Woking News & Mail
FCP
1:00pm - SundaySun 28th DecemberDec 2014
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 3559

Woking
Woking
1 - 2

Aldershot Town
Aldershot Town

Cards eye double over Shots

Brian Caffarey
9:56am, Sat 27th Dec 2014
Woking v Aldershot Town
1pm on Sunday 28 December 2014 (NB Kick-off time)

Get down to Kingfield early tomorrow (Sunday) for what will surely be a very well-attended, competitive clash with neighbours and fierce rivals, the Shots. Can the Cards, chasing a play-off place, do the ‘double’ over Andy Scott’s side, who, in contrast to their fine run in the FA Cup, have under-performed in the league this season? However, league form often counts for little in local derbies, so no one is expecting this to be an easy ride for Garry Hill’s team.

WOKING

The Cards were perhaps a trifle unlucky to get only a point at Eastleigh on Boxing Day after taking the lead twice. But it was a very respectable point against a side which hasn’t been beaten at home. It also ended Woking’s three-match losing streak in league games. Garry Hill shuffled the side, with Dean Morgan, superb up front, supported by a five-man midfield of Gez Sole and Jack Marriott on the flanks and Josh Payne, Keiran Murtagh and Theo Lewis in the centre, with Kevin Betsy dropping to the bench. Once again, Scott Rendell wasn’t fit enough to make the 16 but it sounds as if he’s very close to being able to make a comeback. No doubt Mike Cestor and Mark Ricketts will still be missing, though.

Sunday will mark the end of Ross Worner’s second loan spell but Jake Cole, recovered from injury, is ready to step in.

ALDERSHOT TOWN

In spite of their fine FA Cup run, which saw them beat Portsmouth before finally going out to Rochdale in a replay, the Shots’ recent form has been poor. They’ve lost their last four league games and also suffered the indignity of being beaten at home by Burgess Hill Town in the FA Trophy. The latest defeat came at home, 3-1, to Barnet on Boxing Day, with John Akinde getting a hat-trick. The main problem has been their failure to take chances, especially at home, where the Shots have scored fewer league goals than anyone apart from Southport. Woking fans will note with a certain degree of schadenfreude that former Card Brett Williams (described by Garry Hill as being in Joe McNerney’s pocket in September’s away game) has scored only one goal from open play in his last 20-plus outings and was dropped for the visit of Rochdale in the FA Cup. He started against Barnet, alongside Dan Holman, with Dan Fitchett coming on as a late replacement.

The Shots now lie in 19th place in the table but with a cushion of seven points over Dartford, who are in 21st position. Away from home the Shots have won three league games, drawn four and lost six, scoring 13 goals and conceding 17.

Andy Scott’s new signings in the summer included ex-Portsmouth keeper, Phil Smith; defender Glenn Wilson from Salisbury City, who had a brief loan spell at Kingfield when with Crawley Town and who is now the Shots’ captain; defender/midfielder Sam Hatton, well known from his time with AFC Wimbledon and Grimsby Town; midfielder Damon Lathrope, previously with Torquay United; Kieron Forbes, midfielder, on loan from Forest Green Rovers; Salisbury City’s top scorer last season, Dan Fitchett; striker Joseph N’Guessan, on loan from Stevenage; Nabi Diallo, a midfielder who has appeared for Weston-super-Mare amongst other clubs; and Tom Derry, a 19 year-old striker on non-contract terms, who was formerly with Gillingham.

Andy Scott has had to contend with a lot of injuries. Left-back Anthony Tonkin has been out for three months with a calf injury, with Damon Lathrope missing for almost as long with a groin problem. Josh Scott has a broken metatarsal and Joe N’Guessan has an ankle injury. Mark Phillips was added to the injury list at Welling as he picked up a hamstring injury. But Dan Fitchett returned for the first time since the end of September. Phil Smith was sent off towards the end of Boxing Day’s game against Barnet, so will miss this match.

ADMISSION

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

The game will be segregated.

MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

Sunday’s programme includes an interview with Garry Hill about the season to date in which he has some interesting things to say too about his own future at the Club. Shots and Cards fans alike will enjoy recalling some great meetings between the two sides, while we also look back on a game in which the Cards made a remarkable comeback. There’s a welcome for special Geoff Chapple Lounge guest Scott Smith and we also celebrate a very committed Cards fan. And, of course, there are all the usual match reports, previews, Club news and great photos. The 64-page all-colour programme will be in great demand, so get your copy quickly!

