Lovetts
7:45pm - TuesdayTue 31st JanuaryJan 2017
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 860

Woking
Woking
0 - 3

Tranmere Rovers
Tranmere Rovers

Cards look to build on recent success

Alan Worth
12:12pm, Sun 29th Jan 2017
Woking v Tranmere Rovers
Vanarama National League
7.45pm Tuesday 31st January 2017


Following their excellent and much needed victory at Eastleigh, Garry Hill’s side continue their tough sequence of games on Tuesday evening when high-flying Tranmere Rovers finally get to play the Cards at the Laithwaite Community Stadium. Come down if you can to cheer on the side as they continue to haul themselves away from the relegation zone.

WOKING

Woking’s win on Saturday was a huge boost to the side and especially as they had to play the last twenty minutes with ten men. The three points gained moved Woking out of the relegation zone and into 19th place. Tuesday’s fixture represents the game in hand that the Cards have over the majority of the sides around them so any points return will again prove hugely significant.

The arrival of striker Macaulay Bonne looks an excellent acquisition after his debut against Eastleigh and he will no doubt continue developing his partnership on Tuesday with Gozie Ugwu whose goal on Saturday was his first since last November. Garry Hill will almost certainly be without Brian Saah who suffered a groin injury on Saturday and Denon Lewis, who provided the excellent cross for Ugwu’s goal, will also be absent following his red card in the second half

Garry and his squad will know the importance of building on this current mini run of two victories on the spin. Some form of positive outcome from Tuesday game will help to cement Woking’s current position outside the danger area. However it wont be easy given our visitors’ league position as they battle to make it back to the Football League.

TRANMERE ROVERS

Tranmere failed last season to achieve promotion back to the Football League at their first attempt, ending up in a disappointing 6th place. Rovers won their first five games this season before drawing at Southport. Victory at Guiseley followed before they suffered their first defeat of the campaign, losing 3-1 at Aldershot Town. That was followed by another defeat, at home to Lincoln City. A goalless draw at York and defeat at Sutton by the odd goal saw Rovers slip to 5th place. Perhaps surprisingly, the Tranmere Board decided that this run of poor results was sufficient to part company with Manager Gary Brabin.

Brabin had concentrated in the summer on increasing Rovers’ options up front. England C striker James Norwood was already at the club, but Brabin added Andy Cook, Barrow’s top scorer last season with 24 goals; Connor Jennings, Wrexham’s top scorer and captain; and Darren Stephenson, who had scored 19 goals for Chorley. Two other new signings were midfielders Jay Harris, with Wrexham last season, and former Northern Ireland international Jeff Hughes, who had a loan spell at Prenton Park from Cambridge United last season. Other familiar names already at the club included imposing central defender Steve McNulty, winger and ex-Shot Adam Mekki, midfielder Lois Maynard and keeper Scott Davies.

Micky Mellon, the former Shrewsbury manager, was appointed to replace Brabin in early October. He oversaw an upturn in form from mid-October, the side going on a 10-match unbeaten run, which ended at Lincoln City on 17 December. In the holiday programme Tranmere beat Macclesfield Town at home but lost away. Two weeks ago our visitors had a comfortable 4-1 win against South Park at Prenton Park in the FA Trophy and have drawn Chelmsford City at home in the next round.

Mellon returned to Shrewsbury to bring back striker Andy Mangan to Prenton Park. Mangan had also previously played for Mellon at Fleetwood Town. Other arrivals have included midfielder Adam Dawson, signed from Eastleigh, who had a loan spell at the club last season; and winger Ben Tollitt, signed from Portsmouth for an undisclosed fee after a successful loan spell. Tollitt originally came through the Everton youth set-up. Midfielder James Wallace has recently signed a permanent 18-month deal after a successful loan spell from Sheffield United.

Rovers have slipped to 4th place following Saturday’s 2-0 reverse at home to Dagenham and Redbridge, which lifted the Daggers above them in the table. Away from home, Tranmere have won six league games, drawn four and lost four, scoring 19 goals and conceding 14.

ADMISSION PRICES

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

LAST TIME OUT

Tranmere Rovers 3 Woking 1
Vanarama National League
26 September 2016

The Cards went into this game with improved confidence following three wins and a draw in their previous five games whilst the home side had just sacked Gary Brabin after a poor run which saw only one win in the previous six games. The Cards played their part in a thrilling encounter and, at one stage in the second half, looked perfectly capable of claiming a point but were then undone by some clinical finishing and a penalty miss.

Woking showed up well in the first half but fell behind to an Andy Cook strike in the 34th minute. It was Cook who doubled the score in the 50th minute before Fabio Saraiva reduced the deficit with a mighty finish in the 68th minute. Unfortunately, Norwood immediately restored the two-goal advantage. Keiran Murtagh had an opportunity to pull a goal back again but his penalty kick was saved. In added time the home side gained a penalty, with Nathan Ralph also being shown a straight red, but Michael Poke saved the spot kick.

Tranmere Rovers: Scott Davies, Liam Ridehalgh, Steven Jennings, Steve McNulty, Michael Ihiekwe, Andy Cook (Ethan Jones 90), James Norwood, Ritchie Sutton, Louis Almond (Darren Stephenson 58), Ben Tollitt (Mitch Duggan 78), Lois Maynard.

Unused subs: Lee Vaughan, Iain Turner.

Goals: Cook 34, 49, Norwood 69.

Woking: Michael Poke, Joey Jones, Brian Saah, Connor Essam, Nathan Ralph, Keiran Murtagh (Anthony Edgar 78), Fabio Saraiva, Charlie Carter, Dennon Lewis, Gozie Ugwu (Chike Kandi 70), Sam Delano-Yorke (Zak Ansah 78).

