Seymours
7:45pm - TuesdayTue 12th SeptemberSep 2017
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 1402

Woking
Woking
2 - 1

Solihull
Solihull Moors

Cards target fourth home win

Brian Caffarey
12:11pm, Sun 10th Sep 2017
Woking v Solihull Moors
Vanarama National League
7.45pm on Tuesday 12 September 2017

The Cards will be hoping to make it four wins out of five home games at the Laithwaite Community Stadium on Tuesday evening, putting aside the disappointment of their defeat at Maidstone United on Saturday. Come on down to cheer on Anthony Limbrick’s side to what we hope will be three more points!

WOKING

With only three points from five away games, it’s inevitable that there is added pressure to pick up points at home, especially against sides like Solihull Moors who – no disrespect intended – are not likely to be front runners in this league. So, Anthony will be very keen – as in the recent game against Torquay – to grab all three points on Tuesday evening.

The Cards performed quite well at times on Saturday with some pleasing passages of play in midfield areas, but did not threaten enough up front - Inih Effiong had little service and wasn’t really able to get into the game - and were not tight enough at the back. Nevertheless, the Cards were perhaps a bit unlucky to go in 1-0 down at half-time, having hit the post and having had a goal-bound header cleared off the line before Zavon Hines’s unstoppable strike gave the Stones the lead. The home side’s second goal was well constructed but the Cards looked capable of getting a point when Joe Ward pulled a goal back from a good cross from Jamie Philpot. But a defensive lapse – Matt Young being dispossessed in a dangerous area from an unwise crossfield ball from Joe Ward – enabled the Stones to close out the game comfortably. Jordan Wynter deputised for the missing Richard Orlu and performed capably. Regan Charles-Cook was lively, if a little wayward, when he came on, but neither Bobson Bawling nor Jamie Philpot (apart from the assist) looked like changing the course of the game.

The defeat dropped Woking to 16th in the table with 12 points from nine games.

Nathan Baxter and Regan Charles-Cook both had loan spells with the Moors last season and both appeared in the Cards’ nervy win here in February (see below).

SOLIHULL MOORS

The Moors, the result of a merger in 2007 between Solihull Borough and Moor Green, came up to the National League as champions of the Conference North at the end of the 2015-16 campaign. Their then manager Marcus Bignot moved on to join the management team at Grimsby Town in November 2016 and was replaced by Liam McDonald, a young manager who had made a strong impression in his previous roles at Redditch United and Hednesford Town.

The Moors did well in their first season in the National League to just about keep clear of a relegation dogfight, ending in 16th place with 55 points, two points and two places above the Cards.

McDonald has still got several players whom he brought in from Hednesford Town: defender Callum Flanagan and midfielders Simeon Maye, Ashley Sammons and George Carline. Other players still with the club from last season include keeper Nathan Vaughan, scorer of the winning goal recently at Torquay United and voted the National League’s ‘player of the month’, midfielder Shepherd Murombedzi, defenders Joel Kettle and Kristian Green and striker Oladapo Afolayan.

The best-known arrival in the summer was 33-year-old former Premiership midfielder Darren Carter, who was part of the promoted Forest Green Rovers side last season. The successful Stourbridge Town side was raided for midfielder Tom Tonks, and strikers Luke Benbow (39 goals last season) and Chris Lait, who started his career at Solihull. Two promising young loanees have arrived from Birmingham City: keeper Connall Trueman and defender Dan Cleary, who was with Liverpool’s Academy for four years. Another loanee is defender Fiacre Kelleher, joining from Oxford United. Striker Jermaine Hylton arrived from Swindon Town, having previously played for McDonald at Redditch. Experienced midfielder Paul Green, former captain of Tamworth and a former team mate there of McDonald’s, joined. Three trialists taken on were striker William Mellors-Blair, a former Manchester United youngster who played for Detroit City in the USA before returning to join Carlton Town last summer; striker Tristan Dunkley, previously with several Midland sides; and defender Jordan Cullinane-Liburd.

