Lovetts
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 2nd AprilApr 2016
| Att: 825

Southport
Southport
2 - 2

Woking
Woking

Cards searching for elusive win

Brian Caffarey
8:32am, Thu 31st Mar 2016
Southport v Woking
3pm on Saturday 2 April 2016

The Cards make the long trip to Southport on Saturday still searching for their first league win since early January after a fruitless outing on Easter Monday at Welling. The Sandgrounders have had their problems this season and are still not free of relegation worries, so will no doubt be very focused on gaining three points at the Cards’ expense.

WOKING

The point gained against Kidderminster Harriers on Easter Saturday was followed by a very disappointing 2-1 defeat at Welling United forty-eight hours later, with defensive sloppiness and inadequate finishing proving the Cards’ undoing against another struggling team. About the only real bright spots from the two games were the showing of on-loan striker Daniel Carr, who looked lively, and the continuing excellence of Jake Cole in goal. A worry for Woking fans was the sight of top scorer, John Goddard, leaving the pitch at Welling with what looked like a hamstring strain.

SOUTHPORT

Southport now sit in 16th place with 46 points from 40 games, eight points above Torquay United in 21st place, who have two games in hand, while other clubs immediately below them also have a game or two (or three in FC Halifax’s case) spare. So, the Sandgrounders will no doubt see the Cards’ visit as a great opportunity to haul themselves closer to the magic 50-point target which the Cards finally reached with their point against Kidderminster. Southport had a good Easter, beating fellow strugglers Guiseley 2-0 and then drawing 1-1 away at Altrincham, another club trying to fight off relegation.

Southport had a very poor start to the season, leading to the dismissal of manager Paul Carden in November. The appointment of former Stevenage player and coach, Dino Maamria, led to an immediate improvement, with seven wins in a row, but the Port’s form slipped again in the New Year. Maamria left the club in mid-March, citing ‘family and travel reasons’. Andy Bishop is acting as interim manager.

Some recent additions to the Sandgrounders’ squad include striker Jonny Margetts, signed on loan from Tranmere Rovers; Alex White, a defender who was previously with Liverpool, Dunfermline Athletic and AFC Fylde; Mark O’Brien, a central defender on loan from Luton Town; and Craig Westcarr, a very experienced, and well-travelled, striker who started his career with Nottingham Forest and is on loan from Mansfield Town.

GETTING THERE

Merseyrail Community Stadium
Haig Avenue
Southport
PR8 6JZ

Official website: www.southportfc.net

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

By car

Leave the M6 at Junction 26 and take the M58 towards Southport. Leave the M58 at Junction 3 and take the A570 towards Ormskirk. Follow the A570 around Ormskirk Town Centre towards Southport. On entering Southport you will come to a large roundabout with Tesco's & McDonalds outlets. Take the 3rd exit onto Scarisbrick New Road (A570). You should now be able to catch sight of the ground over on your right. Pass the Richmond pub on your left and then turn right into Haig Avenue. The ground is down on the right. There is no car park at the ground. However, there are usually many spaces under a couple of minutes’ walk away, but watch out for parking restrictions around the streets.

By train

You can either get a train from Euston to Wigan and change there or travel to Liverpool Lime Street and then catch the Merseyrail to Southport. Look up www.nationalrail.co.uk or www.thetrainline.com for details of train times and prices.

ADMISSION PRICES

Adults: £13.50
Concessions: £10
Under 18s: £5
Under 11s: Free (if accompanied by a paying adult)

The match will be segregated and the ‘away end’ is an uncovered terrace.

LAST TIME OUT

Woking 1 Southport 2
Vanarama National League
3 October 2015

Woking slumped to their fourth defeat on the spin with this tepid and unconvincing performance.

The Sandgrounders arrived at the Laithwaite with only eight points from their first thirteen games and sitting in 22nd position. They had recorded only a single win against Altrincham, along with five draws, and were winless away from home.

