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3:00pm - SaturdaySat 2nd SeptemberSep 2017
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Macclesfield Town
Macclesfield Town
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Woking
Woking

Cards hope to get off mark on travels

Brian Caffarey
5:57am, Thu 31st Aug 2017
Macclesfield Town v Woking
Vanarama National League
3pm on Saturday 2 September 2017

The Cards will be buoyed by their comprehensive defeat of Torquay United last Saturday but this game will be a very different proposition. The Cards’ record at The Moss Rose over the years has been very poor and the present Woking side has yet to gain a point away from home. So, the odds will be very much on a home win. Can Anthony Limbrick’s side produce a surprise, though, and get off the mark on their travels?

WOKING

It felt as though there was a lot riding on last Saturday’s game against Torquay United. The Cards were in danger of slipping into the bottom four and they went into the match on the back of disappointing performances in their previous two outings. Fortunately, bottom-of-the-table Torquay, missing some key players and in disarray on and off the field, proved to be the ideal opponents: wide open at the back, little threat up front and lacking authority in midfield. Once Woking had taken the lead in the 23rd minute, the Gulls’ resistance largely fell away.

All credit, though, to the Woking side for making the most of their opportunity, scoring four fine goals and generally looking much livelier in spite of the unusual Bank Holiday warmth. It was particularly welcome to see two midfielders, Kane Ferdinand and Charlie Carter, getting up in support to score two of the goals, while fellow midfielder Chez Isaac won the sponsors’ ‘man of the match’ award. Jason Banton, starting for the first time and on till just beyond half-time, showed that he can offer the guile and invention which the side had tended to lack in previous games. Inih Effiong provided some great ‘hold up’ play and the talented Joe Ward was more prominent than in recent games. At the back, Richard Orlu and Josh Staunton looked comfortable in central defence. Bobson Bawling assuaged his disappointment in not starting by coming off the bench to score a superb goal.

Joey Jones and Fabio Saraiva were both still missing on Saturday. While Fabio seems likely to be out for a while longer, Anthony will no doubt be hoping that Joey will be available.

MACCLESFIELD TOWN

The Silkmen, who were relegated back to the Conference at the end of the 2011-12 season, have usually found themselves challenging – but eventually falling short – for a play-off place in subsequent seasons. Last year was no different, with the club finishing in 9th place. Macclesfield reached the Final of the FA Trophy but lost to York City.

Like most National League clubs, the Silkmen have had a huge turnover in personnel this summer, with manager John Askey, in charge since the summer of 2013, bringing in no fewer than 15 new players. They include ex-Woking keeper, Shwan Jalal, returning to The Moss Rose after a spell at Wrexham, and his competitor for the number one shirt, Billy O’Brien, formerly captain of Manchester City’s reserve side. New defenders are highly-experienced Keith Lowe and Jared Hodgkiss, both from Kidderminster Harriers; Josh Thompson, who moved as a teenager from Stockport County to Celtic and has since played for Portsmouth and Colchester; Kieran Kennedy, most recently with Motherwell and AFC Fylde; and Adam Yates, on a short loan from Port Vale and with over 300 League appearances under his belt. In midfield a key signing was that of Elliot Durrell, a goalscoring midfielder who was a mainstay of Chester’s side last season. He is joined by ex-Torquay captain, Courtney Richards; Noe Baba, a Cameroonian U21 international previously with Fulham and Birmingham City; 19-year-old Ryan Lloyd, on a season-long loan from Port Vale; and Koby Arthur, another young recruit from Birmingham City, who had a loan spell at Cheltenham last season. It has been all change up front, too, with three new signings: Tyrone Marsh, with Dover last season; French striker Gime Toure; and Scott Wilson, formerly with Bristol City, Weston-super-Mare and Eastleigh.

Perhaps the most important signing, however, was the renewed contract for influential midfielder Danny Whitaker, with over 400 appearances for the Silkmen over two spells. Also remaining from last season are defenders David Fitzpatrick and George Pilkington; and midfielder Mitch Hancox.

Macclesfield have made an encouraging start to the season, having gained 11 points from seven games. A 1-0 opening day win at Wrexham was followed by draws at home to Hartlepool and Bromley. Defeats ensued at Sutton and Gateshead but the Bank Holiday saw wins over Dover at home and Chester away.