More recently, striker Shomari Barnwell has left by mutual agreement because of travelling difficulties but a big boost was the return of former captain, defender Liam Daly, who had left in the summer to take up a full-time contract with Kidderminster Harriers. Two arrivals on loan are 20-year-old WBA striker Tahvon Campbell and Brentford B captain, creative midfielder Zain Westbrooke.

The Moors had an unfortunate start to the season when their first scheduled fixture, at home to Chester FC, was postponed because the ground had not received a safety certificate. It’s been fairly tough, too, once the season started, with only two wins so far, away to Torquay United and in the rescheduled home game against Chester last Tuesday. Yesterday the Moors lost 1-0 at home to Macclesfield, with Darren Carter missing a penalty, and are now 22nd in the table with seven points from nine games.

ADMISSION PRICES

Adults £18
Over 65s £13
Disabled (Including carer) £13
Students (U19) £5
U16s £5

Season ticket holders have the chance to sample the delights of the Geoff Chapple Lounge for only £36. See the website for details.

MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

Don’t forget to grab a copy of ‘Cardinals’. Only £3 for interviews, previews, match reports, Academy updates and great photos. Tuesday’s edition features an interview with Chez Isaac.

LAST TIME OUT

Woking 2 Solihull Moors 1
Vanarama National League
14 February 2017

An entertaining game, with plenty of goalmouth action and a spot of ‘handbags’ after the final whistle, eventually saw Woking securing the vital three points after a nail-biting end to the match.

Woking took the lead very early on with a headed goal from Terell Thomas. They failed to build on that advantage, looking second best to a lively Moors side, and were pegged back by an equaliser – ironically, with hindsight, from Regan Charles-Cook – just before the hour. As the game swung either way, the Cards retook the lead with a fine Fabio Saraiva goal in the 73rd minute, and hung on despite away team pressure that appeared to have secured them a point in a mad goalmouth scramble in added time which ultimately revealed Michael Poke clinging on desperately to the ball.
 
Woking: Michael Poke, Jake Caprice, Nathan Ralph (Charlie Carter 63), Ismail Yakubu, Joey Jones, Terell Thomas, Keiran Murtagh ©, Kane Ferdinand, Fabio Saraiva, Gozie Ugwu, Macauley Bonne (Connor Hall 63)

Unused subs: Brandon Hall, Dennon Lewis, Max Kretzschmar

Goals: Thomas 2, Saraiva 73

Solihull Moors: Nathan Baxter, Shepherd Murombedzi (Harry White 67), Liam Daly ©, Joel Kettle, Calum Flanagan, Kristian Green, Simeon Maye (Oladapo Afolayan 84), Omari Sterling-James, George Carline, Nortei Nortey (Jack Byrne 67), Regan Charles-Cook.
Unused subs: Ashley Sammons, Pearson Mwanyongo.

Goals: Charles-Cook 59

Attendance: 1,000

COMING UP

The Cards have another big home game this coming Saturday, when Sutton United visit the Laithwaite Community Stadium. They will no doubt bring plenty of fans after their fine start to the season, so come on down for what promises to be a lively afternoon.

Come on, you Cards!


Cards notch fourth home win

Brian Caffarey
9:32am, Wed 13th Sep 2017
Woking 2 Solihull Moors 1
Vanarama National League
12 September 2017

The Cards grabbed their fourth win out of five at home in a game of wildly contrasting halves. Woking dominated the first period, enjoying overwhelming possession as they passed the ball patiently, eventually taking the lead in the 30th minute through a fine strike from the menacing Josh Banton. But, with the gusty wind and rain in their favour after the break, the Moors took the game to the Cards for a lengthy period and, just as Woking seemed to be getting back into the game, equalised in the 74th minute through a Darren Carter penalty. However, the Cards rallied, with substitute Charlie Carter scoring the winner eight minutes later with a deft finish after excellent work from Joe Ward and Louis Ramsay.

Anthony Limbrick made two changes from the side which started at Maidstone in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat. In came Ramsay at right back for Matt Young, and his ability to get down the flank at pace proved a real asset on the night. There was also a starting berth for the lively Regan Charles-Cook, replacing Carter. Both Charles-Cook and Nathan Baxter had played for the Moors in last season’s corresponding fixture.

