Specsavers
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 9th SeptemberSep 2017
| Att: 2527

Maidstone United
Maidstone United
3 - 1

Woking
Woking

Cards seek more joy on the road

Brian Caffarey
8:54am, Thu 7th Sep 2017
Maidstone United v Woking
Vanarama National League
3pm on Saturday 9 September 2017

The Gallagher Stadium in November last season was the scene of Woking’s long-awaited first away win, with the Cards producing a surprisingly dominant performance. Last Saturday’s unexpected triumph at the Moss Rose means that Cards fans haven’t had to wait as long this time round for three points on the road. Can Anthony Limbrick’s side, now in 9th spot, build on that great result with more joy on their travels? But Maidstone are unbeaten at home, so it will undoubtedly require another very committed performance. Make the journey if you can to cheer on the Cards! Take it easy and book your place on the Cards Trust coach.

WOKING

The 3-1 win at Macclesfield Town was certainly a notable occasion, given the Club’s terrible record there and the fact that the present side had not fared well on their away fixtures so far. It’s clear that the result could have gone either way in a game of multiple chances but the really impressive feature was the way Anthony’s side battled away under what was at times very intense pressure. In a strong team performance mention has to be made of some terrific goalkeeping from Nathan Baxter, more exceptional defending from Nathan Ralph, yet another promising contribution from Jason Banton, a superb finish from Joe Ward and a towering display from the inexhaustible Inih Effiong.

New loan signing, Regan Charles-Cook, made his debut off the bench, but there will be concern about the injury to Richard Orlu, especially since the squad doesn’t include another specialist central defender to take his place.

MAIDSTONE UNITED

The Stones’ first season in the National League proved testing at times. After a decent start their form slipped and they found themselves joining us in trying to stave off relegation. But the club and manager Jay Saunders held their nerves commendably and they rallied strongly to finish in 14th place.

With their ambitions reflected in improvements to their impressive new stadium by the River Medway, the Stones will be looking to consolidate their National League status this season and perhaps push for a play-off place. But it’s been a bit of a mixed bag so far, with the Stones losing two and drawing two of their first four games. But then came good wins over Wrexham at home and Sutton United away, followed by a draw at home to Dagenham and Redbridge. But reports suggest that the Stones played poorly in their 3-1 defeat at Hartlepool last Saturday. That result leaves them in 19th position, with 9 points from 8 games. They are unbeaten at home, though, with one win and three draws.

There has been the usual infusion of new players in the summer. In defence, the Stones have brought in Alex Finney, on loan from QPR till January; Alex Wynter, most recently with Portsmouth and Colchester, for whom he made over 50 appearances; Joe Anderson, who once had a loan spell with Woking when he was at Fulham, subsequently joining Bromley, racking up over 150 appearances; Josh Hare, signed from Eastbourne Borough but who had four years at Gillingham.

In midfield new arrivals are Harley Willard, previously with Arsenal and Southampton; the highly-experienced Jai Reason, who made over 250 appearances for Eastleigh before ending last season at Boreham Wood; Reece Prestedge, converting his loan spell from Bromley into a permanent move; Stuart Lewis, previously on loan from Ebbsfleet, but with a great deal of Football League experience; and Tom Wraight, who hit 21 goals for East Thurrock last season.

Up front, the player who has been catching the eye is Zavon Hines, a former England U21 international who made over 20 appearances for West Ham but who has since failed to really make his mark at a number of League clubs, including, most recently, Southend United. Delano Sam-Yorke was of course another acquisition, joining from Woking after impressing in his loan spell at the Gallagher Stadium. The Jamaican international, Jamar Loza, has converted his loan spell from Norwich City into a permanent move, as has Joe Pigott, who was on loan from Cambridge United. Jack Richards has come up through the Stones’ youth set-up, while Johan ter Horst, is a former Folkestone Invicta player who made the huge leap to sign for Hull City in 2014.

Players remaining from last season include experienced keeper Lee Worgan, defenders Magnus Okwonghue and Seth Nana Twumasi and midfielders Harry Phipps and Jack Paxman.

Departures included Yemi Odubade (back with Eastbourne Borough), Alex Flisher (to Margate), Kevin Lokko (to Stevenage but loaned out to Dagenham and Redbridge) and Bobby Joe-Taylor (to Ebbsfleet United).

