Specsavers
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 5th SeptemberSep 2015
| Att: 1285

Macclesfield Town
Macclesfield Town
2 - 1

Woking
Woking

Cards look to defy injury problems

Brian Caffarey
6:29am, Thu 3rd Sep 2015
Macclesfield Town v Woking
Vanarama National League
3pm on Saturday 5 September 2015

The Cards, sitting in third place in the table after their four-point haul over the Bank Holiday, have a tough trip to Macclesfield on Saturday but will be hoping to stretch their unbeaten run to seven games in spite of their extremely unfortunate injury problems.

WOKING

The news this week that scans have confirmed that Ismail Yakubu, injured in the 1-1 draw at Boreham Wood last weekend, has ruptured his anterior cruciate and will be out for 12 months is a huge blow to Ismail and the Club. Ismail has been in outstanding form and it’s almost unbelievable that he’s suffered the same injury as top scorer, Scott Rendell, who managed only 37 minutes of the opening game of the season. And that’s not counting Mike Cestor, still recovering from the same injury suffered last season. Garry Hill has every reason to think that he’s jinxed!

The Cards, looking on course for three points at Boreham Wood before injuries successively sidelined Joey Jones, Mark Ricketts and Yakubu, grabbed an important win against Welling United two days later. Garry had worked quickly to draft in two new players, Terell Thomas, a 19 year-old defender from Charlton Athletic, and Jimmy Keohane, a midfielder who left Exeter City in the summer after several seasons. Both made impressive debuts, Thomas looking comfortable as an admittedly inexperienced replacement for Yakubu, while the busy Keohane came off the bench to score an excellent goal to make the game safe.

The Cards had struggled, though, in the first half, with the midfield looking decidedly off-colour in the absence of Mark Ricketts, and with Joey Jones, not fully fit, and Keiran Murtagh having to adopt more defensive roles. Had Welling been sharper up front, they might well have set the Cards a much stiffer test by half-time. But Woking improved after the break and were comfortable 2-0 winners by the end.

A brighter piece of news this week was that Dan Holman’s loan has been extended to 2 January 2016. He has been a constant threat to opposition defences with his aggressive running and shooting on sight.

MACCLESFIELD TOWN

The Silkmen exceeded expectations last season, just missing out on a play-off place as they finished in 6th place, two points ahead of Woking and only one point behind fifth-placed Forest Green Rovers. Their success largely stemmed from a very tight defence.

They have had a mixed start to this campaign, losing away to Torquay on the opening day before drawing at home to Southport and beating Welling United. But these results were followed by a 5-3 defeat at Lincoln City, a 1-0 loss at Eastleigh and a 2-1 defeat at home to local rivals Chester last Saturday, with Chester grabbing two very late goals. But the Silkmen recorded an impressive 2-0 away win at Grimsby Town on Monday afternoon, with Kristian Dennis scoring both goals in what otherwise sounded like a classic ‘backs to the wall’ performance away from home.

Over the summer manager John Askey lost his highly-rated keeper Rhys Taylor, bringing in ex-Card Shwan Jalal to compete with Ritchie Branagan for the number 1 spot. Shwan saved a penalty on his debut in the 0-0 draw with Southport and received the ‘man of the match’ award but was injured during the 5-3 defeat at Lincoln. He returned, though, to play an important part in the victory over Grimsby. Other significant departures were those of defender Scott Barrow, who joined Rhys Taylor in signing for Newport County; striker Matthew Barnes-Homer, who joined Aldershot Town; and Adriano Moke, who transferred to Wrexham.

Arrivals included midfielder Danny Whitehead, centre back Neill Byrne from AFC Telford, and striker Kristian Dennis, returning from Stockport County. Other players who had already appeared for Macc but who joined permanently included striker Jack Sampson.

GETTING THERE

Moss Rose Stadium
London Road
Macclesfield
Cheshire
SK11 7SP

Official website: www.mtfc.co.uk

By coach
The Cards Trust coach leaves the Laithwaite Community Stadium at 9.30am. The cost is £28 for members and £33 for non-members, with accompanied U16s (a maximum of two per adult) £14/£17. Ring or email the Club Shop to book your place (01843 772470 or shop@wokingfc.co.uk).

By car
Exit the M6 at junction 17 (Sandbach) and follow the A534 to Congleton. From here take the A536 to Macclesfield (Macclesfield is signposted from the motorway). After passing the 'Millers' pub on the left continue for about 1/4 of a mile and take the first right after the speed camera onto Moss Lane. Follow Moss Lane until you reach the ground.

By train
Direct trains leave Euston on the hour and take I hour 41 minutes e.g. the 12 noon train gets into Macclesfield at 13.41. Other, slightly slower, trains leave at 20 minutes past the hour and involve a change at Stoke-on-Trent e.g. the 11.20 from Euston arrives at Stoke at 12.48, with a train from Stoke to Macclesfield leaving at 12.55 and arriving at 13.11. Direct trains back are at 56 minutes past the hour e.g. the 17.56 arrives at Euston at 19.43. Trains via Stoke leave at 26 or 27 minutes past the hour e.g. the 17.27 should get you to Euston at 19.24. The ground is about a 25-minute walk from the station.