As the rain set in, the Cards, kicking towards the KRE, were fast out of the block. Inih Effiong almost gave the side a first-minute lead, half gaining control of a ball from Chez Isaac before striking the near post with a left-footed effort. Ramsay then showed a clean pair of heels down the right, his cross being cleared for a corner.

The Cards’ confident, bright, start continued, with Ramsay again overlapping well at the end of a fine move, the Moors keeper parrying the cross to safety. The visitors sat back and seemed content to allow Woking to pass the ball around in front of them and from side to side. The question was whether anyone could turn all the possession into an incisive move into the box. Jason Banton looked the most likely to achieve this, showing an ability to glide past players and attempting an early one-two with Effiong which presaged the later breakthrough.

But it was Ward who then went closest, skipping past two players before unleashing a mighty effort from 30 yards, which the Moors keeper managed to palm out for a corner. Jordan Wynter, a capable deputy again for Richard Orlu in central defence, had a great chance from Isaac’s corner to put the Cards in front, planting a free header over the bar.

Woking continued to probe, with the only potential danger appearing to be the risk of over-confidence in playing the ball out from the back. A wild effort from Banton was followed by Josh Staunton going close from a corner, his downward header being blocked. The ball came out to Banton but he could not get his shot away in time.

The virtual one-way traffic continued but with a tendency for moves to break down on the edge of the area. Nathan Ralph, having another splendid game at right back, won a corner in the 26th minute from which Isaac sent in a fierce attempt, which was blocked. But a warning sign for the Cards came as the Moors broke quickly, Afolayan blasting wastefully high and wide.

More Woking pressure followed as Banton’s shot was blocked and then a clever one-two between Banton and Effiong saw the latter scoop a shot just over the bar. Almost immediately, the two reversed the combination, Effiong subtly playing in Banton, who made space in the box before finishing clinically into the corner to put the Cards 1-0 up after 30 minutes.

The visitors’ first real threat on the Woking goal came from a wicked Darren Carter free-kick, which a diving Nathan Baxter did well to punch away. Not long afterwards the experienced midfielder threatened again as he looked to break through the middle of the Woking defence before being crowded out.

Ralph’s pace off the mark enabled him to nick the ball away from an opponent to play in Charles-Cook, who produced a powerful low drive, which the Moors keeper parried away. As half-time approached, Ward, Effiong and Banton all attacked promisingly, with Banton going on a weaving run just before the whistle blew.

The Cards had played some attractive football but a one-goal lead did not reflect their dominance. Would it prove enough?

Half-time: Woking 1 Solihull Moors 0

The doubts intensified immediately the second half started. With the gusty wind strengthening and the rain swirling in the Cards’ faces, a much more aggressive Moors side took the game to the Cards, pumping the ball forward at every opportunity. In a messy start to the half – which saw a fracas after Ramsay had retaliated to a foul, wrestling his opponent to the ground – the Cards found themselves penned back, having difficulty getting any real possession, let alone returning to the passing game of the first half. Not that the Moors created many chances themselves but, after a shot from Ofolayan was blocked, they did come close to equalising in the 59th minute, with Baxter somehow emerging with the ball after a scramble from a corner. He was then forced to field a decent effort from distance.

It took Woking a good quarter of an hour to launch their first threatening attack, Ward scampering down the right to feed Banton. His cross looked tempting but no one seemed to want to pull the trigger and the move ended lamely as the ball was passed out for a goal kick. Another attacking break from Isaac ended with a cynical foul – not the first or last of the night – while Banton’s free-kick cannoned off the wall for a corner. Ralph and Ramsay put in respectable crosses before a ‘heart in the mouth’ moment as Wynter came close to passing the ball back beyond Baxter. A strong run from Ralph earned a corner, which Staunton headed wide, stretching.

The Moors threatened as the Cards’ defence stopped to claim offside, but the equaliser quickly followed. Carter did well to block the initial shot but after the ball had seemed to run away from an attacker, the latter was rashly barged over. The other Carter sent Baxter the wrong way to make it 1-1 from the spot in the 74th minute.

