Laithwaite Independent Financial Advisers
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 24th FebruaryFeb 2018
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 1744

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Boreham Wood
Boreham Wood

Cards hoping for home comforts

Glen Harrington
12:00am, Thu 22nd Feb 2018
Woking vs Boreham Wood
Vanarama National League
Saturday 24th February 2018

The Cards will be looking to return to winning ways on Saturday after back-to-back away defeats at the hands of Hartlepool and Ebbsfleet, but will face a stiff challenge in the shape of promotion chasing Boreham Wood, who are now just six points adrift of leaders Macclesfield.

It was a disappointing evening for the visitors to Stonebridge Road on Tuesday night as, after weathering the early storm and starting to create chances of our own, a goal either side of half-time from Fleet striker Danny Kedwell put us well and truly on the back-foot. As per the game against Hartlepool three days earlier the Cards fought back bravely, and narrowed the deficit through Charlie Carter’s ninth goal of the season, but frustratingly could not find that all important equaliser. Anthony Limbrick’s side will no doubt be grateful to return to the Laithwaite Community Stadium, where we will be looking to chalk up a third consecutive victory following 1-0 wins over AFC Fylde and Chester City, and a tenth home league win of the season.

Boreham Wood have had a terrific campaign, chalking up 59 points from their 34 games thus far, leaving them level on points with third place Aldershot and just a point behind second place Sutton. They are currently on a four-match winning run, conceding just one goal in the process, and haven’t lost in the league since Boxing Day. Last time out they beat Maidstone United 1-0 at home with Angelo Balanta scoring the only goal. Luke Garrad’s side also enjoyed a fine FA Cup run this season, reaching the second-round proper before going out to Coventry City in a replay, but their FA Trophy run was cut short as they were beaten by Gateshead last month.

With the Cards back on home soil and entertaining one of the league’s form sides it promises to be a great game, so get along if you can and enjoy the action!

Woking Team News

The Cards could rotate their forward line again on Saturday with Anthony Cook, who was unavailable against parent club Ebbsfleet on Tuesday, likely to be restored to the starting line-up, whilst new signing Louie Theophanous, who came off the bench against the Fleet on Tuesday, will be pushing for his first start on his home debut. Limbrick and his team will have concerns over Reece Grego-Cox, who was forced off in mid-week with an injury, possibly leaving Jason Banton and Jonny Edwards battling for the final spot in the attacking trio.

Charlie Carter and Damon Lathrope missed out against Ebbsfleet and will both be hoping to return to the starting line-up on Saturday, particularly the former, who of course scored the Cards’ goal on Tuesday after also coming from the bench. Kane Ferdinand was the only midfield man to keep his spot across both away games and he could now be due a rest with Chez Isaac and Joey Jones looking to retain their places.

Despite the games coming thick and fast as we enter the final third of the season, there are limited options for the Cards at the back, with Louis Ramsay and Lazar Stojsavljevic still out and no return date yet for Jordan Wynter; it means that Limbrick is likely to continue with the same back-four of Matt Young, Nathan Ralph, Josh Staunton and Richard Orlu, although he might yet consider dropping Jones back into defence should one of his regular quartet need a break.

Boreham Wood Team News

All eyes will no doubt be on former Woking trio Mark Ricketts, Keiran Murtagh and Bruno Andrade as they plot their return to the Laithwaite, but the Cards will also need to keep tabs on several other star players in a talented Wood squad.

Last time out they lined up with regular goalkeeper Grant Smith; a back-three of former Welsh Under-21 international David Stephens, Chelsea academy graduate Alex Davey, and Newport County loanee Jamie Turley; a midfield pairing of former Woking favourites Ricketts and Murtagh, sitting behind goalscorer Balanta; the wide-men were veteran duo Ricky Shakes and Danny Woodards, who have featured in well over 200 Wood games between them; and up front were top scorer Andrade, who has 16 goals this season, and new signing Morgan Ferrier who has recently returned to the club after a spell with Dagenham and Redbridge.

There are several good options for Garrad on the bench, including former Woking loanee Joe Quigley, Michael Folivi, who has played in the Premier League for Watford, midfielder Sorba Thomas and on loan Bournemouth defender Ollie Harfield. Striker Shaun Jeffers, who played three times for the Cards in 2016, is currently away on loan at Hampton and Richmond Borough.

What the Boss Said

Anthony Limbrick on the upcoming game…

“Boreham Wood will be one of our toughest tests this season, they’re in the play-off places and pushing for the top spot. Our home form is good though, with us winning the last two at Kingfield and keeping clean sheets in both. Only one team has won more games at home than us this season.�

Last Time Out

Boreham Wood 2-1 Woking (Saturday 25 November 2017 – Vanarama National League)

The Cards were in good spirits as they came into the game off the back of a 1-0 home win over Ebbsfleet United, but despite the close scoreline, they were well beaten at Meadow Park. Tom Champion scored the opener before Bruno Andrade added the second eight minutes from time. Inih Effiong scored a consolation for the Cards in second-half stoppage time to take a little of the gloss off the home side’s win. Sam Mason, Nathan Ralph and Joey Jones impressed for the visitors.

