Fitogether
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 3rd SeptemberSep 2016
| Att: 1221

Macclesfield Town
Macclesfield Town
3 - 1

Woking
Woking

Cards look to build on first win

Brian Caffarey
6:51am, Thu 1st Sep 2016
Macclesfield Town v Woking
Vanarama National League
3pm on Saturday 3 September 2016

Having got the ‘monkey off their backs’ with their first win of the campaign, against Chester on Monday, Garry Hill’s side will be keen to build on their fine performance on this trip to Macclesfield on National Non-League Day. But it is a tall order since the Silkmen have started the season fairly strongly and this is a fixture which has rarely brought any joy for the Cards.

WOKING

A fine all-round performance on Monday saw the Cards defeat FC Chester 3-1 at an appreciative Laithwaite Community Stadium, with goals from Keiran Murtagh (who wil be well known to Silkmen fans from his time there), Joey Jones and Gozie Ugwu. The returning Ismail Yakubu undoubtedly brought more confidence to the side, seeming to bring the best out of his co-defenders. But a pleasing aspect of the performance was that it was very much a team effort, with telling contributions all over the pitch.

Garry Hill will be well aware, though, that one win isn’t enough to make up for a poor start to the season and that his side will need to maintain, and indeed improve upon, Monday’s performance if they are to pull themselves away from the bottom four places.

MACCLESFIELD TOWN

The Silkmen have made an encouraging start to the season, with four wins and three defeats from their opening seven games:

Torquay United 0 Macclesfield Town 2
York City 1 Macclesfield Town 0
Braintree Town 1 Macclesfield Town 3
Macclesfield Town 3 Southport 1
Sutton United 2 Macclesfield Town 0
Macclesfield Town 1 Lincoln City 2
Solihull Moors 2 Macclesfield Town 3

Their last-ditch winner at Solihull on Monday came after they had trailed Solihull twice. Kingsley James converted two penalties before Ollie Norburn grabbed the winner in injury time. The Silkmen now sit 8th in the table and have made clear that their target this season is a top five finish.

Manager John Askey has kept a strong nucleus of players from last season, including midfielders Danny Whitaker, Danny Rowe and Paul Lewis, defenders Andy Halls and George Pilkington and strikers Chris Holroyd and Jack Sampson. (Departures included top scorer Kristian Dennis and ex-Card Shwan Jalal.) New signings include winger Jack Mackreth, returning to Moss Rose after spells at Grimsby Town and on loan to Tranmere Rovers; combative midfielder Kingsley James, who was with FC Halifax last season and who has previously turned out for Hereford and FC Chester; midfielder Ollie Norburn from Guiseley; left-back Mitch Hancox from Birmingham City, who was on loan to Crawley Town for part of last season; and keeper Craig Ross, a former England C international, who was at Whitehawk last season but who has also played for Hampton and Richmond Borough, Cambridge United and Eastbourne Borough.

Andy Halls, captain, will miss this match after being sent off at Sutton United. There are also doubts about the fitness of Kingsley James and John McCombe, both of whom were substituted at Sutton.

The Silkmen are traditionally strong at The Moss Rose and will have been disappointed to have lost to Lincoln City.

GETTING THERE

The Moss Rose Stadium
London Road
Macclesfield
Cheshire
SK11 7SP

Official website: www.mtfc.co.uk

By coach
The Cards Trust has announced that it will only run a coach to this game if there are enough ‘takers’. Ring or email the Club Shop to check the position if you are thinking of going (01483 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. There is plenty of street parking near 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 would get you to Macclesfield 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 19.25. The ground is about a 25-minute walk from the station. Leave the station and turn left up Sunderland Street until you reach a major crossroads at the war memorial. Turn left here and follow the road for about a mile.e eave the station and turn left up Sunderland St until you reach a major crossroads at the war memorial. Take the left here and follow for roughly a mile.

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)

Away fans are accommodated in the John Askey Stand.

COMING UP

The Cards travel to Gisele the following Saturday (10 September). The Cards Trust will only run a coach if there are enough ‘takers’, so ring or email the Club Shop (shop@wokingfc.co.uk) if you’d like to go. The Cards’ next home game is on Tuesday 13 October when Torquay United are the visitors, followed by a visit from Wrexham on Saturday 17 October. Make sure both dates are in your diary!


Come on, you Cards!

P.S. Don’t forget the fans’ forum at 8pm this coming Monday (5 September) in the Legends Bar. If you have concerns you wish to raise, or ideas you want to put forward to help the Club, this is a great opportunity to have your say.

Silkmen’s curse strikes as Cards slip in Cheshire

Malcolm Wyatt
12:00am, Sat 3rd Sep 2016
Macclesfield Town 3 Woking 1
Vanarama National League
September 3rd 2016

Woking’s record at the Moss Rose Ground has been poor over the years, and a commanding performance from hosts Macclesfield ensured that continued on Saturday, the hosts rising to fifth in the table while the Cards remained third-bottom.

The Surrey visitors started promisingly, a move started by Jake Caprice on the right leading to a touch from combative striker Gozie Ugwu on its way back out to Dennon Lewis, his cross inches from the reach of Charlie Penny in the middle.

But the hosts were also quick out of the blocks amid swirling rain in Cheshire, Ismail Yakubu powerfully heading away a Paul Lewis cross before Keiran Murtagh ensured safety.

The first of many Ollie Norburn set-pieces was also dealt with, while two early Woking corners came to nothing, the Silkmen in the ascendency.

