RAMS FM
FCP
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 11th AprilApr 2015
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 1889

Woking
Woking
3 - 0

Gateshead
Gateshead

Only a win will do

Brian Caffarey
4:13pm, Thu 9th Apr 2015
Woking v Gateshead
3pm on Saturday 11 April 2015

With only one point gained from their two Easter games, the Cards have absolutely no margin for error in their remaining three games if they are to stand any chance of making the play-offs. Even three wins might not be enough. So, expect Garry Hill’s side to go all out for maximum points as they take on the Heed on Saturday. Come down to Kingfield and cheer the side on to victory!

WOKING

The Cards really needed to take at least four points from their two Easter games to put themselves in a favourable position in the play-off race but in both games they failed to take advantage when in front. Against Welling they did well to come back from a goal deficit to take a 2-1 lead but then allowed Welling to equalise. On Monday they were looking comfortable at 1-0 ahead against Dover at half-time but were then a poor second best as Dover grabbed two goals.

Garry Hill’s task hasn’t been helped by having virtually an entire defence out injured or, in Joey Jones’s case on Monday, suspended. While Joey will be available to play against Gateshead, Brian Saah will now be missing as a result of his red card at Crabble. Garry will be hoping, nevertheless, to improve on a defensive record which has seen the Cards ship two goals in each of their last four games.

Woking now sit in 7th place, three points behind fifth-placed Forest Green Rovers and one point behind Eastleigh, who, however, have a game in hand. With Forest Green playing fourth-placed Macclesfield Town, who are five points ahead of Woking, there is a chance for the Cards to make up some ground on one or more of their rivals if they can overcome Gateshead. Eastleigh are at home to Alfreton Town, while eighth-placed FC Halifax Town, three points behind Woking but with a game in hand, are at home to league leaders, Barnet.

GATESHEAD

Manager Gary Mills will be disappointed that his side, quite strongly fancied for the play-offs at the start of the season, are now effectively out of the race, lying in 10th place, three points behind Woking from the same number of games.

Gateshead started the season quite strongly, with only two defeats in August and September, although one of those was a 6-1 thrashing at home by Grimsby Town. But results took a nosedive from mid-October onwards, with only one win in seven league games till the end of November and have continued to be sufficiently mixed to keep the club only on the fringes of the play-off race. Over Easter Gateshead gained a creditable 2-2 draw at Grimsby Town, only being pegged back deep into injury time, and beat Altrincham 1-0 at home. Away from home their record reads won seven, drawn nine and lost five.

The Heed’s final two games could have a big influence on promotion issues since they are at home to Forest Green Rovers and finish with an away trip to Barnet.

Well-known names in the squad include former Everton and Sunderland midfielder John Oster; winger Alex Rodman, formerly with Grimsby Town and York City; experienced midfielder Phil Turnbull; midfielder JJ O’Donnell, formerly with Luton; and strikers Jon Shaw and in-form Michael Rankine. Recent signings include mercurial French winger Kevin Sainte-Luce, who was with AFC Wimbledon and who has starred in recent games; and loan signing of striker Adam Campbell from Newcastle United, keeper Joel Dixon from Sunderland and midfielder Josh Gillies and defender Matty Robson, both from Carlisle. Forward Danny Wright left for Kidderminster Harries, whilst Lewis Guy’s contract was cancelled by mutual consent.

The Heed have suffered a good number of injuries, with Oster, O’Donnell, Turnbull, defender Ben Clark and Robson among those missing the Heed’s last match.

ADMISSION

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

MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

Saturday’s 64-page matchday programme includes an ‘end of season’ interview with Club Chairman, Mike Smith, in which he speaks, among other things, about the Club’s financial position and possible redevelopment of the ground. If you can’t get to the game, you can pre-order a copy from the Club Shop on shop@wokingfc.co.uk

ONLINE COMMENTARY

If you can’t get to the game BBC Radio Surrey will be providing an online commentary at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/13629210

LAST TIME OUT

Gateshead 0 Woking 0
7 January 2015

Both teams went into this match looking for a boost. Woking had suffered four defeats and, most recently, a draw at Eastleigh in their previous five league games, whilst the Heed had received a 7-0 drubbing at the hands of WBA in the FA Cup. During the week Jack Marriott had returned for another loan spell, Chris Arthur had joined on permanent terms and Theo Lewis had transferred to Ebbsfleet United.

On a blustery, wet night the Heed passed up an excellent early chance to take the lead in what proved to be a game of few opportunities. Marriott, playing behind Dean Morgan, had the ball in the net later in the half but his effort was ruled out, as was one for the home side.

Neither side was able to make the decisive breakthrough in the second half, with Jake Cole and the Woking back four doing well to hold firm.