Bobson Bawling came on for a tiring Banton, Charlie Carter having already replaced Charles-Cook. Carter’s and Effiong’s persistence gained a corner but as the ball was cleared Bawling lost control and the break was only foiled by Baxter kicking the ball clear: he had not looked the favourite to get there first as he charged out of his area.

Effiong’s powerful run was poorly rewarded by the referee’s awarding a goal kick, to the amazement of fans in the LGS. But the next attack produced the winning goal. Ward made good progress down the right, slipping the ball to Ramsay. The young full back did brilliantly to get round the defender and pull the ball back to Carter, who deftly steered the ball home from a tight angle. 2-1 to the Cards!

A superb piece of skill from Ward encouraged thoughts of a third goal but his pull back was cleared. Bawling too went on an enterprising run, wriggling past two defenders but his cross was also hammered away.

With a minute of normal time to go, the Moors pressed hard for an equaliser. After the ball had ricocheted around the area, the final shot went wide. There was a final scare for the Cards as Baxter had to parry a cross up into the air but a defender completed the job.

In added time Effiong had an excellent chance to add a third goal. The ball broke quickly to Bawling on the right, who sent the bustling number 9 clear of the defence. But his first touch was far too strong, enabling the Moors keeper to clear.

With four minutes of added time up, the Cards could celebrate a well-deserved three points, although the victory was much harder to achieve than anyone would have guessed at half-time. There was a lot to admire in Woking’s performance, with fine performances all round and with the side clearly demonstrating the style of football Anthony Limbrick has targeted, but they will reflect on the importance of taking full advantage when on top. League leaders Sutton United on Saturday seem likely to present the strongest challenge so far to Anthony’s young side.

Woking: Nathan Baxter, Louis Ramsay, Jordan Wynter, Josh Staunton, Nathan Ralph, Kane Ferdinand, Chez Isaac, Joe Ward (Jamie Philpot 90), Josh Banton (Bobson Bawling 74), Regan Charles-Cook (Charlie Carter 65), Inih Effiong

Unused subs: Sam Mason, Matt Young

Goals: Jason Banton 30, Charlie Carter 82

Booking: Louis Ramsay

Solihull Moors: Connal Trueman, Kristian Green, Darren Carter, Joel Kettle, Shepherd Murombedzi, Jordan Liburd, Oladapo Afolayan, Paul Green (Fiacre Kelleher 87), Liam Daly, Tahvon Campbell (Tristian Dunkley 63), Ben Fox (Kalern Thomas 41)

Unused subs: Nathan Vaughan, Daniel Cleary

Goal: Darren Carter (pen) 74

Bookings: Paul Green, Shepherd Murombedzi, Jordan Liburd, Kalern Thomas

Sponsors’ MOTM: Chez Isaac (pictured)

Attendance: 1402
WOKING LINEUP
1Nathan Baxter
2Louis Ramsay
3Nathan Ralph
5Josh Staunton
15Jordan Wynter
8Chez Isaac
22Kane Ferdinand
11Regan Charles-Cook ('65)
23Joe Ward ('90)
10Jason Banton ('74)
9Inih Effiong
BENCH
18Sam Mason
21Matt Young
7Bobson Bawling ('74)
12Charlie Carter ('65)
20Jamie Philpot ('90)
Solihull Moors LINEUP
1Connal Trueman
2Kristian Green
5Joel Kettle
22Paul Green ('87)
7Shepherd Murombedzi
12Jordan Cullinane-Liburd
4Darren Carter
26Liam Daly
17Oladapo Afolayan
31Tahvon Campbell ('63)
33Ben Fox ('41)
BENCH
3Kalern Thomas ('41)
19Tristian Dunkley ('63)
23Nathan Vaughan
29Daniel Cleary
30Fiacre Kelleher ('87)

Woking 2 - 1 Solihull Moors (Anthony Limbrick Interview)

Woking 2 - 1 Solihull Moors (Chez Isaac Interview)

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