Lovetts
7:45pm - TuesdayTue 21st MarchMar 2017
| Att: 572

Braintree Town
Braintree Town
1 - 3

Woking
Woking

A must win game on Tuesday

Brian Caffarey
1:05pm, Sun 19th Mar 2017
Braintree Town v Woking
Vanarama National League
7.45pm on Tuesday 21 March 2017

Garry Hill has said that this is a game the Cards must win to have any chance of staying up. Cressing Road is not usually a happy hunting ground for Woking sides but the Iron’s home record is fairly poor this season, so this is probably as good an opportunity as Woking are going to get to grab a win from their four remaining away games. Make the trip if you can to cheer on the team!

WOKING

Once again on Saturday the Cards, playing away against a top five side, were pipped at the post, the Heed’s winner coming in injury time after Woking had taken a first-half lead through Terell Thomas. So, the Cards remain in the last relegation place with 38 points from 38 games. Torquay United, one place and one point above them, have a game in hand, while Maidstone, two points away, now have two games in hand. There’s a five-point gap between the Cards and York City in 22nd place but the Minstermen now have two games in hand. Other fixtures on Tuesday evening include Maidstone United v Sutton United, Torquay United v Eastleigh, York City v Southport and North Ferriby United v Tranmere Rovers.

On Saturday Garry Hill started with new loan signing Jamie Lucas up front instead of Delano Sam-Yorke. Nathan Ralph replaced Chris Arthur and Joey Jones was a last-minute replacement for Keiran Murtagh, who had been named on the team sheet.

BRAINTREE TOWN

The Cowley brothers’ capture by Lincoln City also sparked the departure of a good many of the Iron side which did so well to reach the play-offs last season. Only three of the players who formed the nucleus of the side remained in the summer: midfielder Chez Isaac and strikers Michael Cheek and Simeon Akinola. Akinola has since been transferred to Barnet for an undisclosed fee.

Jamie Day, the former Welling manager, who had 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 and who still remain at Cressing Road were Welling’s England C midfielder, Sam Corne; left back Jerome Okimo from Stevenage; right back Jake Goodman, previously with Margate and Millwall; experienced striker, former Don, Lee Barnard; midfielders Jack Midson and Harry Lee; defender Ian Gayle; and ex-Card, keeper Sam Beasant. Unfortunately for Day, the Braintree’s Chairman’s patience ran out after only 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 previously managed at Waltham Forest, Thurrock and Grays Athletic.

Hayrettin has steadied the ship, with the Iron managing to stay just out of trouble, largely thanks to a good away record. New arrivals have included Claudio Dias from Brackley Town; two young defenders on loan from Millwall, Frankie Musonda and Christian Mbulu; speedy Canadian international winger, Kris Tardek, also on loan from Millwall; midfielder Kyron Farrell, yet another loanee from The New Den; 6’4� central defender Manny Parry from Margate; midfielder Alex Henshall, also from Margate but with a pedigree that includes spells at Manchester City, Ipswich Town and Swindon Town; and midfielder Jordan Sanderson from Haringey and Waltham, previously with Colchester United.

Joe Maybanks, a young winger formerly with the Iron’s Academy, has impressed when he’s been given the chance. 

Michael Cheek, the ex-Chelmsford City striker, has continued to shine in attack, having notched 17 league goals. Ipswich Town loanee Monty Patterson will be missing on Tuesday on international duties, whilst Sam Beasant and defender Jake Goodman both missed the Iron’s game against Southport on Saturday through injury.

The Iron now sit in 17th place with 45 points from 38 games. Their home record is surprisingly poor, with only five league wins, four draws and ten defeats, with 19 goals scored and 29 conceded. On Saturday, though, they beat Southport at home 2-0 with both goals coming from Sam Corne.
GETTING THERE

The Ironmongery Stadium, 
Off Clockhouse Way, 
Braintree, 
Essex 
CM7 3RD

Website: www.braintreetownfc.org.uk

By coach

The Cards Trust coach leaves Kingfield at 4pm. £13 members, £18 non-members, with accompanied U16s (maximum two per adult) at £7/£9. Ring (01483 772470) or email (shop@wokingfc.co.uk) to reserve your place or email Alan Barnes on a.barn1572@btinternet.com 
By car