GETTING THERE

The Moss Rose Stadium
London Road
Macclesfield
Cheshire
SK11 7SP

Official website: www.mtfc.co.uk

By coach
The Cards Trust is not running a coach to this game since there were insufficient ‘takers’ in advance to avoid an unacceptable loss on the cost of coach hire. The Trust is intending to run a coach to the game at Maidstone United on Saturday 9 September. Ring or email the Club Shop to book your place (01483 772470 or shop@wokingfc.co.uk).

By car
Exit the M6 at junction 17 (Sandbach) and follow the A534 to Congleton. From here take the A536 to Macclesfield (Macclesfield is signposted from the motorway). After passing the 'Millers' pub on the left continue for about 1/4 of a mile and take the first right after the speed camera onto Moss Lane. Follow Moss Lane until you reach the ground. There are brown signs indicating the way to Moss Rose. There is plenty of street parking near the ground but beware of parking restrictions in some places.

By train
Direct trains leave Euston on the hour and take I hour 41 minutes e.g. the 12 noon train gets into Macclesfield at 13.41. Other, slightly slower, trains leave at 20 minutes past the hour and involve a change at Stoke-on-Trent e.g. the 11.20 from Euston arrives would get you to Macclesfield at 13.11. Direct trains back are at 56 minutes past the hour e.g. the 17.56 arrives at Euston at 19.39. Trains via Stoke leave at 26 or 27 minutes past the hour e.g. the 17.27 should get you to Euston at 19.22. The ground is about a 20-minute walk from the station. Leave the station and turn left up Sunderland Street until you reach a major crossroads at the war memorial. Turn left here and follow the road for about a mile.e eave the station and turn left up Sunderland St until you reach a major crossroads at the war memorial. Take the left here

ADMISSION PRICES

Adults: £15 / £19
Concessions (Over 65): £10 / £15
Under 25s: £5
Under 12s (accompanied by adult): £3

The prices quoted are for standing/seated tickets purchased on the day. Cheaper tickets can be purchased in advance (e.g. by phoning 01625 264686 or by visiting www.mtfcdirect.co.uk)

Away fans are accommodated in the John Askey Stand (open terrace) or the visitors’ section in the Moss Lane Stand.

LAST TIME OUT

Woking 1 Macclesfield Town 0
Vanarama National League
14 April 2017

A win in this nail-biting game saw the Cards remain just above the relegation places on goal difference, with three games to play.

Just before half-time the Silkmen’s Chris Holroyd crashed a scissor-kick against the Woking bar but the decisive moment came in the 61st minute when Danny Whitaker tugged back Kane Ferdinand in the penalty area. Substitute Gozie Ugwu nervelessly converted.

Both sides created opportunities, with Michael Poke making a crucial save just before the final whistle.

Woking: Michael Poke, Terell Thomas, Ismail Yakubu (c) (Charlie Carter 61), Brian Saah, Jake Caprice, Joey Jones, Keiran Murtagh, Kane Ferdinand, Nathan Ralph, Jamie Lucas (Gozie Ugwu 46), Delano Sam-Yorke

Unused subs: Brandon Hall, Fabio Saraiva, Connor Hall

Goals: Ugwu (61 pen)

Macclesfield Town: Craig Ross, Andy Halls, John McCombe, George Pilkington, David Fitzpatrick, Danny Whitaker, Ollie Norburn (Danny Whitehead 85), Luke Summerfield (Mitch Hancox 63), Jack Mackreth (James Thorne 71), Chris Holroyd, Reece Browne

Unused Subs: Scott Flinders, Neill Byrne

Attendance: 2,068

COMING UP

The Cards have another testing away game, at Maidstone United, on Saturday 9 September. Their next home game is against Solihull Moors on Tuesday 12 September, followed by another home game, against Sutton United, on Saturday 16 September.


Come on, you Cards!

Woking’s history boys finally break Macclesfield away hoodoo

Malcolm Wyatt
12:00am, Sat 2nd Sep 2017
Macclesfield Town 1 Woking 3
2nd September 2017
Vanarama National League

Two decades after their last win at Moss Rose, Woking came from behind to secure their first three-pointer on the road this season, one seemingly against all odds.

