RAMS FM
FCP
7:45pm - TuesdayTue 2nd DecemberDec 2014
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 1056

Woking
Woking
2 - 0

Altrincham
Altrincham

Cards seek another home win

Brian Caffarey
7:55pm, Sun 30th Nov 2014
Woking v Altrincham
7.45pm on Tuesday 2 December 2014

The Cards squeezed past Braintree Town on Saturday to earn three vital points in their quest to remain in the play-off hunt, moving up to fourth spot in the table. Three more points is the target again on Tuesday evening when an improving Altrincham side are likely to provide another stiff test. A win would take Woking into second or third place, depending on Bristol Rovers’ result at Wrexham. Come on down to Kingfield and cheer Garry Hill’s side on to another victory!

Remember that a road closure near the ground may lead to delays if you’re travelling by car: see the news item of 12 November for more details. Please also bear in mind that new car parking arrangements are in place at the Leisure Centre: see today’s news item.

WOKING

The Cards looked the more capable side for much of Saturday’s encounter, with some enterprising approach play in the first half not matched, however, by sufficiently clinical finishing. In the end, they had to be grateful for some obdurate defending, including some fine saves and excellent handling from the returning Ross Worner, to hold on to John Goddard’s first-half strike.

It was a pleasant surprise to find that Scott Rendell was fit enough to be on the bench – and indeed he came on towards the end of Saturday’s game, with his brief seemingly as much about helping the defence out as lending an attacking hand. If he’s fit enough to start up front on Tuesday, that would be a big boost. Whether Keiran Murtagh will have recovered sufficiently from his head injury is another matter. Joe McNerney will definitely be missing, though, quickly completing his three-match suspension.

ALTRINCHAM

The Robins were promoted back to the Conference Premier at the end of last season after an absence of three years. Not surprisingly, given that they are one of the least well-supported teams in the league, they have found life fairly tough so far. They lost five out of their six opening games, the exception being a 2-1 home win over Bristol Rovers. But, apart from another poor spell when they suffered successive heavy defeats at the hands of Kidderminster, Barnet and Welling, their form has improved considerably since then. They are unbeaten in their last three games, having drawn at home to Grimsby, beaten Wrexham away and, on Saturday, they came back from a goal down to defeat Kidderminster 2-1, Damian Reeves scoring the late winner.

Altrincham now sit in 17th place in the table with 28 points from 23 games. Away from home they’ve won three games (including a 3-1 defeat of FC Halifax Town), drawn two and lost six, scoring 13 goals and conceding 23. Damian Reeves is, as usual, top scorer with eleven goals. Other familiar names include keeper Stuart Coburn, who has amassed over 600 appearances for the Robins, and experienced striker Kyle Perry. A big blow for the Robins is the loss of captain Shaun Densmore, out till the New Year with a broken collarbone.

ADMISSION

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

WOKING FC CHRISTMAS PROJECT

There will be a bucket collection on Tuesday evening for the annual Woking FC Christmas Project. Once again, the players will be visiting children’s wards at Woking and Guildford hospitals.

MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

The Club’s classy new programme is still only £3 but now has 64 pages, with a soft laminate cover, high quality ‘finish’ and stunning photos. If you can’t get to the game, you can order a copy from the Club Shop on shop@wokingfc.co.uk

Tuesday’s edition includes a look at how clubs relegated or promoted into the Conference National have fared in recent years, Cardinal North’s musings on the Cards’ recent visits to his neck of the woods and a profile of Linvoy Primus, who is the special guest in the Geoff Chapple Lounge. And, of course, there is 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 and commercial initiatives.

LAST TIME OUT

Altrincham 0 Woking 3
11 October 2014

Both sides came into this match on the back of fine recent results, the Cards having beaten Southport away 5-2 the previous weekend, while the Robins had beaten FC Halifax Town and Macclesfield Town and drawn away at Grimsby.

Both sides were closely matched in the first half, with Jack Marriott striking the bar. The breakthrough came in the 52nd minute when some great work from John Goddard opened up the Altrincham defence for Rendell to add his 13th goal of the season.

Things went from bad to worse for the home side a couple of minutes later when Griffin was sent off for a bad challenge on Theo Lewis. Fine interplay between Dean Morgan and Rendell brought the second goal for the Cards in the 66th minute, with a clever Morgan finish.

Alty were down to nine men for the last few minutes as injuries added to a forgettable day for the home side, and Josh Payne rubbed salt into their wounds with a clinical finish to make it 3-0 to the Cards.

