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3:00pm - SaturdaySat 13th SeptemberSep 2014
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 1629

Woking
Woking
1 - 0

Chester
Chester

No down time for unbeaten Cards

Brian Caffarey
8:59am, Thu 11th Sep 2014
Woking v Chester FC
3pm on Saturday 13 September 2014

The relentless fixture list rolls on as Garry Hill’s side, the only unbeaten team in the league, barely have time to recover from Tuesday’s great win at Aldershot Town before they face another stiff challenge, this time from Chester FC. Come on down to Kingfield on Saturday and cheer on the Cards to three more points! It’s then on the road on Tuesday to Torquay and to Bristol Rovers the following Saturday...

WOKING

It’s now five wins and three draws for third-placed Woking. The bookies, fixated by ‘big name’ clubs like Bristol Rovers, may have overlooked the Cards at the beginning of the season, ignoring their fantastic form in the second half of the last campaign, but they can hardly do so now. However, it is going to require all the squad’s resilience to keep this excellent run going as tiredness and injuries take their toll on a small part-time squad.

With Kevin Betsy, Adam Newton and Jake Cole already out, Garry will not have been happy to have lost captain Mark Ricketts and in-form keeper Aaron Howe from the action on Tuesday. The latest news is that Aaron has suffered a broken pelvis. Garry has brought in former Woking favourite, Ross Worner, on loan from AFC Wimbledon to cover Aaron’s absence. Fortunately, Mike Cestor and Andy Little deputised superbly on Tuesday night for Mark Ricketts and Aaron – and Garry was also able to call on John Goddard when the night’s hero, Gez Sole, had to leave the pitch too. But Keiran Murtagh, just back from international duty, was an unused substitute, so at least Garry has one more option in midfield on Saturday.

CHESTER FC

Reprieved from relegation last season, the Blues are finding it tough again this season so far. They currently lie in 19th place in the table with two wins, one draw and five defeats in their opening eight games but manager Steve Burr believes that the side is improving and will move up the table. They suffered the shock of a 5-0 home defeat by Barnet on the opening day, followed by a narrow defeat at Forest Green Rovers. A good away win at Braintree was cancelled out by a 3-0 home defeat at the hands of FC Halifax. A fine recovery from two goals down produced a 2-2 draw at Kidderminster but defeat followed at Gateshead. An encouraging 1-0 home win over Macclesfield led to another home defeat on Tuesday, 2-0 at the hands of improving Torquay United, who clearly impressed Burr: a warning for the Cards’ next away game.

Among the Blues’ squad is Wayne Rooney’s brother, John; ex-Scottish international striker Chris Iwelumo; attacking midfielder Sean McConville; winger Peter Winn; striker Craig Mahon; and experienced keeper Jon Worsnop.

ADMISSION

Adults: £15
Over 65s and Students with a valid NUS card: £10
U16s: £3

MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

Have you had a look at the Club’s stylish new matchday programme yet? It’s still only £3 but now has 64 pages, with a soft laminate cover, high quality ‘finish’ and stunning photos. Saturday’s edition includes profiles of Woking legend Geoff Hamm and of another favourite from a more recent era, Grant Payne, both of whom are guests in the new Geoff Chapple Lounge; there’s an interview with ‘new boy’ Theo Lewis; Alex Beck comes up with some fascinating (and perhaps surprising) information about the fate of clubs promoted from the Conference to League 2; and we celebrate the opening, last Saturday, of the new Lounge; plus a round-up of all the recent Vanarama Conference games and much more, including match reports, previews and news of the Club’s community work. Make sure you try it out! If you can’t get to the game, you can order a copy from the Club Shop on shop@wokingfc.co.uk

LAST SEASON

Chester 0 Woking 2
17 August 2013

The Cards registered their first win of the season despite playing the whole of the second half with only ten men following Josh Payne’s dismissal just before half-time for an alleged head-butt.

Mark Ricketts and Freddie Ladapo replaced Joe McNerney and Gavin McCallum in the side which had lost in midweek to Braintree Town. A fairly even first half became feisty towards the interval, leading to Payne’s dismissal. It looked as though the home side would take advantage as Seddon hit the post shortly after the break but ten-man Woking took the lead in the 58th minute through a fine strike by Gavin Williams, cutting in from the left flank.

Joe McNerney, on for Ladapo, made it 2-0 five minutes later with a header from a John Nutter free-kick.

