Laithwaite Independent Financial Advisers
FCP
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 22nd FebruaryFeb 2014
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 1154

Woking
Woking
3 - 2

Macclesfield Town
Macclesfield Town

Cards hoping to respond after Dartford set-back

Glen Harrington
10:15pm, Thu 20th Feb 2014
Woking v Macclesfield Town
3pm on Saturday 22 February 2014

The Cards return to Kingfield for the first time in almost three weeks on Saturday, when they entertain Macclesfield Town. Garry Hill’s side produced arguably their best and worst performances of the year in last season’s corresponding fixture: 5-0 up by half-time, Woking were in complete control, but the visitors came back with four second-half strikes of their own.


WOKING

After a wonderful result at Gateshead last Saturday, it was a somewhat disheartening comedown for the Cards against a lowly Dartford side on Tuesday. However, the 5-1 scoreline told far from the whole story. Scott Rendell handed Woking an early lead, and although their hosts quickly struck back, they were right in the game until Joey Jones’ untimely red card.

Jones will now serve a three game suspension, and it will be interesting to see whether the Cards opt to bring back Adam Newton, who has been absent since the 3-0 win over Hereford at the start of the month, or move skipper Mark Ricketts back to right back. Kieran Murtagh, who came on off the substitute’s bench on Tuesday, could well be recalled, although Mike Cestor remains side-lined.


MACCLESFIELD TOWN

The Silkmen are in fine form, winning six of their last eight games to leave them eleventh in the table with 44 points from 29 games. They are five points ahead of the Cards with two games in hand, and are nine points adrift of the playoff places, again with games to spare on many of the teams above them.

It was a season that started very differently for John Askey’s team, who needed until the 21st September to register their first league win – at home against Woking – which followed a run of three draws and six defeats from their opening nine games.

In fact, if it were not for the goals of Connor Jennings, who netted 14 in 15 league games on loan for Scunthorpe United, the Silkmen could easily have been cut adrift at the bottom of the table.

Despite a season-ending injury ending Jennings’ prolific run, Macclesfield have continued to improve ever since their early-season jitters, losing only five further games since September. In fact, they have only failed to win three league games since November – losing out against Cambridge, Nuneaton and Luton – who are all in the top five.

They have a squad packed with experienced players, including former Stevenage midfielder Peter Winn, long-time Chesterfield pair Scott Boden and Danny Whitaker, and forward Chris Holroyd. Recent arrivals include former player Waide Fairhurst, who has returned on loan from Lincoln City, defender George Pilkington (on loan from Mansfield), and journeyman striker Akpo Sodje, younger brother of assistant manager Efe Sodje, on loan from Tranmere.


ADMISSION PRICES

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


LAST TIME OUT

Macclesfield Town 3 Woking 2
21 September 2013

Woking’s hopes of a Cheshire ‘treble’ following away wins at Chester and Hyde were dashed by a lacklustre display at winless Macclesfield, an undeserved gloss being placed on the scoreline by two late Cards goals.

John Goddard made his first start for Woking but it was Macclesfield’s front two of Connor Jennings and Chris Holroyd who caught the eye, giving the nervy Woking defence a torrid afternoon. It only took 12 minutes for the home side to take the lead, a poor back pass letting in Holroyd, whose shot was blocked by the busy Sam Beasant, with the rebound being converted by Jennings.

In injury time it became 2-0 as Jennings headed home a fine cross from Peter Winn.

In the second half Anthony McNamee smacked a volley against the crossbar but it was no surprise when, with twelve minutes to go, Jack Mackreth made it 3-0 to the home side.

Woking rallied with two late goals: a fine strike from Gez Sole and a deflected effort from Joe McNerney, which signalled an anxious few minutes for home fans before the Silkmen deservedly claimed their first win of the season.