Leave the M25 at J27 and head north on the M11. Leave at J8A and head east on the A120 for 16 miles until you reach the Galleys Corner roundabout, recognisable by the large McDonalds logo. Take the first exit towards Braintree College. This is Cressing Road and the ground is hidden behind new flats (called Iron View, as the higher ones get a free view of the ground) on the left-hand side, 0.7 miles from the roundabout. Look out for the Orange Tree pub on the right-hand side and then take the next turning on the left into Clockhouse Way. There is a small road sign pointing the way on the right-hand side of the road. 

By train

Trains take about an hour from Stratford (which can be reached via the Jubilee Line from Waterloo). Braintree Station is about a 15/20-minute walk from the ground, although there is a taxi rank outside the station. Possible trains and arrival times are: 16.42 (17.39), 17.29 (18.28) and 18.20 (19.19). On the way back you’d want to make a very quick getaway from the ground to catch the 22.00 train, which reaches Stratford at 22.52. The next train after that, at 22.56, wouldn’t get you to Stratford till 23.52.

Exit the station and turn right along the Station Approach. Cross Rose Hill at the pedestrian crossing into Railway Road. Turn right at the traffic lights into Trinovantian Way. This becomes Manor Street and then Lakes Road. After the 'Sportsmans' Snooker Club turn left into Chapel Hill. At triangular junction bear right into Cressing Road and then turn right into Clockhouse Way. Soon after the right-angled bend there is an unmarked road to the right. The ground is at the end of this cul de sac.

ADMISSION PRICES

The Iron operate a differential pricing system for matches. On the assumption that this match is Category B, admission prices will be:

Adults (seats) £17
Concessions £12
Adult (ground) £16
OAP (ground) £11
U16 (ground) £6
U11 (ground) £4

LAST TIME OUT

Woking 2 Braintree Town 3
Vanarama National League
25 October 2016

This game will stick long in the memory of Cards fans since it contained a hugely contentious refereeing decision which could well prove very costly at the season’s end. The Cards had fallen behind early on to a deflected free-kick but had recovered well with goals from Joey Jones and a superb free-kick from Fabio Saraiva. As half-time approached Gozie Ugwu, though in an offside position, latched onto a back pass from a Braintree defender, rounded the keeper and slotted home. Unfortunately for Woking, the linesman had flagged and the referee had blown his whistle before the sequence ended, so the goal was rubbed out in spite of vociferous protests.

The fact that Woking were robbed of a probably decisive 3-1 half-time lead does not, however, excuse a poor second-half performance, which saw the visitors grab their first win under new manager Hakan Hayrettin with goals from Michael Cheek and Simeon Akinola. To make matters worse, the on-loan Matt Tubbs missed an absolute ‘sitter’ for the Cards, striking the bar from only a couple of yards out.

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

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.

Attendance: 1,362

COMING UP

The Cards have a crucial ‘six pointer’ home game against Maidstone United next Saturday (25 March). Turn up and support the side if you possibly can. Make a note now that entry to the Cards’ home game against Macclesfield Town at 3pm on Good Friday (14 April) will be free for U16s and only £10 for adults.


Inspired Cards grab a lifeline

Brian Caffarey
6:31am, Wed 22nd Mar 2017
Braintree Town 1 Woking 3
Vanarama National League
21 March 2017

The Cards grabbed a lifeline last night with this superb display to earn a rare victory at Cressing Road. Garry bravely gambled in resting some key players but it paid off handsomely as the side played with skill and determination to notch three invaluable points, setting themselves up for another hugely important game, against Maidstone United, on Saturday. After undeservedly going behind to a fine Sam Corne strike, Delano Sam-Yorke hit back quickly with two excellent goals to give the Cards a 2-1 half-time lead, with Keiran Murtagh adding a third midway through the second half to seal only the Cards’ fourth league win on their travels.

Garry decided to go with Delano Sam-Yorke and Jamie Lucas up front, leaving top scorer Gozie Ugwu on the bench. Fabio Saraiva also found himself rested, with Joey Jones partnering Keiran Murtagh – fortunately fit enough to start – and Kane Ferdinand in midfield.

