Woking News & Mail
FCP
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 28th MarchMar 2015
| Att: 1899

Chester
Chester
2 - 3

Woking
Woking

Cards eye three more points

Brian Caffarey
3:32pm, Thu 26th Mar 2015
Chester v Woking
3pm on Saturday 28 March 2015

The Cards’ thrilling win over Torquay United on Tuesday evening has put them only one point behind Forest Green Rovers, who occupy the fifth play-off spot. They now travel to Chester on Saturday seeking their fourth successive away win, knowing that they can afford very little slippage in their remaining six league games. It will be a tough challenge against Steve Burr’s side but the Cards will know that they are capable of leaving with all three points if they play to their strengths.

WOKING

It was a terrific performance by Garry Hill’s side to come back from 0-2 at half-time on Tuesday to achieve a 3-2 win. The Cards had started the first half in nightmare fashion, finding themselves two goals down after 20 minutes. But two strikes of the woodwork before half-time held out hope that the Cards could recover and, once the irrepressible Yemi Odubade had opened the scoring after the break, everything clicked and Torquay were over-run to the delight of the Kingfield crowd.

Special mention must be made of a very assured debut by 19 year-old loanee keeper Michael Crowe, who kept the Cards in the game at a point when a three-goal deficit would surely have sunk the side. He must have wondered in the first 20 minutes, though, what he had let himself in for!

Garry has today added midfielder Manny Oyeleke to the squad, on loan from Brentford. Manny has already had a loan spell at Aldershot Town this season.

The Cards are on a good run, having won five of their last six games, the only reverse coming at home to Grimsby. Two of Woking’s play-off rivals, Gateshead and Eastleigh, play each other on Saturday, so a win for the Cards could prove particularly valuable. Forest Green Rovers are away at Lincoln City, while FC Halifax travel to improving Nuneaton.

CHESTER

Following the winding-up of the former Chester City FC in March 2010 a ‘phoenix’ club was formed, which enjoyed phenomenal success, winning three successive promotions to start life last season in the Conference Premier. But the club was only saved from relegation last season by Hereford United’s demise.

Chester have stabilised this season and now sit 11th in the table, with 54 points from 40 games. At home they’ve won nine games, drawn three and lost seven, scoring 24 goals and conceding 25. Last Saturday they drew 1-1 at Alfreton Town, with Ben Heneghan scoring a late equaliser. Their last home game resulted in a surprising 2-1 defeat against Dartford but the one prior to that saw a creditable 2-2 draw against Grimsby.

The Blues have some capable players, including experienced keeper Jon Worsnop, England C midfielder Kingsley James, midfielder Sean McConville and striker John Rooney (Wayne Rooney’s brother). They have several useful on-loan players, including midfielder Brad Abbot from Barnsley, striker Matty Hughes from Fleetwood Town and Oli McBurnie, another striker, this time from Bradford City.

GETTING THERE

Swansway Chester Stadium
Bumpers Lane
Chester
CH1 4LT

Official website: www.chesterfc.com

By coach

The Cards Trust is running a coach to this game. The cost is £20 for members and £25 for non-members. Phone (01483 772470) or email (shop@wokingfc.co.uk) the Club Shop to book your place. When doing so, please check the departure time – which seems to have been the subject of some confusion, to which I don’t wish to add!

By car

Head for the M25 and then travel north by M40, M42 and M6 till J16, joining the A500 (Crewe/Nantwich), subsequently following the A51 (Chester/Wrexham), the A49 (Warrington/Chester) and the A51 again (Chester). Follow the signs for Chester City Centre. At the Bars roundabout take the first exit onto the A5268 (North Wales/Wrexham), stay in left-hand lane and continue through traffic signals and at the Grosvenor roundabout take the third exit (A5268 Motorways M53/M56 All through traffic). At Watergate junction take A548 (Queensferry) and then at traffic signals turn left onto Stendhal Road (Sealand Industrial Estate) and bear right onto Bumpers Lane.

Parking at the ground costs £2. There is also parking in the industrial estate near the ground.

