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3:00pm - SaturdaySat 22nd OctoberOct 2016
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Back to League action on Saturday

Brian Caffarey
9:51am, Wed 19th Oct 2016
Woking v Barrow
Vanarama National League
3pm on Saturday 22 October 2016

The Cards return to League action on Saturday after successfully moving into the FA Cup First Round. Their replay win against Torquay on Tuesday was a real confidence booster and much needed with the visit of fourth placed Barrow – always tough opponents. Come down to the Laithwaite Community Stadium to cheer on Garry Hill’s side as they seek to pull themselves away from the danger zone.

WOKING

The Cards have won three and drawn one of their last four home league games, so will be hoping that they can pull off another good result against a formidable-looking Barrow side. However Garry Hill will face a number of selection problems particularly in central defence. Both Brian Saah and Ismail Yakubu had to be substituted on Tuesday and Connor Essam has already returned to Eastleigh. Garry still has Michael Poke and Zak Ansah out injured but Matt Tubbs will hopefully be available for selection after missing the two cup games.

BARROW

The Bluebirds, owned since November 2014 by ambitious Dallas-based businessman, Paul Casson, finished in 11th place last season after winning the Conference North title the previous season. Casson had targeted promotion to the Football League and manager Darren Edmondson paid the price in November 2015 for an unpromising beginning to the campaign. Former Mansfield manager Paul Cox was appointed the next day.

Predictably, there was a big turnover in playing staff in the summer at Holker Street. Among the players Cox brought in was Ross Hannah, the former Grimsby Town striker who scored 23 goals for Chester last season; Macclesfield Town captain and midfielder, Paul Turnbull; Luton midfielder Andy Parry, who had been on loan at Barrow; giant Hampton and Richmond central defender, Moussa Diara; former Chesterfield striker, Byron Harrison, who has also had spells more recently at AFC Wimbledon, Cheltenham Town and Stevenage; Liam Hughes, a 6’4’ central defender from Inverness Caledonian Thistle but better known as a Conference title winner with Cambridge United; and another Conference title winner, right back, Shaun Beeley, formerly with Fleetwood Town and more recently part of Morecambe’s set-up.

The additions have continued with more recent arrivals including Harry Panayiotou, a St Kitts and Nevis striker who was with Leicester City and who was being chased by several Football League clubs. A loan player who has particularly impressed is 18 year-old midfielder Ryan Yates from Nottingham Forest.

Among those players remaining from last season were England C striker Jordan Williams and long-serving midfielder Alex-Ray Harvey. A regretted departure was that of top striker Andy Cook, who joined Tranmere Rovers.

The Bluebirds have started this season strongly, currently sitting in 4th place with 29 points from 15 games, four points behind leaders Forest Green Rovers. A ray of hope for the Cards is that their away form is less impressive than their home form, having picked up three wins, two draws and two defeats on their travels, with 9 goals scored and 8 conceded. On Saturday the Bluebirds had a very satisfying 2-1 home win over Tranmere Rovers in the FA Cup and now play Taunton Town of the Evo-Stik League Southern Division in the next round.

ADMISSION PRICES

Adults £18
Over 65/Students with valid student card £13
U16s £5

COMING UP

The Cards follow Saturday’s game with another crucial home fixture on Tuesday evening: at home to fellow strugglers, Braintree Town (7.45pm kick-off). This match is a ‘kids free’ game, so please bring all the family along! The following Saturday (29 October) the Cards travel to Boreham Wood.

Come on, you Cards!

P.S. It’s not too late to book your ticket for the cabaret/ Rod Stewart Tribute evening this Friday. See http://www.wokingfc.co.uk/news/article/5632/a-cabaret-evening-with-rod-stewart-tribute/ for details.

Tubbs penalty earns a point for The Cards

Nathan Thomas
12:00am, Sat 22nd Oct 2016
Woking 1 Barrow 1
Vanarama National League
22nd October 2016

The Cards welcomed National League playoff hopefuls Barrow to the Laithwaites Community Stadium on Saturday afternoon looking to maintain their impressive home form of late. Gozie Ugwu partnered ex-Portsmouth man Matt Tubbs upfront, with Ugwu looking to build on his two goals in the FA Cup replay win against Torquay United in the week.

A foul on Barrow’s Akil Wright produced the first set-piece of the game 2 minutes in, which came to nothing. Swiftly after, Watford loanee Dennon Lewis squared it to the unmarked Ugwu in the box who dipped his shoulder and fashioned a shooting opportunity, but his powerful drive was well blocked by the Barrow defence.

A set piece then came in a more promising position for Barrow after Cards skipper Kevin Murtagh fouled his opponent. Paul Turnbull lined the ball up 20 yards out, then beautifully bent it around the wall. He beat Cards keeper Hall, only to be denied by the left post.

The Cards then gave away their 3rd dangerous set-piece in the opening 10 minutes. Turnbull this time opted for the cross, lofting the ball into the imperious figure of Moussa Diarra, but his header looped aimlessly into the hands of Hall.

Barrow’s pressure seemed to be slowing twenty minutes in, only for the Cards to be dealt a sucker punch. Good work on the right found Akil Wright, whose cross was inch perfect for the unmarked Byron Harrison. Harrison made no mistake with his header, producing a powerful effort that Hall was unable to reach inside the left-hand post.

