Specsavers
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 21st NovemberNov 2015
| Att: 1837

Chester
Chester
1 - 2

Woking
Woking

Cards face tough away test

Brian Caffarey
9:08am, Thu 19th Nov 2015
Chester v Woking
Vanarama National League
3pm on Saturday 21 November 2015

The Cards will need to play a lot better than they did against Macclesfield Town if they are to get anything out of this trip to Chester, who have a decent home record. Such are the vagaries of football, though, that you wouldn’t put it past the side springing a surprise. Cards fans will be fervently hoping so!

WOKING

A confident, well-balanced, organised Macclesfield side, with a striker in Kristian Dennis in superb form, were far too good for a poor-looking Woking side last Saturday. As Garry Hill made plain in his post-match interview, Woking’s midfield was outplayed by their counterparts, with the result that Macclesfield’s strikers had far too much space to practise some clinical finishing up against a shaky Woking defence. Up front, playing a front three of Dan Holman, Adam Cunnington and John Goddard in the first half clearly didn’t work, although Goddard was once again almost the only player to shine. Things improved on the attacking front in the second half but the game was all but lost by the break.

Garry Hill’s options are limited in the continuing absence of key players but he has somehow got to find a blend and a formation that stops the rot and provides a platform from which confidence can be re-built in the side, which in practice is not that different from the team which performed with such elan back in August at home to Chester (see below).

CHESTER

Steve Burr’s side sit in 13th place in the table, four points ahead of 17th-placed Woking, having played one game more. They are particularly strong at home, having won five, drawn three and lost two games this season. The two defeats came against Forest Green Rovers and Lincoln City. Last Saturday the Blues drew 0-0 at Boreham Wood.

Chester have John Rooney, Ross Hannah and Oxford United loanee James Roberts to call on up front and they have recently been joined by 19 year-old Calum Dyson, on loan from Everton. Another recent loan signing is that of 19 year-old Sheffield United midfielder Jamie McDonagh.

GETTING THERE

Lookers Vauxhall Stadium
Bumpers Lane
Chester
CH1 4LT

Official website: www.chesterfc.com

By coach

The Cards Trust is not running a coach to this game.

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

Adults £18/£15
Concessions £12/£10
U21s £10
16-17s £5
U5s Free

LAST TIME OUT

Woking 5 Chester 2
22 August 2015

The mood and weather at a carefree and baking Kingfield back in August were in stark contrast to the position three months on. The Cards, helped by the dismissal of Chester’s Heneghan midway through the first half, were in expansive mood, playing some delightful football as this win made it four victories in a row and moved them up to second place in the table.

Gez Sole, with a hamstring injury, was missing from the side which had won midweek at Torquay, replaced by the lively Kadell Daniel. After an even first quarter of an hour the skills of John Goddard, Keiran Murtagh and Joey Jones in midfield began to dominate and the first goal soon followed. Dan Holman was brought down in the box, recovered to put the ball in the net but the referee had already blown for a penalty, which Goddard duly converted. Heneghan meanwhile had trudged off.

The Cards continued to carve out chances but seemed reluctant to deliver the ‘coup de grace’, with the score remaining 1-0 at the break.

This was soon remedied as Goddard and Holman combined, with the latter sending in a superb shot to put the Cards 2-0 up in the 47th minute. Six minutes later Daniel added another goal from a magnificent free-kick out wide, picking out the top corner.

Chester fought back manfully and reduced the deficit in the 65th minute as Kay glanced a header past Jake Cole. But the three-goal margin was restored in the 74th minute as Jones surged into the box and let fly.

Chester came back again, scoring in the 89th minute with a tremendous free-kick from John Rooney but Ben Pattie had the last word in injury time, stroking the ball home after substitute Bruno Andrade had made the opening.

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

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

Attendance: 1503

COMING UP

The Cards are at home to Tranmere Rovers on Tuesday night (24 November). Your support is even more important as the side battles to get points in the bag. The following Saturday (28 November) they face the long trip to Barrow. A coach will only run to Barrow if 25 people put their name down by this Saturday.

Come on, you Cards!

Cards return to form with determined Deva display

Malcolm Wyatt
10:39am, Sun 22nd Nov 2015
Chester 1 Woking 2
The Vanarama National League
November 21st 2015

A much-improved performance from Garry Hill’s Woking on the Welsh border on Saturday led to only their second league win in 11 attempts.

Assured finishing from Dan Holman and John Goddard book-ended a steely victory which can only serve to boost confidence after such a poor run.

Other than an emphatic win at lowly Halifax six weeks before, Woking had failed to win in the league since their impressive slaying of early leaders Forest Green Rovers at Kingfield in mid-September. But at the Deva Stadum they looked switched on throughout, putting in the kind of determined performance the long-suffering fans had craved.

Chester showed plenty of promise going forward, but in the end all they had to show for their efforts was a last-gasp Ross Hannah close-range effort, as Holman’s 15th-minute opener and Goddard’s late decider deservedly ensured that all three points returned to Surrey.

The action switched between the ends for much of the afternoon, keeping players and punters alike warm on a day when the sun’s rays could only half-shield them from the worst of a bitter cold wind.

After an initial John Goddard free-kick was stopped by home keeper Jon Worsnop, Chester - four slots higher than the 17th-placed Cards at 3pm - soon threatened, Tom Shaw’s snapshot pushed away by Jake Cole and Brian Saah heading away from the corner.

Hannah also looked sharp, but saw his first effort deflected for a corner, Chris Arthur heading away this time, while Chester skipper Ian Sharps tested his own keeper under pressure as Woking retaliated.

