Seymours
7:45pm - TuesdayTue 25th OctoberOct 2016
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 1362

Woking
Woking
2 - 3

Braintree Town
Braintree Town

Cards in vital points battle

Brian Caffarey
8:22pm, Sun 23rd Oct 2016
Woking v Braintree Town
Vanarama National League
7.45pm on Tuesday 25 October 2016

With only three points separating the Cards in 20th position from Braintree Town one place behind, this is a vital game for both clubs. A win for the Cards would go a long way towards pulling the Club clear of the danger zone, whilst a defeat would leave them very much in the mire. Come on down to the Laithwaite Community Stadium to cheer Garry Hill’s side on to victory. And make sure you round up the kids for a free, half-term treat!

WOKING

The Cards’ 1-1 draw against high-flying Barrow on Saturday was a decent result, especially considering the threat which the powerful Bluebirds presented to a new Woking central defensive partnership, which saw Joey Jones paired with Terell Thomas, returning from Charlton Athletic for a second loan spell at the Club. Both players acquitted themselves well, although Thomas had to give way, with a cramp-like injury, to Keiran Murtagh during the second half.

Unfortunately, ‘man of the match’ Murtagh picked up another yellow cards, which means that he will miss Tuesday’s game.

BRAINTREE TOWN

Predictably, clubs with bigger budgets came calling for many members of the Iron side which did so well to reach the play-offs last season, leaving only three players, midfielder Chez Isaac and strikers Michael Cheek and Simeon Akinola, to form the nucleus of this season’s squad. And, of course, they also lost their manager, Danny Cowley, to Lincoln City.

Jamie Day, the former Welling manager, who had an unhappy time subsequently at Ebbsfleet United, was appointed and looked a good fit for a club with limited resources. Among the players he brought in were two from Welling, right back Barney Williams and England C midfielder, Sam Corne. Other new arrivals included defender Craig Braham-Barrett, who had a loan spell with Woking from Ebbsfleet last season, left back Jerome Okimo from Stevenage, experienced striker Lee Barnard, former Don, midfielders Jack Midson and Harry Lee and defenders Jon Ashton and Ian Gayle. Unfortunately for Day, the Braintree’s Chairman’s patience ran out after two wins in twelve games and Hakan Hayrettin was appointed as his successor. Hayrettin helped John Still win promotion for Luton Town from the Conference and has previously managed at Waltham Forest, Thurrock and Grays Athletic.

Hayrettin’s first game in charge was a difficult trip to Lincoln City, which the Iron lost 3-0. Since then he has presided over a 2-1 defeat at home to Boreham Wood, a 1-1 draw at home to York City and an encouraging 4-2 defeat of Bromley at home in the FA Cup. On Saturday, though, the Iron found themselves on the end of a heavy defeat at the hands of Dover Athletic, being 5-1 down at half-time, with Ricky Miller scoring four goals, and eventually ending up on the wrong side of a 6-1 scoreline.

Braintree have been particularly unlucky with goalkeeping injuries. Ex-Card Sam Beasant was brought in to replace the young Jamie Butler but broke a finger against Chester and then his replacement, the experienced Will Puddy from Bristol Rovers, also became injured. The game at Dover marked the – testing! – debut of another young keeper, Joe Taylor, on loan from Dartford.

Hayrettin has also recently brought in Claudio Dias from Brackley Town and promoted Luke Mallett from the Academy. The Iron have a number of players on loan, including midfielder Sam Matthews and Brandon Goodship, both from Bournemouth, George Elokobi, an experienced centre back from Colchester, Ollie Muldoon from Charlton Athletic and Jack Cowgill, a centre back from Barnsley. Joe Maybanks, a young winger formerly with the Iron’s Academy, has impressed when he’s been given the chance.

ADMISSION PRICES

Tuesday night’s game is free for U16s.

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

COMING UP

The Cards are away at Boreham Wood next Saturday (29 October) and the following Saturday (5 November) are away to Stockport County in the First Round Proper of the FA Cup. Book your place now on the Cards Trust coach!

