Seymours
FCP
7:45pm - TuesdayTue 24th SeptemberSep 2013
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 1955

Woking
Woking
0 - 4

Luton Town
Luton Town

Cards will need to battle for points

Brian Caffarey
6:13pm, Sun 22nd Sep 2013
Woking v Luton Town
7.45pm on Tuesday 24 September 2013

Tuesday night’s game will surely be fiercely contested as the Cards, following a poor performance at Macclesfield on Saturday, look to drag themselves away from the wrong end of the table and the Hatters aim to lodge themselves in the play-off places. Make sure you’re at Kingfield for this eagerly-awaited clash.

WOKING

Those Cards fans who hoped that the 2-0 win at Hyde last Tuesday signalled a return to form were sorely disappointed – as was no doubt Garry Hill – by a very below par display at Macclesfield, with two late goals putting a far better gloss on Woking’s performance than it deserved.

The Cards will be hampered on Tuesday by the absence of striker Scott Rendell, who cannot play against his parent club, while Brett Johnson will continue to be missing by virtue of his hamstring injury and ex-Luton stalwart Adam Newton is apparently doubtful too.

Woking will need to show the commitment they displayed in full measure in last season’s corresponding fixture if they are to get anything from Tuesday night’s game.

LUTON TOWN

The Hatters are now in their fifth season in the Conference Premier – a far longer stay than anyone, in particular Luton fans, had envisaged when the club tumbled out of the League, having failed to overcome a 30-point deduction. The appointment in late February of the hugely-experienced John Still, who took Dagenham and Redbridge into League 2 and then League 1 via the play-offs, having previously won the Conference title with Maidstone United, seemed to signal a new recognition that firm non-League foundations had to be laid if the club was to achieve promotion.

Still has played down talk of immediate promotion but has nevertheless assembled a squad that looks more than good enough to reach the play-offs if the new players gel. The players he has brought in include several former Daggers: striker Paul Benson, on loan from Swindon Town; defender Scott Griffiths; and Solomon Taiwo, a midfielder whom Dagenham sold to Cardiff for £250k. Other additions include Anthony Charles, a Conference title-winner with Barnet and Aldershot; Shaun Walley, Southport’s pacey winger; Luke Guttridge, a midfielder from Northampton with over 400 League appearances to his name; Jim Stevenson, a midfielder from Histon, who has been receiving good reviews; defender Danny Fitzsimons, another capture from Histon; Andy Parry, a highly-rated centre half from Southport; and Alex Wall, a burly striker who played against us several times for Maidenhead United.

Luton sit in 9th place in the table with 16 points from 10 games. Their away record this season has not been particularly impressive, although they have faced some tough trips. On the opening day they lost 1-0 at Southport, followed by a 0-0 draw at Forest Green, a 2-0 win at Kidderminster and a 2-0 defeat at Wrexham. Last Tuesday the Hatters beat Dartford 3-0 at Kenilworth Road and, in another home game on Saturday, they beat Lincoln City 3-2, although it sounds as if the Imps had much of the play.

ADMISSION PRICES

Adults £15
Over 65s and students (with valid student card) £10
U16s £3

MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

Don’t miss out on the Club’s excellent matchday programme! In another packed edition Ian Nicholson interviews Gavin Williams. Woking fan Lewis Hulatt, born and bred in Luton, recalls the days when he used to grace the terraces at Kenilworth Road. And there’s an ‘opposing view’ from Hatters fan, Tom Skinner. And of course there are all the usual match reports, previews, news and great photos. 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

Last season’s Boxing Day/New Year ‘double header’ saw honours shared, with the home team winning 3-1 in both games. Woking were never really in the match at Kenilworth Road, which was watched by a crowd of over 6,700, and fell behind on 15 minutes to a header from Kovacs from a corner. Andre Gray, who tormented the Woking defence all afternoon, set up the second Luton goal on 37 minutes, putting in a dangerous cross which Aaron Howe could only palm out to Jon Shaw, who netted easily. The Cards continued to be under pressure but pulled a goal back after 71 minutes when substitute Loick Pires combined well with Gavin McCallum. The latter’s shot was repelled but Joe McNerney, who had just been thrown up front, fired home. Woking were briefly in the ascendancy before Scott Rendell made the game safe for the Hatters, converting from the penalty spot after Mark Ricketts had fouled Alex Lawless.

