Lovetts
FCP
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 11th JanuaryJan 2014
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 1270

Woking
Woking
1 - 0

Braintree Town
Braintree Town

Cards hope to get back in action on Saturday

Brian Caffarey
8:53pm, Thu 9th Jan 2014
Woking v Braintree Town
3pm on Saturday 11 January 2014

Pitch permitting, Alan Devonshire will bring his successful Iron side to Kingfield on Saturday afternoon for what will no doubt be a hard-fought encounter as the Cards look to move up the table after three postponed games in succession. Come down to Kingfield and cheer on Garry Hill’s side!

WOKING

Cards fans will be hoping for news of some signings before Saturday’s game following the ending of the loan moves of Jack Marriott, Scott Rendell and Keiran Murtagh and several earlier departures. Garry has been keeping his cards close to his chest (if you’ll excuse the pun) but he makes it clear in an interview in the matchday programme that he has been working very hard on possible deals and that he was hoping to have some good news for Woking fans before this game.

BRAINTREE TOWN

After their 9th place finish last season, the Iron are having another fruitful campaign, currently sitting in 11th place in the table, seven places and nine points above Woking from the same number of games (24). Away from home they’ve won five (Dartford, Macclesfield, Wrexham, Hyde and Chester), drawn four (Hereford, Salisbury, Nuneaton and Tamworth) and lost four (Grimsby, Alfreton, Aldershot and Cambridge). In total they’ve scored 32 goals, conceding 23. Their last match was a 2-0 home win over Tamworth on 28 December.

Familiar names in their squad include dependable strikers Sean Marks and Dan Holman, central defender Dean Wells, inspirational skipper Kenny Davis and former AFC Wimbledon midfielder James Mulley. Giant defender Exodus Geohaghon is also in the squad but has not figured much so far.

ADMISSION PRICES

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

MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

As already indicated, the centrepiece of Saturday’s 56-page matchday programme is an extensive interview with Garry Hill in which he reflects on the season so far and, amongst other matters, discusses the pros and cons of using loan players. The programme also includes a piece by Chairman Mike Smith about the new Town Centre shop and Richard Mason’s memories of a great game from the Club’s past. 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

Braintree Town 2 Woking 0
13 August 2013

The Cards’ first away fixture of the season, following their opening 0-0 home draw against Lincoln City, proved a disappointment. In what was to become a fairly familiar story, the Cards, after a reasonably encouraging opening, in which Gavin McCallum spurned a good chance, conceded early on: indeed, they conceded twice before the 20-minute mark had been reached. First, Dan Holman slotted home in the 17th minute after the ball reached him through a tangle of legs from a corner and then, two minutes later, Sean Marks tapped the ball home after his first effort had come back off the bar following a cross.

The Cards were more in the game in the second half but this was partly because the Iron seemed content to sit back and soak up any pressure. To make matters worse, substitute Gez Sole was sent off a minute from the end after appearing to kick out at the Iron’s Kenny Davis.

Woking: Aaron Howe, Adam Newton, Brett Johnson, Jack Parkinson, John Nutter (Jordan Ivey-Ward 79), Josh Payne, Lee Sawyer, Gavin Williams, Kevin Betsy, Gavin McCallum (Anthony McNamee 64), Joe McNerney (Giuseppe Sole 64)

Unused subs: Sam Beasant, George Frith

Sent Off: Giuseppe Sole (90)

Cautions: Josh Payne (80), Jack Parkinson (85)

Braintree Town: Nathan McDonald, Ryan Peters, Samuel Habergham, Matthew Paine, Dean Wells, Chez Isaacs (Dan Sparkes 80), Kenny Davis, Luke Daley, Alan Massey, James Mulley, Sean Marks (Liam Enver-Marum 90), Dan Holman

Unused subs: Newman Carney, Nicky Symons, Nick Hamann,

Goals: Dan Holman (17), Sean Marks (19)

Cautions: Chez Isaacs (75), Kenny Davis (80)

Attendance: 995

NEXT UP

The Cards are due to travel to Chipstead on Tuesday evening (14 January) in the third round of the Surrey Senior Cup. The following Saturday (18 January) they are away at Welling United in the Skrill Conference Premier. Their next home match is on Tuesday 21 January when they entertain Chester.