ADMISSION PRICES

Adults: £15 / £19
Concessions (Over 65): £10 / £15
Under 18s / Students: £5
Under 12s (accompanied by adult): £3

The prices quoted are for standing/seated tickets purchased on the day. Cheaper tickets can be purchased in advance (e.g. by phoning 01625 264686 or by visiting www.mtfcdirect.co.uk)

LAST TIME OUT

Macclesfield Town 2 Woking 1
6 December 2014

This proved to be the beginning of a poor mid-season run which saw the Cards go eight league games without a win. In retrospect the surprise is that, after such a barren spell, the Cards were still able to recover sufficiently to put in a challenge for a play-off spot.

Garry Hill’s side had gone into this game on the back of two home wins over Braintree and Altrincham but were behind in 14 minutes after Ross Worner could only parry Danny Whittaker’s shot to the waiting Matthew Barnes-Homer, who tucked away from close range. The Silkmen applied more pressure but Woking rallied in the last quarter of an hour or so before the break.

The Cards came out looking determined to take the game to Macclesfield and evened the scores in the 51st minute when lone striker Dean Morgan fired into the bottom corner from 20 yards.

The game remained poised until the 89th minute when Paul Turnbull found the net with the help of a deflection to rob the Cards of a point they probably deserved on the balance of play.

Macclesfield Town: Rhys Taylor, Andy Halls, Scott Barrow, George Pilkington, Paul Turnbull (c), Chris Holroyd (Arthur Gnahoua 72), Waide Fairhurst (Denny Johnstone 80), Adriano Moke, Danny Whittaker, Matthew Barnes-Homer, Liam Hogan

Unused subs: Alex Grant, Will Bailey, Ritchie Branagan

Woking: Ross Worner, Mike Cestor, Joe McNerney (c), James Clarke (Adam Newton 85), Josh Payne, Keiran Murtagh (Giuseppe Sole 81), Kevin Betsy, Joey Jones, John Goddard (Jack Marriott 90), Dean Morgan, Chris Arthur

Unused subs: Scott Rendell, Andy Little

Attendance: 1,383

COMING UP

The Cards travel to Guiseley next Saturday (12 September). The Cards then have two very attractive and testing home games against table-topping Forest Green Rovers (Tuesday 15 September), who have recorded seven straight wins, and Gary Johnson’s unbeaten Cheltenham Town(Saturday 19 September). Make sure both matches are in your diary!

Come on, you Cards!

P.S. Don’t forget the fans’ forum at 7.30pm this evening in the Geoff Chapple Lounge (remember to park in the parking area near the Snooker Club), plus the Elvis Tribute Night tomorrow evening.

Jones' late strike a mere consolation in Macclesfield reverse

Malcolm Wyatt
11:19am, Sun 6th Sep 2015
Macclesfield Town 2 Woking 1

The Vanarama National League

September 5th 2015

A mighty late strike from Joey Jones wasn’t enough for Woking at the Moss Rose, as Garry Hill’s visitors slipped to their first league defeat since the opening day of the season.

Like that trip to Tranmere, it came down to a one-goal margin, and in the dying stages it seemed like Woking might still get something out of this often absorbing contest.

But a home win was the right result, the more inventive Cheshire hosts deserving all three points on a day when the Cards, who remain third in the table, were often second-best.

That is not to belittle the away side, who might just have nicked a draw. But it was a little too much to expect this patched-together collective – with so many key absences - to stretch an impressive six-game unbeaten run.

Macclesfield is not a happy hunting ground for Hill, Woking’s goalless draw in their first away meeting back in non-league’s top flight followed by two slim defeats before this encounter. But the visitors started brightly enough, an early spell of possession culminating in a Dan Holman cross which no one could quite get on the end of.

The Silkmen soon reciprocated, with Kristian Dennis - who bagged a brace in a commendable 2-0 win at Grimsby the previous weekend - at the heart of the home attack. A weightier, more driven midfield soon had Woking's formation stretched, and keeper Jake Cole had to react quickly to deny one effort, Dennis putting the follow-up into the side-netting.

Bruno Andrade was almost in at the back post after a searching cross from Kadell Daniel on the right, former Cards' keeper Shwan Jalal initially struggling to collect. Yet John Askey's hosts countered, Woking exposed, Cole denying Dennis at close quarters before Chris Holroyd misread the next neat delivery into the box.

Danny Rowe was proving a live-wire on the left, the Cards jittery and Macclesfield soon making capital, a Holroyd delivery not properly dealt with by Cole and Dennis the menace on hand to finish, Woking appeals for an infringement ignored.

The Cards made more of an impression from there, Andrade shooting from distance and winning a corner. And while Jalal got to Daniel's set-piece, the former Charlton midfielder centred again and on-loan Addicks' defender Terell Thomas was not far off with a powerful header from the edge of the penalty area.

The visitors’ defending was more convincing after another Rowe left-wing break caused problems, a decent counter-attack instigated by John Goddard’s launched pass, although on-loan striker Holman was unable to wrong-foot Jalal with his finish.

