Lovetts
BSBP
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 30th MarchMar 2013
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 2303

Woking
Woking
1 - 1

Hereford United
Hereford United

Kids free for the Bulls

Brian Caffarey
11:46am, Fri 29th Mar 2013
Woking v Hereford United
3pm on Saturday 30 March 2013

It’s a ‘kids free’ day at Kingfield tomorrow (Saturday) so bring the family down to see Garry Hill’s side, unbeaten in their last five games, take on Hereford United, who are competing with the Cards for a top ten finish. Why not arrive early and watch the televised game in the Cardinals’ Bar!

WOKING

Saturday’s encounter with the Bulls will be Woking’s third game in five days, with another tough fixture, away at Dartford, to come on Easter Monday afternoon. Hereford last played on Tuesday evening, so will have the advantage of a few more days’ rest.

There was more evidence of the Cards’ recent defensive solidity yesterday evening when they drew 0-0 at Nuneaton Town, their fourth consecutive away draw. Had they shown the same resilience on their travels earlier in the season, the team might well now be challenging for a play-off place – but it shows how far the side has come that they’ve been able to go to the likes of Macclesfield and Kidderminster and share the points.

But Woking’s fine home record will be sorely tested in their remaining four home games, for Hereford will be followed by Wrexham, Macclesfield and Grimsby.

With a very small squad Garry has been able to do only a limited amount of shuffling of his side during this hectic schedule, but he has had the luxury in the last couple of games of being able to play Billy Knott and Lee Sawyer together in midfield.

HEREFORD UNITED

The Bulls suffered relegation back to the Conference at the end of last season but, under Martin Foyle, who took York City to the play-off final, they were expected to be one of the stronger sides in the BSP this season. Foyle made a number of signings in the summer, including Marley Watkins, a midfielder from Bath City; Chris Carruthers, a versatile player who previously played under Foyle at York; and keeper James Bittner, whom we’ve seen playing for Salisbury amongst other clubs.

Foyle has just brought in Chris Bush on loan from Gateshead. Bush, of course, had a successful loan spell at Kingfield whilst with AFC Wimbledon. Top scorer is Ryan Bowman.

Hereford currently sit in 8th place in the table with 56 points from 39 games, two places and one point above Woking with a game in hand, so a win for Garry Hill’s side would enable them to leapfrog the Bulls. Away from home, Hereford have quite an impressive record, with seven wins, six draws and six defeats. On Tuesday evening they beat Dartford 1-0 at home but lost 2-1 last Saturday to Hyde United, also at Edgar Street.

Hereford have had financial worries this season as they have tried to adjust to non-League life again. A good Cup run provided some relief but the Board recently forecast a similar loss this season to last year’s, which came in at around £400k.

ADMISSION PRICES

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

MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

Saturday’s programme includes Richard Mason’s trip down memory lane plus an opposing view from a Hereford fan. And, of course, there are all the usual match reports, previews, splendid photos and news of the BSP and beyond. If you can’t get to the game, you can order a copy from the Club Shop on shop@wokingfc.co.uk

LAST TIME OUT

Hereford United 2 Woking 1
4 September 2012

The Cards’ early-season woes away from home continued with this fourth consecutive defeat on their travels. Once again, defensive errors led to conceding goals at crucial times: after only 5 minutes when Ashley Sammons seized on a Joe McNerney attempted clearance and just before the break when Mike Cestor dallied, with Sam Clucas firing past Aaron Howe.

The Cards made a fight of it in the second half and pulled a goal back from Kevin Betsy in the 81st minute but could not find a second.

Woking:
Aaron Howe, Adam Newton, Mike Cestor (Adam Doyle 45), Mark Ricketts (George Frith 80), Joe McNerney, Loick Pires (Dean Sinclair 60), Jack Parkinson, Kevin Betsy, Lee Sawyer, Brett Johnson, Gavin McCallum

Unused subs:
Sam Beasant, Bradley Bubb

Hereford:
Dan Hanford, Andy Gallinagh, Harry Pell, Luke Graham, Chris Carruthers, Sean Canham, Stefan Stam, Sam Clucas, Ryan Bowman (Tom Nicholls 83), Ashley Sammons (Will Evans 67), Brian Smikle (Tristan Plummer 85)

Unused subs:
Joe Heath, Simon Clist

Attendance: 1481

NEXT GAME

The Cards are away at Dartford on Easter Monday afternoon – don’t forget to book your coach place at Kingfield tomorrow – and their next home game is a very attractive encounter with Wrexham on Saturday 6 April.


