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7:45pm - TuesdayTue 3rd OctoberOct 2017
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Cards seek another away win

Brian Caffarey
7:18am, Sun 1st Oct 2017
Chester v Woking
Vanarama National League
3pm on Tuesday 3 October 2017

The Cards, still in the play-off places after Saturday’s draw against Hartlepool United, make the long trip to Chester on Tuesday evening. If they play with the confidence and determination they showed on Saturday, there is no reason why they can’t make it two wins on the road in a row.


Anthony Limbrick’s side played well on Saturday against a gritty Pools side. Once again, they showed the resilience to come back from a goal down and, on the balance of play, were perhaps unlucky not to take all three points. Jamie Philpot equalised with virtually the last kick of the first half and substitute Inih Effiong almost clinched it at the death, his effort slamming against the crossbar. Kane Ferdinand and Chez Isaac were superb as a midfield fulcrum, with the defence looking very solid too. It was hard to make decisive inroads into an obdurate Pools back line, but Regan Charles-Cook buzzed menacingly. Joe Ward didn’t see quite enough of the ball to turn threat into real substance. All that was missing was the second goal but some of the passages of play were a delight to watch.

The Cards are now 7th in the table with 22 points from 13 games, two points behind leaders Dover Athletic.

It sounds as if Jason Banton, injured in training during the week, won’t be available for Tuesday’s trip and probably for the game against Dagenham too. It was good to see Fabio Saraiva’s return to the bench after his recovery from the injury he sustained in the first game of the season.


The Blues have had a miserable 2017 so far but will be hoping that the corner has now turned following the appointment of Marcus Bignot as their new manager and their first home win of the calendar year. Bignot was the successful manager of Solihull Moors till November 2016, when he was lured away to manage Grimsby Town, a post from which he was dismissed in April this year.

Last season Chester started the campaign strongly but their form fell away disastrously and they ended up only just avoiding relegation. They stuck with manager Jon McCarthy but their patience ran out following a 2-0 defeat at Solihull Moors. At that stage the Blues had won only one of their opening eight games and had not won at home since December 2016. A temporary management team led by Tom Shaw saw the Blues suffer two more defeats and a draw before Bignot, in his first game in charge, led them to a 2-0 home win over Maidenhead United on 23 September. On Saturday their game at Eastleigh was called off due to the state of the Spitfires’ pitch – but not before they had made the very long trip to the south coast. Chester sit in 21st place with 11 points from 12 games. At home they have won one game, drawn three and lost two.

In the summer the club lost striker James Alabi to Tranmere Rovers and saw young defender Sam Hughes move to Leicester City. McCarthy also released half a dozen players, bringing in a number of new faces. These included keepers Alex Lynch, formerly with Wycombe Wanderers, and Conor Mitchell, on loan from Burnley. In defence arrivals were Andy Halls, an England C cap who was captain of Macclesfield last season and previously with Stockport County; Lathaniel Rowe-Turner, a left back from Torquay United but with previous spells at Luton and Kidderminster among other clubs; captain John McCombe, another signing from Macclesfield, who had made over 200 appearances for Port Vale before joining York and Mansfield; and Nathan Sheron, on loan from Fleetwood Town.

In midfield McCarthy brought in Kingsley James, rejoining from Macclesfield after having been ever-present in the 2015-16 season; and Paul Turnbull, arriving from Barrow, but previously with Macclesfield, Northampton Town and Stockport County.

Up front, another popular returnee was striker Ross Hannah, arriving from Barrow but who has also had spells at Bradford City and Grimsby; and Harry White, who scored 12 goals in 33 appearances for Solihull Moors last season.

Among those remaining from last season are defender Ryan Astles; club record appearance holder, midfielder Craig Mahon; highly-experienced midfielder Tom Shaw; and striker James Akintunde, previously with Cambridge United.


Swansay Chester Stadium
Bumpers Lane

Official website:

By coach

The Cards Trust is not running a coach to this game.

