Boz's Fruit & Veg
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 18th FebruaryFeb 2017
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 1386

Woking
Woking
0 - 0

Southport
Southport

Saturday's six-pointer

Brian Caffarey
9:16pm, Wed 15th Feb 2017
Woking v Southport
Vanarama National League
3pm on Saturday 18 February 2017

Please make every effort to come down to the Laithwaite Community Stadium on Saturday to support the Cards in this vital ‘six pointer’ against Southport, who lie only two places and three points behind Woking. Garry Hill’s side battled their way to three points on Tuesday evening against Solihull Moors but a win against a fellow ‘struggler’ would be a particularly valuable boost in the fight to avoid relegation. Come down early and watch the Burnley v Lincoln City tie in the Cardinals Bar, which will be open from 12 noon.

WOKING

It was a hard-fought win on Tuesday evening against a very competent Solihull Moors side, whose pace up front caused some anxious moments for the home rearguard, especially in a nerve-wracking climax which brought some terrific saves from Michael Poke and some admirable last-ditch defending. It was relief all round for the Woking management team, the players and fans when the referee blew the final whistle to cement a 2-1 victory.

Garry Hill had made only one change from the line-up at Lincoln City, with Nathan Ralph coming in to replace Chris Arthur at left wingback. Chris wasn’t even on the bench, so was presumably injured. The Cards took an early lead through Terell Thomas but were pegged back in the second half as the Moors applied a good deal of pressure. But, far from deflating the side, the equaliser seemed to cause them to ‘up’ their game, aided by the fresh legs of Charlie Carter and Connor Hall. Once again, the Cards were indebted to Fabio Saraiva for netting the crucial second goal, but the whole team gave their all on a tiring pitch.

The win kept the Cards in 19th place, now with 33 points. Guiseley’s injury-time winner over Sutton United moved them up to 20th place, still one point behind Woking. Maidstone United and Southport are both on 30 points, while York City and North Ferriby United both have 27 points, with York having a game in hand on all the clubs around them.

SOUTHPORT

Southport, like Woking, have struggled all season. Like the Cards, too, the main problem has been their away record, which is identical to Woking’s: three wins, two draws and 11 defeats. Both sides have conceded 36 goals on the road, but Southport have only netted 12 goals in comparison with Woking’s 20.

A more notable difference is that Southport are now on their third manager of the season, Andy Preece having been handed the reins after Steve Burr’s dismissal – which a number of Port fans felt was premature. Burr succeeded Andy Bishop. It says something about both clubs that during Garry Hill’s six years and more at Kingfield Southport have gone through ten managers.

Last Saturday, in Preece’s first game in charge, Southport suffered their fifth straight defeat, going down 4-1 at home to Dagenham and Redbridge. By all accounts they played well for the first half hour, taking the lead, before defensive errors allowed the Daggers to score three times before the interval.

Andy Bishop sought to strengthen the squad in the summer. Those arrivals who still remain include John Cofie, who was with AFC Telford last season but who was the subject of a £1m transfer from Burnley to Manchester United as a 14-year-old; experienced midfielder Ashley Grimes, another recruit from Barrow; and defender Neil Ashton, yet another Barrow recruit but who played over 200 times for Wrexham. Top scorer Louis Almond and captain Gary Jones re-signed but Almond left to join Tranmere Rovers for an undisclosed fee in September and Jones is now on a season-long loan at Altrincham.

Burr’s reign saw a number of further additions, including Robbie Cundy, a 19-year-old central defender on loan from Oxford United; Delial Brewster, a 19-year-old forward from Everton; Aaron Jones, a central defender most recently playing in Norway; Magnus Norman, first choice keeper on loan from Fulham (former Card Mason Springthorpe deputised for him in the Port’s last game); Jack Higgins, a defender on a season-long loan from York City; and Euan Murray, a defender from Barrow. Preece was hoping to bring in some new faces before the Woking game. (Later: Preece has added French midfielder, Kevin Da Veiga Monteiro from Welsh side Airbus and winger/striker Lindon Meikle on loan from Barrow.)

ADMISSION PRICES

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

LAST TIME OUT

Southport 2 Woking 1
13 August 2016

The Cards travelled to this match following the disappointment of only drawing midweek at Solihull Moors, squandering a two-goal lead in the last 20 minutes. That, in turn, followed a decisive opening day defeat at home to Lincoln City. Southport, for their part, had lost both their opening games by a three-goal margin.

Once again, Woking travelled back at the end of the evening rueing dropped points. They had the better of the first half, taking the lead through a fine strike by Dennon Lewis in the 13th minute. However, a clumsy challenge by Keiran Murtagh five minutes later allowed Louis Almond to equalise from the spot. It was still 1-1 at the break, Gozie Ugwu having spurned a couple of good chances in the closing stages.

Southport came more into the game in the second half but it looked as though the Cards would share the points until, two minutes from time, player/manager Andy Bishop teed up Almond for a precise finish.

