FA Trophy (R3)
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 24th JanuaryJan 2015
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 1167

3 - 3

Dover Athletic
Dover Athletic

Cards face tough Trophy test

Brian Caffarey
8:06pm, Thu 22nd Jan 2015
Woking v Dover Athletic
FA Trophy 3rd Round
3pm on Saturday 24 January 2015

Garry Hill has made it clear that he’s keen to take the Cards to Wembley this season but familiar rivals, the Whites, pose a formidable obstacle since they have been in exceptional form after an uncertain start to life back in the Conference Premier. Come on down to Kingfield and cheer Woking on to the Trophy Quarter-Finals!


The Cards seem to be recovering their form after a poor spell in December which saw them fall away in the play-off race. But they did beat Eastleigh at home in the 1st Round of the Trophy and eventually disposed of Oxford City in a replay. Garry Hill’s side have now gone five games undefeated, with creditable draws in the league away to Eastleigh and Gateshead and, last Saturday, at home to a hitherto rampant Bristol Rovers side. Other promising signs include the return from injury of top scorer Scott Rendell, who came off the bench against Rovers, and of captain Mark Ricketts, who has been an unused substitute in the last three games.

The arrival of striker Ross Lafayette on loan from Luton Town is also a boost, although it is counter-balanced by the departure of Jack Marriott, who has returned to Ipswich Town in order to go on loan to Colchester United as part of the deal that saw Colchester’s Freddie Sears move to Portman Road. More squad changes were announced today, with the arrival on loan of Charles Banya from Crawley Town, with Dean Morgan moving in the other direction. Banya has already had a spell on loan at Kingfield last season when he was still with Fulham. Reece Beckles has also gone on loan again to Farnborough.

The Cards played with great determination against Rovers, with outstanding displays from central defenders Joe McNerney and James Clarke and a strong contribution from the midfield. With Kevin Betsy returning to form and John Goddard impressing on the left, the Cards looked better balanced than they have done for some time.


The Whites were promoted through the play-offs last season, beating Kent rivals Ebbsfleet United 1-0 in the final at Stonebridge Road. Manager Chris Kinnear, who returned to Crabble after a gap of 18 years to lead Dover into the play-offs, kept faith with many of the players who gained promotion to the Vanarama Conference. They included winger Ricky Modeste, midfielders Barry Cogan and Chris Kinnear Jnr, strikers Nathan Elder and Jeff Goulding, keeper Mitch Walker and defenders Craig Stone, Richard Orlu and Sean Raggett. Ex-Card Moses Ademola was offered a new deal but decided to stay in the Conference South with Bromley.

Newcomers included striker Stefan Payne, who scored 31 goals for AFC Hornchurch and who numbers Fulham, Gillingham and Sutton among his previous clubs; Jake Reid, another striker, who had played for several Conference clubs, including Salisbury City and Newport County; highly-rated Italian midfielder Christian Nanetti, signed from Havant and Waterlooville; defender Tyrone Sterling, returning after a year away at Dartford; well-travelled midfielder Nick Deverdics, whose most recent club had been in the Faroe Islands; and another midfielder, the busy Matt Lock, signed from Chelmsford City.

The Whites had a very difficult start to the season but began to pick up towards the end of September, when they claimed successive wins against Alfreton and Aldershot at Crabble. The defence had been strengthened by the addition of Tom Bonner, on loan from Cambridge United, who has recently signed for Ebbsfleet, and Connor Essam, an ex-Gill who joined from Crawley Town. Kinnear also brought in Ricky Miller and Solomon Taiwo on loan from Luton Town. The latter has just re-joined the Whites. Another arrival was keeper Andrew Rafferty, who had been with Hartlepool United. Such was the turnaround in Dover’s fortunes that Kinnear won the ‘manager of the month’ award in November.

After their midweek 2-0 home win over Wrexham, Dover now sit in 8th place, one place above Woking, though level on points and goal difference, but with a game in hand.

An excellent FA Cup run saw the Whites dispose of two League sides, Morecambe and Cheltenham Town, before losing at home to Crystal Palace. In the Trophy Dover beat Lowestoft Town and Havant and Waterlooville, both away, to reach this stage.

Midfielder Adam Mekki, who has featured for Aldershot and Barnet, has recently signed permanently in addition to Taiwo. Striker Nathan Elder has gone on loan to Maidstone United.


