Lovetts
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 22nd AugustAug 2015
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 1503

Woking
Woking
5 - 2

Chester
Chester

Cards aim for four in a row

Brian Caffarey
10:47am, Thu 20th Aug 2015
Woking v Chester
Vanarama National League
3pm on Saturday 22 August 2015

Garry Hill’s side have made a great start to the season, overcoming their opening day setbacks to record three successive wins, playing some very attractive football along the way. Now lying in fourth place, they can be expected to be tested strongly by unbeaten Chester on Saturday. Come down to the Laithwaite Community Stadium to cheer on the Cards to another victory!

WOKING

It’s been a terrific achievement to have followed up the opening day defeat at Tranmere, and the awful injury to the Cards’ top striker, Scott Rendell, with successive 2-0 home wins over Bromley and Altrincham and then a fine 1-0 away win at Torquay United on Tuesday night.

The fact that no goals were conceded during those games highlights the solidity shown by the Woking defence, with the central partnership of Ismail Yakubu and Brian Saah looking superb, shielded by captain Mark Ricketts, allowing the creative talents of Keiran Murtagh, John Goddard and Joey Jones to flourish in midfield. Up front, new loan striker Dan Holman showed his quality in his debut against Altrincham, scoring one goal and making the other and receiving the ‘man of the match’ award.

Unfortunately, his strike partner, Gez Sole, looks to have picked up a hamstring injury at Torquay, leaving the way open for one of Kadell Daniel, Bruno Andrade and Ben Pattie to claim a starting place.

CHESTER

The Blues, who finished in 12th place last season, look as though they will make more of a challenge for promotion this time round. They have begun well, with a 1-0 home win over Braintree on the opening day, followed by a 1-0 away win at FC Halifax, a 0-0 draw at Dover Athletic and a 1-1 draw at home to Cheltenham Town on Tuesday night.

Manager Steve Burr has made some promising signings this summer. Former Grimsby striker Ross Hannah joins John Rooney up front, while Burr was also pleased to add winger Jordan Chapell from Torquay United. Midfield reinforcements centred on former Southport captain Luke George and Tom Shaw from Alfreton Town, who played for Burr at Kidderminster Harriers. Left-back Johnny Hunt has joined from Wrexham and a major signing was that of highly-experienced Ian Sharps in central defence on his departure from Burton Albion. He will no doubt mentor the Blues’ very promising young centre back Ben Heneghan.

ADMISSION PRICES

Adults £18
Over 65s and Students with NUS card £13
U16s £5

Don’t forget that there are big savings from having a season ticket: it’s not too late to apply!

Check out the great value hospitality offer in the Geoff Chapple Lounge for the first four home games: see the news item on 24 July.

MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

Make sure you get your copy of the Club’s excellent 64-page matchday programme. Features include an interview with Brian Saah; ‘quick fire’ questions to Jake Cole; and an account of how the incredible crowdfunding appeal for Scott Rendell began and then went viral. There’s also a look at what’s been going at other National League clubs; and news from the Cards Trust, plus match previews, reports and the usual superb match action photos.

LAST TIME WE MET

Chester 2 Woking 3
28 March 2015

The Cards battled against the elements in the first half but took the lead on the half hour mark when John Goddard’s cross was deflected into the path of Scott Rendell, who reacted quickly to finish. On the stroke of half-time, though, loan keeper Michael Crowe was only able to parry Sean McConville’s strike into the path of Craig Mahon, who grabbed the equaliser.

A turning point came in the 61st minute when Chester defender Kieran Charnock received a second caution for hauling down Kevin Betsy and, as the game opened up, Rendell nipped in again to make sure that Joey Jones’s header from a Yemi Odubade cross found the net. But Chester bounced back with a Ben Heneghan header in the 79th minute.

Five minutes later, though, Josh Payne netted the winner with a fantastic 25-yard volley, arguably the goal of the season.

The win was Woking’s sixth in seven games and left them in 6th place in the table, only a point off the play-off places.

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

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

Attendance: 1,899

COMING UP

The Cards are away at Boreham Wood on Saturday 29 August and then at home to Welling United at 3pm on Bank Holiday Monday (31 August). Don’t forget on Saturday to book your place on the coach for the Boreham Wood trip.


Come on, you Cards!

Cards' fourth win in a row puts them second

Brian Caffarey
9:19pm, Sat 22nd Aug 2015
Woking 5 Chester 2
22 August 2015

Almost predictably, a game which, on paper at least, was expected to be dominated by two hitherto almost impregnable defences turned into a goal fest, with the Cards eventually securing a very comfortable win against a Chester side reduced to 10 men midway through the first half. The victory took Woking to second place in the table.

A hot August Saturday brought the familiar spate of travel problems, with Chester apparently not arriving till gone two o’clock, while, thanks to major signalling problems at Woking, I missed the first quarter of an hour or so of the game. Let’s hope the Blues had an easier journey back.

I arrived to find that, as expected, Gez Sole was missing with a hamstring injury sustained during the Cards’ fine midweek away win, with the lively Kadell Daniel taking his place. The rest of the side was unchanged, with Adam Newton joining the bench again. Chester’s Ross Hannah was just being replaced by Craig Mahon as I took my place on the baking open terrace. I am reliably informed that the main incidents which I missed were Chester going close from a free-kick and Dan Holman doing well, with his back to goal, to create a good chance. It was immediately clear, though, that the Cards, prompted by the skills of Keiran Murtagh, Joey Jones and John Goddard in midfield, had by then established themselves as the likelier side – and the opening goal duly followed a few minutes later.

