Woking News & Mail
FCP
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 20th DecemberDec 2014
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 1688

Woking
Woking
1 - 2

Southport
Southport

Cards want three points for Christmas

Brian Caffarey
9:50am, Thu 18th Dec 2014
Woking v Southport
3pm on Saturday 20 December 2014
KIDS FREE!

The Cards will be anxious to secure maximum points from this game in order to stay in the play-off places. It seems unlikely that the Sandgrounders will be distracted by the prospect of their FA Cup Third Round tie at Derby County: manager Gary Brabin will have them focused solely on their precarious league position. Take a break from Christmas shopping and come on down to Kingfield to support Garry Hill’s side in this crucial home game!

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.

WOKING

The Cards will be heartened by their 2-0 win over Eastleigh in the FA Trophy last Saturday – achieved without top scorer Scott Rendell, who was still recovering from his ankle injury. Although Josh Payne – back to his best form in midfield – and Jack Marriott did the business in Scott’s absence, Cards fans will be hoping that Scott is available again on Saturday to lead the line. If so, Garry Hill should have virtually a full squad to choose from – apart, that is, from the long-term absentees, Mark Ricketts and Jake Cole.

Woking presently sit in 4th place in the table but Grimsby, who are at home to Forest Green Rovers on Friday evening, could move above them before kick-off. Bristol Rovers in third place, one point ahead of Woking, are also in action on Friday, at home to seventh-placed Gateshead.

SOUTHPORT

It’s been another season of struggle for the Sandgrounders in the league, with Martin Foyle being relieved of his post and replaced in early October by Gary Brabin, who has previously managed Cambridge United and Luton Town as well as Southport briefly. It’s been a different story in the FA Cup, with Southport overcoming Tamworth (on penalties after a replay) Dagenham and Redbridge (in a replay) and Eastleigh to secure a mouthwatering tie at Pride Park.

Southport won only two of their first eight league games and then, in September, lost four in a row. A good away win followed at Grimsby Town but the final nail in Foyle’s coffin was the Cards’ 5-2 away win at Haig Avenue on 4 October. Brabin has succeeded in steadying the ship somewhat, although league wins have still been hard to come by recently, with only one in the last five league games. On Tuesday night Southport lost 2-0 at Wrexham in an FA Trophy replay, with Scott Kay being sent off after 33 minutes: he will consequently miss Saturday’s game.

Southport presently sit in 20th place in the table, one point above Alfreton Town but with a game or two in hand on most clubs around them.

Richard Brodie, with nine goals, is top scorer for the Sandgrounders. Other well-known names in the Port squad include Clayton McDonald, defender Luke Foster and former Stockport County striker Danny Hattersley. Keeper David Raya Martin is on loan from Blackburn Rovers.

ADMISSION

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

MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

The Club’s classy 64-page all-colour programme is a great ‘buy’, with its interesting articles, stunning photos, soft laminate cover and high quality ‘finish’. Saturday’s edition includes all the latest news from the Academy; a welcome to Geoff Chapple Lounge special guest, Rod Wallace; memories of a game in which the Cards hit six; and an overview of all the Club’s fantastic community work in 2014. And, of course, there is a round-up of all the recent Vanarama Conference and FA Trophy games and much more, including match reports, previews and news of the Club’s commercial initiatives. If you can’t get to the game, you can order a copy from the Club Shop on shop@wokingfc.co.uk

LAST SEASON

Woking 2 Southport 0
8 March 2014

The Cards, boosted by their superb away win at Barnet, were looking for another victory to move them above a clutch of mid-table clubs, whilst the Sandgrounders, two places below them in 19th place, were hoping to build on a recent win against fellow strugglers Dartford.

Woking had the best of the first half, hitting the woodwork three times through Joe McNerney, Kevin Betsy and John Goddard, but found the Southport rearguard in stubborn form. The visitors’ defiance was eventually broken ten minutes after half-time when Scott Rendell glanced in a fine cross from Josh Payne, controlling the midfield.

Southport nearly equalised with what would have been a wonder goal from John O’Sullivan before Keiran Murtagh, with ten minutes to go, made the game safe as he latched onto a through ball from Betsy and fired home into the far corner.

The win took the Cards into 14th place, only eight points shy of the play-off places.