A pulsating encounter was open right until Inih Effiong’s 89th-minute decider put the match beyond doubt, yet on another day both sides might have shipped half a dozen goals.

Ultimately, a host outfit full of attacking verve was thwarted by keeper Nathan Baxter, a determined defence and the woodwork, following a spirited shift from Anthony Limbrick’s young visitors.

Pulling back from behind through Jason Banton’s 27th-minute deflected goal, Woking forged ahead through Joe Ward before the break, keeping their nerve from there in an often frantic, nervy encounter.

And then came that sweet Effiong finish, Limbrick’s Cards up to ninth in the table – impressive for a side seemingly bereft of ideas in the first half at Wrexham seven days earlier.

Signs of improvement beyond 4pm at the Racecourse gave rise to an inspirational Kingfield win over Torquay two afternoons later, that shooting practice coming in handy as the Cards started September in style.

On a sunny afternoon west of the Peak District, visiting skipper Richard Orlu soon tested John Askey’s Silkmen with a header from industrious Chez Isaac’s first corner.

But Danny Whitaker was soon a threat at the other end, with great service from Elliott Durrell, whose first strike on goal went wide, Baxter soon in the thick of it.

Tyrone Marsh also became a further threat, while a 25-yard Dorrell effort went close, the Cards backing off, and Isaac intercepted as Whitaker threatened from lively Frenchman Gime Toure’s through-ball.

Banton cleared the next home corner and Baxter cut out a Toure drive, home pressure increasing, Macc’s breakthrough arriving as Marsh’s throw fed unmarked Durrell, who rose well to head across goal and home, his first goal for the club.

The same man was afforded further space in the following attack, spotting Baxter off his line and trying a cheeky lob, the hosts in command.

Josh Staunton got the better of Whitaker after an exchange of passes with Durrell, Macclesfield dictating the pace, while as Woking countered, Ward collected in the centre-circle and almost put Effiong in.

Matt Young broke on the right but was snuffed out, the Cards struggling to find a killer pass until Kane Ferdinand fed Banton, the midfielder taking his time before shooting on goal, a deflection wrong-footing ex-Woking keeper Shwan Jalal, who lost the ball over his shoulder.

Woking were almost in again a minute later, Ward with a couple of half-chances and Charlie Carter also close to netting, Jalal making up for before.

A further spell of home pressure followed, Toure kept out by Baxter, who then denied Durrell after a Whitaker long shot, the visitors’ defence rocking.

Ward struggled to capitalise on a neat Nathan Ralph left-wing break and lay-off, before Durrell came close with an audacious 40-yard effort and Marsh was unlucky with a header after Toure’s long ball caused problems.

Marsh was almost in again, as Durrell looked to thread through, but then came Woking’s second goal, against the run of play, Effiong and Banton combining, the latter laying off to Ward, who still had plenty to do, drawing Jalal then planting past the ex-Card, the ball slipping in off the right post.

Nervous moments ensued, Scott Burgess’ lob followed by an attack in which Young was floored, Toure tenacious by the left byeline, cutting back to Whitaker, the alert Ralph clearing off the line with Baxter beaten.

Half time: Macclesfield Town 1 Woking 2

Ralph was again to the rescue early in the second half, neatly timing a challenge from behind as Marsh, put in by Toure, limbered up to finish from close range, the defender then heading away from a corner.

As Woking countered, Carter found the side-netting after a deep Banton free-kick, Macclesfield struggling to clear, with Louis Ramsey soon replacing Young, both players putting in fine shifts.

Isaac stopped Durrell as the Silkmen came again, with Whitaker next in on goal following Keith Lowe’s long ball, keeping his poise and firing, Baxter beaten but seeing the ball smack his left post and cleared.

As the hosts threatened again, Kane Ferdinand cleared one cross while Banton cut out another from Adam Yates, while on the break Banton and Effiong traded passes before the latter hit the post, the ball rolling across the face of goal before Yates cleared.

From Durrell’s next cross, Josh Staunton headed behind, Isaac clearing from the next corner, another change following, debutant Regan Charles-Cook replaced Banton after his latest fine contribution.