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

The game is not planned to be segregated.

Season ticket holders are reminded that this is an ‘all pay’ game. If a replay is required, it will take place on Tuesday evening at Crabble, with a 7.45pm kick-off.

There is a special ‘promotion’ for fans on Saturday: buy your fish and chips from Cardinals Catering under the Leslie Gosden Stand and the first 100 fans will be admitted to the Geoff Chapple Lounge, with the doors opening at 1.30pm.


Saturday’s edition of the Club’s stylish matchday programme includes a preview of all the Trophy ties; a look at how the two sides have reached the last 16; memories of Woking’s entry into floodlit competitions; a round-up of all the recent Vanarama Conference games and much more, including match reports, previews, news of the Club’s commercial and community initiatives and tremendous action photos. Make sure you get a copy! If you can’t get to the game, you can order a copy from the Club Shop on shop@wokingfc.co.uk


Woking 6 Dover Athletic 1
25 August 2014

The two sides had started the season in very different form and this was reflected in this overwhelming victory for the Cards, who finally produced the goals that their previous performances had threatened. Gez Sole opened the scoring in the tenth minute, deflecting a header past the keeper, before adding a second ten minutes later with a determined run to the near post. Five minutes later Scott Rendell side-footed home to make it 3-0 but the uncertain Woking defending which had punctuated their goals was then punished by Stefan Payne as he broke through a James Clarke tackle to score via a deflection.

Dover’s defending proved to be even more hapless after the break as Rendell added three more goals in the second half, including one from the penalty spot – and the scoreline could have been even more embarrassing for Dover had Woking been more clinical in their finishing.

Woking: Jake Cole (Aaron Howe 66), James Clarke (Joey Jones 62), Mark Ricketts, Joe McNerney, Adam Newton, Josh Payne (Theo Lewis 62), Keiran Murtagh, Chris Arthur, Dean Morgan, Scott Rendell, Giuseppe Sole

Unused subs: John Nutter, Nick Arnold

Goals: Scott Rendell 25, 52, 60 (pen), 72 ; Giuseppe Sole 10, 20

Booked: Josh Payne

Dover Athletic: Mitch Walker, Craig Stone, Chris Kinnear Jnr, Richard Orlu, Nathan Elder (Jake Reid 77), Matt Lock (Tom Murphy 67), Stefan Payne, Tyrone Sterling, Yado Mambo, Tom Wynter (Nick Deverdics 31), Christian Nanetti

Unused subs: Barry Cogan, Brendan Owusu-Ansah

Goal: Stefan Payne 30

Attendance: 1454


The Cards are at home to Alfreton Town next Saturday (31 January) in what will be a crucial test of the Club’s ability to stay in the play-off race. Make sure you’ve got the date in your diary.

Come on, you Cards!

Cards live to fight another day

Brian Caffarey
10:22pm, Sat 24th Jan 2015
Woking 3 Dover Athletic 3
FA Trophy 3rd Round
24 January 2015

Scott Rendell rescued the Cards with an injury-time strike in a game which gradually built up to a crescendo. Woking had taken an early lead through Chris Arthur but failed to press home their advantage at a time when Dover were looking out of sorts. Consequently, the Whites found their feet and equalised with a well-worked goal from Connor Essam. But Woking struck back just on half-time when Ross Lafayette was tripped in the box, with Scott Rendell converting from the spot. But Woking’s half-time lead was turned on its head shortly after the break when, first, Nick Deverdics slammed the ball home after the ball had been half-cleared and, second, the impressive Stefan Payne rocketed into the roof of the net following some more uncertain Cards’ defending. Dover fell back and tried to hold onto their 3-2 lead but were eventually undone by Rendell’s striking prowess. The two sides will now meet again at Crabble on Tuesday evening.

Garry Hill chose to start with both Scott Rendell and Ross Lafayette up front, with Charles Banya on the bench in (barring the departed Jack Marriott) an unchanged side from the eleven which had lined up against Bristol Rovers. The Cards were well on top in the early stages, with Lafayette showing up well, including registering a fine left-footed effort in the third minute. With Dover looking hesitant, the Cards continued to make most of the running, with John Goddard firing over the bar after Lafayette and Rendell had combined to slip him in on the right of the Dover area. Woking’s early pressure was rewarded in the 16th minute when Chris Arthur, picking up a ball cleared from a corner, drove forward between two Dover players to fire into the corner from outside the area.