Woking: Ross Worner, James Clarke, Chris Arthur, Joey Jones, Mike Cestor, Josh Payne (c), Theo Lewis, Dean Morgan (Kevin Betsy 69), John Goddard (Adam Newton 69), Scott Rendell, Jack Marriott (Giuseppe Sole 77)

Subs not used: Joe McNerney, Jake Cole

Bookings: Clarke 29

Altrincham: Stuart Coburn, Shaun Densmore (c), Adam Griffin, Jake Moult, Gianluca Havern, Scott Leather, James Lawrie, Simon Richman (Ryan Crowther 60), Damian Reeves, Nicky Clee (Tom Marshall 74), Sean Williams (Peter Cavanagh 74)

Subs not used: Steven Gillespie, Kyle Perry

Sent Off: Griffin 54

Attendance: 1,218

COMING UP

The Cards’ next home league game is on Saturday 20 December against Southport, when there will be FREE ENTRY for all kids. But look out for the FA Trophy draw tomorrow to find out who Woking will be playing on Saturday 13 December. Before then the Cards have two very testing away trips: to in-form Macclesfield Town on Saturday 6 December and to Forest Green Rovers on Tuesday 9 December.

Come on, you Cards!

P.S. Don’t forget to book your tickets for the evening with Geoff Chapple and Tim Buzaglo on Friday 12 December: see the news item of 26 November for more details.

Woking go second after routine victory over Altrincham

Adam White
3:57pm, Wed 3rd Dec 2014
Woking 2 Altrincham 0

Vanarama Conference

2nd December 2014

Second half goals from Jack Marriott and the returning Scott Rendell pushed Woking up to second place in the Vanarama Conference table, with a straightforward win over visiting Altrincham on a chilly Tuesday night at Kingfield. Despite clear chances for the home side, the first half ran out goalless. However, Marriott was on hand to tap in Rendell’s flick-on from a Josh Payne corner just after the interval to put Woking ahead. Rendell then added his name to the score sheet, with a sliding effort on 65 minutes to seal the three points for the Cards after a scything through ball from 'Man of the Match', Payne.

The somewhat surprise inclusion in the starting eleven of top scorer Rendell was the solitary change made by Garry Hill to his side, following their 1-0 victory over Braintree Town three days earlier with Dean Morgan dropping to the bench. A foot injury sustained by Rendell, which saw the striker helped from the field in Woking’s 3-1 defeat at Grimsby a week earlier, was originally thought to be considerably more serious, potentially keeping Woking’s number 9 side-lined for weeks rather than days. However, a speedy recovery saw Rendell make the bench for Saturday’s encounter with Braintree before being reunited with Jack Marriott, who continued to be preferred to Giuseppe Sole in attack. Meanwhile, centre back Joe McNerney served the last match of a three-game suspension after his retrospective red card in November’s draw with Barnet. Mike Cestor and James Clarke were again paired at the heart of the Cards’ defence.

A refreshingly open start saw Woking begin brightly, Kevin Betsy with a deflected effort inside the opening thirty seconds. This was to be the first of a number of early chances for Garry Hill’s men as they regularly threatened to take the lead within 20 minutes. Less than 90 seconds later, Altrincham keeper Stuart Coburn was forced into his first meaningful save of the evening, Coburn tipping over Marriott’s dipping, curling shot from the corner of the area after Rendell was halted by a timely interception from Robins’ defender Tom Marshall. Altrincham were under pressure.

Betsy, prominent in the early stages, was afforded considerable space down Woking’s right, repeatedly troubling his full back and, along with Chris Arthur on the opposite flank, delivered a number of dangerous crosses as the visitors struggled to clear their lines. The first clear chance of the game fell to John Goddard on 10 minutes. A flowing move led to another crossing opportunity and as the ball was squared neatly for Goddard, the Woking midfielder could only side-foot narrowly wide from just inside the box. If that chance was a mere warning shot across enemy bows for Goddard then two minutes later he probably should have scored, scooping over after finding himself with time and space 8 yards out, the goal gaping.

Despite a shaky start, Altrincham grew into the contest. With Betsy seeing less of the ball and buoyed by the fact that their clean sheet was still intact, Lee Sinnott’s men began to make raids of their own without really testing Ross Worner in the Woking goal. Ryan Crowther burst into the penalty area after 17 minutes but was unable to work a shooting opportunity while the on-loan Worner was able to deal comfortably with a smattering of Altrincham crosses. Woking responded forcefully. A succession of corners, which saw a glanced near-post header from Rendell blocked and Joey Jones’ powerful headed effort miraculously cleared off the line when a goal seemed inevitable.

Woking looked much the better side throughout the opening quarter but as the half wore on Altrincham continued to force their way into the game. As the match settled down the play evened out into a more balanced midfield contest as half-time approached.

Altrincham arguably finished the half stronger. They came into the game unbeaten in three matches thanks to a creditable sequence of results which included an impressive 1-1 draw with Grimsby and a bad-tempered triumph away at Wrexham.

A rasping Crowther shot from 20 yards was nudged over by Worner and a buccaneering run from Shaun Densmore ended in the full back firing over as he was forced wide. The visitors even had the ball in the net as the half drew to a close, when a floated long range free-kick was disallowed for a push on Woking stopper Worner as he attempted to claim the cross.