THE BIG PUSH

The Cards Trust is holding a bucket collection at this match and at the game against Eastleigh on New Year’s Day as a contribution to their target of raising £5,000 to add to Garry Hill’s playing budget so that he can strengthen the side in January. Please give as generously as you can and, better still, if you can afford a minimum of £10 a month, please become a regular contributor to the Boost the Budget scheme.

LAST TIME OUT

Aldershot Town 0 Woking 1
9 September 2014

This game will always be remembered as the match against the Shots ‘in which Gez Sole scored that amazing goal’: Gez’s superb 35 yard free-kick in the 70th minute providing the Cards with their first-ever win at the Rec.

Woking came into this game unbeaten in the league and third in the table but had to contend with the early loss of captain Mark Ricketts – from an injury which has effectively kept him out of the side ever since – and then Aaron Howe, forcing Andy Little (with Jake Cole injured) to come on for his first competitive game since April 2012. In a fairly even, cagey first half Dean Morgan came closest to scoring, hitting the woodwork with a curling shot just before half-time.

Half-chances came and went in the second half before the defining moment of Gez Sole’s goal. Aldershot pressed for an equaliser but the Cards’ defence, in front of a composed Andy Little, held firm to the delight of the visiting fans.

Woking : Aaron Howe (Andy Little 32), Mark Ricketts (Mike Cestor 13), Joe McNerney, James Clarke, Josh Payne, Scott Rendell, Giuseppe Sole (John Goddard 78), Theo Lewis, Dean Morgan, Chris Arthur

Unused Subs: Keiran Murtagh, Reece Beckles

Bookings: Josh Payne (35)

Goal: Giuseppe Sole (70)

Aldershot Town: Phil Smith, Joe Oastler, Anthony Tonkin (Tom Derry 78), Damon Lathrope, Glenn Wilson (Captain), Sam Hatton (Dan Fitchett 57), Brett Williams, Josh Scott (Tristan Plummer 78), Jaydon Gibbs, Jordan Roberts, Kieron Forbes

Unused Subs: Dan Thomas, Nabi Diallo

Bookings: Kieron Forbes (69)

Attendance: 3567

COMING UP

The Cards are at home again at 3pm on New Year’s Day when they take on Eastleigh in the return ‘leg’ of the Boxing Day/New Year’s Day ‘double’. This is another vital home game, so please come along and support the Cards if you possibly can.


Come on, you Cards!


Cards disappoint in big derby game

Brian Caffarey
8:07pm, Sun 28th Dec 2014
Woking 1 Aldershot Town 2
28 December 2014

One of the things that Woking fans most respect about Garry Hill is that he doesn’t try to pull the wool over their eyes. We could all see that this was a very poor performance and Garry said so, very plainly, after the game. The scoreline might suggest that this was a close-run encounter but Woking were never in this match. The Shots looked livelier and more committed while Woking, for whatever reason, looked sluggish and desperately short of ideas and confidence. It was only in the last ten minutes or so when Jack Marriott pulled a goal back that the Aldershot goal came under any sort of pressure: before that the Shots keeper, Dan Thomas, replacing the suspended Phil Smith, had only a couple of shots to deal with.

The Cards’ lacklustre showing was all the more surprising since there was only one change from the side that had performed well on Boxing Day in gaining a 2-2 draw at Eastleigh, with John Goddard coming in for Theo Lewis, who dropped to the bench, in a continuing 4-5-1 formation. The Shots meanwhile had suffered their fourth league defeat in a row at home to Barnet.

Woking got off to the worst possible start, conceding a goal as early as the 7th minute – and it was a very ‘soft’ goal to give away. Andre McCollin, on the Woking right, clipped the ball in with the outside of his boot with no great pace. However, Ross Worner, playing his last game of his second loan spell, seemed to be distracted by an attempted header and the ball trickled into the far corner.

Little did we know that Chris Arthur’s fierce drive in the 12th minute would be virtually Woking’s only shot on target before the final flurry. Thomas, who put most of his early kicks into touch, briefly fumbled it. Gez Sole legitimately went for the loose ball. The Aldershot players over-reacted, with the result that Gez and Sam Hatton picked up early yellow cards.

Inevitably, the early goal seemed to lift the Shots, while Woking looked increasingly at sea, giving the ball away far too easily, being outmuscled in midfield and lacking invention in attack. The Shots threatened again through a deep cross, which just evaded Brett Williams, and then the speedy Jordan Roberts flashed an effort just wide of Ross Worner’s right-hand post. The impressive Dan Holman, seizing on a poor crossfield pass from Joey Jones, then fired in a long-range shot which landed on top of the Woking net.

Dean Morgan, the only player who looked as though he might trouble the Shots’ defence, did actually get another effort on target shortly afterwards but it was a comfortable save for Thomas.