With Terell Thomas unavailable, Garry Hill started with three at the back – Jones, Ricketts and Saah – with Caprice and Braham-Barrett as wing-backs. Murtagh and Keohane looked after midfield with Goddard playing just behind the front two of Holman and Cardwell.

The visitors were quickly in the lead and had doubled their account by half-time, with both goals coming from Cole Stockton. Only a change in formation and Garry Hill’s introduction of Gez Sole and Bruno Andrade after fifty minutes seemed to add some urgency to the Cards’ play. A Murtagh goal late on offered some hope but the Port coped comfortably enough and were able to see the game out for their second win of the season.

Woking: Jake Cole; Jake Caprice; Mark Ricketts; Brian Saah; Joey Jones; Keiran Murtagh; John Goddard; Daniel Holman (Bruno Andrade 52); Jimmy Keohane (Giuseppe Sole 52); Harry Cardwell (Ben Pattie 52); Craig Braham-Barrett

Unused subs: Kadell Daniel; Nick Hamman

Goal: Keiran Murtagh 78

Southport: Andy Coughlin; Will Beesley; Liam Nolan; Luke Foster; Andy Wright; Cole Stockton (Jamie Allen 90); Charlie Joyce; Paul Rutherford; Louis Almond (Matty Challoner 90); Andrai Jones; Ben Davies

Unused subs: Jon Viscosi; Adam Blakeman; Courtney Cameron

Goals: Cole Stockton 8, 17

Attendance: 1510

NEXT UP

The Cards are at home to Gateshead next Saturday (9 April).

Come on, you Cards!

P.S. Don’t forget that the Cards’ U18 side are playing Brighton and Hove Albion’s U18 side on Tuesday 5 April, with a 7pm kick-off. Entry is only £3 for adults and £1 for U16s.



Butcher's brace wasted after late Cards' cave-in

Malcolm Wyatt
9:44am, Sun 3rd Apr 2016
Southport 2 Woking 2
Vanarama National League
April 2nd 2016



While a draw from this clash of two struggling clubs might have seemed an optimistic outcome for Woking before kick-off, it was really a case of two points lost at Haig Avenue.

There were positives, not least two great goals from Bournemouth loanee Matt Butcher (pictured) and the way the visitors rode early pressure then built a healthy lead. But in the end it was the fragility of a team without a league win in 12 attempts over 12 long weeks that told.

Arguably the hosts – three points behind the Cards – had more to fight for, caretaker boss Andy Bishop going into this match on the back of a win and a draw since taking over from Dino Maamria. Yet the Surrey visitors’ inability to close out a game ultimately cost Garry Hill’s off-form outfit.

In the first real opening of note, the whistle blew as lively home striker Jonny Margetts looked to get the better of his marker in the goalmouth after Alex Whittle’s cross from the left, while as Woking countered Danny Carr, Jake Caprice and Matt Robinson combined on the right but struggled to find a way in.

Neither defence was really troubled as corners followed at each end, although the visitors started putting together a couple of useful moves, with Matt Robinson heavily involved and going close with a header after Keiran Murtagh’s lay-off following good work by Butcher then Alex Smith's cross.

Less assured moments followed for Woking, the Sandgrounders twice breaking through to cause problems and set the tone for the half, first spreading wide to Paul Rutherford on the left, the winger’s neatly-executed snap-shot turned over by a quick-thinking Jake Cole, the resultant corner successfully defended.

Another swift break involving the tricky Louis Almond and Margetts led to Cole having to parry Chris Arthur's powerful goal-bound intervention, the Cards again reacting well, closing ranks to defend the follow-up.

Arthur was quickly in more assured territory upfield, a fine run and cross almost letting Matt Robinson in again, home 'keeper Jon Viscosi just doing enough to foil him, while at the other end Cole was equal to home skipper Gary Jones' drilled finish.

As Port broke through again, Cole turned away for a sixth home corner after Almond's tricky cross-shot, the ‘old gold’ midfield time and again winning out and setting up further attacks as Woking struggled to adapt.