Come on, you Cards!

P.S. Please support Garry’s and Steve’s plans for next season by joining the Cards Trust’s Boost the Budget scheme if you don’t already belong to it. Application forms will be available on Saturday.






Betsy strike earns Woking derserved draw

Glen Harrington
10:53pm, Sat 30th Mar 2013
Woking 1 Hereford United 1
Blue Square Premier
30th March 2013


A Kevin Betsy strike seven minutes into the second half deservedly earned the Cards a draw in an evenly-matched affair against play-off chasing Hereford United.

The Bulls struck lucky in the closing stages of the first period when Brett Johnson (pictured) deflected Chris Bush’s long throw beyond Seb Brown and into his own net.

But the home side quickly levelled proceedings after the break when Bradley Bubb’s low cross found Betsy free in the penalty area, leaving the experienced winger with the simple task of converting his thirteenth goal of the season.

In a game of few chances, it was Woking who came the closest to grabbing a winner when Gavin McCallum struck the post of James Bittner’s goal from a tight angle.

Facing their third game in just five days, it was unsurprising that Garry Hill and Steve Thompson chose to make three changes from the team held to a 0-0 draw at Nuneaton on Thursday evening, bringing in McCallum, Johnson and John Nutter in favour of Lee Sawyer, Jayden Stockley and Mark Ricketts, who all dropped to the bench.

This allowed for a 4-4-2 formation comprising stand-in skipper Adam Newton, Joe McNerney, Johnson and Nutter in defence, Betsy, Billy Knott, Jack Parkinson and Mike Cestor in midfield, with McCallum partnering Bubb up front.

Against a Hereford team full of tall, physically strong players unlikely to lose many aerial battles, it was a clever ploy from the Woking management team to start with pace, rather than height going forward. It was a tactic that almost immediately paid off when the Cards, starting surprisingly brightly considering their recent busy schedule, worked themselves space down the right-hand flank through Betsy. His inch-perfect cross looked to have found Cestor in space in the penalty area, but defender Luke Graham did just enough to get across and deflect a sweetly-struck shot narrowly wide.

The hosts continued to dominate the opening exchanges with both Betsy and Bubb giving the visiting defence reasons to question themselves: Joe Heath haphazardly slicing clear a Betsy cross before Bubb came close to capitalising on Bittner’s poor punch.

Despite the early pressure against them the Bulls soon began to show why they have been in the top half of the league table for almost the entire season, and prior to today were still clinging to faint hopes of reaching the top five, tirelessly chasing and harrying the Woking players and forcing them into numerous mistakes as the game became increasingly scrappy.

Hereford’s hard work even earned striker Chris Sharp a rare sight of Brown’s goal as his sprawling dive fell just short of connecting with Kingsley James’ long range drive, with any type of connection likely to have been enough to deflect the ball into the net.

Bubb and Betsy both shot wide again as the first half wound towards a conclusion, but there was a proverbial sting in the tail for the Cards as out of nothing their visitors went into the interval ahead: a long throw from former Woking loanee Bush flicking off the top of Johnson’s head before, moments later, nestling in the bottom right-hand corner of the goal.

Half-time: Woking 0 Hereford United 1

If the hosts' lapse in concentration had been down to them already thinking about the half-time break, then they caught the Bulls when they were still asleep in the dressing room, striking back almost immediately after the re-start.

Once again it was a goal seemingly from nowhere as Bubb collected the ball in the right-hand corner of the pitch and found a low cross which inexplicably found Betsy unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box, allowing him the simplest of tap-ins.

Woking proceeded to start the second half how they had started the first, on top, and were unlucky not to take the lead when Johnson headed over Parkinson’s cross from the left-hand side.