Woking: Aaron Howe, Adam Newton, John Nutter, Mark Ricketts, Joe McNerney, Kevin Betsy, Josh Payne (Anthony McNamee 83), Keiran Murtagh, John Goddard (Joey Jones 78), Scott Rendell, Jack Marriott (Giuseppe Sole 78)

Unused subs: Sam Beasant, Reece Beckles

Goals: Scott Rendell 55, Keiran Murtagh 80

Southport: Danny Hurst, Aristote Nsiala, David Fitzpatrick, Luke George, John O’Sullivan, Osayamen Osawe (Richard Brodie 84), Matty Flynn (Matty Challinor 17), Karl Ledsham, Scott Brown, Jason Walker, Danny Hattersley (Vincent Mukendi 67)

Unused subs: Charlie Joyce, Alex Wimmer

Attendance: 1,504

COMING UP

The Cards are away at Eastleigh on 26 December. (Don’t forget to book your seat on the coach.) Then the Cards take on the Shots in the big local derby at 1pm on Sunday 28 December. Not a game to be missed!

Come on, you Cards!

Cards falter

Brian Caffarey
8:46pm, Sat 20th Dec 2014
Woking 1 Southport 2
20 December 2014

This was a game which a side chasing a play-off place ought to be expected to win but the Cards were undone by a combination of their failure (again) to defend set pieces, profligate finishing and some superb goalkeeping from the Sandgrounders’ David Raya Martin. Both Southport goals came from free-kicks pumped into the box, with another identical ‘goal’ disallowed for offside. Gez Sole pulled a goal back late on for the Cards but it was too little, too late. Woking’s woes were compounded by the sight of Mike Cestor being carried off on a stretcher in the first half, an injury which contributed to nine minutes’ added time at the end of the first half.

Woking were once again without the injured Scott Rendell, so Jack Marriott and Dean Morgan started up front, supported by a central midfield of Josh Payne and Keiran Murtagh, flanked by Kevin Betsy on the left and Theo Lewis on the right. At the back there was no sign of James Clarke, so Joey Jones replaced him there, with John Nutter again starting at left back, and Joe McNerney and Mike Cestor as the two centre backs. Jake Cole was sufficiently recovered from his injury to be the cover, on the bench, for Ross Worner.

Woking started a little sloppily, allowing the Sandgrounders’ Joe Connor to plant a header over the bar in the opening minute, followed by an uncharacteristic ‘spill’ by Ross Worner as the busy Paul Rutherford fashioned a fairly straightforward cross. Fortunately, the defence was able to clear its lines. The Cards’ passing was also loose early on. The first Woking threat came in the 7th minute as Payne slipped a ball through to Betsy but his cross was intercepted by a hardworking opposition defence. Payne’s shot, after a nice move a minute later, was easy ‘meat’ for Raya Martin.

Southport took the lead in the 12th minute. Predictably, it came from a set piece: a free-kick flighted in from Woking’s left by David Fitzpatrick. An exposed Worner missed his punch; the ball was half cleared, only to be headed back under the bar by Charlie Joyce.

The Cards nearly equalised straightaway as a long punt from Worner, clearing his lines, reached Marriott in the Southport box but it glanced off him. Woking threatened again a minute later as a fine move ended with Marriott twisting in the box and forcing the first of many smart saves from Raya Martin. A goal seemed to be coming as Marriott then turned provider, flashing the ball across the face of the goal, with Murtagh not quite able to apply the finishing touch.

The Cards’ pressure intensified in a ‘purple patch’ midway through the half as Morgan’s clever back header sent Marriott through but Raya Martin was out quickly to block the striker’s attempted flick over him. Then McNerney almost forced the ball home from a corner. Raya Martin then surpassed himself with a brilliant tip over from a cross-cum-shot from Murtagh. An easier save followed as the ball bobbled through to him following a throw – with the Cards once again unable to make the crucial connection.

The Cards looked certain to suffer a sucker punch as a deflected Payne pass fell into Richard Brodie’s path. The big number 10 took his time but even so Mike Cestor did superbly to get back and stick a vital foot in. Unfortunately, it appeared that he seriously injured himself in doing so, with a stretcher soon being called for, followed by a long halt to the game as he was attended to.

When play resumed Jones moved to centre back, Lewis to right back, Betsy to right midfield, with substitute John Goddard on the left. But it was Southport who threatened again, Worner having to save from Rutherford, while Paul Smith then unleashed a huge effort, which went narrowly wide, with Southport claiming that Worner got a touch.