Adam Newton came on to replace the unhappy Joey Jones, who had been penalised twice for foul throws, but had barely got on the pitch before Aldershot doubled their lead in the 28th minute. A cross came in which, perhaps, Worner should have come for. Brett Williams headed it goalwards. Worner got his hand to it but could only tip it onto the bar, presenting Williams with a simple tap in.

Jordan Roberts charged forward again in search of a third goal, with Dan Holman just putting his effort wide. At the other end a rare Woking foray into the opposition area saw Jack Marriott attempt to chip Thomas but the ball sailed a couple of feet over the bar.

The Shots continued to dominate the midfield, while the Shots’ defence managed to cope comfortably enough with balls sent forward to the Woking front men, who were often too easily dispossessed. Home fans’ hopes were raised by the award of a free-kick just outside the area but it was too close for Gez Sole to do other than hit the wall. Injury time simply added to Woking’s sense of frustration as, in a brief period of sustained Woking pressure, the referee ignored a good ‘shout’ for a penalty and then stopped the game, to the Cards’ disadvantage, as an Aldershot player lay injured in the area.

Half-time: Woking 0 Aldershot Town 2

Kevin Betsy came on at half-time for John Goddard but was able to make little impact, being closed down very quickly on most occasions when he did receive the ball. Hopes of a Woking revival soon evaporated as a litany of misplaced passes and wasteful, ineffective, possession followed. With the Cards unable to gain any momentum, reliance had to be placed again on a Gez Sole free-kick but, as before, the foul was too close to the goal and Gez couldn’t lift his effort over the wall. Just occasionally, the Cards threatened to break through from the odd Dean Morgan flick-on or Chris Arthur surge but Thomas in the Shots’ goal had barely anything to do apart from holding a weak Betsy left-footed effort.

The Shots, for their part, looked as though they might add to the scoreline with a quick breakaway – with Kieran Forbes hitting the side-netting in the 72nd minute – but, on the whole, seemed content to defend their two-goal lead.

The Cards were definitely ‘lifted’ by the arrival of Scott Rendell, replacing Gez Sole, as he began to win a few balls in the air. A corner produced another shout for a penalty in the 80th minute as a Joe McNerney header came off a defender’s hand and then Jack Marriott managed to get his toe to a through ball, slipping it under the keeper but wide of the goal.

Woking managed to pull a goal back in the 88th minute, Jack Marriott deflecting the ball past Thomas after a Josh Payne cross had looped off a defender.

The Cards ramped up the pressure for the remainder of the game, which included four minutes of added time, but they could not create a clear-cut opening which would have provided them with – in truth – an undeserved share of the points.

As Garry Hill said after the game, the Cards have ‘lost their way’ in the last month or so and this was a particularly disappointing performance in front of a large crowd: it’s hard to think of any Woking player who played to their potential this afternoon and, collectively, there seemed to be a lack of real grit and determination to make things happen.

Woking: Ross Worner, James Clarke, Joe McNerney, Joey Jones (Adam Newton 26), Chris Arthur, Jack Marriott, Keiran Murtagh, Josh Payne, John Goddard (Kevin Betsy 46), Giuseppe Sole (Scott Rendell 70), Dean Morgan

Unused subs: Jake Cole, Theo Lewis

Goal: Jack Marriott 88

Booked: Giuseppe Sole

Aldershot Town: Dan Thomas, Joe Oastler, Chris Barker, Sam Hatton, Brett Williams, Jaydon Gibbs, Jordan Roberts, Kieran Forbes, Andre McCollin (Dan Fitchett 80), Manny Oyeleke, Dan Holman

Unused subs: Anthony Tonkin, Tristan Plummer, Naby Diallo, Tom Derry

Goals: Andre McCollin 7, Brett Williams 28

Booked: Jaydon Gibbs, Joe Oastler, Jordan Roberts, Sam Hatton, Dan Holman

Sponsors’ MOTM: Jack Marriott (pictured)

Attendance: 3556 (746 away fans)
WOKING LINEUP
30Ross Worner
21Joey Jones
32Chris Arthur
6James Clarke
5Joe McNerney
7Josh Payne
8Keiran Murtagh
22John Goddard
10Giuseppe Sole
16Jack Marriott
24Dean Morgan
BENCH
23Jake Cole
2Adam Newton
14Theo Lewis
11Kevin Betsy
9Scott Rendell
Aldershot Town LINEUP

Woking 1 - 2 Aldershot Town (Garry Hill Interview)

Woking 1 - 2 Aldershot Town (Jack Marriott Interview)

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