Come on, you Cards!

Controversy reigns as Woking fall to disappointing late defeat

Glen Harrington
12:00am, Tue 25th Oct 2016
Woking 2 Braintree Town 3
Vanarama National League
25th October 2016

Only goal difference separates Woking from the National League’s relegation zone after a desperately disappointing home defeat to fellow strugglers Braintree Town – the Iron’s first league win under new manager Hakan Hayrettin.

The Cards will feel rightly aggrieved to have missed out on a 3-1 lead just before half-time, after Gozie Ugwu latched onto a stray back-pass and slotted the ball home only to be bizarrely ruled offside, but can have few complaints over the manner of their second-half collapse.

After falling behind early to Oliver Muldoon’s deflected free-kick, the hosts had done well to fight their way back into the game through Joey Jones’ back-post header and Fabio Saraiva’s excellent free-kick, but they were undone after the break as strikes from Michael Cheek and Simeon Akinola earned the visitors all three points.

The Woking players were left with looks of shock on their faces at full-time as the inquest into a damaging defeat began early, with many no doubt remembering Matt Tubbs’ inexplicable miss from six yards when the scores were level – the striker somehow deflecting Jake Caprice’s driven cross onto the bar as the Cards’ six game unbeaten home run came to an end.

Garry Hill made just one change from Saturday’s creditable draw with Barrow, with Saraiva returning in place of a suspended Keiran Murtagh – whose calming presence and experience in centre midfield was ultimately sorely missed. With neither Brian Saah, nor Ismail Yakubu fit enough to return, Terell Thomas continued alongside Jones in central defence; Braintree, beaten 6-1 at Dover on Saturday, made three changes including giving a debut to goalkeeper Daniel Lincoln.

The game got off to the worst possible start for the home side as they found themselves behind within two minutes – Muldoon’s seemingly harmless free-kick taking an inexplicable deflection and cannoning past a helpless Brandon Hall in the Woking goal. With the visitors starting brightly despite their lowly league position, it might have been two shortly after, as Sam Matthews dragged wide.

However, the Cards quickly got a foothold in the game through academy graduate and birthday boy Charlie Carter, whose bright run down the wing left the Braintree defence standing – only for the resulting pull-back to miss both Tubbs and the onrushing Woking midfield. With Ugwu also shooting over from a tight angle soon after, it was clear that the momentum was shifting, and sure enough the hosts got their reward as Saraiva’s well taken corner found Jones free at the back post and the Woking number four bundled the ball over the line at the second attempt.

Woking’s lead was doubled less than five minutes later. The 20-year-old Carter was once again at the heart of the action as he charged into the Braintree half and won a free-kick after being bundled unceremoniously to the floor, Saraiva stepped up, and unleashed an unstoppable 30-yard effort into the top right-hand corner of the net.

It could, and probably should have been three just before the break, as Ugwu raced clear on goal, rounded Lincoln and scored – albeit after the whistle had gone. Clearly, with the through ball to the Woking striker having come from a Braintree defender, he could not have been offside in that instance, but whether the linesman was in fact flagging for the original Woking pass remains to be seen in the post-match highlights… if only for instant replays at this level!

Despite a virtually full-team appeal from the Woking side, the decision stood, as ultimately it always would after the Braintree players and goalkeeper had stopped early and not attempted to prevent the goal. Steve Thompson did very well, as the half-time whistle sounded shortly after, to drag his players away from the officials amidst a chorus of boos from the watching crowd – but one can only wonder what psychological blow that moment had on a team that had otherwise been cruising since the equalising goal.

Half-time: Woking 2 Braintree Town 1

Braintree, no doubt buoyed by their apparent luck and eager to make amends for Saturday’s mauling at the Crabble, were much improved after the break – with substitute Harry Lee pulling the strings. It was his cross-field ball that found Bournemouth loanee Matthews free on the Woking left, with the winger having the time to get his head up and send in an inch-perfect cross for Cheek to flick a deft header past Hall.