Unused subs: Brandon Hall, Ismail Yakubu.

Goal: Saraiva 68.

Attendance: 4,214 (43 from Woking)

COMING UP

The Cards follow Tuesday’s game with a home fixture next Saturday, 4th February, when Solihull Moors are the visitors.

Come on, you Cards!

Battling Woking fall to defeat against Tranmere Rovers

Haydn Cobb
12:00am, Tue 31st Jan 2017
Woking 0 Tranmere Rovers 3
Vanarama National League
31st January 2017

A spirited Woking fell to Tranmere Rovers and failed to put an extra space between themselves and the relegation zone in the Vanarama National League.

In a rescheduled match after the original fixture was postponed by a frozen pitch, Woking battled without reward as key chances went begging in the opening 45 minutes.

The travelling Rovers side were able to pick their moments with two quick-fire goals from Andy Cook and Ben Tollitt at the start of the second half followed by a third and second of the game for Tollitt to kill the game for Woking.

Woking remain 19th in the league, two places and one point above the drop zone, with a key fixture at the weekend against Solihull Moors at the Laithwaite Community Stadium.

Garry Hill made two enforced changes to his starting line-up from the victory away at Eastleigh with the suspended Dennon Lewis replaced by Jake Caprice and Ismail Yakubu deputising for the injured Brain Saah.

With Woking playing their game in hand over the majority of their rivals, after this fixture was postponed by a frozen pitch 10 days ago, any points would have been a vital boost against promotion chasers Tranmere Rovers.

On a rain-soaked Kingfield pitch, Woking had the first clear-cut chance of the match with Fabio Saraiva’s low cross bobbling between the Rovers defenders that fell kindly to Gozie Ugwu but he lashed his effort over the bar.

Midfield maestro Keiran Murtagh had a positive start to the game disrupting Tranmere’s flow and a quick through ball to Ugwu caught the away side’s defence napping, leaving right back Lee Vaughan to cynically bring the forward down.

Saraiva’s resulting free-kick deflected wide but the youngster’s corner found Joey Jones at the back post but his header was snuffed out by a wall of green shirts. Despite the contrasting league placings between the two sides Woking demonstrated how back-to-back wins had given the side a timely confidence boost.

The recalled Caprice was giving Woking the most joy, flying down the right flank and linking well with new signing Macauley Bonne, but the forward was unable to keep a powerful header down.

10 minutes before halftime Woking went inches away from the opening goal when Murtagh spread wide to Caprice and his devilish cross darted between defence and goalkeeper by Bonne’s outstretched foot couldn’t connect to poke it towards the goal.

It was proving a hellish half for Tranmere’s left back Liam Ridehalgh who once again was turned inside out, this time by Murtagh, but his cross narrowly evaded Carter from Ugwu’s nod back across the six-yard box.

Even though Woking had the majority of the chances, the Cards were warned of the threat Tranmere holds when Murtagh was dispossessed on the halfway line and a quick breakaway was wasted by James Norwood who blasted over from 10 yards out.

Halftime: Woking 0 Tranmere Rovers 0

The second half started in a similar vein to the first with the two sides trading chances but it was the traveling side who took the lead after smart work by Tollitt to carve down the inside right flank before cutting back to Cook for his 13th goal of the season.

Woking’s task was made doubly difficult two minutes later when Tollitt scored Tranmere’s second with a powerful low effort on the edge of the box which nestled into the bottom left-hand corner past Michael Poke.

The quick double took the momentum out of Woking as they found themselves trailing despite playing positively and creating chances. The Cards continued to produce impressive attacking football which should please manager Hill, albeit without creating clear-cut chances, but with a two-goal lead Tranmere were content to defend in numbers and counter attack.

With Woking pushing to get back into the match Tranmere’s third duly came with Tollitt charging with the ball half the length of the pitch and dispatched a low finish past Poke for his second of the game.

A spirited Woking continued to battle forward in search of a goal as hopes for a point faded on a night the home side were left ruing their early chances while still level.

Woking: Michael Poke; Jake Caprice, Terell Thomas, Ismail Yakubu, Joey Jones, Fabio Saraiva, Keiran Murtagh (Connor Hall 75), Charlie Carter (Max Kretzschmar 62), Kane Ferdinand, Macauley Bonne (Chris Arthur 75), Gozie Ugwu

Unused subs: Brandon Hall, Luke Kandi

Bookings: Yakubu, Saraiva

Tranmere Rovers: Scott Davies, Lois Maynard, Steve McNulty, Michael Ihiekwe, Lee Vaughan, James Wallace (Jay Harris 58), Jeff Harris, Ben Tollitt, Liam Ridehalgh, James Norwood (Jake Kirby 77), Andy Cook (Cole Stockton 80)

Unused subs: Ian Turner, Andy Mangan

Goals: Cook (52), Tollitt (54, 77)
Bookings: Vaughan

Referee: Carl Brook

Sponsors’ MOTM: Jake Caprice

Attendance: 816
WOKING LINEUP
1Michael Poke
2Jake Caprice
14Fabio Saraiva
3Terell Thomas
4Joey Jones
6Ismail Yakubu
8Keiran Murtagh ('75)
12Charlie Carter ('62)
22Kane Ferdinand
9Gozie Ugwu
23Macauley Bonne ('75)
BENCH
18Brandon Hall
26Chris Arthur ('75)
15Max Kretzschmar ('62)
25Connor Hall ('75)
21Chike Kandi
Tranmere Rovers LINEUP

Woking 0 - 3 Tranmere Rovers (Garry Hill Interview)

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