GETTING THERE

Gallagher Stadium
James Whatman Way
Maidstone
Kent
ME14 1LQ

Website: www.maidstoneunited.co.uk

By coach

The Cards Trust coach leaves the Laithwaite Community Stadium at 12.30pm and costs £15 for members and £20 for non-members, with accompanied U16s at £8/£10 (a maximum of two with one adult). Phone (01483 772470) or email (shop@wokingfc.co.uk) the Club Shop today to book your place.

By car

M25, M26, M20 (junction 6). Follow signs to Maidstone on the A229. The ground is in the town centre, by the river, on James Whatman Way (third exit at the White Rabbit roundabout). But please note that the parking at the ground is all allocated and there is no point turning into James Whatman Way unless you have a parking place.

Car parks (pay and display) are located at Invicta House (five minutes’ walk, ME14 2UY), Maidstone East Train Station (seven minutes’ walk, ME14 1QN) and Fremlin Walk (seven minutes’ walk, ME14 1PS). Maidstone Lions operate a charity car park at Maidstone Job Centre Plus (Staceys Street, ME14 1ST) on matchday Saturdays.

If you fancy a walk along the River Medway to the ground, park at Lockmeadow Centre on Barker Road (ME16 8LW). Cross Lockmeadow Millennium Bridge and pass All Saints Church and the Archbishops’ Palace, along the towpath to The Gallagher Stadium.

By train

The quickest route is to take a train from London Victoria to Maidstone East, which is only a short walk from the ground. Come out of the station and turn left on the main road.  At the end of this road you will see the ground – just cross the dual carriageway by the pedestrian crossing. Trains go at 22 and 52 minutes past the hour and take about an hour. So, the 12.22 arrives at 13.18, the 12.52 at 13.55 and the 13.22 at 14.18. Returning, trains are at 10 and 33 minutes past the hour.

ADMISSION PRICES

Adults: £15
Concessions (65+/students with valid ID): £12
Youth (11 to 16 year olds): £7
Junior (Under 11): £2
Stand seat plus £2 on the above prices – subject to availability.

LAST TIME OUT

Woking 2 Maidstone United 4
Vanarama National League
25 March 2017

This was a shattering defeat for the Cards. Going into this game, on the back of a fine 3-1 away win at Braintree Town, the Cards stood in 19th place, ahead of the Stones on goal difference but with the latter having two games in hand. There was added interest in Delano Sam-Yorke lining up against the side with whom he had just enjoyed such a successful loan spell and who had then made an offer for him.

Woking bolted into a two-goal lead thanks to early strikes from Delano and Jamie Lucas (now with Bath City). A quick-fire response by Maidstone United’s Jamar Loza halved the deficit before the break and, despite a spirited display, the home side succumbed in a disappointing second half, conceding three goals without response as Loza grabbed two more to complete a hat-trick while former Cards loanee Yemi Odubade piled on the misery with a late fourth for the Stones.

The defeat left the Cards in 20th place, one point above the drop zone with six games left to play.

Woking: Michael Poke; Chris Arthur, Terell Thomas, Ismail Yakubu (Fabio Saraiva 66), Jake Caprice (Zak Ansah 78); Keiran Murtagh, Joey Jones, Kane Ferdinand; Jamie Lucas (Gozie Ugwu 57), Delano Sam-Yorke

Unused subs: Brandon Hall, Charlie Carter

Goals: Sam-Yorke 13, Lucas 25

Maidstone United: Lee Worgan; Tom Mills, Jamie Coyle, Kevin Lokko, Seth Nana Twumasi; Joe Pigott (George Oakley 90), Stuart Lewis, Jack Paxman (Yemi Odubade 66), Alex Flisher, Reece Prestedge, Jamar Loza (Harry Phipps 85)

Unused subs: Bobby-Joe Taylor, Magnus Okuonghae

Goals: Loza 29, 68, 75, Odubade 82

Attendance: 2,088

COMING UP

The Cards have two consecutive home games coming up. On Tuesday (12 September) Solihull Moors are the visitors, followed on Saturday 16 September by high-flying Sutton United, who will be sure to bring plenty of fans. Make sure both dates are firmly in your diary!

