bubb
25Jayden Stockley
BENCH
18Elvijs Putnins
26John Nutter
22George Frith ('85)
19Gavin McCallum
17Adam Francis

Braintree Town 1 - 1 Woking (Garry Hill Interview)

Bradley Bubb Interview

David Holmes
1:14am, Wed 20th Mar 2013
Bradley Bubb spoke to David Holmes after the game at Braintree.

Bradley Bubb:







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