Garry’s gamble looked like paying off right from the kick-off, with the front two’s movement, pace and aggression immediately causing problems for the home defence, while Joey Jones and Keiran Murtagh rapidly assumed control of the midfield with some fine control and penetrating passing. Especially notable was Jones’s ability to win the ball, bring it down and pick a pass or drive forward to set up an attacking move.

Sam-Yorke might have got his name on the score sheet as early as the second minute as he latched onto a through ball, forcing the keeper into a good save by his near post. But, in an exciting beginning to the game, the Iron hit back immediately, Michael Poke being forced into a similar save.

Ismail Yakubu, worryingly, found his name in the referee’s book in the 6th minute for a body check but fortunately avoided any similar transgression for the rest of the game in what was also a good defensive display by the central trio in particular, with Jake Caprice much more in evidence as he provided his familiar attacking outlet down the right flank.

Sam-Yorke showed that he was intent on contributing to build-up play, too, as he found Caprice with a sweeping pass, with the latter putting a ball right across the goal shortly afterwards after a corner unnecessarily given away by a hesitant Ben McNamara, standing in for the injured Sam Beasant. Sam-Yorke then tested McNamara again as he aggressively turned inside a defender and shot low.

But Sam-Yorke’s attacking partner, Jamie Lucas, was equally impressive as he chased down balls and showed nice close control. He nearly profited in the 9th minute as he turned a defender in the box, only to see his shot blocked. Three minutes later, he was on the end of a ball slung into the middle, but seeing his shot deflected to provide an easy save for McNamara.

Woking continued to have the best of the attacking play as both strikers rattled the Iron defence, building on the control the Cards were exercising in midfield. But, out of nowhere, in the 21st minute, Braintree took the lead. Sam Corne, scorer of the Iron’s two goals in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Southport, seized on a loose ball about 25 yards out and fired a tremendous effort into the top corner.

Cards fans barely had time to reflect on the injustice of seeing their side go behind after such an impressive start when the side was back on level terms. An incisive move saw McNamara save Ferdinand’s effort on goal but it came out to Sam-Yorke, who rifled home to make it 1-1 with 23 minutes gone.

The excitement continued with Sean Clohessy, a minute later, firing in a shot from out on Braintree’s right flank, which rebounded off the foot of Poke’s far post and away. But that was immediately capped at the other end by a superb goal from the rejuvenated Sam-Yorke. Picking up the ball about 30 yards out, he turned to beat a defender, came inside and lined himself up for a tremendous shot which flew past McNamara to make it 2-1 to the Cards.

Sam-Yorke came close to grabbing a hat-trick a couple of minutes later when Caprice’s cross was headed out to him. He connected well but his shot was blocked, with the ball flying away for a corner. Next it was Lucas’s turn, as Sam-Yorke and Caprice combined, with Lucas flicking a near post cross just wide.

It was not all one-way traffic as, around the half-hour mark, Braintree applied some pressure from corners, the first of which resulted from what was nearly an own goal as a thrashed clearance rebounded off a Woking player, going narrowly wide.

But the Cards quickly regained the attacking initiative, with Lucas’s impressive pace pushing Braintree back into their corner before tussling in the box. As the half drew to a close the Cards applied patient pressure down the right – though Garry Hill was clearly irritated that the chance wasn’t taken to get the ball into the box at some point. Keiran Murtagh had a fine snap shot saved at the near post before a couple of Braintree attacks petered out, with Chez Isaac scooping well over.

The half ended with Woking fans having enjoyed an excellent display from their side but aware that a third goal would be needed before they could begin to feel at all confident of three points.

Half-time: Braintree Town 1 Woking 2

The Cards started the second half on the front foot with a nice move involving Murtagh and Caprice – a constant outlet on the right. Jones had a good chance to grab that third goal only two minutes later as he rose to connect perfectly with a Murtagh corner but, unfortunately, directing it straight into McNamara’s hands. The pressure continued as McNamara was forced to come out of his area to head the ball away as Sam-Yorke threatened. There was some anxiety at the other end as a Brian Saah miskick enabled Braintree to threaten down Woking’s left flank, with Chris Arthur eventually blocking a cross. A quick break out of defence saw Caprice and Murtagh combining again down the right before Lucas went down in the area. From a distance it looked as though he was tripped but the referee clearly thought otherwise as he added his name to his book!