Chester hit the woodwork again but rarely threatened to thwart Woking’s first win of the campaign.

Woking 0 Chester FC 1
21 January 2014

A Cards side badly in need of reinforcements suffered its third defeat in four games as a determined Blues side grabbed a goal on 30 minutes and held on tight. A fine strike by Menagh gave Mason Springthorpe, replacing Sam Beasant in the Woking goal, absolutely no chance.

The Cards were missing Keiran Murtagh, who was suspended, and found it difficult to create chances. The most promising move came in the first half when Kevin Betsy was through on goal and appeared to be hauled down, but the referee waved play on and that was about as close as the toothless Cards got to registering a goal.

The defeat left the Cards only five points above the relegation places.

NEXT GAME

The Cards travel to improving Torquay United on Tuesday evening for what is likely to be a very demanding game. The Cards Trust is not running a coach to this match. The following Saturday the Cards travel again, this time to Bristol Rovers. (Book your place on the coach at the Club Shop on Saturday.) The next home game is another very attractive fixture, on Saturday 27 September, when old friends and foes Kidderminster Harriers visit Kingfield. How about booking a table in the Geoff Chapple Lounge?


Come on, you Cards!

Woking do Chester enough to remain unbeaten

Matthew Goldsmith
10:11am, Sun 14th Sep 2014
Woking 1 Chester 0
Vanarama Conference
Saturday 13th September 2014


Cards claimed their third win of a testing week, to come out the other side with their unbeaten start still intact and 2nd in the table.

A second-half Gez Sole goal was the difference in a tight 1-0 win again, just as it had been four days previously in that watershed win against Aldershot at The Rec on Tuesday night.

While the winner may not quite have topped his 35-yard free-kick of that Shots game, Sole did supply a calm touch when it mattered to finish off some fancy footwork from fellow forward Dean Morgan.

Garry admitted afterwards that the demands of three big games in a week had left his side a little ‘off the pace’ against a compact and counter-attacking Chester, with the visitors' boss Steve Burr looking to steady the ship after five losses from his side’s opening eight games.

The Blues' latest reverse came on Tuesday night as they went down 2-0 to Torquay – whom Woking play themselves this Tuesday night.

Burr’s side landed their stand-out result of this early season programme last Saturday, as they beat an in-form Macclesfield 1-0 at The Deva.

Given that result, plus the fact that the Cheshire side took a 1-0 win away from Kingfield back in January, Cards fans knew that the ‘no easy games’ cliché was applicable here.

The summer has proved something of a ‘bedding-in period’ for a host of new faces after a transitional summer at The Deva, with the club originally planning for life in the Conference North, following their bottom four finish last season – only to be reprieved, along with Dartford, following the well-documented travails at Hereford and Salisbury City.

One well-known addition to the visitors' bench was ex-Scotland forward Chris Iwelomu.

Woking’s own latest signing – or re-signing – Ross Worner put in a Man of the Match clean sheet, after an emergency loan deal was struck with AFC Wimbledon.

Garry made a quick move for former academy graduate Worner, now 24, following the unfortunate confirmation on Wednesday that No.1 Aaron Howe had in fact broken his pelvis in a first-half collision against Aldershot.

Stand-in skipper Joe McNerney - who put in another commanding performance marshalling the red and white wall in front of Worner – was a hare’s breath away from an opener as he dived in with opposite number Kieron Charnock for a Dean Morgan corner in a lively opening few minutes.

Leading scorer, Scott Rendell went closer still to his eighth of the season, but saw his near-post flick from Josh Payne’s resulting corner headed off the line by diminutive full-back Gareth Roberts.

Payne had the crowd up again minutes later with a ‘Cruyff-turn’ freeing the midfielder from three in Chester’s shackled centre, before a deft outside-of-the-boot flick set Chris Arthur on his way.

Arthur’s fellow Dons-loannee Worner then got his first touch, with a comfortable low save from a Kingsley James effort, in an entertaining opening 10 minutes.

Robbie Savage look-(and play) alike James, and co. ensured that the following 35 minutes didn’t quite live up to that gung-ho start, however, as Chester looked to play their Cards a little closer to their chest – with the visitors' 4-5-1 formation choking Woking in the middle third.

Wide-man Jaden Hall did almost justify his side’s lockdown-and-counter approach, when his cross-cum-shot on the break was cleared off the line by Arthur.