Admission Prices

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

Our matchday programme, ‘Cardinals’, will be on sale for £3. Don’t forget to grab your copy on the way in! You’ll also be able to visit the club shop for more great offers.

Next Up

The Cards travel to Maidenhead United next Saturday before a Tuesday evening trip to face another promotion chaser, Sutton United, at Gander Green Lane. Both games are relatively local so please make either trip if you can to support the boys! Our next home game is on the 10th March against FC Halifax Town.

Lathrope injury overshadows Cards' improved performance

Brian Caffarey
7:44am, Sun 25th Feb 2018
Woking 0 Boreham Wood 0
Vanarama National League
24 February 2018

In a game overshadowed by a serious injury suffered by Woking's new midfielder Damon Lathrope midway through the second half, the Cards grabbed a valuable point against a Boreham Wood side which had arrived at Kingfield in great form, especially away from home. Anthony Limbrick's side were fortunate to go in on level terms at half-time after a mediocre first forty-five minutes but were much more threatening after the interval and by the end looked the side most likely to achieve a breakthrough.

On a sunny but very cold afternoon the Woking manager sprang a surprise by switching to a 4-3-3 formation. Following the disappointing midweek display at Ebbsfleet United he also brought in Lathrope, Charlie Carter, Louie Theophanous, making his home debut, and Anthony Cook, who had been unavailable against his parent club. Moving to the bench were Richard Orlu, Jason Banton, Chez Isaac and Jonny Edwards. The visitors' line-up included former Woking favourites Keiran Murtagh, Mark Ricketts and Bruno Andrade, while former loanee Joe Quigley was on the bench.

Boreham Wood were quickly into their stride, setting the pattern for the remainder of the first half, looking confident, with good movement and generally winning the second ball. Woking struggled to find any attacking momentum, not managing a shot on goal till the 35th minute, and seemingly unable to get the ball down and thread a few passes together. The front three of Cook and Grego-Cox on the flanks, and Theophanous in the middle, were starved of any decent service, having to feed off scraps as the ball was cleared hurriedly from defence or punted forward rather aimlessly.

As early as the 3rd minute the quick-footed Andrade tested Nathan Baxter with a snap shot, which the Woking keeper did well to fingertip over for a corner. Angelo Balanta was next to try his luck after Lathrope - who went on to look increasingly influential in midfield till his dreadful injury - had lost the ball in a dangerous area. Next, it was Andrade again, left free and trying an ingenious shot with the outside of his boot which went narrowly wide. Confusion in the home defence then allowed Balanta to slip away down the right before his dangerous cross was cleared.

The quarter of an hour mark brought the first signs of some attacking momentum from the Cards as they forced two corners in succession, though with no profit. The game then seemed to get bogged down, with Woking unable to exert any attacking influence, while the visitors failed to create any worthwhile chances.

On the half hour, Cook made an enterprising run into the opposing penalty area but could not keep control of the ball. Five minutes later the Cards produced their first attacking move of genuine quality as Joey Jones's crossfield ball was expertly headed on by Nathan Ralph into Cook's path, who found the way opening up in front of him. However, his shot was comfortably saved by the Wood keeper, Grant Smith.

But it was the visitors who had the best chance of the half as the interval approached. A chip to the far post reached defender Alex Davey a few yards out but his snatched effort went narrowly wide.

The Cards could consider themselves somewhat fortunate to go in at half-time on equal terms after 45 minutes in which they had looked distinctly second best all over the park and had rarely offered any threat.

Half-time: Woking 0 Boreham Wood 0

The start of the second half saw Jonny Edwards replace Grego-Cox, who had probably not fully recovered from the knock which had seen him withdrawn from play during the week. Given the sort of service being provided to the front three, the more physical qualities provided by Edwards may have helped the Cards produce a greater attacking threat as the game progressed.

This wasn't apparent, however, from the opening exchanges, which saw Boreham Wood continue to make most of the running. Substitute Michael Folivi, who had replaced the injured Murtagh, had a shot blocked and then Andrade, seizing on a knock-down, fired narrowly wide.

But the Cards suddenly began to make some attacking progress, finding more space down the flanks. Cook wormed his way into the area before his cross was intercepted. And then Edwards made space down the right, with Theophanous causing anxiety in the Wood defence as they struggled to clear the ball. He also drew the keeper out of his goal but was unable to thread the ball back to a team mate for a shot on target.