Baxter was soon back in the soup, the Cards inviting pressure and the keeper spreading himself to check Marsh’s finish and Whitaker’s follow-up, luck remaining with the visitors.

Mitch Hancox was next to trouble the visitors, Baxter happily seeing his effort go wide, Ramsey cutting out his next cross, Scott Wilson soon refreshing the home attack.

Marsh struck over and Whitaker fed Wilson only for a raised flag, while Ramsey headed behind as the Silkmen pushed again, Baxter then fetching Durrell’s corner at the near post and Orlu smacking into touch as Wilson delivered.

Ferdinand intercepted and cleared the next searching ball, then Lowe’s poor finish brought groans from frustrated home fans, Woking remaining vulnerable.

Ralph made two more important touches as the hosts continued to stream upfield, hobbling Orlu taking forever to depart, his armband passed to Isaac, Ferdinand moving back, and Jamie Philpot joining the action.

Still the pressure came, Whitaker setting up another Marsh half-chance, Ramsey ushering back to Baxter with Wilson lurking, the next effort well wide, with the visitors struggling to keep possession at the other end.

Yet Philpot struck wide from an Effiong lay-off and Charles-Cook beavered away before that killer third goal on the break, Effiong winning on the edge of the box, Carter dinking over a defender and Effiong racing on to smash home, Limbrick and deputy Jason Goodliffe ecstatic.

Four added minutes followed, Baxter again denying Durrell, while Wilson’s effort was deflected for a corner, Staunton, Baxter and Ward also clearing before the final whistle and joy for staff and fans alike.

So, after seven league defeats and three draws at Moss Rose, victory at last, all the more pertinent with Geoff Chapple there to witness it, having been in charge 22 years earlier as Clive Walker’s penalty ensured an FA Trophy quarter-final win.

Woking went on that season to what proved to be the second of three Wembley successes in four years during the mid-90s. Let’s not get carried away, but maybe good times are around the corner again.

Macclesfield Town: Shwan Jalal, David Fitzpatrick, Keith Lowe, Elliott Durrell, Tyrone Marsh, Kieran Kennedy. Mitch Hancox, Adam Yates, Gime Toure (Koby Arthur 81), Scott Burgess (Scott Wilson 70), Danny Whitaker.

Unused subs: Courtney Richards, Billy O’Brien, Noe Baba.

Goals: Durrell 18.

Yellow card: Toure 63.

Woking: Nathan Baxter, Nathan Ralph, Josh Staunton, Richard Orlu © (Jamie Philpot 83), Chez Isaac, Inih Effiong, Jason Banton (Regan Charles-Cook 60), Charlie Carter. Matt Young (Louis Ramsay 52), Kane Ferdinand, Joe Ward.

Unused Subs: Bobson Bawling, Sam Mason.

Goals: Banton 27, Ward 41, Effiong 89

Referee: Savvas Yianni.

Attendance 1,289 (60 away fans).

My MOTM: Nathan Ralph – a goal-line clearance and several timely interceptions where less thought might have brought a dismissal. And those were just the headline moments. Led by example, one of several star turns giving their all, all over the pitch.
Macclesfield Town LINEUP
1Shwan Jalal
3David Fitzpatrick
4Keith Lowe
16Mitch Hancox
18Adam Yates
15Kieran Kennedy
7Elliott Durrell
20Scott Burgess ('70)
23Danny Whitaker
8Tyrone Marsh
19Gime Toure ('81)
BENCH
9Scott Wilson ('70)
10Courtney Richards
13Billy O Brien
14Noe Baba
22Koby Arthur ('81)
WOKING LINEUP
1Nathan Baxter
21Matt Young ('53)
3Nathan Ralph
5Josh Staunton
6Richard Orlu ('83)
8Chez Isaac
22Kane Ferdinand
12Charlie Carter
23Joe Ward
10Jason Banton ('60)
9Inih Effiong
BENCH
18Sam Mason
2Louis Ramsay ('53)
7Bobson Bawling
11Regan Charles-Cook ('60)
20Jamie Philpot ('83)

Macclesfield Town 1 - 3 Woking (Anthony Limbrick Interview)

Macclesfield Town 1 - 3 Woking (Inih Effiong Interview)

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