Five-star Cards start Christmas season with a cracker on Tyneside
9:00am, Sun 20th Dec 2015
Gateshead 1 Woking 5
Vanarama National League
19th December 2015
A first-half Dan Holman double paved the way for a mighty victory for Garry Hillâ€™s Woking at the International Stadium, on an unseasonably mild day when some classy visitorsâ€™ finishing capped an assured display.
But while the Surrey visitors climbed above their hosts to 10th place in the process, it wasnâ€™t all one-way traffic, and for much of the first half this compelling clash was fairly evenly contested.
On-loan striker Holman set the ball rolling, twice giving his side the lead and unlucky not to get a hat-trick, with several more half-chances created before he succumbed to injury 20 minutes from time.
There were several other Cardinal stars on the day too, not least inspirational playmakers Bruno Andrade and Jake Caprice (pictured), who both helped run the Heed ragged.
Woking were ahead within three minutes, a couple of early corners leading to Andrade playing in the in-form Holman, who back-heeled home after great build-up play on the right flank.
The first half was pretty much an end-to-end affair, and after Cards' keeper Jake Cole denied Danny Johnson then blocked a Paddy McLoughlin effort from a Craig Baxter cross, the hosts levelled on 17 minutes, with McLaughlin on target this time from the tricky Adam Wrightson's cross, the visitorsâ€™ defending a little suspect.
Neil Aspinâ€™s side remained in the ascendency, McLoughlin further testing Cole from distance while Wrightson continued to prove a nuisance with his pace down the right.
Andrade looked sharp at the other end, and after a move also involving Joey Jones and Joe Quigley, the latter saw his effort come back off the underside of the bar, the keeper getting the better of him from the rebound.
Vital touches from Jones and Brian Saah in defence followed before a painful shoulder injury led to Wrightsonâ€™s withdrawal on the half-hour. And the hosts never really looked as dynamic from that point.
By then, the home crowd were calling for Cameron Normanâ€™s dismissal following an early yellow card, but the ref was unmoved and in time Woking settled again.
Holman went down in the penalty area after a through-ball from John Goddard in his 100th Cards performance, while home sub George Honeyman was denied by the same player at the other end.
Jones went on a marauding run but couldnâ€™t execute his final ball, while Matt Robinson was booked for a challenge from behind, Jordan Cranstonâ€™s resultant free-kick coming to nothing.
The next home attack ended with a skyward finish from Sheffield United loanee CJ Hamilton, who wouldnâ€™t see beyond half-time, and then four minutes before the break Woking were ahead again, Holman finding the top-left corner from the near post with an outstretched boot, following a short-corner routine on the right and an Andrade delivery.
And before the half was up, Holman was denied by an offside flag after a neat Quigley pass, then twice more missed out, Cole then having to palm away Honeymanâ€™s sweet finish just before the turnaround.
Half-time: Gateshead 1 Woking 2
Amid a heavy drizzle as the skies darkened and the teams returned, Andrade was soon causing further home flutters with a fine centre, Holman only just missing out.
A great ball followed from skipper Mark Ricketts to Quigley, who drew home goalie Shaun McDonald but couldnâ€™t pass him, while from the next Andrade centre, Holman couldnâ€™t get a strong enough connection.
Caprice carried on his good work from before the interval and denied the next home attack, while on the break Holman went on a mesmeric run and won a free-kick, with Cranston booked, from which Norman curled around the wall but into the side-netting.
Caprice then won a corner on the right, with Holman almost in from Andradeâ€™s delivery, the last defender getting enough of a touch to clear.
But Wokingâ€™s third goal arrived on 68 minutes, Andrade getting the goal his efforts deserved, firing powerfully home from the middle of the penalty area after losing his marker.
Quigley seemed odds-on for the next after another great Caprice cross, but was offside, while Cole made a fine reaction save to cut out from Gus Mafuta following a counter-attack.
After Saah put his best foot forward to stop the next Heed surge, a fourth visitorsâ€™ goal was added in the 77th minute, sub Giuseppe Sole â€“ on for Holman - playing Caprice down the right, the latterâ€™s fine delivery finished with aplomb by midfielder Robinson, the 'keeper given no chance.
The next home corner was competently dealt, with Cole well protected, while Andrade drilled just wide of the left post after further good work by Caprice.
Johnson looked to be in for a consolation goal as his side fought on, but Cole was equal to his finish, and then in added time Quigley completed the rout, advancing down the inside-right channel before firing past the last defender and beyond the keeper from a Sole lay-off, the rain still falling but Wokingâ€™s small band of travelling fans in jubilant mode, saluting their five-goal heroes.
Gateshead: Shaun MacDonald, Craig Baxter, James Curtis, Ben Clark Â©, Rob Ramshaw, Gus Mafuta, Jordan Cranston, Danny Johnson, Adam Wrightson (George Honeyman 31), Paddy McLaughlin, CJ Hamilton (Nathan Buddle 46)
Subs not used: Sam Russell, Dean Briggs, Martin Smith
Goals: Paddy McLaughlin (17)
Bookings: Jordan Cranston (58), Ben Clark (63)
Woking: Jake Cole, Jake Caprice, Brian Saah, Matt Robinson (Keiran Murtagh 84), Cameron Norman (Chris Arthur 81), Joey Jones, Bruno Andrade, Mark Ricketts (c), John Goddard, Joe Quigley, Dan Holman (Giuseppe Sole 70)
Subs not used: Nick Hamann, Jimmy Keohane
Goals: Dan Holman (3, 41), Bruno Andrade (68), Matt Robinson (77), Joe Quigley (90+2)
Bookings: Cameron Norman (19), Matt Robinson (37)
My MOTM: Jake Capriceâ€™s pace and accuracy from the right channel proved to be one of many telling factors as Woking put their Tyneside hosts to the sword.