The Cards were not without their chances in a somewhat disjointed second-half performance: Saraiva stinging the hands of Lincoln with another fine long-range effort, before Tubbs somehow failed to find the net after good work from Ugwu and Caprice down the right-hand flank. In fairness to the on loan striker, who had scored three goals in his first four games for the club, he appeared to react late to the chance as the ball was whipped across the six-yard box – and it was unfortunate that the ball just so happened to deflect up off his outstretched boot and onto the woodwork.

The visitors also struck the bar themselves as both sides strived for a winner: after Hall had done well to deny Cheek one-on-one, the ball was gifted back to the opposition by a tiring Frankie Sutherland – replaced by Anthony Edgar a couple of minutes later – and fell to Lee Barnard, who curled his effort against the frame of the goal from the edge of the area.

But Woking’s luck could not hold out as the back four found themselves too far forward and were dissected by a defence-splitting pass through to Akinola, who despite dithering on the ball as he approached the Cards’ penalty area, had the time to pick his spot and sneak the ball under the outstretched dive of Hall.

Delano Sam-Yorke and Max Kretzschmar were both thrown on as late substitutes as the Cards searched for a third of their own, but despite five minutes of stoppage time the hosts were unable to create another notable chance as their visitors held on for a first league win in seven – dating back to mid-September when former boss Jamie Day was still in charge.

Garry and the team will no doubt be bitterly disappointed to lose at least one point from such a crucial bottom of the table match-up. The loss was undoubtedly harsh on the home side, who will regret not pushing on and putting the game to bed before half-time when a third goal may well have killed off a Braintree team desperately short on confidence, but sadly it wasn’t to be.

Hill and Thompson will now be desperate to respond with at least a point from a challenging trip to Boreham Wood on Saturday, before heading to Stockport for an equally crucial FA Cup first round clash – with the prospect of moving to within one game of a third round tie against a Premier League outfit, not to mention a big pay day for everyone involved. Let’s hope that a few of our more experienced heads – such as Murtagh, Saah and Yakubu, are ready to play some part in those two games and help us bounce back from a harrowing night at the Laithwaite.

Woking: Brandon Hall, Jake Caprice, Nathan Ralph, Joey Jones (c), Terell Thomas, Frankie Sutherland (Anthony Edgar 73), Charlie Carter, Dennon Lewis (Max Kretzschmar 85), Fabio Saraiva, Gozie Ugwu (Delano Sam-Yorke 78), Matt Tubbs.

Subs not used: Chike Kandi, Andy Little

Goals: Joey Jones 25, Fabio Saraiva 30

Bookings: Charlie Carter 78

Braintree Town: Daniel Lincoln, Ian Gayle, Jerome Okimo, Jake Goodman, George Elokobi, Oliver Muldoon (Harry Lee 29), Chez Isaac, Sam Matthews (Monty Patterson 77), Lee Barnard, Simeon Akinola, Michael Cheek (Jack Midson 83).

Subs not used: Jon Ashton, Claudio Dias

Goals: Oliver Muldoon 2, Michael Cheek 52, Simeon Akinola 82.

Bookings: Monty Patterson 80

Attendance: 1,362

Referee: Sam Allison

MOTM: Joey Jones – led a very young team well in the absence in almost all of the experienced players, scored one, and worked tirelessly coming out of defence to try and get something moving ahead of him; very unlucky to be on the losing side.
WOKING LINEUP
18Brandon Hall
2Jake Caprice
11Nathan Ralph
4Joey Jones
3Terell Thomas
23Frankie Sutherland ('73)
12Charlie Carter
14Fabio Saraiva
16Dennon Lewis ('85)
7Matt Tubbs
9Gozie Ugwu ('78)
BENCH
Andy Little
15Max Kretzschmar ('85)
19Anthony Edgar ('73)
17Delano Sam-Yorke ('78)
21Chike Kandi
Braintree Town LINEUP

Woking 2 - 3 Braintree Town (Garry Hill Interview)

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