The Cards continued to press, with Lucas cleverly winning a corner, which in turn saw Jones rise again, trying this time to find a team mate. Jones was soon catching the eye again in midfield as his excellent control enabled him to turn defence into attack after Terell Thomas had provided good cover to foil an attempted break by Braintree.

Around the 60 minute mark the home side had a period of pressure as they sought, more through persistence than any inspired football, to force their way back into the game. Midson, off target all night, headed over when he ought to have done better.

Garry Hill brought on Gozie Ugwu for Lucas in the 66th minute, with the latter receiving deserved applause from Woking fans for an impressive display. He was perhaps unlucky to be substituted but Ugwu almost immediately set up the third goal, pulling the ball back for Murtagh to calmly side-foot his shot out of McNamara’s reach.

At this stage of the game one noticed Ferdinand’s contribution in midfield as his harrying and tackling often prevented Braintree from initiating any sustained attacking moves as the Cards sought to defend their two-goal lead. But it was not a case of simply falling back and inviting Braintree to take the initiative. Woking continued to mount a series of attacks, especially down the right flank, with Sam-Yorke just foiled after linking up with Ugwu.

Garry Hill brought Charlie Carter on for Murtagh, no doubt resting the latter with Saturday’s game in mind. As the game moved into the final ten minutes of normal time, the home side pushed forward more. Midson headed wide from a deep cross and substitute Alex Henshall had a fierce effort saved low down by Poke, the ball squirming away for one of several late corners, all defended stoutly.

After another Midson header well over the bar, the Cards relieved the pressure with a fast break out of defence, Ugwu racing clear but preferring to run towards the corner rather than attempting to play the ball across to Sam-Yorke, still backing up energetically in this late stage of the game.

There was just time for Henshall to drive forward and blast well over before the referee signalled the end of four minutes of stoppage time and Woking management, players and fans alike could celebrate a terrific performance and those much-needed three points. With most other results going Woking’s way, the Cards moved up to 19th place, above Saturday’s visitors, Maidstone United, on goal difference but with the Stones having two games in hand.

Braintree Town: Ben McNamara, Sean Clohessy, Jerome Okimo, Christian Mbulu, Manny Parry, Sam Corne (Lee Barnard 77), Chez Isaac, Reece Hall-Johnson (Alex Henshall 59), Kris Twardek (Joe Maybanks 72), Jack Midson, Michael Cheek

Unused subs: Kyron Farrell, Frankie Musonda

Goal: Sam Corne 21

Woking: Michael Poke, Jake Caprice, Ismail Yakubu, Terell Thomas, Brian Saah, Chris Arthur, Keiran Murtagh (Charlie Carter 77), Joey Jones, Kane Ferdinand, Delano Sam-Yorke, Jamie Lucas (Gozie Ugwu 66)

Unused subs: Brandon Hall, Ben Morris, Fabio Saraiva

Goals: Delano Sam-Yorke 23, 25, Keiran Murtagh 69

Booked: Ismail Yakubu, Jamie Lucas

My MOTM: Hard not to give it to Delano for such a brilliant first half in particular but Joey Jones (pictured) gets my vote for an inspired 90 minute plus display in midfield.

Attendance: 527
Braintree Town LINEUP
WOKING LINEUP
1Michael Poke
2Jake Caprice
26Chris Arthur
3Terell Thomas
5Brian Saah
6Ismail Yakubu
4Joey Jones
8Keiran Murtagh ('77)
22Kane Ferdinand
17Delano Sam-Yorke
25Jamie Lucas ('66)
BENCH
18Brandon Hall
12Charlie Carter ('77)
14Fabio Saraiva
9Gozie Ugwu ('66)
29Ben Morris

Braintree Town 1 - 3 Woking (Garry Hill Interview)

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