Holman had already been played in by Goddard when a long ball saw the combative on-loan striker get in front of the last defender, Ben Heneghan, who brought him down unceremoniously in the box. The ball ran loose and Holman, rising from the turf, put it into the net but the referee had already blown for a penalty. After Heneghan was dismissed Goddard, in the absence of Scott Rendell and Sole, scored confidently from the spot to put the Cards 1-0 up.

Garry Hill’s side proceeded to ‘turn it on’ but, as against Altrincham a week earlier, were slow to administer the coup de grace to deflated opponents. In one exquisite passage of play both Daniel and Goddard bemused defenders in the box to put in dangerous balls but Holman wasted a glorious chance by firing wide.

Other chances followed as ‘man of the match’ Murtagh put in a fine cross, which Holman nodded just wide, before Woking had a scare when Chester’s huge centre forward Hobson found himself clear, only to be foiled by Jake Cole, while the Woking defenders vainly appealed for offside.

The Cards continued to threaten, breaking quickly through Daniel in particular. He had a shot blocked; Holman was stifled by two defenders; and Murtagh unleashed a fierce left-footed strike which crashed into the side netting. Daniel won a corner, with the clearance falling to Mark Ricketts, who drove the ball low into the area only to see it blocked. Jones, who must have run Murtagh close for ‘man of the match’, prompted another attack, with Holman blasting over the bar in added time.

Half-time: Woking 1 Chester 0

The Cards were immediately back on the offensive after the break. Holman slipped a ball through to Goddard but the Chester keeper was quickly off his line to smother the shot. Roles were then reversed as Goddard’s crossfield pass, via at least one dummy, found its way to Holman on the edge of the ‘D’. He turned cleverly to make space and sent a superb shot just inside the post to make it 2-0 to the Cards with 47 minutes gone.

Woking were now in complete control and able to pass the ball around virtually at will. After more half-chances had fallen to Goddard and Daniel, it was the latter who produced another memorable goal. Gaining a free-kick out on the right flank, there was no doubt (as I stood directly behind him) that his intention was to curl the ball into the far top corner – and that is precisely what he did to his and his team mates’ delight.

All credit to Chester who, despite being 3-0 down and reduced to ten men, staged a mini-revival. Spurred on by Mahon, who had just been thwarted as Caprice nicked the ball off his toes, they pulled a goal back as Kay moved decisively to the near post in the 65th minute to glance a header past Cole, ruining Woking’s run of clean sheets.

Woking regained control, with Daniel almost registering again with another well-taken free-kick, this one skidding just wide of the post. The three-goal margin was then restored when Jones, fed by Andrade, who was on for Goddard, drove into the box and let fly past the Chester keeper to make it 4-1 after 76 minutes.

Garry Hill took this opportunity to bring on Godfrey Poku and Ben Pattie for Ricketts and Daniel. Pattie headed down for Andrade but the Portuguese winger was unable to take advantage, and then Pattie, slipped in by Holman, fired wide. Caprice, who attacked well all afternoon down the right flank, then created a chance for Jones, who sliced wide from the right of the box.

But it was the visitors who, surprisingly, grabbed the next goal. A Murtagh foul just outside the box in the 89th minute resulted in John Rooney scoring with a fine free-kick, the ball dipping just under Cole’s crossbar.

There was one final twist in the four minutes added on. Andrade worked a ball through to Pattie and with the defenders calling for offside the young on-loan striker stroked the ball into the net to make it 5-2 to the Cards.

This was an excellent all-round display even if Chester played much of the match with only ten men. The one-man difference could not really disguise the fact that on the day Woking looked a much more creative and skilful side on the ball from the excellent back four, through a talented midfield and to the ever-threatening strike force of Holman and Daniel. I am beginning to think that this is the most skilful Woking side I’ve seen since the days of Walker, Steele et al.

But the Cards have all too often been tripped up by less-fancied sides in the past and will therefore need to avoid any complacency when they come up against Boreham Wood and Welling United next weekend. The Wood’s 2-0 win today at Tranmere should help to focus the Cards’ minds.

Woking: Jake Cole, Jake Caprice, Chris Arthur, Mark Ricketts (Godfrey Poku 78), Brian Saah, Ismail Yakubu, Keiran Murtagh, John Goddard (Bruno Andrade 56), Kadell Daniel (Ben Pattie 78), Dan Holman

Unused subs: Nick Hamann, Adam Newton

Goals: John Goddard (pen) 24, Dan Holman 47, Kadell Daniel 53, Joey Jones 76, Ben Pattie 90

Booked: Keiran Murtagh

Chester: Worsnop, Higgins, Hunt, George, Sharps, Chapell (Kay 52), Rooney, Hobson, Hannah (Mahon), Shaw (Tonge 53), Heneghan

Unused subs: Forth, Thomson

Goals: Hay 65, Rooney 89

Sent off: Heneghan

Booked: Rooney

Sponsors’ MOTM: Keiran Murtagh (pictured)

Attendance: 1503


WOKING LINEUP
1Jake Cole
2Jake Caprice
3Chris Arthur
5Brian Saah
6Ismail Yakubu
4Mark Ricketts ('79)
7Joey Jones
8Keiran Murtagh
16Kadell Daniel ('79)
11John Goddard ('57)
20Dan Holman
BENCH
18Nick Hamann
17Adam Newton
12Godfrey Poku ('79)
15Bruno Andrade ('57)
19Ben Pattie ('79)
Chester LINEUP
1John Worsnop
2Ryan Higgins
3Jonny Hunt
5Luke George
6Ian Sharps
11Jordan Chapell
10John Rooney
19Craig Hobson
9Ross Hannah
8Tom Shaw
22Ben Heneghan
BENCH
13Dylan Forth
7Craig Mahon
14George Thompson
4Michael Kay
18Dale Tonge

Woking 5 - 2 Chester (Garry Hill Interview)

Woking 5 - 2 Chester (Ben Pattie Interview)

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