Boreham Wood responded with a dangerous counter-attack - well defended by the increasingly dominant Jones and Josh Staunton - before Woking attacked again, first through Kane Ferdinand and then with a move which came agonisingly close to producing the opening goal. Matt Young poked a pass through to Cook, whose fine cross produced an excellent header from Theophanous and an outstanding save from Grant, who twisted to tip the ball over the bar. More home pressure followed as Edwards got in a strike which Smith held.

In the 63rd minute Lathrope and Danny Woodards both went in hard for a 50-50 ball. It was immediately apparent that Lathrope had suffered what looked like a broken leg, with frantic signals from his team mates for medical assistance. Exemplary teamwork, from the staff of both clubs, followed as the Woking midfielder was treated on the pitch for some 25 minutes before being stretchered off by the paramedics who had been called to the ground.

When the game eventually resumed after a five-minute warm-up period, with Chez Isaac on for Lathrope and Quigley replacing Morgan Ferrier for the visitors, it appeared that the long break in play had not fundamentally altered the pattern of the game. If anything, the fresh legs and more attacking instincts of Isaac perhaps intensified Woking's forward momentum. Several corners and driven crosses ensued, while Young was not far off with an ambitious effort from distance. Theophanous's low cross from the right was only cleared with difficulty by Smith, with Ferdinand's follow-up brushing the roof of the net.

Of course, it was not simply one-way traffic. Jones made a crucial intervention as he headed away a searching cross, and Baxter dealt with another cross at the second attempt. He also did well, a few minutes later, to cling on tightly to a low shot from Andrade.

As the game moved into the final ten minutes, Woking looked the likelier side to break the deadlock, the visitors perhaps content to settle for a point by that stage. Carter, always a threat in the air, headed wide from a Ralph cross before Isaac wasted a great chance as he blasted over after cleverly allowing Edwards's pass to run past him.

In the meantime Ferdinand, who seemed to don Lathrope's forceful defensive mantle after the latter had departed, had thwarted a Wood attack with three successive clearances.

On the stroke of full time Isaac whipped in a fine, low cross. Carter, with his back to goal, tried desperately to find an angle for a shot but the Wood defence held firm. Finally, another Isaac cross saw Jones flash a header over the bar as the Cards finished the match on the front foot.

This was very much a game of two halves as far as Woking were concerned. In spite of the new formation, the first half saw the Cards very much on the back foot, creating little and failing to get any sort of passing game going. But after the break they seemed to be able to turn the game round to a considerable extent, getting the ball down more, finding more space down the flanks and putting the Wood defence under some pressure, while at the back Jones and Staunton in particular got to grips better with Andrade and his fellow attackers.

All in all, this was probably a point gained rather than two points lost against a very talented side, although the match was inevitably overshadowed by the very unfortunate injury suffered by Damon Lathrope.

The Cards travel to Maidenhead United next Saturday and can be expect to be tested strongly by Alan Devonshire's outfit.

Woking: Nathan Baxter, Matt Young, Josh Staunton, Joey Jones, Nathan Ralph, Damon Lathrope (Chez Isaac 65), Kane Ferdinand, Charlie Carter, Louie Theophanous, Reece Grego-Cox (Jonny Edwards 45), Anthony Cook

Unused subs: Jason Banton, Richard Orlu, Sam Mason

Boreham Wood: Grant Smith, Danny Woodards, Mark Ricketts, David Stephens, Ricky Shakes, Keiran Murtagh (Michael Folivi 42), Bruno Andrade, Jamie Turley, Angelo Balanta, Alex Davey, Morgan Ferrier (Joe Quigley 65)

Unused subs: Ollie Harfield, Fred Burbidge, Thomas Sorba

Sponsor's (Consilium Financial Planning) MOTM: Damon Lathrop (pictured)

Attendance: 1744

1Nathan Baxter
21Matt Young
3Nathan Ralph
5Josh Staunton
4Joey Jones
16Damon Lathrope ('65)
22Kane Ferdinand
12Charlie Carter
23Anthony Cook
20Reece Grego-Cox ('48)
9Louie Theophanous
18Sam Mason
6Richard Orlu
8Chez Isaac ('65)
10Jason Banton
29Jonny Edwards ('48)
Boreham Wood LINEUP
1Grant Smith
6David Stephens
17Jamie Turley
24Alex Davey
4Mark Ricketts
10Keiran Murtagh ('42)
7Ricky Shakes
3Danny Woodards
19Angelo Balanta
11Bruno Andrade
25Morgan Ferrier ('65)
21Fred Burbidge
5Ollie Harfield
22Sorba Thomas
12Joe Quigley ('65)
20Michael Folivi ('42)

Woking 0 - 0 Boreham Wood (Anthony Limbrick Interview)

Woking 0 - 0 Boreham Wood (Joey Jones Interview)

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