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3:00pm - SaturdaySat 23rd AugustAug 2014
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Welling United
Welling United
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Woking
Woking

Big test for Cards

Brian Caffarey
9:26am, Thu 21st Aug 2014
Welling United v Woking
3pm on Saturday 23 August 2014

This is a big test for Garry Hill’s side. Last season they were outfought and outmuscled, home and away, by a very determined Wings outfit. Make the trip to Park View Road on Saturday if you can to cheer the Cards on as they look to maintain their unbeaten start to the season and, better still, register their second away win.

WOKING

It’s only because expectations are so high at Kingfield that a start to the season of a win and two draws may feel a little disappointing. But both draws were achieved at home, against Dartford and Macclesfield Town, and both could so easily have been wins if chances created early on in both games, when Woking were on top, had been taken. Moreover, the fine form in the opening game, away at Alfreton, was not replicated in the home games, with Garry Hill afterwards commenting on the lack of the sort of attacking presence that Kevin Betsy has supplied so often in the last two seasons.

But, as Garry said at the fans’ forum, the team must not let Kevin’s absence be an excuse, so it is up to the rest of a – very talented – squad to show that they are good enough to challenge for the Conference top spots without him. While, as Garry has indicated, the balance has not been quite right so far, the side should be more than capable of getting a result at Park View Road.

Garry made three changes for the Macclesfield game, bringing in James Clarke for Adam Newton, Joey Jones for Keiran Murtagh and John Nutter for Mike Cestor. James Clarke in particular caught the eye.

Jamie Day’s side will be determined to make home advantage pay after two miserable away defeats so the Cards can expect a tough examination. While the Cards must be prepared to match the Wings’ challenge, they need to do it without the sort of reaction that led to Jack Parkinson’s and Keiran Murtagh’s red cards last season.

WELLING UNITED

Jamie Day’s side have had a difficult start to the season. On the opening day they drew 1-1 at home to AFC Telford, who had been reduced to nine men early in the second half. They then suffered successive 3-0 away defeats at Torquay and Halifax, with Day commenting on a ‘gutless’ performance at the Shay.

The Wings lost several key players in the summer, notably strikers Kurtis Guthrie departing for Forest Green Rovers and Ross Lafayette joining Luton Town. Jamie Day has a great record in finding promising young players but looks to have his work cut out this season in replacing those two strikers. He has brought in the pacey Afolabi Obafemi, who was with Dagenham and Redbridge last season, and Tyrone Marsh, who is on loan from Oxford United till Christmas. Other newcomers include defender Chris Bush, who had a brief loan spell at Kingfield in 2010; Jamal Fyfield, a defender who was with York City last season; and midfielder Charlie Gorman, a 20 year-old who featured for Eastbourne Borough last year. Among those retained in the summer were Joe Healy, Loui Fazackerley and Harry Beautyman.

GETTING THERE

Welling United FC
Park View Road
Welling
Kent
DA16 1SY
Website:www.wellingunited.com

By coach

The Cards Trust coach leaves Kingfield at 12.30pm. Prices are £14 for members and £19 for non-members. Ring (01483 772470) or email the Club Shop (shop@wokingfc.co.uk) to book.

By car

Leave the M25 at Junction 2. At the roundabout, take the A2 towards Central London. Leave the A2 at the third exit (Danson Interchange, signposted A221 to Bexleyheath and Sidcup). Turn right (second exit) at the roundabout at the end of the slip road, and then turn right (third exit) at the next roundabout. Go under the A2 bridge and up the slope to another roundabout. Take the second exit and follow the road (Danson Road) to the traffic lights at the end. Turn left at the lights onto Park View Road. The ground is on the left. There is no car park, but plenty of street parking is available.

By train

Nearest station: Welling

From Woking take the train to Waterloo. Then from Waterloo East catch the train to Welling. Direct trains, from Platform A, are at 05 and 35 minutes past the hour and take 28 minutes e.g. the 13.35 arrives at 14.03 and the 14.05 arrives at 14.33. Other trains involve a change at London Bridge or Lewisham. (Southeastern services are running normally from London Bridge at the weekend, unlike Southern and First Capital Connect services.) On the way back, direct trains to Waterloo East are at 04 and 34 minutes past the hour, with slower trains (involving a change at London Bridge) leaving at 13 and 43 minutes past the hour. The ground is an easy 15-20 minutes’ walk from the station. Just walk down to the main road (Bellegrove Road/Welling High Street), turn left and keep going till you reach the ground on your right. Buses 89, 486 and B16 pass the ground.