Paul Lewis was next to dazzle for the Silkmen, turning his marker before a fine volley that wasn't far off target. At the other end, Daniel finished poorly from way out, with better options around, while in the following attack Daniel and Andrade traded passes as Woking pushed again on the left, but without too much of a threat for the home defence.

As Macclesfield countered, Dennis fed Rowe, who took his time before firing on goal, Cole doing well to get down and save, with no one able to turn home the deflection. Woking pushed up again, with Holman unlucky not to get a better finish after a lay-off from Keiran Murtagh, while a deep Daniel free-kick from the right was dealt with by Jalal, and Holman was offside after a through-ball from Chris Arthur.

The visitors' defence then closed out a five-man Macc attack, while as Rowe and Dennis joined forces to win a corner, Paul Turnbull's centre found Tony Diagne for a free header, Cole making a superb one-handed save, turning around the post.

The danger wasn't over, but defender Neill Byrne flashed a header across the area that no one could reach, Woking eventually clearing, while Thomas headed away from Lewis after a further home break.

As another visitors’ midfield move broke down, the hosts sprung forward and won a free-kick just outside the area, the resultant strike from Turnbull – who scored the winner in last term’s 2-1 Macc win - beating the Woking wall but going just wide.

Half-time: Macclesfield Town 1 Woking 0

Woking switched formations at the break, skipper Murtagh – suffering a stomach injury – replaced by fellow midfielder Jimmy Keohane. Yet while there was an early visitors’ corner, Macc made the first real impression, Cole stopping a promising volley from Dennis, despite the in-form striker timing his finish well.

Kahane fed Daniel in the next attack, Woking more fluent on the offensive now, but he finally lost out, with Jake Caprice - outside him - perhaps a better option, while Joey Jones couldn't find a way through in the following right-wing raid.

It was a promising period, and from Woking's second corner of the half, Goddard's set-piece fell to Jones, who was twice blocked, Caprice also failing to find a gap as the hosts closed the Cards out. Meanwhile, Goddard drilled at Jalal then felt aggrieved at a perceived foul just outside the penalty box, the ref unmoved again.

Cole was again on hand to paw away a fine Rowe danger-ball, but pretty soon Macc had a killer second goal, just after another Dennis effort was kept out by Cole. Woking never properly cleared, a further lapse of composure leading to a Holroyd ball back in, tucked home from a few yards out by Neill Byrne on 62 minutes.

Woking fought on, a curling Goddard effort just over from a free-kick before the same man struck on the volley. But Jalal was hardly troubled, and Woking still had plenty to do. Daniel and Goddard worked well together to set up Jones next, but his effort was stopped, Daniel soon making way for Giuseppe Sole while Goddard was replaced by Ben Pattie.

The Cards finally had the ball in the net, Holman finishing well after good work by Pattie in the area, but the linesman’s flag was already up. Undeterred, Holman again showed promise as he strode forward, playing in Andrade, only for the Portuguese midfielder to lose possession in a promising position.

The roving Arthur remained an inspiration, and did well to block from Andy Hills at the other end, and while time was running away, Woking soon had their lifeline, Jones giving Jalal no chance in the 86th minute, his terrific 20-yard strike following good work by Andrade on the right and Keohane in the centre, playing it back to the ex-Yeovil midfielder.

The Cards had added hope, but Macclesfield took their time on the ball, three added minutes coming to nothing. A late Cole free-kick from halfway went behind for a goal-kick, while Caprice's final delivery was plucked out of the air by Jalal, the home contingent soon celebrating back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

Woking: Jake Cole, Jake Caprice, Chris Arthur, Terell Thomas, Brian Saah, Joey Jones, Keiran Murtagh (Jimmy Keohane 46), John Goddard (Ben Pattie 79), Kadell Daniel (Giuseppe Sole 74), Bruno Andrade, Dan Holman.

Subs not used: Godfrey Poku, Nick Hamann

No Bookings

Macclesfield: Shwan Jalal, Andy Halls, Neill Byrne, George Pilkington, Paul Turnbull, Paul Lewis, Chris Holroyd, Danny Rowe, Kristian Dennis, Tony Diagne, Danny Whittaker.

Subs not used: Ritchie Branagan, Theo Bailey-Jones, Dan Cowan, Danny Whitehead, David Fitzpatrick.

Booking: Tony Diagne


Attendance: 1,285 (83 from Woking)

My MOTM: Jake Cole – while arguably at fault for the opener, the Woking 'keeper kept us in the game for longer than we might have hoped.
Macclesfield Town LINEUP
WOKING LINEUP
1Jake Cole
2Jake Caprice
3Chris Arthur
5Brian Saah
22Terell Thomas
7Joey Jones
8Keiran Murtagh ('45)
11John Goddard ('79)
16Kadell Daniel ('74)
15Bruno Andrade
20Dan Holman
BENCH
18Nick Hamann
12Godfrey Poku
23Jimmy Keohane ('45)
10Giuseppe Sole ('74)
19Ben Pattie ('79)

Macclesfield Town 2 - 1 Woking (Garry Hill Interview)

Macclesfield Town 2 - 1 Woking (Jimmy Keohane Interview)

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