As the half-time whistle sounded, Woking were the happier of the two sides, having created more chances. However, some wasteful finishing, and the visitors beginning to assert themselves, was some concern for Garry Hill as his players returned to the dressing room, the scores still level.

Half-time Woking 0 Altrincham 0

As the match ventured into the second half, Woking’s superior quality began to show itself. Hill’s men again started the half with pace and verve as Marriott broke clear on the left and only a desperate sliding clearance from Adam Griffin could prevent a certain tap-in for the loitering Kevin Betsy at the far post.

Griffin and co were unable to stop Marriott from opening the scoring from the resulting corner. Josh Payne’s in-swinging cross was met by Rendell, making a familiar near post run. His flicked header fell kindly for Marriott two yards out, and with Coburn stranded the Woking forward was left with the simplest of finishes to claim only his second goal of the season.

Altrincham responded with their most consistent period of pressure. Jones was forced into a hurried clearance after a mistake from Payne. Worner failed to hold a shot from Reeves which he gathered at the second attempt ahead of the onrushing forwards. Lee Sinnott’s travelling side’s only clear-cut opening of the evening came as a precise free-kick from Dunsmore found the head of an unmarked Gianluca Havern on the edge of the six-yard area but he could only nod the ball down into the grateful arms of the waiting Ross Worner.

This was the only significant defensive blip in what had been a confident and assured performance from Woking’s Clarke and Cestor, ably assisted by Jones and Arthur. Despite the hustle and bustle the away side offered, they were limited to mainly half chances and long-range attempts. A second consecutive clean sheet was well earned by the men in red and white.

A sliding finish from Scott Rendell on 65 minutes halted any fleeting threat of an Altrincham advance and sealed the points for the home side. A wonderful defence-splitting pass from Payne, who continued as captain for the evening in McNerney's absence, set Rendell free, leaving his marker in his wake before beating Coburn with a surprise first time finish, poking the ball into the far corner. 2-0 and virtually game over. Rendell cleverly took his 14th goal of the season and overall had a pleasing return to the first team, showing neat touches and tight interplay with Marriott. His job done and a successful run-out completed unscathed, both Rendell and Marriott were swiftly withdrawn by Hill shortly afterwards to be replaced by Sole and Morgan.

With Payne, Keiran Murtagh and Goddard controlling and directing from midfield, Woking finished the game in control of proceedings and were able to professionally complete a solid display. The home side maintained possession for much of the last quarter and were unfortunate not to add to their lead. Murtagh might have done better with a side-footed effort from the edge of the area after an astute pick-out from Sole while a goal-bound shot from Morgan, after a bulldozing run cutting in from the right, stuck Sole on the back preventing what looked to be a certain third for the substitute. Worner’s only remaining act was to pull off a remarkable save, tipping round the post at full stretch from a well-placed Damian Reeves header.

Garry Hill can be roundly satisfied with a professional display from his Woking side, which, thanks to Bristol Rovers' draw at Wrexham, saw Woking move into second place, seven points behind leaders Barnet, as they continue their play-off push. The unexpectedly swift goal-scoring return from injury of Scott Rendell will have come as a welcome bonus for the Club. The manager’s thoughts will now turn to a tricky-looking trip to fifth-placed Macclesfield Town at the weekend, where Hill will look for his defence to continue their solid displays which have been the basis for the last two victories as the Cards march on in their impressive league campaign.

Woking: Ross Worner, Chris Arthur, James Clarke, Joey Jones, Mike Cestor (Adam Newton 74), John Goddard, Josh Payne, Kevin Betsy, Keiran Murtagh, Jack Marriott (Giuseppe Sole 65), Scott Rendell (Dean Morgan 65)

Unused subs: Andy Little, John Nutter

Goals: Marriott 48, Rendell 65

Altrincham: Stuart Coburn, Adam Griffin, Gianluca Havern, Shaun Densmore, Tom Marshall, Jake Moult, Peter Cavanagh (Sean Williams 75), Ryan Crowther (Kyle Perry 70), Simon Richman, Damien Reeves, James Lawie (Steven Gillespie 46)

Unused subs: Dave Parton, Greg Wilkinson

Attendance: 1,056

Sponsor's MOTM: Josh Payne (pictured)

WOKING LINEUP
30Ross Worner
21Joey Jones
32Chris Arthur
6James Clarke
3Mike Cestor
7Josh Payne
8Keiran Murtagh
11Kevin Betsy
22John Goddard
9Scott Rendell
16Jack Marriott
BENCH
31Andy Little
2Adam Newton
15John Nutter
24Dean Morgan
10Giuseppe Sole
Altrincham LINEUP

Woking 2 - 0 Altrincham (Joe McNerney Interview)

Woking 2 - 0 Altrincham (Josh Payne Interview)

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