By car

Head for the M25 and then travel north by M40, M42 and M6 till J16, joining the A500 (Crewe/Nantwich), subsequently following the A51 (Chester/Wrexham), the A49 (Warrington/Chester) and the A51 again (Chester). Follow the signs for Chester City Centre. At the Bars roundabout take the first exit onto the A5268 (North Wales/Wrexham), stay in left-hand lane and continue through traffic signals and at the Grosvenor roundabout take the third exit (A5268 Motorways M53/M56 All through traffic). At Watergate junction take A548 (Queensferry) and then at traffic signals turn left onto Stendhal Road (Sealand Industrial Estate) and bear right onto Bumpers Lane.

Parking at the ground costs £2. There is also parking in the industrial estate near the ground.

By train

It’s not possible to do the return trip in a day for an evening game. Going there, the journey takes about two hours from London Euston. The 16.10 would get you to Chester at 18.08, whilst the 16.40 arrives at 18.46 via a change at Crewe.

The ground is just over two miles from the station, so it would be best to take a taxi or go by bus. Buses run from the City Centre Bus Exchange. You will need to catch the No 10A which by-passes Bumpers Lane. You will then need to walk up Bumpers Lane for half a mile to the football ground. 


Adults £18/£15
Concessions £12/£10
U21s £10
16/17s £5
5-15 £3
U5s Free


Chester 2 Woking 3
Vanarama National League
17 April 2017

A stoppage time penalty converted by Gozie Ugwu completed a remarkable comeback for Woking and secured a vital three points on the road on Easter Monday. 

With Woking’s position in the National League looking precarious going into the Easter period, spirits were raised following the single goal victory over Macclesfield Town on Good Friday, and Woking started this match in positive mood and on the front foot against a Blues side which had lost three in a row and were now only four points above the Cards.

Woking started strongly and ought to have taken the lead when Delano Sam-Yorke had the goal at his mercy, albeit from a narrow angle. But the home side gradually grew in confidence and had the better of the last part of the first half.

Woking took the lead in the 53rd minute when Brian Saah swept home a half-volley after a corner was only partly cleared. The home side struck back immediately, Liam Davies scoring with a fine header from a great cross by Wade Joyce.

Things looked ominous for the Cards in the 82nd minute when Elliot Durrell put Chester 2-1 up, netting a cross from James Akintunde. Garry Hill threw on young loanee Connor Hall, who scored with his first touch, converting Keiran Murtagh’s cross. On 90 minutes the Cards were then awarded a penalty for handball. Keeper Lynch got a hand to Gozie Ugwu’s spot kick but couldn’t prevent it reaching the net.

The Cards’ defence then held firm to see out added time to secure a remarkable and hugely valuable win.

Chester: Alex Lynch, Luke George ©, Ryan Astles, Theo Vassell, Sam Hughes, Elliott Durrell, Tom Shaw, Ryan Lloyd, Wade Joyce (James Akintunde 73), Liam Davies, James Alabi. 

Subs not used: Liam Roberts, Johnny Hunt, Matty Waters, Lucas Dawson

Goals: Liam Davies (55), Elliott Durrell (82)

Woking: Michael Poke, Jake Caprice (Connor Hall 84), Terell Thomas, Joey Jones, Brian Saah, Keiran Murtagh, Gozie Ugwu, Nathan Ralph, Fabio Saraiva (Max Kretzschmar 69), Delano Sam-Yorke (Jamie Lucas 61), Kane Ferdinand 

Subs not used: Brandon Hall, Dennon Lewis

Goals: Brian Saah (53), Connor Hall (85), Gozie Ugwu (90+1)

Attendance: 1,770


The Cards are at home to promotion-chasing Dagenham and Redbridge this coming Saturday, 10 October. Come and see if managerial rookie Anthony Limbrick can get the better of wily old John Still.

Come on, you Cards!