The game at Kingfield was a very different affair, played on a pitch which had cut up badly during recent inclement weather. Garry Hill sprang a surprise, starting with Pires and McNerney up front in place of McCallum and Jayden Stockley. The Cards began strongly and took the lead in the second minute with a glorious strike from the edge of the box from ‘man of the match’ Billy Knott. The visitors quickly equalised, though, when Gray seized on a ball ‘over the top’ and slammed it past Howe. Luton got on top, although Bradley Bubb wasted a good chance midway through the half – as did Jon Shaw just before the break when he hit the bar. It looked initially as though the visitors would go on to dominate the second half but the turning point seemed to come when Shaw missed another excellent opportunity and Garry Hill then brought on McCallum and Stockley for the tiring McNerney and Pires. McCallum nearly put Woking in front when he lifted the ball over the keeper but onto the top of the bar. A few minutes later, though, the Luton keeper could only parry his shot and Billy Knott was quick to pounce to make it 2-1 to the Cards. Four minutes later Stockley made it 3-1 with a superb header from a McCallum cross.

NEXT UP

The Cards’ next home game comes up quickly, with the visit of high-flying Nuneaton Town on Saturday afternoon. Boro’s start to the season has been astonishing but they fell to Salisbury City on Saturday. Has the bubble burst? Come on down to Kingfield to cheer on Garry Hill’s side.

Come on, you Cards!

Cards' Corner Chaos

Josh Stedman
12:00am, Wed 25th Sep 2013
Woking 0 Luton Town 4
Skrill Premier
24th September 2013

The Cards slumped to a four-nil defeat at the hands of Luton Town on Tuesday night. Three first half goals, all from corners, and another from open play in the second half, meant that Woking’s poor form continued and that they now move into the relegation zone.

Although the Cards conceded four at home for the second time this season, for the opening period of the game Garry Hill’s side worked hard and showed brief glimpses that they were up for the fight. The physicality of Darren Murphy in particular, a new recruit previously with Stevenage, helped the home side win more in the air. In fact, around twenty minutes in, a mistake from Luton centre-half Steve McNulty left top goalscorer Gavin Williams one-on-one with the keeper. Had he placed his shot more precisely, Woking would have taken the lead but Mark Tyler spread himself well to make a good save.

It was a miss that would be rued as in the 29th minute Luton capitalised with a headed goal from Mark Cullen. A routine corner kick, which really should have been cleared at the near post, was fired in low and Cullen’s flicked header, from within the six yard box, beat Beasant completely. It was a careless goal to concede but the Cards didn’t learn from the mistake.

The response at first seemed bright. Sole threatened to cause trouble in the Luton box, with a half-hearted chorus willing for a penalty when he was bundled off the ball. Betsy managed to deliver some crosses from the right wing but all were gathered up by Luton keeper Tyler. Sadly, with Woking’s brief pressure paying no dividends it only took five more minutes for the score-line to double.

Again, a Luton corner was not dealt with properly. This time the ball was played short and a lack of pressure gave them plenty of time to control and deliver a cross to the far post. Andy Parry leapt unopposed and headed downward towards goal, the ball bouncing past a helpless Beasant.

At two-nil down the Cards needed to dig deep and for the next ten minutes it seemed as though they might be able to wrestle their way back into contention. Short spells of possession earned the side a corner kick which was headed clear and a Sole shot was then deflected towards goal, only to be parried wide.

Just as it seemed Woking were going to see things out till half-time and regroup, a lacklustre pass gifted Luton possession high up the pitch and a blocked cross meant the ball was once again at the corner. The initial delivery was headed away but a sloppy header back into the centre of the pitch gave possession straight back to Luton, who were able to get the ball wide and whip a second cross into the box. Cullen beat his marker to the ball and headed into the top corner of the net to make it three for the visitors.

Half Time: Woking 0 Luton Town 3

The second half began with a flurry of Luton free-kicks inside the Woking half. Thankfully, some were headed away, but all too many were not met with a dominant defensive header. At times chaos reigned with pinball defending causing frenzy.