ADMISSION PRICES

Adults: £15
Students: £10
Concessions (Over 60/U16): £9
U12: Free with an adult
Seating: £1 – pay at grandstand

LAST SEASON

Woking 2 Welling United 4
24 August 2013

A good away win at Chester on the previous Saturday did not prepare Cards fans for this morale-sapping defeat against Jamie Day’s side in the second home game of the season. Garry Hill’s side had only themselves to blame, giving away three goals in a dreadful 15-minute spell midway through the first half. First, Aaron Howe managed to punch the ball into his own net. Four minutes later, Doug Bergqvist had acres of space to head home Joe Healy’s cross. Then Brett Johnson dallied and was robbed by Ross Lafayette, who crossed for an easy goal for former Woking trialist and ex-Sutton favourite Harry Beautyman. Johnson reduced the deficit before half-time as he converted a pull-back from Gavin Williams.

Things got worse immediately after the break when Jack Parkinson, playing against his former club, picked up a second harsh yellow card and was sent off. (This was Woking’s third red card in successive games, following those waved at Gez Sole and Josh Payne.) Joe McNerney was thrown up front to partner George Bowerman but, almost inevitably, the returning Loick Pires added a fourth for the Wings on the break. McNerney immediately pulled a goal back to make it 2-4 but plenty of Woking pressure did not produce another goal.

This defeat turned out to be the first of four successive losses.

Welling United 3 Woking 0
18 January 2014

The Wings duly completed a season double over the Cards with another emphatic win. A resolute and determined Welling side, smarting from their midweek home defeat at the hands of lowly Hyde, outfought Woking and should have been ahead before Keiran Murtagh’s second unnecessary booking just before half-time gave Garry Hill’s side a hugely difficult post-interval task. Predictably, Welling piled on the pressure and the eventual three-goal margin did not flatter Jamie Day’s side.

With Gez Sole leading the line, following Scott Rendell’s return to Luton, against a typically physical Welling defence, and Kevin Betsy and John Goddard getting no change on the flanks, the Cards were soon on the back foot, with Josh Payne and Keiran Murtagh increasingly occupied with defensive duties. The Cards survived till half-time but Healy converted a cross in the 62nd minute and was then on hand in the 75th minute for the rebound when Sam Beasant saved Lafayette’s penalty-kick. To round off a miserable afternoon, Brett Johnson then fluffed a clearance, allowing Clarke to tap home. The only bright spot for the Cards was an enterprising league debut by substitute Reece Beckles.

NEXT GAME

The Cards are at home to more old rivals, Dover Athletic, on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon: kick-off at 3pm. Come down to Kingfield and support the side!


Come on, you Cards!






Frustrating afternoon for Cards

Brian Caffarey
9:04pm, Sat 23rd Aug 2014
Welling United 1 Woking 1
23 August 2014

This was another frustrating afternoon for Garry Hill’s side. It was the now familiar story of early dominance – virtually total for the first half hour – undermined by a failure to put the ball in the net or even barely test the home keeper. The game should have been out of sight by the time Welling mustered their first shot on goal with over 30 minutes gone but, instead, they took the lead a minute or two later and Woking only grabbed an equaliser in the 81st minute through the unlikely source of substitute Adam Newton. So, the Cards remain unbeaten after four games, with one win and three draws, but against both Dartford and Welling it ought to have been a three point haul, not one.

With Mike Cestor still injured and John Nutter unavailable, and with Adam Newton remaining on the substitutes’ bench, Woking started with a back four, in front of Aaron Howe, of James Clarke on the right, Mark Ricketts and Joe McNerney in the centre and new loan signing Chris Arthur on the left. The midfield comprised Theo Lewis on the right, Josh Payne and Joey Jones in the centre, and John Goddard on the left but with an apparently looser role. Scott Rendell and Dean Morgan continued up front.

The Cards were quickly into their stride, pushing Welling back on the defensive, where they remained for the next 30 minutes, with the only respite coming through balls punted hopefully up field, which almost invariably ran through to Howe. Goddard worked his way into the box on three occasions in the opening minutes but with no real threat resulting. A succession of corners and free-kicks followed but were all cleared. The best attack at this stage was a superb move in the 14th minute, with Goddard flashing a cross to the far post, where a Welling defender came close to putting the ball in his own net under pressure from Morgan.

But a much better chance fell to Lewis in the 22nd minute. Put clear by an exquisite pass by Payne inside the full-back, he shot only to see the Wings’ keeper, Butcher, deflect the ball onto the post and away. Jones nearly compensated a minute later with a header which was cleared off the line.

The relentless Woking pressure continued with yet more corners and free-kicks but the home side defended stoutly, keeping shooting opportunities to a minimum and clearing crosses.