Kane shines for able Cards

Adam Leary
12:00am, Tue 3rd Oct 2017
Chester 0 Woking 2
Vanarama National League
3rd October 2017

Woking emerged from a long midweek trip to the North West with a valuable three points following a confident, composed display which emphasised the improvement made by the Cards in recent weeks. Jamie Philpot took advantage of a mix up between goalkeeper and centre back to add to the first half lead provided by a superb Kane Ferdinand header.

This victory marked Woking’s 3rd away win of the season and 3 wins from 3 recent trips to the North West. The win also extended the Cards unbeaten run to 5 matches. The Deva Stadium has been a happy hunting ground for the Cards over the years, with last Easter’s thrilling comeback victory going a long way to securing National League status last season, and still fresh in the memory.

Anthony Limbrick made two changes from the home draw with Hartlepool, Bobson Bawling coming in for Joe Ward on the right hand side of midfield, and Fabio Saraiva replacing the injured Nathan Ralph at left back. This marked a welcome return for the Portuguese player, last seen in a Woking shirt on the opening day of the campaign before injury stalled his season. The Cards injury list is reasonably significant at present, Ralph joining Jason Banton, Louis Ramsey and Joey Jones as likely starters on the sidelines. Richard Orlu, who started the season as captain before a five game absence, was named on the bench, along with Academy graduates Declan Appau and Lazar Stojsavljevic, promoted to the senior squad last week.

Chester, coming into the game hoping to lengthen the new manager bounce experienced following a debut win under new boss Marcus Bignot, started the game in the bottom four, and desperate to improve their home form, having won just won league match at the Deva Stadium in the calendar year. Their lineup included captain John McCombe, with considerable Football League experience, and striker Ross Hannah, who returned to Chester in the summer from Barrow. Hannah started the game up front with former Cambridge striker James Akintunde. Chester had made a long, abortive trip to Eastleigh on Saturday, with the match postponed at short notice, so had the potential to come into the match fresher than their visitors.

Woking started the game brightly and could have scored in the first minute. Chez Isaac played a cross in from the left, Kane Ferdinand nodded down for Charlie Carter, who volleyed wide from a promising position from just inside the penalty area.

The Cards passed the ball using neat, first time triangles, with the full backs and midfield increasingly keen to receive the ball and move it on quickly. This controlled, confident football was on display for most of the first half and even impressed the home supporters around the press box. Isaac and Ferdinand, in particular, were always willing to make passing angles and the Cards were helped by an excellent playing surface which suited their style.

Woking came close to opening the scoring in the 9th minute following a free kick given for a foul on Isaac. Saraiva, whose long range shooting proved such an asset to the Cards last season, spotted the keeper Alex Lynch had strayed too far to the right and attempted a cheeky effort at the keeper’s near post, narrowly firing wide.

A minute later however, the Cards did take the lead. A fine ball from Matt Young in from the right hand side was met with a superbly timed leap and header from Ferdinand, bursting through from midfield. The goal was reminiscent of similar goals scored by Charlie Carter at Tranmere and Jamie Philpot at AFC Fylde, in that an excellent cross into a dangerous area was met with a fine header.

Woking generally controlled the first half with sharp passing, dominating possession and not really allowing the hosts to gain a foothold in the match. Towards the end of the half Chester did fashion a couple of opportunities, powerful left back Lathaniel Rowe-Turner bulldozed his way into the box and struck a fierce drive which was well saved by Nathan Baxter down to his left. Shortly afterwards, Akintunde tested the young Cards keeper with a first time effort from Hannah’s cross; Baxter saving well with his feet on this occasion.

Half-time: Chester 0 Woking 1

The hosts, perhaps inevitably, began the second half with an increased tempo, seeking to lift the home support. As in the first half, Woking were by far the superior technical side, looking after the ball well and playing with composure, but Chester started to play in a more direct fashion and looked to commit more bodies into forward positions. Jordan Wynter and Josh Staunton, both impressive again in the heart of the Woking defence, had to show full commitment to snuff out a couple of openings in the first 15 minutes of the second period.

Chester almost drew level on 61 minutes, a cross from Kingsley James found the head of Craig Mahon at the far post, forcing a fine save from Baxter. The rebound then crashed against the post, however the assistant referee had indicated an infringement.