The chance summed up a scrappy first-half for wing-back Arthur and his teammates, with the Cards unsure whether to stick or twist in their recently free-flowing 5-3-2/3-5-2 formation.

It appeared that it would take a set-piece or something special to break the stalemate, and there was a bit of both before the whistle.

Another whipped Payne corner hit McNerney’s chest and bounced just the wrong side of the upright, before James sent a 25-yarder crashing off the underside of Worner’s goal frame.

Woking hearts were in mouths as the Assistant’s flag was raised. Fortunately for the home side, this was to signal Craig Hobson offside on the rebound, rather than to say the ball had crossed the line.

Half-time: 0-0

Chairman Mike Smith provided the half-time entertainment, as he took on social media sensation ‘the ice bucket challenge’ on behalf of Woking & Sam Beare Hospices - guest for the day, ex-Card Grant Payne, gladly performing the duties.

Woking came out determined to cut a swathe through the maze of purple shirts after the interval, and didn’t take long to find the right path.

Dean Morgan stung the palms of goalkeeper James Worsnop after a jinking run from Theo Lewis, before Morgan turned provider on 52 minutes, for Sole to open the scoring for the second game running

With Woking sailing straight through the centre of the storm, Morgan dropped deep to fend off the attentions of skipper Danny Harrison, and a quick-fire flash of footwork later and the ball was on its way into an unguarded net as Sole just nipped in ahead of an onrushing Worsnop to nudge home Morgan’s assist from the edge of the area – the ball having just enough rotations to cross the line ahead of the scrambling defence.

Morgan should have perhaps doubled the lead moments before the hour-mark but sliced a left-footer across goal when well-placed inside the box.

Steve Burr threw on forward Iwelumo with a quarter of an hour to go, with the away side creating some half-chances as they looked to hit a purple patch late on.

And there was a threat of purple rain on Woking’s parade as John Rooney stepped up to a 25-yard free-kick after Payne had clipped sub Craig Mahon.

Like Sole, Rooney had notched a free-kick winner in almost identical circumstances against Macclesfield last week – to equal England skipper-brother Wayne’s one goal for the season - but despite getting the ball up and over the wall, the ball nestled safely in Worner’s gloves rather than the net.

Woking puffed out their defensive chests to see off Chester, who, had their touch or final ball been a little more composed, may have snuck an unlikely point.

But as it was, Woking sealed a sixth win of a blistering start to the campaign, which sees Garry Hill and his quick-starters sit 2nd in the Vanarama Conference Premier table, just a solitary point off promotion favourites Barnet, at the summit.

With 21 points out of a possible 27 on the board already, Woking travel to the West Country twice next week to face two of the division’s new boys and promotion picks – first to Plainmoor for Tuesday night’s trip Torquay United, before heading back cross-country to Bristol Rovers on Saturday.

Next up at Kingfield come Kidderminster Harriers in two weeks’ time.

Woking: Ross Worner, James Clarke, Joe McNerney(c), Mike Cestor, Theo Lewis (Adam Newton 57), Joey Jones, Josh Payne, Chris Arthur, Dean Morgan (Keiran Murtagh 73), Giuseppe Sole (John Goddard 73), Scott Rendell

Unused Subs: Andy Little, Nicholas Arnold

Bookings: Mike Cestor(63)

Goal(s): Giuseppe Sole(52)

Chester: James Worksop, Gareth Roberts, Ben Heneghan, Kieron Charnock, Michael Kay, Sean McConville (Craig Mahon 60), Kingsley James, Danny Harrison(c)(Callum Morris 79), Jaden Hall, Adam Rooney, Craig Hobson (Chris Iwelumo 79)

Unused Subs: Connor Roberts, Ibou Jourad

Bookings: Sean McConville(60)

Goal(s): -

Sponsor’s MOTM: Ross Worner – a clean-sheet as the ‘keeper slotted straight back into the defence.

Attendance: 1,629.
WOKING LINEUP
30Ross Worner
14Theo Lewis
32Chris Arthur
5Joe McNerney
6James Clarke
3Mike Cestor
7Josh Payne
21Joey Jones
10Giuseppe Sole
24Dean Morgan
9Scott Rendell
BENCH
31Andy Little
2Adam Newton
33Nick Arnold
8Keiran Murtagh
22John Goddard
Chester LINEUP

Woking 1-0 Chester (Garry Hill Interview)

Woking 1 - 0 Chester (Ross Worner Interview)

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