Come on, you Cards!

P.S. If you’re not travelling to Maidstone, why not pop down to the Laithwaite Community Stadium and see the young Cards play Leatherhead in the Suburban League? Kick-off is at 3pm and admission is only £4 for adults and £2 for concessions.

Cards fail to make it 3 from 3 on the 3G

Albert Cole
12:00am, Sat 9th Sep 2017
Maidstone United 3 Woking 1
Vanarama National League
9th September 2017

Woking failed to win three successive league games throughout the whole of the 2016-17 season, and they fell short again in the early September sunshine at the Gallagher Stadium, in front of an excellent crowd of 2,527.

The Cards made one change from the side that triumphed 3-1 at Macclesfield seven days earlier, Jordan Wynter coming into the side in place of the injured skipper Richard Orlu and slotting straight into the Centre Back position alongside Josh Staunton. With vice-captain Joey Jones still not fit enough even for the bench, Chez Isaac took the armband.

The Stones started the brighter of the two teams, and within the first minute Zavon Hines tried his luck from the edge of the box, Nathan Baxter collecting at the second attempt with Delano Sam-Yorke lurking. Not more than a minute later, ex-Card Sam-Yorke fired over as Maidstone immediately took the game to the visitors. At the other end though, good interplay in midfield set up Jason Banton for a shot, but he fired just over. All this within the first five minutes!

Woking lived dangerously as Isaac dallied on the edge of the box and lost possession, but the defence held firm and eventually got the ball away. In the fourteenth minute, Inih Effiong won a corner down the Woking left, the ball was worked to Isaac who found Staunton who had a free header inside the box, but his effort was cleared off the line by another ex-Card in the shape of Joe Anderson. Less than a minute later, Banton weaved his way into the box and his low ball in was deflected towards his own goal by Prestedge, the ball rolling agonisingly against the base of the post before being cleared to safety.

The home side should have taken the lead in the 20th minute, Josh Hare picking out Joe Pigott with a fine cross from the right, but the striker, despite rising well to a free header, couldn’t keep his effort down. Up the other end, and Joe Ward was off target with a rising shot from the edge of the box. The hard-working Nathan Ralph then blocked Sam-Yorke’s cross out for a corner to the hosts.

A goal was coming from somewhere, and unfortunately it was the Stones that got it in the 34th minute. Zavon Hines, probably Maidstone’s outstanding player on the day, was given too much space in the box and he confidently fired his shot high into the roof of the net past Baxter’s despairing dive.

Woking tried to respond, Banton driving into the box and cutting in on his left foot, but his low shot was well stopped by Worgan in the home goal. Just before half-time, Effiong won a free kick right on the edge of the box, but Banton’s delivery from such a promising position was poor, his floated ball in evading everyone and harmlessly drifting out for a goal kick. There was still time for another ‘hearts in mouths’ moment for Cards fans; Kane Ferdinand playing a sloppy back pass to allow Johan ter Horst in on goal, but his effort was superbly tipped onto the post by Baxter.

Half-Time: Maidstone United 1 Woking 0

The early sunshine was replaced by dark clouds and even a few spots of rain as the teams emerged for the second half. Maidstone quickly looked to extend their lead as Pigott played in ter Horst, but he was flagged offside as Baxter saved.

Woking’s final ball had been their downfall in the first half, and it proved to be the case again in the 51st minute as Ward found Isaac who worked it out to Banton, but the hosts’ defence easily snuffed out any danger.

Woking’s first substitution came in the 57th minute, on loan signing Regan Charles-Cook replacing Charlie Carter. The substitute quickly did well to win a corner, but again it was to come to nothing. Bawling then replaced Banton, still feeling his way back after his long injury lay-off from the start of the season.

Just two minutes on from the second substitution, in the 67th minute, the hosts increased their lead, and there was an inevitability about the scorer. Stones sub Jai Reason fed Sam-Yorke on the edge of the area, and the former Card curled a lovely shot into the far corner, leaving Baxter no chance. Woking countered with their third and final substitution, on-loan Millwall striker Jamie Philpot coming on for Chez Isaac as Woking chased the game, the skipper’s armband passing to Nathan Ralph.

