Fitogether
FCP
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 14th MarchMar 2015
| Att: 1265

AFC Telford United
AFC Telford United
1 - 3

Woking
Woking

Cards seek third successive away win

Brian Caffarey
5:26pm, Thu 12th Mar 2015
AFC Telford v Woking
3pm on Saturday 14 March 2015

After last weekend’s and Tuesday evening’s results the Cards’ chances of making the play-off places appear very slim indeed since they now sit in 8th place, nine points behind fifth-placed Forest Green Rovers and with Eastleigh in particular looking much better placed to challenge Rovers. But Garry Hill will no doubt be keen to secure a higher finish than last season’s 9th place if possible and the side will surely be keen to avenge their home defeat at the hands of the Bucks. The Cards would be well advised, though, not to take the Shropshire side lightly even though they prop up the table.

WOKING

A very professional Grimsby side came away with the points from Kingfield last Saturday. They deserved to win but they wouldn’t have done so but for the sort of defensive lapses which Grimsby themselves never looked like making. It was another lesson in the ‘gap’ the Cards have to bridge if they are to mount a convincing challenge for a play-off place.

A positive from last Saturday’s game was a very assured debut from on-loan central defender Brian Saah, which saw him pick up the sponsor’s ‘man of the match’ award.

There is no reason why Garry Hill’s side cannot get on the front foot again this weekend as they did so convincingly at Lincoln City and Dartford and secure another away win.

AFC TELFORD

It’s been a struggle all season for the Bucks in their first season back in the Conference since being relegated at the end of the 2012-13 campaign. They failed to register a win till their 12th league game of the season when they beat Torquay at home. Their next win, five games later, was their surprise 3-1 victory at Kingfield. Since then they’ve managed four more wins: at home to Altrincham; successive away wins in January against Aldershot and Wrexham; and last weekend completing the double over Torquay United with a 1-0 away win. On Tuesday night they lost 1-0 at Macclesfield. They are now eleven points adrift of safety, having secured 26 points from 37 games.

Manager Steve Kittrick replaced Liam Watson in December but has been unable to spark a sustained upturn in the Bucks’ fortunes. The squad includes several well-known Conference players, including strikers Tony Gray, top scorer with 14 league goals, and Ross Dyer, midfielder Godfrey Poku and pacy winger Sean Clancy. A recent arrival is highly experienced central defender Ian Sharps, on loan from Burton Albion. Target man Sam Smith was injured at Torquay and missed the Macclesfield match.

Bermudan international keeper Freddy Hall is capable of ‘man of the match’ performances.

GETTING THERE

The New Bucks Head
Watling Street
Wellington
Telford
Shropshire
TF1 2TU

By coach
The Cards Trust coach leaves Kingfield at 10.30am. The cost is £20 for Trust members and £25 for non-members. Phone (01483 772470) or email (shop@wokingfc.co.uk) the Club Shop to book your place.

By car
Leave the M6 at Junction 10 and take the M54 towards Telford. Leave the M54 at Junction 6 and turn right at the roundabout above the slip road (SP A518 Telford West). Go past Tesco’s on your left and then over two roundabouts. At the third roundabout, where there is a Ford Garage on one corner, turn left. The entrance to the club car park is a short way down this road on your right. Parking facilities comprise 290 spaces at the stadium (entrance via Haybridge Road) and
some 500 at Telford College of Arts and Technology, which is situated on the opposite side of Haybridge Road. There is surveillance by stewards and CCTV. The fee is £3 per car.

By train
The nearest station is Wellington, about a mile from the ground. There are various possible routes from Woking: travelling direct from Euston; travelling from Euston and changing at Birmingham New Street; and travelling from Woking to Basingstoke and then from Basingstoke to Birmingham International and changing again for a train to Welllington. Look up www.nationalrail.com or www.thetrainline.com for more details.

Wellington station is about a 20-minute walk from the ground. Turn left outside railway station and up the walled steps to Wellington bus station. Follow the road (The Parade) with the bus station on your left to T-junction. Cross the road and continue walking ahead through the residential area, taking you on to Victoria Avenue. Continue along, bearing left, to cross-roads with King Street. Cross straight over to Regents Street – follow the road through housing to a T-junction. Turn left into Telford Whitehouse Hotel Car Park. Continue past the Dugout Bar. Club Shop and home turnstiles are on the right.

Regular buses run past the New Bucks Head from Telford town centre and Wellington bus stations.

ADMISSION PRICES

Adults: £15
Concession: £12
Youth (14-18): £5
Under 14: £2

Away fans are housed in the Frank Nagington (South) Stand, providing covered terraced accommodation for 1300. Seating is usually available for away fans in block A of the West Stand on request. You can purchase tickets in advance for a game: call 01952 640064 for further information.