By train

Trains from Euston to Chester leave at 10 and 40 minutes past the hour, with the latter involving a change at Crewe, all taking just over two hours. The 11.10 would get you to Chester at 13.13, while the 11.40, with the change at Crewe, would get you there at 13.46. Trains on the way back are at 55 minutes past the hour and all involve a change at Crewe. The 17.55 would get you to Euston at 20.05.

The ground is about two miles from the station, so it would be best to take a taxi. Another option is to take the Railink bus to the bus exchange and then take the number 10 bus, which runs along Sealand Road.

ADMISSION PRICES

The prices for seated and standing admission are as follows:
Adults £18/£15
Concessions £12/£10
U21 £10/£10
Age 5-15 £3/£3
Under 5s Free/Free

LAST TIME OUT

Woking 1 Chester 0
13 September 2014

The Cards came into this game on the back of a start to the season which had seen them win five and draw three of their opening eight games, including a midweek win over Aldershot Town thanks to an amazing late free-kick from Gez Sole.

That game, however, had seen a serious injury to keeper Aaron Howe, with Garry Hill moving swiftly to bring back former favourite Ross Worner on loan from AFC Wimbledon.

Chester had had a testing start to their season and were clearly determined to play it tight, frustrating the Cards in midfield in what was largely a scrappy first half, with the best chance falling to the Blues’ Kingsley James just before half-time when he crashed a 25-yard shot against the underside of the bar.

Woking started the second half in more determined fashion and what turned out to be the winning goal came swiftly, thanks to some clever footwork from Dean Morgan and a deft touch from Gez Sole, with the ball just spinning over the line.

Chester worked hard to get back into the game but the Woking defence was solid and saw out the ninety minutes fairly comfortably. The win left the Cards in second place, a point behind leaders Barnet.

Woking: Ross Worner, James Clarke, Joe McNerney(c), Mike Cestor, Theo Lewis (Adam Newton 57), Joey Jones, Josh Payne, Chris Arthur, Dean Morgan (Keiran Murtagh 73), Giuseppe Sole (John Goddard 73), Scott Rendell

Unused Subs: Andy Little, Nicholas Arnold

Bookings: Mike Cestor (63)

Goal(s): Giuseppe Sole(52)

Chester: James Worksop, Gareth Roberts, Ben Heneghan, Kieron Charnock, Michael Kay, Sean McConville (Craig Mahon 60), Kingsley James, Danny Harrison(c)(Callum Morris 79), Jaden Hall, John Rooney, Craig Hobson (Chris Iwelumo 79)

Unused Subs: Connor Roberts, Ibou Jourad

Bookings: Sean McConville(60)

Attendance: 1,629.

NEXT GAME

The Cards are at home to Welling United at 3pm on Saturday 4 April, followed by a trip to Dover Athletic at 3pm on Monday 6 April (Easter Monday).

Come on, you Cards!


Payne's wonder-strike secures the points

Alan Barnes
11:38am, Sun 29th Mar 2015
Chester 2 Woking 3
Vanarama Conference
28th March 2015

After heavy rain on the journey up, the match was played in fine weather. The pitch was in good condition for the time of year, if a little bumpy, but there was a very strong wind blowing across the ground, making good football a difficult proposition.

Chester kicked off with the wind at their backs and used it to good effect on a number of occasions during the opening forty-five minutes, without actually finding the back of the net.

It was the visitors who were first to threaten, however. Kevin Betsy was fouled in the middle of the pitch, but play was allowed to continue as Yemi Odubade ran into the box, only to blaze his shot high over the bar.

Shortly afterwards, Chris Arthur broke down the left, and his delayed low cross was flicked into the net by Scott Rendell, only to be ruled out for offside.

The wind was causing problems for the Cards' defence and a long kick upfield ran through to Michael Crowe in the Woking goal, with a home forward bearing down.
Prior to this, a similar ball forward had required Arthur to step in and clear off the toes of a Chester forward.