In the 32nd minute the Wings finally managed a shot – to some ironic cheers from the away fans. But Beautyman’s turn was clever and, although his shot was wide, it carried a threat. Almost immediately, that threat was realised as the home side took the lead completely against the run of play. A ball was played in behind the left side of the Woking defence. Howe rushed out but Beautyman pushed the ball past him and was able to fire home in spite of Clarke’s attempt to cover.

Predictably, the goal lifted the home side and deflated the Cards. Beautyman had a shot over the bar but was penalised for a ‘foot up’. It wasn’t until the final few minutes of the half that Woking regained some of their previous attacking momentum, with a decent chance falling to Jones. A snap shot was probably the order of the day as Rendell headed down to him in the box but he wanted a touch and the defence stepped in.

As Woking left the field at half-time one suspects that they could hardly believe that they were a goal down but, against that, it has to be said that, for all their dominance in terms of territory and possession, they had given Butcher very little to do.

Half-time: Welling United 1 Woking 0

As soon as the second half got under way, it became clear that Woking would not dominate proceedings in the same fashion. An untidy start saw McNerney quickly booked and he might possibly have been booked again a few minutes later when he appeared to go into a tackle with his foot up.

An early chance fell to Welling’s Tyrone Marsh but he dallied on a through ball on the edge of the Woking box and was dispossessed. Play became increasingly ‘bitty’ and, at times, tetchy, with a number of free-kicks conceded by both sides. There was little of the fluency that Woking had shown in the first half and their attacks increasingly took the form of balls aimed for Rendell or crosses into the box which were generally well dealt with by the Welling defence, who also blocked several efforts on goal around the penalty area. Welling had a period of pressure around the 60-minute mark, with McNerney foiling a dangerous free-kick and then Barney Williams letting fly with a tremendous effort from at least 35 yards which whistled past the woodwork.

It was no surprise to see Garry Hill ringing the changes, bringing on Keiran Murtagh and Gez Sole for Joey Jones and John Goddard, as Woking pushed three up front and Chris Arthur also roamed forward more often. But, in the end, it was the arrival of Adam Newton in the 70th minute, replacing Theo Lewis, that seemed to give the Cards a lift, as he found good positions out on the right.

But Welling ought to have made the game safe before Newton had a chance to influence the game. Corne was played through but in a one-on-one with Howe could only hit the ball tamely toward the Woking keeper.

Woking responded by pushing forward more urgently in search of an equaliser but without looking as though it would materialise. Eventually, however, the pressure told as McNerney nodded a ball on in the box. As it bounced towards the far post, with Butcher stuck on his line, Sole tried vainly to connect but there was Newton, arriving, to nod home.

In the last ten minutes of the game, with four minutes added on, the Cards were the only side one could see winning but, in spite of a number of crosses into the box, no decisive chances were created, with players just unable to get that final touch or frustrated by determined home defending.

There is no doubt that Woking looked the more accomplished side but, as the saying goes, it’s goals that win games and, at the moment, the Cards do not seem to be able to turn territorial domination into goals. Too few shots were tried and, at times, the side seemed guilty of over-elaboration. But one still feels that, if they could get an early goal, a resounding victory could follow. Let’s hope that this happens in the match against Dover Athletic on Monday afternoon!

Woking: Aaron Howe, James Clarke, Mark Ricketts, Joe McNerney, Chris Arthur, Theo Lewis (Adam Newton 70), Josh Payne, Joey Jones (Keiran Murtagh 62), John Goddard (Giuseppe Sole 62), Scott Rendell, Dean Morgan

Unused subs: Jake Cole, Nick Arnold

Booked: Joe McNerney

Welling United: Lee Butcher, Loui Fazakerley, Jamal Fyfield (Barney Williams 46), Jake Gallagher, Zack Fagan, Chris Bush, Harry Beautyman, Kieron St Aimie, Tyrone Marsh (Malachi Hudson 77), Afolabi Obafemi (Jon Nouble 72), Sam Corne

Unused subs: Jamie Turner, Charlie Gorman

Booked: Afolabi Obafemi, Sam Corne

Attendance: 634

My MOTM: Mark Ricketts
Welling United LINEUP
WOKING LINEUP
1Aaron Howe
6James Clarke
21Joey Jones
5Joe McNerney
4Mark Ricketts
7Josh Payne
22John Goddard
32Chris Arthur
14Theo Lewis
9Scott Rendell
24Dean Morgan
BENCH
23Jake Cole
2Adam Newton
33Nick Arnold
8Keiran Murtagh
10Giuseppe Sole

Welling United 1-1 Woking (Garry Hill Interview)

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