RAMS FM
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 30th SeptemberSep 2017
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 2479

Woking
Woking
1 - 1

Hartlepool
Hartlepool United

Cards target another home win

Brian Caffarey
9:07am, Thu 28th Sep 2017
Woking v Hartlepool United
Vanarama National League
3pm on Saturday 30 September 2017

A second away win, at AFC Fylde last Saturday, has pushed Anthony Limbrick’s team into the play-off places, only one point off top spot. All credit to Anthony and the side for yet another resilient display, withstanding intense first half pressure to come good after the break. We can expect the Pools to provide a stiff test of the Cards’ excellent home record – five wins out of six to date – so come on down to the Laithwaite Community Stadium on Saturday to watch this exciting, young, committed Woking side face its next big challenge.

WOKING

With the Cards racking up points at home so far, it was only the poor return on the side’s travels that has been holding the team back. But the win at Fylde doubled the points tally away from home and lifted the Cards to sixth place in the table, only one point behind leaders Sutton United, whom Woking beat in the previous, very memorable, home game.

Once again, as against Sutton and Macclesfield, the side had to weather intense pressure in the early part of the game and did well to come in only a goal down at the break, thanks to some terrific defensive work. That was reflected in keeper Nathan Baxter appearing in the Non-League Paper’s ‘team of the day’ for the second week running, joined this time by ‘man of the match’ Josh Staunton. But a special mention must go, too, to midfielder Jordan Wynter, who proved once again a very capable deputy for Richard Orlu in central defence. After the break, the Cards showed once more how dangerous they can be going forward, with a strike from Joe Ward followed immediately by a wonderful header from Jamie Philpot.

With a small squad – and Orlu, Fabio Saraiva, Joey Jones and Louis Ramsay all out injured – Anthony’s ability to give players a rest has been limited, but he has started the last two games with Jamie Philpot, bringing Inih Effiong into the fray in the second half. Last Saturday, he reversed the previous practice of starting with Jason Banton and bringing on Charlie Carter.

It sounds as if Saraiva, Orlu and Jones may not be too far away from contesting at least a place on the bench, but it appears that the talismanic Banton may have been injured in training this week.

HARTLEPOOL UNITED

The Pools were relegated from League 2 last season along with Leyton Orient. Although the club had often struggled historically, the tumble from the League was quite rapid, with the Pools being in mid-table in League 1 as recently as 2012.

In recent years the club’s fame has had more to do with ‘off the pitch’ matters: the election of its mascot, H’Angus the Monkey, as Mayor of Hartlepool and the well-publicised support of Sky presenter, Jeff Stelling.

Craig Harrison was appointed as the new manager in May after previously winning the Welsh League for six consecutive seasons with The New Saints (TNS). Not surprisingly, he carried out much rebuilding of the squad in the summer. Arrivals in defence included keeper Scott Loach, joining from Notts County but with over 150 league appearances for Watford under his belt as well as a call-up to the full England squad in preparation for the Euro 2012 qualifiers; Blair Adams, a commanding centre back whom we’ve seen playing for Cambridge United; Louis Laing, another central defender, joining from Inverness Thistle but with Sunderland, Nottingham Forest, Motherwell and Notts County previously; Keith Watson, a centre back arriving on loan from St Johnstone but previously with Dundee United for eight seasons; and another loanee, 20 year-old Michael Ledger from Sunderland.

Midfield additions include Luke George, who was previously captain at both Southport and Chester; Ryan Donaldson, who looks a very useful addition, having made over 30 appearances for Plymouth Argyle last season and a previous Conference play-off winner with Cambridge United; Jack Munns, joining from Cheltenham, where he was part of their promotion-winning side; Jonathan Franks, returning from Ross County, but with over 140 appearances already for the Pools during his previous spell in 2012-15; and Conor Newton, signing from Cambridge United, for whom he made over 30 appearances.

Up front, the new signing was Jake Cassidy from Guiseley but who played for Harrison at TNS.

Of the players remaining from last season perhaps the best known are skipper, defender Carl Magnay, formerly with Grimsby and Gateshead; midfielder Nicky Deverdics, who has previously proved a thorn in our side when at Dover; and striker Devante Rodney, who joined the club in January from Sheffield Wednesday. The Pools’ large squad includes a good number of Academy players, including 17-year-old striker Connor Simpson, which possibly bodes well for the club’s future.