Woking did not manage to take advantage of the added minutes, with hopes only raised by a mazy Morgan run along the 18-yard line as he was gradually forced wider by the massed Southport defence.

Half-time: Woking 0 Southport 1

It took a few minutes for the Cards to get going after the break but, once they did so, the Southport goal came under siege for a time. A free-kick in a ‘Gez Sole’ position – but with Gez not yet on the pitch – saw Morgan produce a fine effort which Raya Martin did superbly to tip onto the bar. A minute later a Payne through ball saw Marriott pull the ball back to Morgan, but his effort with the outside of his right boot drifted wide of the goal. Then Marriott and Goddard combined to put Morgan in again but he couldn’t scramble the ball in as the Southport goal led a charmed life.

For a moment, it looked as though Woking had fallen to another sucker punch as the ball ended up in Woking’s net from another free-kick but the visiting supporters’ cheers were silenced by a flag for offside.

Immediately, the onslaught on the Sandgrounders’ goal resumed as Goddard’s cross went right across the face of the goal. An equaliser then seemed certain as Betsy stepped inside the defender to pick his spot, only to see his shot headed off the line as the fans in the Leslie Gosden Stand gasped in disbelief.

In retrospect this was really the high watermark of Woking’s attacking play, with the Cards rarely able subsequently to put the Southport defence under sustained pressure. Moreover, the visitors began to look more dangerous on the break, with the speedy Amadou Bakayoko causing a few headaches for the Woking defence.

Garry Hill threw on Gez Sole for Betsy and Chris Arthur for Nutter in the 60th minute. It was Arthur who was unfortunately – and perhaps harshly – penalised (and booked) in a move which led to Southport’s second goal in the 67th minute. Fitzpatrick swung in the free-kick and Dominic Collins headed in. For all Woking’s often attractive approach play, they found themselves two goals adrift from two simple headed goals from set pieces.

It could have been worse as Brodie didn’t make the best of a good chance a few minutes later, shooting straight at Worner, while Rutherford tried a very ambitious effort from virtually the half-way line which Worner managed to get back in time to hold on the line. As we moved into the last ten minutes Worner saved from Bakayoko as Woking pushed forward and substitute Danny Hattersley hit the post – but from an offside position.

When the Woking breakthrough came in the 87th minute it was almost unexpected, but it was a well-worked and well-taken goal. A quick interchange between Goddard and Sole left the latter with just Raya Martin to beat – and this time his fiercely-struck volley gave the keeper no chance.

Although the referee added five minutes, Woking weren’t able to fashion any decent chances of securing an equaliser. Indeed, Bakayoko had the best opportunity as he robbed Lewis, only to fire straight at Worner.

So, a frustrating afternoon and a third league defeat in a row increases the pressure on Garry Hill’s side to come up with some exceptional performances in a testing Christmas/New Year schedule, starting with Eastleigh away on 26 December and followed, two days later, by a local derby at home to Aldershot Town. But they are still in 5th place in the table, with everything to play for.

Woking: Ross Worner, Joey Jones, Joe McNerney, Mike Cestor (John Goddard 40), John Nutter (Chris Arthur 61), Theo Lewis, Keiran Murtagh, Josh Payne, Kevin Betsy (Giuseppe Sole 60), Dean Morgan, Jack Marriott

Unused subs: Jake Cole, Adam Newton

Booked: Chris Arthur, Joe McNerney

Southport: David Raya Martin, David Fitzpatrick, Dominic Collins, Luke Foster, Luke George, Richard Brodie (Danny Hattersley 80), Charlie Joyce, Joe Connor (Clayton McDonald 65), Paul Rutherford, Amadou Bakayoko

Unused subs: John Marsden, Mitchell Austin, Liam Roberts

Booked: Dominic Collins, Luke Foster, Paul Rutherford

Sponsors’ MOTM: Dean Morgan (pictured)

Attendance: 1688







WOKING LINEUP
30Ross Worner
21Joey Jones
15John Nutter
5Joe McNerney
3Mike Cestor
7Josh Payne
8Keiran Murtagh
14Theo Lewis
11Kevin Betsy
24Dean Morgan
16Jack Marriott
BENCH
23Jake Cole
2Adam Newton
32Chris Arthur
22John Goddard
10Giuseppe Sole
Southport LINEUP

Woking 1 - 2 Southport (Garry Hill Interview)

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