LAST TIME OUT

Woking 1 AFC Telford 3
18 October 2014

The Cards came into this match on the back of a three-match winning run but found bottom-of-the-table AFC Telford a much harder opponent than most had expected.

The visitors took the lead on 10 minutes when ‘man of the match’ Mike Phenix – shortly to be on his way to Barnsley – headed home from a free-kick. It took the out-of-sorts Cards some time to get going and they nearly fell two behind when Ross Worner had to block an attempt by Sam Smith.

An equaliser came just past the half-hour mark when keeper Freddy Hall couldn’t hold a Dean Morgan strike and John Goddard was on hand to convert from six yards out.

The Cards were once again caught cold after the break when Phenix, with only two minutes played, slammed home after a flick-on from a throw-in.

The Cards threw men forward in search of a second equaliser but got caught at the back on the hour mark when a snapshot from Phenix was parried by Worner into the path of Ryan Higgins, who gobbled up the loose ball.

Woking put the Bucks under great pressure but couldn’t breach a surprisingly stubborn defence, although Scott Rendell had two efforts disallowed.

Woking: Ross Worner, Mike Cestor, Joe McNerney, Joey Jones, Chris Arthur, Josh Payne, Theo Lewis (Kevin Betsy 62), John Goddard, Dean Morgan (Giuseppe Sole 65), Jack Marriott, Scott Rendell

Unused subs: Jake Cole, Adam Newton, James Clarke

Goal: John Goddard 34

Booked: Kevin Betsy 83

AFC Telford United: Freddie Hall, Andy Parry, Rod McDonald, Neil Byrne, Sean Clancy, Ryan Higgins, Godfrey Poku, Kristian Platt, Mike Grogan, Mike Phenix, Sam Smith (Andy Todd 79)

Unused subs: Jonathan Hedge, Charlie Barnett, Sean Cooke, Jordan Deacey

Goals: Mike Phenix 10, 47, Sam Smith 60

Booked: Andrew Parry 23, Kristian Platt 69, Andy Todd 83

Attendance: 1817

NEXT GAME

The Cards are at home to Forest Green Rovers on Saturday 21st March, followed by another home game against Torquay United on Tuesday 24 March.


Come on, you Cards!


Superior second half keeps Cards' play-off hopes alive

Malcolm Wyatt
11:17am, Sun 15th Mar 2015
AFC Telford United 1 Woking 3

Vanarama Conference

14th March 2015


Influential midfielder Keiran Murtagh reminded Cards fans of his worth with a fine display in Shropshire as Woking kept their slim play-off chances intact.

The Antigua and Barbuda international proved instrumental for Garry Hill’s side, setting up two goals that ensured victory over a determined but battle-scarred host side.

The game was only settled in the final 10 minutes, late strikes from seasoned campaigners Kevin Betsy and Giuseppe Sole leaving the Bucks closer to the drop.

The Cards not only stretched their unbeaten away league run to four games with a third successive victory, but also notched up a ninth win on their travels this season.

In so doing, they avenged a 3-1 home defeat when the sides met in mid-October at Kingfield, a rare highlight for the basement outfit in a troubled first term back in the Conference top-flight.

On that occasion, Mike Phenix scored twice for Liam Watson's side. But, by December, the Conference North title-winning boss had made way for current incumbent Steve Kittrick and the team is still chasing its first home league win since November's victory over Altrincham.

It appears on this showing that last week’s impressive win at Torquay was just another flash in the pan, although Bradley Reid, straight in after signing on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers, soon proved a handful.

Murtagh started for Woking in place of the suspended Josh Payne, while Aswad Thomas and Adam Newton replaced Chris Arthur and James Clarke after last weekend’s defeat to Grimsby.

An early home attack ended with a poor strike from Adam Farrell, home pressure continuing with a deep Sean Clancy centre cleared by Thomas.

Woking won a free-kick as Betsy was upended, a typically-busy John Goddard’s centre headed out as a cold wind permeated around the New Buck's Head.

Pacy striker Yemi Odubade wasn't far off catching out Bermudan international keeper Freddy Hall with a cheeky back-heel in the area, while Telford’s Reid beat his marker and forced Jake Cole into his first stop.

The home end sang Cum on Feel the Noize in a bid to raise Bucks’ spirits, but Thomas showed his worth at the back as Telford struggled to find a way through on a boggy pitch.

The Cards remained patient as Reid struggled to stay onside, while Goddard won a corner on the break but his in-swinger was easily cleared. And after another home move broke down, Odubade and Thomas combined to win another corner, from which Joey Jones headed over.

A promising Bucks attack ended with another raised flag, while in the next raid Reid held off Jones, but his finish was too weak to trouble Cole. But the hosts kept at it, Jones making an important clearance as Reid tried to find a way in, the resultant corner quickly cleared.

As Woking countered, Betsy's cool lob was booted away by Burton Albion loanee Ian Sharps, while Odubade was denied again and Goddard and Betsy broke through but Rendell again struggled in the mud.