Limbrick made his first substitution on 65 minutes, with Joe Ward replacing Bobson Bawling. Bawling had put in a solid, disciplined performance which will no doubt have pleased the manager, who opted to leave top scorer Ward on the bench for this match.

On 70 minutes, Chester came very close to equalising, giant centre back Ryan Astles getting his head to a cross which hit the inside of the post, and flew across the Woking goal line to safety. Fabio Saraiva, who was on the receiving end of a couple of aerial challenges which saw him receive treatment, was replaced by the debutant Stojsavljevic at left back, Limbrick perhaps sensing that the increased height of the youngster may help to counter the aerial threat posed by the Cestrians.

To add to the sense of frustration for the home fans, Woking doubled their lead a minute later, in what, at the time it must be said, was slightly against the run of play. A horrendous defensive mix-up between Andy Halls and Lynch saw Jamie Philpot, eager and full of running all night, charge down an under-hit backpass, and seize upon the loose ball to roll it into the empty net. The on-loan striker celebrated with glee in front of the ecstatic travelling support.

Having increased their lead, Woking rarely looked threatened, and re-asserted their control of the game through their possession football. A final change was made with Inih Effiong replacing Philpot. The big centre forward made life even less comfortable for the home side, with strong, direct running turning the defence towards their own goal the last thing they would have wanted.

After five minutes of stoppage time the referee blew the full time whistle, with a delighted Limbrick and his increasingly impressive young team able to celebrate with the travelling Woking fans, who were in fine voice all night.

This was a mature, confident, controlled performance that got the three points, and clean sheet, it deserved, and attention now turns to a tasty looking clash with Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday.

Chester: Alex Lynch, Andy Halls, Lathaniel Rowe-Turner, Kingsley James, John McCombe (Nyal Bell 80), Ryan Astles, Craig Mahon (Liam Davies 19), Ross Hannah, Lucas Dawson, James Akintunde, Tom Shaw (Paul Turnbull 65).

Subs not used: Wade Joyce, Nathan Sheron

Goals: None

Bookings: Hannah

Woking: Nathan Baxter, Matt Young, Josh Staunton, Jordan Wynter, Fabio Saraiva (Lazar Stojsavljevic 70), Chez Isaac, Kane Ferdinand, Charlie Carter, Bobson Bawling (Joe Ward 65), Regan Charles-Cook, Jamie Philpot (Inih Effiong 79)

Subs not used: Richard Orlu, Declan Appau

Goals: Ferdinand (10), Philpot (71)

Bookings: Ferdinand, Philpot, Carter

Attendance: 1,658

Referee: Glen Hart

My MOTM – Kane Ferdinand. Alongside his central midfield partner Chez Isaac, Ferdinand epitomised the confident, assured ability to pass the ball quickly through midfield and to retain possession of the ball which was the hallmark of this impressive display. As well as this, he opened the scoring with a fine goal.
Chester LINEUP
1Alex Lynch
2Andy Halls
3Lathaniel Rowe-Turner
4Kingsley James
5John McCombe ('82)
6Ryan Astles
21Tom Shaw ('66)
17Lucas Dawson
7Craig Mahon ('20)
10Ross Hannah
20James Akintunde
8Paul Turnbull ('66)
12Liam Davies ('20)
14Wade Joyce
15Nyal Bell ('82)
27Nathan Sheron
1Nathan Baxter
21Matt Young
14Fabio Saraiva ('71)
5Josh Staunton
15Jordan Wynter
8Chez Isaac
22Kane Ferdinand
12Charlie Carter
7Bobson Bawling ('66)
11Regan Charles-Cook
20Jamie Philpot ('80)
6Richard Orlu
24Lazar Stojsavljevic ('71)
17Declan Appau
23Joe Ward ('66)
9Inih Effiong ('80)

Chester 0 - 2 Woking (Anthony Limbrick Interview)

Chester 0 - 2 Woking (Kane Ferdinand Interview)

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