Southport: Ty Belford, Andrai Jones, Neil Ashton, Liam Nolan, Josh Thompson, Ross White, James Caton (Keil O’Brien 90), Gary Jones ©, James Gray (Andy Bishop 67), Louis Almond, Jamie Allen (Ashley Grimes 74)

Subs not used: Ryan Crump, Connor McCarthy

Goals: Louis Almond (18, 88)

Woking: Michael Poke, Jake Caprice, Ben Gordon (Charlie Penny 61), Joey Jones, Brian Saah, Keiran Murtagh ©, Gozie Ugwu (Chike Kandi 74), Zak Ansah (Anthony Edgar 82), Nathan Ralph, Fabio Saraiva, Dennon Lewis

Subs not used: Charlie Carter, Brandon Hall

Goals: Dennon Lewis (13)

Attendance: 702

COMING UP

The Cards’ next home game is on Tuesday evening (21 February) when they entertain Knaphill in the Quarter-Final of the Surrey Senior Cup. In the National League, Garry Hill’s side continue their run of tough away fixtures when they travel to Forest Green Rovers the following Saturday (25 February). Their next home game is on Tuesday 28 February when they entertain another top side, Dover Athletic.


Come on, you Cards!


Woking draw against stubborn Southport

Haydn Cobb
12:00am, Sat 18th Feb 2017
Woking 0 Southport 0
Vanarama National League
18th February 2017

Woking were held to a goalless draw stalemate against fellow relegation fighters Southport after neither side could craft a clear chance at the Laithwaite Community Stadium.

Despite a promising first half without goals, Hill’s Woking side came up against a stubborn Southport side and even though both sides held the two worst defensive records in the league this season neither side could find a cutting edge as the game looked destined to end in a frustrating draw.

With results around Woking not going their way the Cards have slipped to 20th place and sit just one spot and one point above the relegation zone but with a much healthier goal difference than the teams below them.

Hill made two changes to the team which clinched victory against Solihull Moors on Tuesday night with Chris Arthur returning from injury at left back and Max Kretzschmar replacing Macauley Bonne in attack.

Under bright blue skies both sides took the opening 15 minutes to ease into the game wary not to be exposed at the back considering Southport hold the worst defensive record and Woking the second worst in the league.

The home side had the first genuine chance of the match when Arthur’s dinked cross found Gozie Ugwu whose header back across goal narrowly evaded Kretzschmar who stretched in vain to divert it on target.

A smart switch in play between Fabio Saraiva and Ugwu saw the striker turn past Southport captain Euan Murray and went down under the defender’s challenge but referee Steven Rushton waved away penalty claims.

As the first period wore on Southport were gradually forced backwards and, from a free kick, Ismail Yakubu found himself free from his marker at the back post but his header was directed straight at goalkeeper Magnus Norman.

Woking’s attacking flow, which has provided Hill’s team best performances this season, started to click with Saraiva beating his marker with a lovely turn to set free Jake Caprice on the right flank. His low cross was sweetly flicked on by Ugwu but it again missed Kretzschmar at the far post for what would have been a simple tap in.

Halftime: Woking 0 Southport 0

With chances few and far between after the interval Hill looked to shake up his attack just after the hour mark by putting on Macauley Bonne for Kretzschmar to have two centre forwards alongside Ugwu. The change put renewed impetus into the home side with Bonne heading the ball on to the charging Kane Ferdinand but his effort whistled over the crossbar.

Given the two sides’ situation at the bottom half of the league table, as the game remained goalless entering the final 15 minutes tension grew within the Laithwaite Community Stadium having witnessed an edgy encounter against Solihull Moors on Tuesday night.

The Woking boss aimed to inject fresh pace into the attack with Dennon Lewis coming on in the number ten role with Saraiva filling in a left back for Arthur, with Connor Hall also added into the forward line for the final ten minutes.

Despite Woking’s tireless effort it was the visitors who had a late spell of pressure with a series of lofted balls into the box but the Cards defence stood firm and Michael Poke made one smart save to keep hold of a point.

Woking now face difficult games back-to-back against playoff contenders, with a trip to Forest Green Rovers next weekend followed by Dover Athletic’s trip to Kingfield at the end of February.

Woking: Michael Poke; Jake Caprice, Terell Thomas, Ismail Yakubu (Connor Hall 81), Joey Jones, Chris Arthur (Dennon Lewis 76); Keiran Murtagh, Kane Ferdinand, Fabio Saraiva; Max Kretzschmar (Macauley Bonne 66), Gozie Ugwu

Unused subs: Brandon Hall, Charlie Carter

Southport: Magnus Norman; Ryan Higgins, Rory McKeown, Ross White, Andrai Jones; Jamie Allen, Euan Murray, Liam Nolan, Lindon Meikle; Liam Hynes, Jim Stevenson

Unused subs: Mason Springthorpe, Declan Weeks, Ban McKenna, Ashley Grimes, Neil Ashton

Referee: Steven Rushton

Attendance: 1368

Sponsors’ (Stelrad and City Plumbing) MOTM: Terell Thomas
WOKING LINEUP
1Michael Poke
2Jake Caprice
26Chris Arthur ('76)
3Terell Thomas
4Joey Jones
6Ismail Yakubu ('81)
8Keiran Murtagh
14Fabio Saraiva
22Kane Ferdinand
9Gozie Ugwu
15Max Kretzschmar ('66)
BENCH
18Brandon Hall
12Charlie Carter
16Dennon Lewis ('76)
23Macauley Bonne ('66)
25Connor Hall ('81)
Southport LINEUP

Woking 0 - 0 Southport (Garry Hill Interview)

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