The Pools had a very uncomfortable start to life in the National League, losing their opening game at home to Dover and going on to gain only one point in the following five fixtures. They then strung together four wins and a draw in the following five games, including beating Leyton Orient away, before coming unstuck last Saturday, with a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Eastleigh. It sounds as if the Pools had plenty of possession but could not make sufficient inroads into a resilient Spitfires’ defence. Hartlepool now sit in 17th place, with 15 points from 12 games. Away from home, they have won two, drawn two and lost two.

Striker Jake Cassidy has been out injured for some time. Last Saturday Luke George, Keith Watson, Michael Ledger and Connor Newton were also all missing for various reasons.

ADMISSION PRICES

This match will be segregated, with Hartlepool fans allocated the Chris Lane Terrace (open, standing) and a section of the covered Leslie Gosden Stand.

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. Saturday’s edition features a ‘where are they now?’ article, with lots of news of former Woking players.

COMING UP

The Cards are away to Chester this coming Tuesday, 3 October. The next home game the following Saturday, 7 October, is another attractive fixture, against John Still’s Dagenham and Redbridge, who show all the signs of putting in another strong promotion challenge this season.

Come on, you Cards!


Cards first draw of the season maintains unbeaten run

Nathan Thomas
9:07pm, Sat 30th Sep 2017
Woking 1 Hartlepool United 1
Vanarama National League
30th September 2017

Two first half goals shared the spoils as Woking faced recently relegated Hartlepool on Saturday afternoon. Jamie Philpott's equaliser on halftime maintained Woking's positive start under Anthony Limbrick. Substitute Inih Effiong hit the bar with virtually the last kick of the game for Woking, preventing the home side from breaking into the top 2.

Woking welcomed Hartlepool United to the Laithwaites Community Stadium stadium on a crisp autumnal Saturday afternoon. Pools, like Woking, had a stuttering start to the National League season but have found better form of late. The Cards were looking to maintain their position in the playoffs with a 6th win from seven at Kingfield- the best home record in the league.

Hartlepool kicked the game off in an all blue and white strip infront of a bumper Kingfield crowd.

Two minutes in and Nathan Ralph dealt with the Pools first attack of the game shepherding the ball out for a goal kick after Carl Magnay's run from full-back. Nathan Baxter was then alert off his line a minute later to claw the ball away from the onrushing Thorne. Woking created the first clear-cut chance of the game in the 11th minute after a neat run by Nathan Ralph created an attack. Regan Charles-Cook twisted and turned and played a through ball into Charlie Carter. But the Woking academy graduate fired a fairly tame shot that Scott Loach parried away.

That same man then caused two strong penalty shouts for The Cards to be waved away in the 18th minute. Tenacious work from The Cards attack allowed Carter to pounce on the loose ball, he was hauled down twice in quick succession but the referee waved them both away. It has to be said Moaners' Corner was particularly disgruntled with the decisions.

A slip from Nathan Ralph allowed Pools a one-on-one opportunity halfway through the first half, but once again Woking keeper Baxter was alert off his line and dived at the attackers feet to prevent the opening goal.

Unfortunately for Woking the opening goal did come for the away side in the 26th minute. The Cards were exploited from a set-piece, a trend that has become familiar in this positive start to the season. A throw-in led to a quick looping cross-come-shot from the left-hand side by Franks. The ball looped all the way to the unmarked Ryan Donaldson who had a free header at the back post. He guided his header back across goal over Baxter, who did get a touch on it but to no avail. 1-0 to the away side.

Woking almost instantly equalised as Joe Ward created another excellent chance for Woking just past the half hour mark, a cute stepover fooled the Pools defence and the square ball found Charles-Cook in space at the back post. The Charlton loanee fired a powerful effort down to Loach's bottom corner but the Pools keeper was equal to it, a similar save to Carters chance earlier in the half.

Hartlepool continued to frustrate the home side in the closing stages of the first half. However, Woking did force the equaliser. Matt Young's awkward looking cross forced a corner for Woking in the two additional minutes. Pools thought they dealt with the set-piece until Chez Isaac chipped the ball back into danger, the ball eventually dropped to Kane Ferdinand in the 6 yard box, Ferdinand was tackled but only into the path of Jamie Philpott. Philpott still had a lot to do but he fired an effort under Loach and in, via a failed Hartlepool clearance off the line. The ball cannoned into the side of the net and the Millwall loanee made it 2 goals in 2 games following his winner away to Fylde last Saturday.

It would have been harsh on the home side to go into the break 1-0 down. Woking had the better of the chances throughout the half and finally broke through the away sides stubborn back line just before halftime.