Somewhat against the run of play though, the visitors found themselves ahead in the 37th minute, Murtagh feeding Smith on the left, whose centre led to Matt Robinson teeing up Butcher, the Bournemouth loanee drilling home with his left peg from the edge of the goal area.

Margetts might have pegged the visitors straight back after an opening in the middle of the Cards’ goalmouth as Port sprang forward again, the visitors having to count on important interventions from Brian Saah then Joe Robinson to stay in front at the interval.

Half-time: Southport 0 Woking 1

Bruno Andrade replaced the injured Smith for the second half, and within two minutes of the restart Woking had doubled their lead, an Arthur throw-in from the left leading to Butcher adding to his tally, the midfielder turning his marker before lashing left-footed beyond Viscosi at the near-post.

Home boss Bishop soon made two changes of his own, ones that ultimately proved to be the key to turning around the hosts’ fortunes, attacking options Andy Wright and Craig Westcarr replacing Mike Phenix and Rutherford respectively, the duo increasingly at the heart of the action.

Butcher came close to his hat-trick with a shot from distance but this time Viscosi collected, while Cards sub Giuseppe Sole - adding a further dimension to the visitors’ front-line in Carr’s place for the last half-hour - fired home a third but the flag was raised for an infringement.

A spell of home pressure followed, Cole gathering at the second attempt from a Wright centre before Saah denied Westcarr, while a promising multi-pronged attack led to Wright ballooning a shot straight at Cole.

However, on 75 minutes Margetts halved the deficit after a calamitous mix-up between Cole and Joe Robinson following a drilled effort from Liam Nolan into a crowded penalty area, Cole unable to collect and the Tranmere loanee intercepting, making space then firing coolly into an empty net.

The same man might have soon levelled and the home crowd briefly thought he had, but Margetts instead found the side-netting after Wright's initial delivery caused further flutters.

With six minutes left Port were level, Woking failing to properly clear their lines after Almond's danger-ball – despite a half-clearance from Saah - and Westcarr was on hand in a crowded area to fire home an equaliser.

It still wasn’t over and both sides might have nicked it from there, Woking coming closest when sub Joey Jones - replacing Mark Ricketts for the last 12 minutes - threatened to grab a winner. But a flag was raised by the time the ball fell for Sole to his left.

And after four added minutes had been and gone - including another scramble in the visitors’ box after Andrai Jones’s throw-in - the Cards had to make do with a draw, when 20 minutes earlier they’d looked nailed on for that first elusive league win since January 9th’s success at Wrexham.


Southport: Jon Viscosi, Andrai Jones, Josh Thompson, Mark O'Brien, Alex Whittle, Mike Phenix (Andy Wright 49), Gary Jones (c), Liam Nolan, Paul Rutherford (Craig Westcarr 54), Louis Almond, Jonny Margetts

Unused subs: Max Crocombe, Adam Blakeman, Steven Hewitt.

Goals: Margetts 76, Westcarr 84

No bookings

Woking: Jake Cole, Jake Caprice, Chris Arthur, Mark Ricketts (Joey Jones 78), Brian Saah, Keiran Murtagh, Matt Robinson, Matt Butcher, Joe Robinson, Alex Smith (Bruno Andrade 46), Daniel Carr (Giuseppe Sole 60)

Unused subs: Nick Hamann, Cameron Norman.

Goals: Butcher 37, 47

Booking: Matt Butcher 64

Attendance: 825

My MOTM: Matt Butcher – two great finishes either side of half-time turned the game around, and with a little more luck the Bournemouth loanee might even have grabbed a hat-trick
Southport LINEUP
WOKING LINEUP
1Jake Cole
2Jake Caprice
3Chris Arthur
27Joe Robinson
5Brian Saah
4Mark Ricketts ('78)
28Matt Butcher
8Keiran Murtagh
14Matt Robinson
20Alex Smith ('46)
23Daniel Carr ('60)
BENCH
18Nick Hamann
7Joey Jones ('78)
26Cameron Norman
15Bruno Andrade ('46)
10Giuseppe Sole ('60)

Southport 2 - 2 Woking (Garry Hill Interview)

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