Woking: Sam Beasant, Adam Newton (Lee Sawyer 43), John Nutter (Giuseppe Sole 59), Mark Ricketts (Joe McNerney 67), Kevin Betsy, Anthony McNamee, Mike Cestor, Jack Parkinson, Josh Payne, Scott Rendell, John Goddard

Subs not used: Aaron Howe, Gavin Williams

Cautions: Lee Sawyer

Macclesfield Town: Rhys Taylor, Joe Connor, Danny Andrew, Carl Martin, Paul Turnbull, Jack Mackreth, Connor Jennings, Chris Holroyd (Lewis Chalmers 86), Peter Winn, Danny Whitaker, Andy Halls

Subs not used: John Paul Kissock, Scott Boden, Daniel Rowe, Dan Cowan

Cautions: Andy Halls, Danny Whitaker, Chris Holroyd

Attendance: 1,195


MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

Saturday’s 56-page programme includes plenty of interest for Cards and Silkmen fans alike, with James MacDonald’s reflections on former Macclesfield manager, Sammy McIlroy, and reminiscences of the days when the Silkmen occupied the same football world as Manchester City. There’s also a piece focusing on the Club’s highly-lauded community programme. In addition, Richard Mason recalls another memorable Cards game from days 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


NEXT UP

The Cards are away to Kidderminster Harriers on Tuesday evening (25 February) in a much-rearranged fixture. On Saturday 1 March they travel to Barnet. The following Saturday, 8 March, Woking are at home to Southport.


Come on, you Cards!

Three Cards Crackers Secure The Points

Phil Batts
9:36am, Sun 23rd Feb 2014
Woking 3 Macclesfield Town 2

The Skrill Premier

February 22nd 2014

Three superb individual goals put the gloss on a well-deserved Woking victory against mid-table Macclesfield Town. Trailing at the interval to an accurate Scott Boden finish early in the game following a defensive mistake by Mike Cestor, the Cards hit back with two fine goals from Jack Marriott and John Goddard. They then missed a golden opportunity to extend their lead when Scott Rendell failed to guide home a Josh Payne free-kick from close range. Shortly afterwards, the visitors made them pay for their generosity when George Pilkington made the most of an error from Sam Beasant in the Woking goal to fire home an equaliser. Justice prevailed, however, five minutes later when Rendell netted a delightful winner to send the Kingfield faithful home happy and push the team three points closer to safety.

Woking lined up in a now familiar 4-4-2 formation. In front of Sam Beasant was a back four of captain Mark Ricketts, Joe McNerney, Mike Cestor and John Nutter. The midfield comprised John Goddard wide right, Kevin Betsy on the left and Josh Payne and Kieran Murtagh in the middle. Up front was the 'smash and grab' pairing of Scott Rendell and Jack Marriott.

On a bright but chilly day, the game got off to a quiet start on what increasingly became a stodgy and bobbly playing surface. Indeed, a large area in front of the dugouts was more akin to Brighton Beach than a football pitch due to heavy sanding. This, of course, was no reflection on our excellent groundsman Colin Galliford, but as a result of the quite appalling weather over the past few months.

It came as quite a shock, therefore, when Macclesfield took the lead with their first attack, and their only real chance of the half. There seemed to be no danger as an innocuous ball was played through the middle of the Woking defence. Unfortunately, it ran under Mike Cestor's foot and was gleefully seized upon by Scott Boden who slotted low to Beasant's left after only six minutes.

This was a body blow to the home side, whose confidence must have been fragile following their heavy mid-week defeat at Dartford. Slowly, however, they eased their way back into the game and steadily pushed their opponents back as they went in search of an equaliser. Just after the quarter-hour, a Rendell flick-on put Betsy into a dangerous position only for the giant defender Steve Williams to bring him down unceremoniously. From the resultant free-kick, Payne's attempt on goal flew just over the bar. Next, Betsy managed to wriggle clear on the byline and put in a dangerous low cross which was cleared to safety by the Macclesfield defence.

On the half-hour, it seemed as though the home side was certain to score. One of many accurate Josh Payne free-kicks throughout the afternoon was whipped into a dangerous area but with a couple of Woking players bearing down on him, the visitors' stopper Rhys Taylor managed to get his feet to the ball and the ball was hacked to safety. It was then the turn of Goddard who put over a tantalising cross from the left which was just too high for Rendell's leap in the six-yard box.

With the first-half nearing its conclusion, Marriott and Betsy broke quickly following a rare Macclesfield corner. The Ipswich loanee played in the veteran midfielder but the latter was thwarted by a last-gasp tackle as he prepared to pull the trigger.

It had been a frustrating half for the Cards who had deserved an equaliser as their opponents seemed content to sit back and soak up the pressure and hope to hit their hosts on the break.

Half-time: Woking 0 Macclesfield Town 1

Woking started the second half clearly determined to take the game to the visitors. From an early corner, the ball was only half-cleared and it fell to Payne but his shot from eighteen yards was just over.