Woking: Jake Cole, Adam Newton, Joe McNerney, James Clarke, Josh Payne, Keiran Murtagh, Kevin Betsy, Jack Marriott (John Goddard 80), Joey Jones, Dean Morgan (Giuseppe Sole 65), Chris Arthur

Unused Subs: Andy Little, Mark Ricketts, John Nutter

Gateshead: Adam Bartlett, Andrai Jones, Jamie Chandler, James Curtis, Ben Clark, John Oster (Michael Rankine 65), Phil Turnbull, Jon Shaw (Danny Wright 84), Rob Ramshaw, Matt Robson, Alex Rodman (Valentin Gjokaj 80)

Unused Subs: Craig Baxter, Matthew Pattison

Attendance: 772

COMING UP

The Cards are away at Nuneaton next Saturday, 18 April. Make sure you pop into the Club Shop on Saturday to book your place on the coach. The Cards’ final game of the league campaign is on Saturday 25 April when they play FC Halifax Town. Please note that this game kicks off at 5.15pm.

Come on, you Cards!

Three and easy for cool Cards

Matt Goldsmith
12:36pm, Sun 12th Apr 2015
Woking 3 Gateshead 0
Vanarama Conference
11 April 2015

There was a strange sense of calm around Kingfield on Saturday, as Cards' players and fans alike took to their task of seeing off a Gateshead side who still harboured late play-off hopes of their own prior to the start of the match.

A Josh Payne double, including yet another goal of the month contender, and the now customary Scott Rendell effort, were enough to seal maximum points as the home side cantered to victory on Grand National day.

Perhaps that quiet serenity in the ground was in fact resignation from home fans who feared that no matter what the result against The Heed, the terminal damage had already been done for the Cards after a disappointing set of results over the Easter weekend.

The only real moment of angst came when the returning Jake Cole was forced to pull off a superb penalty stop from ex-Aldershot Town man Alex Rodman towards the end of the first half which, had it been converted, would have made for a slightly more tense second period.

Bedecked in beautiful blue skies, if a tad blustery, Kingfield looked a picture as the Cards welcomed their aptly sky-blue shirted opponents from Durham, for what at times had the feel of an end-of-season dead rubber, despite the three points on offer likely to rule either side in or out of the play-off scene once and for all.

Indeed, despite Eastleigh recording a similarly resounding 3-1 win over Alfreton Town on Saturday afternoon, Woking’s points and Forest Green’s 3-1 win over Macclesfield all mean that Garry Hill's side have kept themselves within three points of the now fifth-placed Macc, who swapped places with Forest Green, and continue to drop like a stone after posting just one win in seven.

Fellow Garry, Mills, in the visitors’ dugout, will surely be kicking himself after his side’s lacklustre display which - despite admitting himself, pre-match, to being ‘rank outsiders’ - now means that, mathematically, they can no longer bridge the gap to fifth spot and therefore not repeat last season’s day out at Wembley.

Back to action on the lush Kingfield pitch - which had benefitted from a traditional April shower on the morning of the game - and perhaps the most significant action came in the coin toss, which canny home skipper Mark Ricketts won and opted to test out young loan Sunderland ‘keeper Joel Dixon with the blinding sun bearing down on the Kingfield Road End.

It was a 45 minutes to forget for a shaky Heed defence – in their 3-5-2 set-up – as they failed to get to grips with the bright conditions. Black Cats on-loan ‘keeper Dixon was particularly culpable, with a number of miscued clearances and uncertain dashes from his goal line.

Woking had already struck Dixon’s left-hand upright through a Kevin Betsy daisy cutter by the time Josh Payne spectacularly opened the scoring after just seven minutes.

Having almost conceded possession on half-way as his attempted cross-field ball cannoned off the stocky frame of Michael Rankine, Payne rode his luck to retrieve the loose ball and slip in John Goddard, who put in a strong shift down the left touchline. Squared in to Keiran Murtagh and helped out to Betsy out on the right flank, the ball was hung up for Rendell, who resisted the attentions of beanpole defender James Curtis to nod back to Payne on the edge of the penalty area - and anybody that has seen the Cards’ No. 7’s wonder strike against Chester... you know the rest!

With the kind of timing and execution skills that The Masters' golfers will struggle to match this weekend, Payne seized onto the knock-down to arrow yet another special goal - in this season of special goals - into the proverbial postage stamp in the top left-hand corner of Dixon’s goal to bring Kingfield to life in spectacular fashion.

With The Heed rattled by that early blockbuster, the returning Joe McNerney then rattled the KRE crossbar with a bullet downward header from a Payne corner on the left: the rebound bouncing down just millimetres the wrong side of the whitewash.

It was turning into a pleasant afternoon’s viewing for the Kingfield crowd. Of course, a one-goal head start and a jittery opposition goalkeeper all help, but credit to Garry Mills and his men as they too persevered with zipping the ball around on the deck. A passing game came as a relief for fans who were saved from craning their necks to catch sight of the ball in the blinding blue skies, as may not have been the case against the likes of a long-ball side such as Dover in the Cards' most recent match.

Despite McNerney’s near-miss, the second did not take long in coming as after twenty minutes Rendell added his 23rd league goal of a stellar season for the popular plunderer.

Unwittingly, the officials did Woking a favour by asking for sneaky short corner routine between Betsy and Adam Newton to be retaken. At the second time of asking, Payne lobbed the ball into the mixer where McNerney made telling contact again, this time with an outstretched boot, to find Rendell, who again used his strength to hold off the attentions of two defenders before hooking the ball home over his shoulder from inside the six-yard box.