Half-time: Woking 1 Hartlepool United 1

Woking kicked off the 2nd half attacking a raucous Jewson end. The home side started the 2nd half in forceful mood with two Chez Issac corners unfortunately coming to nothing. Isaac then had a go at goal himself in the 50th minute but his 30-yard volley sailed well over the bar. Chances were at a premium in the opening proceedings of the 2nd half, Charles-Cook nearly created an opening for Ward in the 55th minute but his lofted ball was inches to high for the Woking winger.

The lack of chances prompted the visiting side into making two changes just after the hour mark. One of those subs, Devante Rodney, instantly hit the woodwork in a heart-in-mouth moment for the Woking fans. Josh Stauntons weak header towards Baxter caused Rodney to intercept with his knee, his touch looped fortuitously over Baxter and hit the base of the post, a let off for The Cards.

Shortly after the chance, Woking goalscorer Jamie Philpott was replaced by Inih Effiong. Ralph was then booked for a foul as the visitors looked to spring a quick counter in the 71st minute. It was the visitors turn to have a man in the book as Inih Effiong was clattered down as he tried a quick counter, this time for the home side. The game was even with twenty minutes remaining, despite the lack of chances.

The visitors were awarded a questionable corner with 15 minutes remaining, which The Cards dealt with comfortably. Pools continued to force the issue and had another chance which forced a comfortable save from Baxter in the 75th minute. It was now Woking's turn to have a corner themselves as the half finished with a real end-to-end feel but Isaac's corner was too deep for any Woking head.

The half reached its final stages with both sides enjoying possession and attacks but with no real chances being created. Charles-Cook's deflected effort from long range five minutes from time created another set-piece opportunity for The Cards but again Issac's delivery could not find a teammates head.

The chances finally came for Woking in the three minutes additional time. Bobson Bawling's powerful drive was tipped over superbly by Loach. Agonisingly for The Cards the best chance of the game fell to substitute Effiong with what was virtually the last kick of the game. Bawling's tricky run into the box lead to a square ball into Effiong in the box. The Woking forward crashed a powerful shot from 8 yards out that flew past Loach but cruelly onto the bar. It would have been a perfect end to another strong performance at home for The Cards but they had to settle for a point.

Woking's first draw of the season after 13 games leaves The Cards in 7th place, still in the playoff places. Woking now travel to Chester in buoyant mood following a fruitful unbeaten run.

Woking: Nathan Baxter, Matt Young, Josh Staunton, Jordan Wynter, Nathan Ralph, Chez Issac, Kane Ferdinand, Charlie Carter (Bobson Bawling 74), Joe Ward, Jamie Philpot (Inih Effiong 65), Regan Charles-Cook

Goals: Philpott 45+1

Bookings: Nathan Ralph 70

Unused Subs: Sam Mason, Declan Appau, Fabio Saraiva

Hartlepool: Scott Loach, Carl Magnay, Louis Laing, Liam Donnelly, Nicky Deverdics , Nicky Featherstone, Michael Woods, Lewis Hawkins, Ryan Donaldson (Rhys Oates 63), James Thorne (Devante Rodney 63), Jonathan Franks

Goals: Donaldson 26

Unused subs: Scott Harrison, Connor Newton, Jack Munns

Sponsors motm: Nathan Ralph, another solid display for the young full-back producing a solid showing in defence whilst still creating chances with good crosses.
WOKING LINEUP
1Nathan Baxter
21Matt Young
3Nathan Ralph
5Josh Staunton
15Jordan Wynter
8Chez Isaac
22Kane Ferdinand
12Charlie Carter ('73)
23Joe Ward
11Regan Charles-Cook
20Jamie Philpot ('65)
BENCH
18Sam Mason
17Declan Appau
7Bobson Bawling ('73)
14Fabio Saraiva
9Inih Effiong ('65)
Hartlepool United LINEUP
1Scott Loach
2Carl Magnay
17Nicky Deverdics
14Michael Woods
23Louis Laing
22Liam Donnelly
4Nicky Featherstone
18Lewis Hawkins
7Ryan Donaldson ('63)
12Jonathan Franks
10James Thorne ('63)
BENCH
5Scott Harrison
8Jack Munns
11Rhys Oates ('63)
21Devante Rodney ('63)
24Conor Newton

Woking 1 - 1 Hartlepool United (Anthony Limbrick Interview)

Woking 1 - 1 Hartlepool United (Nathan Ralph Interview)

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