With an hour gone and the playing surface becoming more difficult, there was little to suggest that the next seventeen minutes would see a flurry of four goals. However, in the sixty-first minute, Woking finally drew level. There were vehement appeals for a penalty from the visiting contingent following an aerial challenge on substitute Akpo Sodje, who was proving a handful to the home defence following his arrival on the pitch shortly after half-time. The referee waved away the claims and the ball was swiftly transferred to Marriott about forty-five yards from the Macclesfield goal. Up to now, the young striker had had a quiet game. However, he seized the moment, bore down on goal and very professionally planted a fine strike into the back of the net via the far post.

It was now all Woking and they deservedly took the lead eight minutes later. Superb skill from Payne saw him skate past an opponent and release Marriott on the edge of the box, only for the youngster's excellent strike to be superbly turned around the far post by Rhys Taylor. From the corner, the ball fell to the impressive John Goddard, who hit an unstoppable right foot shot high into the roof of the net from twenty yards.

It looked as though things would get even better soon afterwards when a dangerous in-swinging Payne free-kick from the left caught Rendell slightly off his guard and he was only able to poke a good opportunity wide.

As often happens in such situations, however, when an opportunity has been spurned, the opposition immediately make you pay for it. Sure enough, less than five minutes later, Beasant failed to gather a cross and it fell invitingly to George Pilkington who restored parity with a calm finish into the roof of the net as goalkeeper and defenders looked on aghast.

Back came the Cards, however, in this increasingly pulsating encounter and fittingly won the game with another superb individual effort. Rendell took a good pass from Goddard in his stride on the left-hand side of the penalty box and bent a superb right-footed shot into the far corner for the decisive goal of the afternoon.

The game became even more stretched now as Macclesfield pushed forward. Beasant made a smart stop above his head from a Chris Holroyd snapshot and Danny Rowe blasted high over the bar when he might have done better. Garry Hill then made two late changes in stoppage time to help run down the clock and the Cards held firm to record an important and impressive victory.

The win brought to an end a topsy-turvy week for the home side. From the euphoria of the superb victory at Gateshead last Saturday, through the various problems of Tuesday night at Dartford, both on and off the pitch, and finally the delight at a massive three points against Macclesfield, aided by some top quality goals. It's never dull at Kingfield. Two tough away fixtures follow this week, at Kidderminster Harriers on Tuesday and Barnet next Saturday. A few more goals like we saw from the team in this match would not go amiss.

Woking: Sam Beasant, Mark Ricketts, John Nutter, Joe McNerney, Mike Cestor, Josh Payne, John Goddard, Kevin Betsy (Brett Johnson 90), Kieran Murtagh, Scott Rendell, Jack Marriott (Giuseppe Sole 90)

Unused Subs: Aaron Howe, Anthony McNamee, Reece Beckles

Goals: Jack Marriott 61, John Goddard 69, Scott Rendell 78

Cautions: None

Macclesfield Town: Rhys Taylor, Andy Halls, Paul Turnbull (Paul Lewis 90), Steve Williams, Danny Andrew, Jack Mackreth, Danny Whitaker, George Pilkington, Peter Winn (Danny Rowe 84), Chris Holroyd, Scott Boden (Akpo Sodje 48)

Unused Subs: Joe Connor, Scott Kay

Goals: Scott Boden 6, George Pilkington 73

Cautions: Paul Turnbull 29, Steve Williams 37 Danny Whitaker 87

Sponsor's MOTM: John Goodard – an excellent all-round performance capped by a brilliant goal. The young midfielder clearly has plenty to offer.

Attendance: 1,144


WOKING LINEUP
18Sam Beasant
4Mark Ricketts
3John Nutter
5Joe McNerney
15Mike Cestor
20Josh Payne
26Keiran Murtagh
11Kevin Betsy ('90)
22John Goddard
21Scott Rendell
25Jack Marriott ('90)
BENCH
1Aaron Howe
6Brett Johnson ('90)
14Anthony McNamee
10Giuseppe Sole ('90)
34Reece Beckles
Macclesfield Town LINEUP

Woking 3 - 2 Macclesfield Town (Garry Hill Interview)

Interview with John Goddard

David Holmes
6:13pm, Sat 22nd Feb 2014

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