The visitors’ early forays upfield led to a breakthrough on 15 minutes, a move started by Bruno Andrade and Matt Robinson leading to debutant loanee Joe Quigley’s close-range effort being stopped on the line. But the ball then fell to Holman, who headed powerfully home.

The Colchester loanee was almost in again a minute later, the last defender’s outstretched foot denying him. But the hosts quickly countered, Cole tested by James Roberts with a mighty effort. And while Hannah got to the rebound, Cole was there again to deny him, the flag raised for offside anyway.

While an Andrade free-kick went all the way through without a decisive touch, Jones was on hand at the other end to cut out a cross following a swift raid, a home midfielder then firing over.

Woking looked rigid, and when Norwich loan defender Cameron Norman stopped the pacy Roberts in his tracks and conceded a free-kick, the defence stood up to deny John Rooney, the danger passing. Skipper Mark Ricketts was next to test the ref’s resolve with a tackle on the similarly-speedy Craig Mahon, and this time Wayne Rooney’s brother’s set-piece brought a corner, from which the Cards stood their ground again.

Chester’s own defence also did just enough as Andrade won a corner on the right, while Rooney fired over after Mahon’s lay-off and Andrade was back to clear as Roberts and Hannah dithered. A snuffed-out Holman raid followed, while Jones came to the rescue as Chester again over-elaborated and deliberated, and at the other end Goddard’s surging run was followed by a cross which no one could tuck away.

Roberts’ afternoon was soon over, hobbling off with a hamstring injury, replaced by teenage Everton loanee Calum Dyson. The next home attack was then thwarted by Arthur again, with time before the break for a great Cole stop from Hannah. Cole and his defence had looked assured throughout the opening half while Andrade and Goddard posed as much of a threat on the attack as had Holman and promising new strike partner Quigley.

Half-time: Chester 0 Woking 1

Quigley set up Holman for the first attack of the second half, his resultant pass to Andrade leading to a home defence close-down. Chester soon had an opening too, but Arthur again cleared while Hannah wasted a half-chance with a poorly-executed long-range pot.

Home sub Dyson looked increasingly capable, but still Woking tidied up, Cole denying his next strike from distance, although Worsnop in the opposite net looked less assured from a Robinson effort, the same Luton loanee threatening again from the corner.

Holman couldn’t make capital of Quigley’s next lay-off following an Arthur free-kick, the new arrival showing a great touch. Meanwhile, Chester’s Dyson struck the top of the upright, with the follow-up struck just wide, while Goddard went close again as Woking responded, a promising Andrade surge spoiled by a poor cross.

Robinson was next to make an important block, denying Shaw then setting up a counter-attack, feeding Andrade, while another home attack was cut short as Mahon lost his footing, Arthur clearing.

Andrade remained busy at both ends, clearing the next Chester charge, the Blues fans increasingly frustrated and Woking working off scraps, involving Andrade and Robinson in particular. Jones drilled wide at one end while Arthur cut out the next home raid - testing his keeper with a back-pass.

A nervy sequence followed, Ryan Higgins smacking the woodwork after three further vital blocks from the Cards’ under-siege defence, before a switch led to Quigley again feeding Holman, the latter’s wayward finish at least giving us a chance to catch our breath.

Quigley had a powerful strike after good work from Goddard, before Andrade - a worthy recipient of the home sponsors’ man of the match award – made way for Jake Caprice.

The longer the Cards kept the ball in the opposition half, the less likely Steve Burr’s side were to hit back, and when they did Woking remained resistant. Arthur again snuffed out Hannah, whose next centre was far too strong, while Ricketts stopped another attack and Cole turned a fine effort from Hannah around the post.

Quigley was replaced by Jimmy Keohane as the Surrey visitors looked to slow down the pace, and while Chester continued to battle, Woking soon had their killer second goal. This time the move involved a lightning right-wing raid by new-blood Caprice, whose crisp cross found Goddard in acres of space to fire into an empty net, Worsnop already drawn.

And while there was still time for Hannah to hit home at close-range deep into stoppage time, Woking had done more than enough to secure a much-needed victory.

Chester: Jon Worsnop, Ryan Higgins, Johnny Hunt, Jordan Chappell (Craig Hobson 73), Craig Mahon, Ross Hannah, John Rooney (Luke Woodland 76), Ian Sharps ©, Ben Heneghan, Tom Shaw, James Roberts (Calum Dyson 37)

Unused subs: Dylan Forth, Ben Gordon

Booking: Sharps 72

Woking: Jake Cole, Chris Arthur, Mark Ricketts ©, Brian Saah, Joey Jones, John Goddard, Matt Robinson, Bruno Andrade (Jake Caprice 79), Joe Quigley (Jimmy Keohane 89), Dan Holman (Kadell Daniel 90), Cameron Norman

Unused subs: Nick Hamann, Terell Thomas

Attendance: 1,837

My MOTM: Joey Jones: It seems harsh on Jake Cole after such a great display in goal, or Chris Arthur and Bruno Andrade following their industry all over the pitch, but Jones’ switch to central defence proved pivotal and he characterised the best attributes of a far more effective Woking unit in a true team performance.
Chester LINEUP
WOKING LINEUP
1Jake Cole
26Cameron Norman
3Chris Arthur
5Brian Saah
7Joey Jones
4Mark Ricketts
14Matt Robinson
15Bruno Andrade
11John Goddard
20Dan Holman
19Joe Quigley
BENCH
18Nick Hamann
2Jake Caprice
22Terell Thomas
23Jimmy Keohane
16Kadell Daniel

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