The game looked over in the 70th minute as Maidstone had the ball in the net for a third time, but the referee had spotted a high foot.

Two minutes later and Woking had a way back. Sub Philpot did superbly down the right and his ball in was well controlled by Joe Ward, who smashed it home to give the Cards hope.

Hope, though, lasted all of four minutes. Hero Ward turned villain with a poor pass to Matt Young, who also dithered and lost possession too easily. The exciting Hines squared the ball for Pigott who made no mistake into the far corner.

Matt Young, largely ineffective, capped off a poor afternoon by getting himself booked after a late challenge on Hines. A few minutes later and it could easily have been four as the Woking back line parted to let in Prestedge, but his low drive from 25 yards was well saved by Baxter. Hines then got away down the left and fed in Sam-Yorke, but his effort was well blocked. Maidstone continued to press in the closing stages; sub Jack Paxman firing just over and in injury time Sam-Yorke won a free kick on the edge of the Woking box, Reason curling his effort just over the bar.

At the death Ward got going down the left flank and pulled the ball back to Charles-Cook, but his strike was just the wrong side of the upright, before the referees’ whistle bought the curtain down on a disappointing and frustrating afternoon for the Cards.

Anthony Limbrick and Jason Goodliffe will be concerned about the number of goals being conceded – that’s 16 now in just 9 games, although Woking definitely missed the presence and organisation of skipper Richard Orlu this afternoon. It is to be hoped that he returns quickly. As for the players, in truth this was a disappointing performance and they never really got going. There was a lot of appealing and not playing to the whistle, as well as petulant and unnecessary arguments with the referee – and each other!

They need to regroup quickly, as attention now turns to Tuesday night and the visit of struggling Solihull Moors, in what looks like being – even at this early stage of the season – a very important game, before Sutton United make the short trip down the A3 next Saturday.

Maidstone: Lee Worgan ©, Josh Hare, Reece Prestedge, Alex Wynter, Magnus Okuonghae, Stuart Lewis, Delano Sam-Yorke, Joe Anderson, Johan ter Horst, (Jai Reason 59), Zavon Hines, (Jack Richards 85), Joe Pigott (Jack Paxman 81)

Unused Subs: Alex Finney, Seth Nana Twumasi

Goals: Hines 34, Sam-Yorke 67, Pigott 76

Yellow Card: Hines 53

Woking: Nathan Baxter, Nathan Ralph, Josh Staunton, Chez Isaac ©, (Jamie Philpot 69), Inih Effiong, Jason Banton, (Bobson Bawling 65), Charlie Carter, (Regan Charles-Cook 57), Jordan Wynter, Matt Young, Kane Ferdinand, Joe Ward

Unused Subs: Louis Ramsey, Sam Mason

Goal: Ward 72

Yellow Cards: Wynter 62, Young 77, Philpot 87

Referee: Alan Dale

Attendance: 2527

My MOTM: Nathan Ralph – a steady, composed performance from the young left-back, a stand-out performer in what was generally an underwhelming Cards performance.
Maidstone United LINEUP
1Lee Worgan
2Josh Hare
6Magnus Okuonghae
8Stuart Lewis
13Joe Anderson
5Alex Wynter
4Reece Prestedge
27Zavon Hines ('85)
22Johan ter Horst ('59)
9Delano Sam-Yorke
32Joe Pigott ('81)
BENCH
3Alex Finney
10Jack Paxman ('81)
14Jai Reason ('59)
16Seth Nana Ofori-Twumasi
23Jack Richards ('85)
WOKING LINEUP
1Nathan Baxter
21Matt Young
3Nathan Ralph
5Josh Staunton
15Jordan Wynter
8Chez Isaac ('68)
22Kane Ferdinand
12Charlie Carter ('57)
23Joe Ward
10Jason Banton ('65)
9Inih Effiong
BENCH
18Sam Mason
2Louis Ramsay
7Bobson Bawling ('65)
11Regan Charles-Cook ('57)
20Jamie Philpot ('68)

Maidstone United 3 - 1 Woking (Anthony Limbrick Interview)

Maidstone United 3 - 1 Woking (Josh Staunton Interview)

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