Cards nearly replied 3 minutes later. The confident Ugwu beat the Barrow defence in a footrace onto a long ball, only to loft his effort off the bar. Woking continued their strong response to going a goal down, winning a succession of corners in the 26th minute, which unfortunately came to no fruition. Tubbs disposed a Barrow man in the 35th minute, leading to another corner for the Cards. The corner found Murtagh at the back post whose deflected effort nearly trickled all the way through for an equaliser.

The first half ended in a lull with Woking struggling to break through Barrow’s stubborn back line. Although a Cards free-kick just before the break nearly levelled proceedings. Frankie Sutherland’s ball in found Terell Thomas’s head at the back post, but it was off target.

Half-time: Woking 0 Barrow 1

Both teams came out in the 2nd half unchanged on what was a crisp autumnal afternoon in Surrey.

The Cards got a golden opportunity to level proceedings in the 50th minute. A long ball found the dangerous Ugwu, who beat Diarra for pace to the byline. Diarra then lashed a dangerous high foot in the direction of Ugwu which hit him in the face, allowing the referee to award a penalty. Matt Tubbs stepped up and made no mistake from 12 yards sending Barrow keeper Joel Dixon the wrong way, striking his spotkick into the bottom left hand corner.

Cards continued their strong start to the 2nd half with Tubbs and Ugwu linking up yet again only to be prevented by Dixon. Ugwu was nearly found again, this time by Jake Caprice who clipped in another teasing ball which his striker could not quite connect with.

Woking’s dominant 2nd half start prompted Barrow into a change just short of the hour mark. With Richie Bennett coming off for Ross Hannah in a like-for-like replacement upfront. A Barrow corner 2 minutes after, found goalscorer Harrison at the back post. His deft header found another Barrow man in the middle, but his effort was comfortably saved by Hall.

Woking were almost gifted the lead in the 68th minute, as a seemingly harmless backpass to Barrow’s keeper was pressured by the pacey Dennon Lewis. Dixon then scuffed his clearance straight into the path of Lewis, but the Barrow keeper recovered well and dived at Lewis’s feet to prevent a certain goal.

Woking’s first sub was a forced one in the 70th minute. A collision in the box caused Thomas to come off injured. Fabio Sariava replaced him, with skipper Kevin Murtagh dropping to centre-back. Frankie Sutherland was also replaced by Anthony Edgar.

After the flurry of changes, it was a substitute who nearly gave Barrow the lead. Hannah lashed a powerful effort from 20 yards out which Hall did well to palm away from his bottom left-hand corner.
The 2nd half ended in frantic fashion with both teams searching for a winner. Hall yet again, dealt with another cross 15 minutes from full-time as Edgar tried to find Ugwu in the middle. Barrow then went more direct in the final ten minutes with a deluge of long throws and direct balls which skipper Murtagh continued to deal with comfortably. Sub Anthony Edgar then looked to pounce on a loose ball with a conspicuous challenge which the referee punished with a booking. Goal-scorer Tubbs then came off in the 86th minute for Delano Sam-Yorke.

Woking continued to limit Barrow to speculative efforts, this time Turnbull adding to the collection with a wild long shot way over the bar. A large chunk of added time saw a succession of corners for Barrow as pressure continued build on the Cards goal. A pacey ball in led to a Barrow volley just wide of the target.

But Woking stayed resolute and compact and prevented a Barrow winner - a defensively sound performance from the Cards to grind out a good point against tough opponents.

Woking: Brandon Hall, Jake Caprice, Nathan Ralph, Joey Jones, Terell Thomas (Sariava 70), Kieran Murtagh, Charlie Carter, Frankie Sutherland (Anthony Edgar 73), Dennon Lewis, Matt Tubbs, (Sam-Yorke 86), Gozie Ugwu

Goals: Tubbs (51)

Bookings: Murtagh (66), Edgar (85)

Unused Subs: Chike Kandi, Andy Little

Barrow: Joel Dixon, Shaun Beeley, Moussa Diarra, Danny Livesey, Nick Anderton, Liam Hughes, Ryan Yates, Paul Turnbull, Akil Wright (Meikle 80’), Richie Bennett (Hannah 60’), Byron Harrison

Goals: Harrison (20)

Bookings: Livesey

Unused Subs: Andy Haworth, Alex-Ray Harvey, Euan Murray

Attendance: 1,351

Referee: Carl Brook

Sponsor’s (Paul Robinson) MOTM: Keiran Murtagh. Commanded the midfield with direct balls. Defensively sound when asked to drop back into defence in the 2nd half.
WOKING LINEUP
1Brandon Hall
2Jake Caprice
11Nathan Ralph
4Joey Jones
3Terell Thomas ('70)
8Keiran Murtagh
12Charlie Carter
23Frankie Sutherland ('73)
16Dennon Lewis
7Matt Tubbs ('86)
9Gozie Ugwu
BENCH
Andy Little
14Fabio Saraiva ('70)
19Anthony Edgar ('73)
17Delano Sam-Yorke ('86)
21Chike Kandi
Barrow LINEUP

Woking 1 - 1 Barrow (Garry Hill Interview)

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