Chris Holroyd came close from a Mitch Hancox centre for the hosts, Michael Poke’s parry leading to a corner, while at the other end Penny fed Caprice, whose neat delivery led to keeper Craig Ross beating Ugwu to the ball.

Murtagh was in the book at roughly the same time as last weekend at York for a mid-pitch challenge on Jack Mackreth, yet the Cards were largely holding their own, carrying on the good work of Bank Holiday Monday’s win over Chester.

The Silkmen were quick on the break though, and after Ross reacted well to cut out a floating finish by Woking’s Lewis, they sprang forward, Danny Whittaker rifling home an eight-yard finish on 28 minutes from Neill Byrne’s cross, Joey Jones stretching but unable to cut out, the experienced marksman given too much time and space.

Woking were determined to bounce back, breaking on the left, Max Kretzschmar with a great ball and the keeper tipping away for a corner.

Lewis won another as the hosts held their ground, Kretzschmar trading passes with Jones before finding the side-netting, a home touch leading to a further corner, Ugwu again unable to find space in the centre.

And then it was 2-0, another sharp Macc counter-attack leading to Holroyd putting away Danny Rowe, who advanced on goal before firing home a quality left-foot finish on 37 minutes.

With shades of York again, there was no disputing the most effective midfield, Norburn proving key to the hosts, with plenty of quality around him, Woking again needing a half-time rethink.

Matters grew worse before then though, Yakubu – in only his second match back after his knee injury last term – going down in the Woking area, supporters fearing the Cards’ ACL curse had struck again.

Thankfully it was a calf injury this time though, Charlie Carter forced to take his place, and as it turned out putting in a fine shift in a reorganised line-up after the break.

Half time: Macclesfield Town 2 Woking 0

John Askey’s home side carried on where they left off from there, a Byrne cross causing flutters in the Cards’ defence, while a neat touch by the impressive Rowe nearly had Holroyd in on goal.

Good touches by Ugwu and Brian Saah kept out the next attack, while Whittaker was unlucky with a 20-yard strike, Kretzschmar’s deflection leading to a corner from which John McCombe went close with a header, cleared off the line at the back post by Caprice.

Carter, working hard, played in Penny at the near post as the visitors hit back, and the Cards halved the deficit in the 59th minute following a Kretzschmar corner, Watford loanee Lewis with a 25-yard neat finish, the 19-year-old finding the bottom corner for his second Woking goal.

The visitors still looked susceptible to the odd counter-attack, Norburn just over from the next corner, while Cards keeper Poke shepherded his defence as Holroyd’s follow-up led to another set-piece, Jones and Nathan Ralph making important touches.

At the other end Ugwu fired across the goalmouth, with no takers, the Cards looked more effective once Zak Ansah had replaced the hard-running Penny.

As Macc broke again, two men in the middle were inches from a Norburn cross, while Kretzschmar did well to cut out the midfielder’s next half-chance.

Garry Hill introduced Fabio Saraiva for the last quarter-hour, Caprice remaining a threat on the right, but the hosts held their line and Jones had to stop Rowe in his tracks the next time they countered.

Paul Lewis struck wide from the next home corner, before Jones was away on goal for Woking, playing in Ugwu, Ross equal to his promising header.

As the action swung again, Saah’s touch made a difference but almost wrong-footed Poke from Holroyd’s initial strike, Woking surviving the resultant corner.

Murtagh continued to show his presence but struggled to get a telling cross in, time ebbing away, while Ralph made an important touch as Macc again played their way into the visitors’ box.

With three added minutes left, Poke fired a free-kick into the danger area, but as the move broke down Rowe somehow stayed on his feet in a weaving, surging run, Caprice denying his target, Byrne, before Holroyd – with Poke drawn – fired home a decisive third, all Woking’s efforts undone.

But there were promising moments overall for the Cards, who will be eager to get their first away win next weekend when Hill’s strugglers travel to West Yorkshire to take on a rock-bottom Guiseley outfit with just one point to their name from eight matches.

Macclesfield Town: Craig Ross, Neill Byrne, George Pilkington, John McCombe, Jack Mackreth, Paul Lewis, Chris Holroyd, Danny Rowe, Ollie Norburn, Mitch Hancox, Danny Whittaker.

Unused subs: Ritchie Branagan, David Fitzpatrick, Jack Sampson, Dan Cowan, John Roberts.

Goals: Whitaker 28, Rowe 37, Holroyd 90.

Booking: Norburn 39.

Woking: Michael Poke, Jake Caprice, Joey Jones, Brian Saah, Ismail Yakubu (Charlie Carter 44), Nathan Ralph, Keiran Murtagh ©, Max Kretzschmar (Fabio Saraiva 74), Dennon Lewis, Charlie Penny (Zak Ansah 59), Gozie Ugwu.

Unused subs: Brandon Hall, Ben Gordon.

Goal: Lewis 59.

Booking: Keiran Murtagh 24.

Referee: Simon Barrow.

Attendance: 1,221 (50 from Woking)

My MOTM: Jake Caprice – full of running and putting in a good shift at both ends on a day when not everything went the visitors’ way, characteristic of a Cards side that never gave up, remaining in the game for 90 minutes.
Macclesfield Town LINEUP
WOKING LINEUP
1Michael Poke
2Jake Caprice
11Nathan Ralph
4Joey Jones
5Brian Saah
6Ismail Yakubu ('44)
8Keiran Murtagh
15Max Kretzschmar ('74)
16Dennon Lewis
7Charlie Penny ('59)
9Gozie Ugwu
BENCH
18Brandon Hall
3Ben Gordon
12Charlie Carter ('44)
14Fabio Saraiva ('74)
10Zak Ansah ('59)

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