Woking continued to look as though they might add to their lead but without any great sense of urgency. Kevin Betsy hooked a ball across for which Rendell challenged to earn a corner. Lafayette produced an excellent turn but his shot was scuffed. But Dover began to pick up their game from about the midpoint of the half and, for the first time, began to ask questions of the Woking defence. A lofted shot from Barry Cogan caused Jake Cole a little concern as he back-pedalled and then Tom Murphy found space on the Woking right to put in a cross which was just too deep. Dover’s resurgence was then rewarded in the 35th minute as Connor Essam did well to hold off John Goddard to direct a header wide of Jake Cole to equalise.

Just as it looked as though the two sides would go into the break on equal terms Lafayette seized on a ball to nod it on into the area and followed it up in determined fashion. It appeared that a Dover defender caught his heels and a penalty was awarded. Rendell sent the keeper the wrong way to leave Woking 2-1 up at the break.

Half-time: Woking 2 Dover Athletic 1

Woking were caught cold after the break as a resilient Dover side struck back to take a 3-2 lead. In the 48th minute Nick Deverdics latched onto a half-cleared corner, slamming the ball through a crowd of defenders into the far corner. Joe McNerney nearly scored at the other end as his downward header was punched clear. But back came Dover, with Stefan Payne rocketing the ball into the roof of the net after the ball bounced around the Woking area.

For a short period Dover continued to make the running as a shell-shocked Woking side came to terms with the fact that they now had to chase the game. Their uncertainty was reflected in passages of play which were marked by poor passing and a lack of invention. Gradually, however, Dover – perhaps fatally, in the end – allowed themselves to fall back to defend their one-goal lead. This was also reflected in the withdrawal of Stefan Payne and some blatant time-wasting. It began to be largely one-way traffic as the Cards pumped the ball forward in the direction of Rendell and Lafayette. When Dover cleared their lines, the ball almost invariably fell to James Clarke or Jake Cole, with the result that Woking resumed their attacks. Joe McNerney went agonisingly close as he got in a header from a Betsy cross, with Rendell also missing narrowly as he connected with an Arthur cross. Woking fans in the Leslie Gosden Stand were convinced that the equaliser had come in the 79th minute as Rendell shot, almost instinctively, from an excellent Gez Sole cross. Unbelievably, the ball struck the inside of the post only to spin out for a goal kick just beyond the other post.

The pressure ramped up as the game neared its conclusion. A Betsy effort was deflected narrowly wide with a minute to go on the clock. Well into the five minutes of added time Gez Sole fired a free-kick goalwards, Scott Rendell connected, the Dover keeper saved but Rendell, showing great determination, stooped to head the ball home to make it 3-3.

There was almost a final twist as McNerney only narrowly missed the target with a diving header from a Josh Payne free-kick, with Gez Sole also almost connecting at the far post.

A draw was a fair result on balance in a game which began slowly but gradually built up into a real cup tie. It was only when the Cards were behind that they looked as though they were really determined to keep their Wembley dreams alive.

Woking: Jake Cole, Adam Newton (Giuseppe Sole), Joe McNerney, James Clarke, Chris Arthur, Kevin Betsy, Josh Payne, Joey Jones (Keiran Murtagh), John Goddard (Charles Banya), Scott Rendell, Ross Lafayette

Unused subs: Mark Ricketts, Andy Little

Goals: Arthur 16, Rendell 44 (pen) and 90

Dover Athletic: Andrew Rafferty, Sean Raggett, Richard Orlu, Liam Bellamy, Tom Murphy, Barry Cogan (Tom Wynter), Stefan Payne (Jake Reid), Sean Francis, Tyrone Sterling, Connor Essam

Unused subs: Ricky Modeste, Solomon Taiwo, Mitch Walker

Goals: Essam 35, Deverdics 48, Payne 53

My MOTM: Joe McNerney

Attendance: 1167
23Jake Cole
2Adam Newton
32Chris Arthur
6James Clarke
5Joe McNerney
7Josh Payne
21Joey Jones
11Kevin Betsy
22John Goddard
9Scott Rendell
19Ross Lafayette
31Andy Little
4Mark Ricketts
8Keiran Murtagh
12Charles Banya
10Giuseppe Sole
Dover Athletic LINEUP

Woking 3 - 3 Dover Athletic (Garry Hill Interview)

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