Come on, you Cards!

Cards claim crucial Braintree win

Glen Harrington
9:32pm, Sat 11th Jan 2014
Woking 1 Braintree Town 0

The Skrill Premier

11th January 2014

Joe McNerney scrambled in the only goal of the game, as Woking deservedly saw off play-off chasing Braintree Town, and ended their miserable run of results against Alan Devonshire’s side.
The result marked a long-awaited success for the Cards, as they recorded their first win over the Iron in eight meetings, dating back to when the two teams first met in the Conference South in 2009.
In their seven previous match-ups, Woking had managed just two points and two goals, making today’s result all the more significant in the Cards' battle against relegation.

After a run of six league wins in their last eight games, Garry Hill’s side are now eight points clear of the bottom four, while they still maintain multiple games in hand on many of the teams around them.

Hill, and assistant Steve Thompson, made four changes from the team that lost 3-1 at home to Salisbury City on Boxing Day. Scott Rendell, Jack Marriott and Charles Banya, all of whom have finished their loan spells and returned to their parent clubs, dropped out along with Brett Johnson. In their place came Giuseppe Sole, John Goddard, Adam Newton and Mike Cestor.

This meant that the Cards lined up in a 4-3-3 formation, with Goddard and Kevin Betsy providing wide support for front-man Sole. Mark Ricketts returned to his favoured midfield role alongside Josh Payne and Keiran Murtagh, while Newton and Cestor slotted into the back four alongside McNerney and John Nutter. There were as yet, no new loan signings to speak of, with the substitutes' bench comprising Johnson, Anthony McNamee, academy duo Niall Wright and Reece Beckles, and substitute goalkeeper Andy Little.

Despite the multitude of changes, and the loss of striking duo Rendell and Marriott, who scored 15 league goals between them during their time with the club, the Cards started the game extremely brightly, with their new front trio looking particularly impressive.
Twice the home side came close to opening the scoring inside the first ten minutes. First, Nutter’s free-kick was only half cleared by the Braintree defence, with the ball falling kindly for Payne to strike – the midfielder forcing a decent low save from goalkeeper Nick Hamann, who will have seen the shot late through a crowd of bodies. Moments later, and Betsy found space on the edge of the penalty area, allowing him to tee up Sole for a close-range effort – Hamann again in the right place to push the ball around the post for a corner.

Time after time Woking produced some excellent free-flowing football going forward, with one move in particular catching the eye: Sole showing great strength to hold up a long ball out of defence and laying it off for Goddard, who burst forward before feeding Murtagh. The Mansfield loanee looked set to shoot before he too squared the ball for Betsy, who was unfortunate to see his shot from a tight angle fly narrowly wide.

Both Goddard and Payne forced further saves from Hamman, with his stop from Payne particularly impressive as he palmed the ball away from the top left-hand corner of his goal.

The visitors showed very little in the way of attacking prowess during the first-half, with Dan Holman spurning the best of what was a very limited selection of Braintree chances. In fact, if it were not for the heroics of Hamann, they could well have found themselves down and out by the break.

Half-time: Woking 0 Braintree Town 0

However, this was far from the first time this season that the Cards had had the better of the possession and the chances and not taken advantage, making an early second-half breakthrough all the more vital.

And the hosts almost did just that within two minutes of the re-start, when San Habergham misjudged Sam Beasant’s goal-kick and allowed Betsy to race clear down the right flank. Without opposition, the Cards' experienced winger was able to cut inside and square the ball for Sole, only for a combination of goalkeeper and defender to scramble it clear.

It was practically the same move again ten minutes later as Sole stole the ball off the toe of Habergham and released Betsy, only for Dean Wells to heroically throw himself in front of the shot and send it flying up and over his keeper’s crossbar.