A missed header saw striker Andre Gray fire over for Luton in the 54th minute. Despite an improvement in intensity from Woking, no chances were being created, and Luton posed a regular threat.

The sixty minute mark saw the game’s first substitution with Gez Sole being replaced by Anthony McNamee. This change meant Betsy moved into a forward position and McNamee filled his spot on the right. The lack of forward options in the squad meant that the Cards effectively had two midfield players playing as a front two.

Five minutes later Hill made another change with John Goddard replacing Murphy in the centre of midfield. Murphy had looked impressive in the early stages but his lack of match fitness meant that his impact on the game faded as the minutes ticked by. Goddard provided an added element of creativity, but couldn’t change his side’s fortunes in a midfield which was finding it increasingly difficult to compete with their confident opponents.

Shortly after the changes, a sloppy pass from Mark Ricketts found a blue shirt. After moving the ball quickly across the pitch a space opened up in the middle from which a well-timed ball was slotted through a gap in the defence to put Gray through. Finishing calmly, the game was even further out of reach than it had been before.

George Frith replaced a tired Williams in the 76th minute. From the brief time he had on the pitch, a tidy pass and turn gave the impression that he could be relied upon in future games. Williams was deserving of praise for the way he ran the line for the Cards in an unfamiliar position.

With the game petering out, Luton made their changes with three substitutions in quick succession.

The announcement of four minutes added time was met by a universal groan from the fans in the Leslie Gosden Stand. The added time only benefited the visiting Luton fans who by this point were cheering every pass. A moment of madness in the dying seconds nearly saw them grab a fifth goal but a burst of shots was cleared.

Garry Hill apologised for the side’s performance levels in the matchday programme but on today's evidence the corner has not yet been turned, although it has to be said that the Cards will not meet many better teams this season. Woking clearly missed the physicality of Scott Rendell up front on the night, his absence due to a clause preventing the on-loan player turning out against his parent club. The constant tweaking of the back four is doing little to add stability either. Garry Hill remained in a positive mood in his post-match interview, however, so let us hope that this permeates through to the players when they take on high-flying Nuneaton at Kingfield this coming Saturday.

Woking: Sam Beasant, Mark Ricketts, Jack Parkinson, Joe McNerney, John Nutter, Kevin Betsy, Darren Murphy (John Goddard 65), Josh Payne, Mike Cestor, Gavin Williams (George Frith 76), Giuseppe Sole (Anthony McNamee 62)

Unused Subs: Aaron Howe, Niall Wright

Cautions: Joe McNerney 76, Mike Cestor 88

Luton: Mark Tyler, Jonathan Smith, Steve McNulty, Scott Griffiths, Jake Howells (JJ O’Donnell 84), Andy Parry, Luke Guttridge (Shaun Whalley 86), Ronnie Henry, Andre Gray (Zane Banton 85), Mark Cullen, Alex Lacey

Unused Subs: Elliot Justham, Solomon Taiwo

Goals: Mark Cullen 29, 45, Andy Parry 35, Andre Gray 70

Sponsor's MOTM: Joe McNerney

Attendance: 1,955
WOKING LINEUP
18Sam Beasant
5Joe McNerney
3John Nutter
8Jack Parkinson
15Mike Cestor
4Mark Ricketts
20Josh Payne
23Darren Murphy ('68)
9Gavin Williams ('76)
11Kevin Betsy
10Giuseppe Sole ('63)
BENCH
1Aaron Howe
16George Frith ('76)
17Niall Wright
14Anthony McNamee ('63)
22John Goddard ('68)
Luton Town LINEUP
1Mark Tyler
4Jonathan Smith
5Steve McNulty
11Jake Howells
12Scott Griffiths
14Andy Parry
21Luke Guttridge
25Ronnie Henry
27Andre Gray
30Alex Lacey
13Mark Cullen
BENCH
16Elliot Justham
17J J O Donnell
22Shawn Whalley
34Zane Banton
8Solomon Taiwo

Woking 0-4 Luton Town (Garry Hill Interview)

Interview with Joe McNerney

David Holmes
11:38pm, Tue 24th Sep 2013

Joe McNerney:







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