The Cards' defence continued to repel its hosts, and at the other end Betsy's trickery forced a visitors’ corner, although Goddard's delivery again came to nothing.

When Tony Gray, the hosts' 14-goal top scorer, won a corner, Woking again stood up well, Jones clearing before a poor follow-up signalled the last attack of a lacking first 45 minutes.

Half-time: AFC Telford United 0 Woking 0

The Cards were quick out of the traps after the break, Odubade and Rendell’s pace leading to another wasted corner, then Betsy having a cross cleared by Sharps.

But Telford looked shaky, and a foul on Goddard just inside the box led to the ref pointing at the spot, with little sign of complaint from the home side. Rendell stepped up, his subtle hesitation enough to unnerve Hall before he fired into the top right corner for his 17th strike of the season on 48 minutes.

Reid had a chance to quickly level, only to rush his chance and hit harmlessly wide, murmurs around the ground suggesting little home confidence. Jones had half a chance with a header from the next Woking corner, while Gray couldn't get a clean shot away as Telford countered, the action flowing.

Hall did well to deny Odubade as he tried to walk in from the left channel, the hosts stretched, while Reid was deemed offside on the break as Telford fought on, the first quarter-hour offering more excitement than the entire first forty-five.

Sharps swept up at the back after Odubade beat Hall and tried to tap home, but that seemed to galvanise the hosts, who were soon level after good work on the right flank by Godfrey Poku led to a Clancy corner, headed powerfully home at the near post by Rod McDonald on 64 minutes.

Woking poured forward again, a telling cross from sub Chris Arthur – on for the injured Thomas - met powerfully by Odubade. Hall got behind that, but Sharps became the third home player to be booked as Goddard was grounded in the next promising wing raid, newly-introduced Sole delivering the free-kick and Telford only half-clearing as Betsy crossed back in, Rendell unable to steer home.

After hopeful home calls for a penalty were waved away, Woking countered, Rendell looking odds-on to score but again struggling on a pudding of a pitch.

McDonald was next to try the ref's patience, ending up on the turf as another penalty claim was ignored.

A fourth booking followed as Cards skipper Mark Ricketts was pole-axed when Woking surged forward. Again, Sole's resultant free-kick was a relative let-down, the home wall twice blocking him. But then came a decisive moment as Murtagh put Rendell away.

This time the earlier scorer showed great timing to feed Betsy to his right, the veteran keeping his cool, advancing then firing powerfully beyond Hall from the right of the area in the 81st minute.

Mike Grogan thought he had levelled for Telford, a low ball beating everyone in the area and turned home by the defender. But the home roar was replaced by a groan - a flag raised for offside.

Pretty soon, that man Murtagh had provided a magic touch again, beating his marker then threading through to Sole, who showed similar poise to Betsy as he fired home the third on 86 minutes.

There was still time for Gray to rue a missed chance by the left post and for Danny Ventre to fire high and wide in added time, the hosts deflated as a sixth loss in seven games left them 14 points adrift with eight games left.

For their part, Woking – seven points off fifth-placed Forest Green - fully deserved this victory, the Yellows rightly lapping up the vocal praise of the travelling faithful in the Frank Nagington Stand at the final whistle.

Woking: Jake Cole, Adam Newton, Aswad Thomas (Chris Arthur 66), Joey Jones, Brian Saah, Mark Ricketts (c) (Charles Banya 88), John Goddard, Keiran Murtagh, Kevin Betsy, Scott Rendell, Yemi Odubade (Giuseppe Sole 72)

Unused subs: Andy Little, James Clarke

Goals: Rendell 48, Betsy 81, Sole 86

Telford: Freddy Hall, Mike Grogan, Ian Sharps, Rod McDonald (John Disney 84), Glenn Matthews, Danny Ventre, Godfrey Poku, Tony Gray, Bradley Reid, Adam Farrell (Ross Dyer 85), Sean Clancy

Unused subs: James Montgomery, Jordan Deacey, Josh Hancock

Goals: McDonald 64

Cautions: Matthews 13, Sharps 62, Farrell 72, Reid 79


Attendance: 1,265.

My MOTM: Keiran Murtagh – credit where credit’s due, showing the best side of his game after plenty of recent stick. Had a hand in the decisive second and third goals.
AFC Telford United LINEUP
WOKING LINEUP
23Jake Cole
2Adam Newton
14Aswad Thomas ('66)
21Joey Jones
24Brian Saah
4Mark Ricketts ('89)
8Keiran Murtagh
22John Goddard
11Kevin Betsy
17Yemi Odubade ('72)
9Scott Rendell
BENCH
31Andy Little
6James Clarke
32Chris Arthur ('66)
12Charles Banya ('89)
10Giuseppe Sole ('72)

AFC Telford United 1 - 3 Woking (Garry Hill Interview)

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