Two goals to the good, Woking spent the next ten minutes on top, with Yemi Odubade twice racing on to teasing passes through a static Heed back line, to come close to adding a third.

But with Gateshead finally growing into the game - much to the frustration of Garry and Tommo on the touchline, who could sense some of their side perhaps taking their feet off the pedal - the visitors grabbed themselves a potential lifeline as referee Richard Martin pointed to the spot for handball after forward Josh Gillies’ free-kick had been charged down by a Woking arm in the wall.

Up stepped Alex Rodman for a No.23 v No.23 showdown, and despite the ex-Shots’ man making clean and firm contact, full credit must go to Cards’ ‘keeper Cole, who plunged down to his right with a firm hand to propel the ball to safety – to rapturous applause from the Leslie Gosden Stand – and ensure the Cards maintained their two-goal advantage going into the break.

Half-Time: Woking 2 Gateshead 0

Visiting boss Mills brought on experienced defender Ben Clark at the start of the second half to press striker Jon Shaw back into his usual duties up front alongside Rankine, having begun the game in defence.

Woking were straight back on the front foot again, with Goddard stealing in at the back post to set up a headed chance for Payne, which looped wide, but Garry was forced into an early change when Rendell was replaced by James Clarke after suffering an innocuous-looking hand injury in a fall.

The reshuffle saw the returning Clarke move in to the right-back berth, pushing Newton and Betsy further up field alongside Odubade, who continued to cause panic in the Gateshead defence. One snap shot just failed to find the target from close range before the live wire Eastleigh loanee earned an all-important penalty after the hour mark.

Another calamitous mix up involving Dixon, who tried an ill-advised drag-back on the edge of his penalty area, allowed Betsy to steal in to toe the ball towards the open goal. On to the chance like a flash, Odubade was then unceremoniously upended by a desperate lunge from sub Clarke.

There was some confusion as to whether the big defender had seen one yellow card for the foul and a second for dissent, or whether ref Martin had opted for a straight red, either way Clarke’s short afternoon was over just twenty minutes after coming on.

Calm restored, and with penalty-supremo Rendell now off the field, duties fell to Payne who, Rendell-like, stuttered his run up to send the goalkeeper to his left and the ball coolly into the right corner.

With the game seemingly safe and not wishing to level the teams up at 10 v 10, Garry and Tommo replaced Goddard with Manny Oyeleke ten minutes later after a wild hack of retribution at Heed sub Carl Finnigan almost earned the usually mild-mannered midfielder a dismissal of his own.

Having packed up his cards and whistle for the afternoon, Woking were denied a nailed-on second penalty from the man in the middle in injury time, after Betsy was appeared to be cleaned out by a last-ditch lunge from defender Tom Allan, with the Cards' man poised to strike a fourth.

When time was called on an entertaining afternoon’s action shortly afterwards, Cards’ fans simply filtered out as they had entered, in quiet confidence, at just another good day’s work at the office.

Up next is a trip to the Midlands for a meeting with Nuneaton Town. Liam Daish’s Town had their relegation confirmed over the weekend after a 3-1 loss at fellow-strugglers Dartford - plus the club have an impending 3-point deduction hanging over them for fielding an ineligible player in their 1-0 win over Welling United earlier in the season.

As for the Cards, it’s a case of one cup final down, two to go in their bid to pip Eastleigh, Forest Green and Macclesfield to the post in the end of season sprint.

Woking : Jake Cole, Adam Newton, Chris Arthur, Joe McNerney, Mark Ricketts(c), Josh Payne, Keiran Murtagh, John Goddard (Manny Oyeleke 81), Kevin Betsy, Scott Rendell (James Clarke 56), Yemi Odubade (Charles Banya 84)

Unused subs: Michael Crowe, Giuseppe Sole

Goals: Josh Payne 7, 67 (pen), Scott Rendell 20

Cautions: John Goddard

Gateshead: Joel Dixon, Jamie Chandler, James Curtis, Jon Shaw(c), Josh Gillies (Ben Clark 46) Rob Ramshaw, Craig Baxter, Michael Rankine, Alex Rodman (Carl Finnigan 52), Matty Pattison, Kevin Sainte-Luce (Tom Allan 65)

Unused subs: Adam Bartlett, Jake Orrell

Cautions: Ben Clark, Rob Ramshaw

Red Cards: Ben Clark

Sponsor’s MOTM: Josh Payne – pulled the midfield strings and topped it off with two more goals

Attendance: 1,889
WOKING LINEUP
23Jake Cole
2Adam Newton
32Chris Arthur
4Mark Ricketts
5Joe McNerney
7Josh Payne
8Keiran Murtagh
22John Goddard
11Kevin Betsy
17Yemi Odubade
9Scott Rendell
BENCH
30Michael Crowe
6James Clarke
29Manny Oyeleke
12Charles Banya
10Giuseppe Sole
Gateshead LINEUP

Woking 3 - 0 Gateshead (Garry Hill Interview)

Woking 3 - 0 Gateshead (Josh Payne Interview)

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