Josh Payne (pictured) then had a couple of shots in quick succession, one being blocked and the other clearing the bar.

As the half-hour mark approached, Woking got their noses in front. Goddard cut in from the right and put a low cross into the danger area, which took a slight deflection. The ever-alert Rendell read the situation perfectly and nipped in front of the 'keeper to finish well.

The visitors would have been delighted to go into the break with the lead, given that they had battled against the elements in the opening half. However, just as it looked as though this would be the case, the home side struck back on the stroke of half-time. A shot from Sean McConville was parried by Crowe but fell obligingly into the path of Craig Mahon, who volleyed home for the equaliser.

Half-time: Chester 1 Woking 1

Chester started the second period brightly but were unable to add to their score.
At the other end a cross from Betsy found Odubade, but his firm shot was blocked at point-blank range.

Just past the hour mark, the home side was reduced to ten men. Defender Kieran Charnock, who had been booked early in the match, hauled down Betsy on the edge of his own box, and was immediately shown a second yellow card to give the visitors an important numerical advantage.

From the resulting free kick, Payne's shot was brilliantly palmed away by Jon Worsnop in the home goal.

The game now started to open up, with Woking finding more space to play in, and they made their extra man count in the sixty-ninth minute. Odubade pressured a home defender into giving away a corner and from the resulting kick, Joey Jones headed goalwards. The ball looked to be crossing the goal-line, but like all good strikers, Rendell was once again on hand to make sure from close range and notch his twenty-first league goal of the campaign.

Just when it seemed as though the Cards had done the hard part and would see out the remainder of the match, their spirited opponents struck back for a second time. Woking conceded a corner and from Mahon's excellent delivery, Ben Heneghan headed home firmly.

It now looked as though the visitors would have to settle for a draw. Fortunately, Josh Payne had other ideas. With six minutes remaining, the midfielder struck an amazing twenty-five yard volley which flew into the top corner of the net to stun the home crowd. Woking have scored some tremendous individual goals this season, but none better than this one, particularly given the context of this match and the need to secure all three points in the chase for a play-off place.

This important victory makes it six wins in seven games and leaves the Cards in sixth place in the league, a point behind Forest Green Rovers and clearly in with a realistic chance of securing that final play-off berth with five matches remaining.

Make sure that you are down at Kingfield to cheer on Garry Hill's men this coming Saturday against Welling United in what could be an historic season for the Cards.

CHESTER: Jon Worsnop, Ben Heneghan, Matty Brown, Kieran Charnock, Kingsley James, Ryan Higgins (Michael Kay 76), Brad Abbott (Craig Hobson 60), John Rooney, Craig Mahon, Sean McConville, Matty Hughes (Gareth Roberts 62)

Unused subs: Jon Viscosi, Tom Peers

Goals: Craig Mahon 44, Ben Heneghan 79

Sent off: Kieran Charnock 61 (second bookable offence)

WOKING: Michael Crowe, Mark Ricketts, Joey Jones, Brian Saah, Chris Arthur, John Goddard (Charles Banya 67), Josh Payne, Keiran Murtagh, Kevin Betsy, Scott Rendell, Yemi Odubade (Giuseppe Sole 74)

Unused subs: Andy Little, John Nutter, Emmanuel Oyeleke

Goals: Scott Rendell 29, 69, Josh Payne 84

Cautions: Joey Jones 36, John Goddard 52, Josh Payne 58, Chris Arthur 78

ATTENDANCE: 1,899

My MotM: Josh Payne
Chester LINEUP
WOKING LINEUP
30Michael Crowe
4Mark Ricketts
32Chris Arthur
21Joey Jones
24Brian Saah
7Josh Payne
8Keiran Murtagh
22John Goddard
11Kevin Betsy
17Yemi Odubade
9Scott Rendell
BENCH
31Andy Little
15John Nutter
29Manny Oyeleke
12Charles Banya
10Giuseppe Sole

Chester 2 - 3 Woking (Garry Hill Interview)

Chester 2 - 3 Woking (Scott Rendell Interview)

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