On the hour mark, the home side were unfortunate to lose Cestor, who had clearly been enjoying his more advanced role on the left-hand side of midfield, to injury. He was replaced by Sawyer, while Stockley also came on in place of Bubb, meaning a return to the more familiar 4-3-3 formation starring Betsy and McCallum wide of a lone striker.

It was Sawyer who came close to breaking the deadlock, his ambitious-looking effort from well outside the penalty area catching Bittner off-guard and forcing him into an excellent diving save low to his left-hand side. The ball fell for McCallum, but the keeper’s save looked to have pushed him too wide of goal to shoot. Unperturbed, the winger, with defenders looming around him, curled an effort spectacularly towards the far corner, only for the goal-post to deny him and deflect the ball clear.

Sam Clucas came closest for Hereford in what was, for them, a disappointing second-half performance, his long range free-kick flying well over the Woking crossbar.

In the final moments the Cards might have snatched all three points, with Stockley spurning an excellent late opportunity: beating the offside trap before shooting straight at the Bulls' goalkeeper when one-on-one.

No game would be complete without Sawyer’s customary yellow card, which he picked up in stoppage time for a late lunge on James, who had himself been booked earlier in the day for a similarly rash challenge on Parkinson.

So suddenly, after waiting for so long to tie a game, the Cards have become the draw specialists, with six of their last nine matches ending in a stalemate. Nonetheless, it’s a result that extends an impressive unbeaten league run to six games, a streak particularly noteworthy for its tough away games.

Perhaps unlike the start of the season we are now extremely hard to beat, while we have thankfully become a great deal more solid defensively. We are learning at this level, and if anything it shows how far we have come to emerge slightly disappointed with a draw against a club playing League One football just a couple of years ago.

Woking: Seb Brown, Adam Newton, John Nutter, Joe McNerney, Brett Johnson, Jack Parkinson (Mark Ricketts 80), Billy Knott, Kevin Betsy, Mike Cestor (Lee Sawyer 60), Gavin McCallum, Bradley Bubb (Jayden Stockley 64)

Unused Subs: Elvijs Putnins, George Frith

Goal(s): Betsy 52

Booked: McNerney 58, Sawyer 90

Hereford United: James Bittner, Joe Heath, Luke Graham, Stefan Stam, Chris Bush (Rod McDonald 75), Marley Watkins, Kingsley James, Josh O’Keefe, Samuel Clucas, Marlon Jackson, Chris Sharp (Ryan Bowman 66)
Unused Subs: Joe Connor, Craig Jones, Brian Smikle

Goal(s): Brett Johnson og. 44

Booked: James 53

MOTM: Brett Johnson – Very assured defensive performance from the centre-half, who has continued to improve in recent weeks. Left Bulls striker Chris Sharp extremely frustrated for much of the day and limited the visitors to very few shooting oppurtunities.

Attendance: 2,303
WOKING LINEUP
30Seb Brown
2Adam Newton
26John Nutter
5Joe McNerney
16Brett Johnson
8Jack Parkinson ('80)
24Billy Knott
3Mike Cestor ('60)
11Kevin Betsy
19Gavin McCallum
9Bradley Bubb ('64)
BENCH
18Elvijs Putnins
4Mark Ricketts ('80)
22George Frith
15Lee Sawyer ('60)
25Jayden Stockley ('64)
Hereford United LINEUP
1James Bittner
27Chris Bush ('75)
18Sam Clucas
9Marlon Jackson
14Stefan Stam
21Josh O'Keefe
6Luke Graham
3Joe Heath
15Kingsley James
10Chris Sharp ('66)
7Marley Watkins
BENCH
22Brian Smikle
19Ryan Bowman ('66)
20Craig Jones
4Joe Connor
26Rodney McDonald ('75)

Woking 1-1 Hereford United (Steve Thompson Interview)

Brett Johnson Interview

David Holmes
7:04pm, Sat 30th Mar 2013
Brett Johnson spoke to David Holmes after the game against Hereford.

Brett Johnson:







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