Murtagh was the next to be denied, on the hour mark, as he swivelled and shot in the area, only for the feet of Hamann to again send the ball wide. The Woking midfielder was unlikely to have believed his luck when, from the resulting corner, he found himself free at the heart of the Braintree area, only for his shot to balloon back off the left-hand post. Thankfully for the home side, McNerney was on hand, and despite the despairing dive of the goalkeeper, and several Iron defenders, he was able to force the ball into the net for his fifth goal of the season.

Devonshire responded by bringing on Jordan Cox and Bernard Mensah in place of Holman and Kenny Davis. The former made a noticeable impact for the visitors, as he proved to be a real handful for McNerney and Cestor, who had endured a relatively quiet afternoon prior to his introduction. It came as little surprise when he handed Woking fans their heart-in-mouth moment, as his header found the bottom corner, only to be disallowed for a push on a Woking defender.

James Mulley wasted Braintree’s only other noteworthy chance. After capitalising on a loose pass from Payne and a slip by Newton, the intended recipient, he found himself clean through on the Woking goal but took too long over his shot, allowing McNerney to recover and force him wide, meaning his shot only required a decent block from Beasant.

In fact, the Cards were unfortunate not to add to their lead. Newton’s long-range shot required another fine save from Hamann, Betsy saw his effort cleared off the line, Payne curled a shot narrowly wide of the top left-hand corner of the net, and Murtagh could only head wide from Newton’s cross.

It was a fine all-round display from Woking, and one that deservedly brought about three points against a team who were only four points adrift of the top five prior to kick-off. The front three, despite having netted just five league goals between them this season, led the line well, particularly Sole, who completed his first full 90 minutes of league action in over 18 months. Both Payne and Ricketts had excellent games in midfield, while Murtagh was beginning to look more like the player Cards fans will remember from previous loan spells with the club. McNerney, as well as being the match winner, was once again a commanding presence at the heart of the Woking back four, with Cestor looking pleasingly assured alongside him. Newton meanwhile had arguably his best game of this current season, as he celebrated his return to the starting eleven with an extremely encouraging performance.

No doubt the Woking players, staff and fans alike will be hoping that they continue this form, perhaps aided by one or two fresh faces, when they return to league action in a week’s time – once again facing an opponent they have traditionally struggled against in recent years – Welling United.

However, the Cards are in action again before next weekend as, weather permitting, they travel to Chipstead for their rearranged Surrey Senior Cup match.

Woking: Sam Beasant, Adam Newton, John Nutter, Joe McNerney, Mike Cestor, Mark Ricketts, Josh Payne, John Goddard (Brett Johnson 90), Keiran Murtagh (Niall Wright 89), Kevin Betsy, Giuseppe Sole.

Unused Subs: Andy Little, Anthony McNamee, Reece Beckles.

Goal: McNerney 60

Booked: Murtagh 87

Braintree Town: Nick Hamann, Ryan Peters, Dean Wells, Alan Massey, Sam Habergham, Chez Isaac (Luke Daley 73), Matt Paine, Kenny Davis (Bernard Mensah 64), James Mulley, Sean Marks, Dan Holman (Jordan Cox 61).

Unused Subs: Nathan McDonald, Exodus Geohaghon.

Booked: Peters 40, Massey 90

Sponsor's MOTM: Josh Payne – An outstanding all-action display as he bossed the midfield, unlucky not to score on several occasions.

Attendance: 1,270


WOKING LINEUP
18Sam Beasant
2Adam Newton
3John Nutter
5Joe McNerney
15Mike Cestor
4Mark Ricketts
20Josh Payne
26Keiran Murtagh ('89)
11Kevin Betsy
22John Goddard ('90)
10Giuseppe Sole
BENCH
28Andy Little
6Brett Johnson ('90)
17Niall Wright ('89)
14Anthony McNamee
34Reece Beckles
Braintree Town LINEUP

Woking 1-0 Braintree Town (Garry Hill Interview)

Interview with Josh Payne

David Holmes
6:23pm, Sat 11th Jan 2014

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