3:00pm - SaturdaySat 10th MarchMar 2018
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 1619

1 - 3

FC Halifax Town
FC Halifax Town

Charles-Cook returns for must win game

Glen Harrington
12:00am, Thu 8th Mar 2018
Woking vs FC Halifax Town
Vanarama National League
Saturday 10th March 2018

The Cards will be hoping that the return of Regan Charles-Cook will give them the edge in Saturday's clash with FC Halifax Town, a game that Woking manager Anthony Limbrick has said his side 'need to win', after another disappointing away day last time out.

Limbrick's side will no doubt be grateful to be returning to the Laithwaite Community Stadium this weekend after promotion-chasing Sutton United condemned us to a 2-0 away defeat on Tuesday evening. There was no lack of effort from the visitors to Gander Green Lane but, for one reason or another, the Cards have definitely felt more comfortable on home soil this season - and will be looking to extend runs of three games without defeat and three consecutive clean-sheets at Kingfield. After three away defeats in a row, alongside a home draw with Boreham Wood, the Cards are being forced to start looking over their shoulder with ten games to go and know that nothing other than a win against one of the teams still below us in the table will help ease fears of being sucked into a relegation battle.

Halifax, who are one of nine teams below Woking, are also one of eight of those sides to have at least one game in hand over the Cards – making Saturday’s clash all the more crucial. They have had a tough first season back at this level after earning promotion to the National League via the play-offs last term and currently sit in 17th place with 39 points, four less than ourselves, and five clear of the bottom four. The Shaymen have only won one league game since Christmas Day, a 2-0 home win against Hartlepool United, although last time out they did gain a commendable point with a goalless draw at Eastleigh. They also knocked league leaders Macclesfield Town out of the FA Trophy in January, only to go out at home to Maidenhead United four days later.

With both teams in desperate need of a result, Saturday’s game has the makings of a good one, so please come along if you can and cheer on the team! You can buy tickets online using our new online platform or on the day as normal.

Woking Team News

Charles-Cook, who returns for a second spell with the Cards on loan from Charlton Athletic, will no doubt be hoping to slot straight back into Limbrick’s team after scoring six goals in 19 games during the first-part of the season. He could line up alongside his brother, Anthony Cook, in Woking’s front three – leaving Louie Theophanous, Jonny Edwards and Reece Grego-Cox to battle for the number nine role. Jason Banton and Fabio Saraiva will also be hoping to get some more minutes under their belt after coming off the bench on Tuesday.

Chez Isaac could return to the starting line-up in midfield after not featuring against Sutton although it could depend on where Limbrick sees Joey Jones featuring – the vice-captain has rotated between defence and midfield in recent games and this suggests that it will be one of Isaac and defender Richard Orlu to miss out. Kane Ferdinand and Charlie Carter have been regulars for several weeks and could be due a rest if the Woking boss chooses to rotate.

With no update forthcoming on Jordan Wynter and Louis Ramsay, it seems likely that Matt Young, Nathan Ralph and Josh Staunton will continue in defence alongside either Jones or Orlu.

Halifax Team News

There will be a couple of familiar names in Halifax’s starting line-up on Saturday. Chief among them will be striker Tom Denton, who had a short loan spell with the Cards during the 2008-09 campaign, and has scored 10 goals this season.

Last time out they lined up with Sam Johnson in goal, signed last summer from Port Vale; a back-four of former Hartlepool and Fleetwood full-back Michael Duckworth, two-time England C international Scott Garner, the vastly experienced Scott McManus, who has over 200 appearances for the club to his name, and club captain Matty Brown; the midfield pairing was Nathan Hotte and veteran Michael Collins, who has played over 400 games for the likes of Huddersfield, Scunthorpe and Leyton Orient; out wide was Matty Kosylo and former Lincoln City marksmen Ben Tomlinson; they played either side of Jake Hibbs, who started behind Barnsley-loanee Shaun Tuton.

Manager Jamie Fullarton’s options from the bench include Denton, former Guiseley striker Mike Fondop who impressed against the Cards earlier this season, midfielder Connor Oliver who was with North Ferriby United last season, and defender Martin Riley.

Last Time Out

FC Halifax Town 0-0 Woking (Saturday 11 November 2017 – Vanarama National League)

The Cards went to the Shay off the back of three consecutive league defeats as well as a much more encouraging draw with League One Bury in the FA Cup. With that now famous replay just around the corner this fixture came as something of an afterthought. Joey Jones was the Cards’ man-of-the-match for a solid defensive performance.

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 are at home against next Saturday when Wrexham are the visitors. Remember, you can now purchase your tickets for that and every home game in advance via the club website.

Woking Overpowered by Shaymen

Ben Musgrove
12:00am, Sat 10th Mar 2018
Woking 1 FC Halifax Town 3
Vanarama National League
10th March 2018

In defeat to a well-disciplined and hard-working Halifax Town side, Woking continued to slip slowly down the table on Saturday afternoon, enduring a fourth loss in five games. A brace from the exceptional Matthew Kosylo either side of half time was enough to damn the Cards to defeat, with the Shaymen becoming only the third side after Maidstone and Guiseley to score three at Kingfield this season. A Carter equaliser early in the second half turned out to be little more than consolation, with a late third from debutant Connor Thomson sealing the game late on. With 9 points separating them from the drop zone, and every team below them having at least one game in hand, it remains to be seen whether or not Woking will be dragged into a relegation battle in the final stages of the season.

After an unfortunately tame 2-0 defeat against Sutton United on Tuesday night, Anthony Limbrick was forced into some changes with the absences of Louis Theophanus and Chez Isaac from the side. Joey Jones was moved into the heart of midfield alongside Kane Ferdinand, and Jason Banton made the starting line-up after a short cameo at Gander Green Lane. Halifax, meanwhile, relegated top scorer Tom Denton to the bench in favour of loanee debutant Mike Fondop-Talom, who had been on trial with Chesterfield prior to joining Guiseley at the start of the season.

Early endeavour from the home side saw the Cards create several early chances to go ahead, with winger Anthony Cook teed up for a scuffed half-volley over the KRE within two minutes of kick-off. Halifax looked to press high from the off, aware of Woking’s preference to dominate possession and work the pitch, but took a few minutes to get to grips with the Woking shape; just two minutes later, Reece Grego-Cox evaded the Halifax defence to burst into the channel, only for his cutback to evade the newly re-signed Regan Charles-Cook.

Shortly after, Woking had the wind taken out of their sails somewhat by being forced into an early substitution thanks to a late challenge on Joey Jones. Charlie Carter’s selection as a replacement meant that Woking faced the remainder of the game with an exceptionally attacking midfield; of the five in that area of the pitch, only Kane Ferdinand could be considered more defensive than offensive.

The change saw Woking require some reorganisation, and Halifax began to fashion dangerous half-chances without truly threatening to convert. Kosylo had an early sighter spilled by Nathan Baxter before being cleared, and shortly afterwards Scott McManus was close to finding Will Maher with a floated free-kick from the right wing.

Woking were outshot despite dominating possession in these early stages; Halifax were content to let them pass sideways, pressed the ball hard across the pitch, and weren’t afraid to put their foot in if the Cards threatened to create an opportunity. Ben Tomlinson exemplified this with his booking for a particularly poor foul on Jason Banton that left Woking fans aware of his injury record biting their nails.

As such, the game reached something of an impasse. Banton came the closest either side did to seriously threatening a goal within the opening half an hour with a long-range effort just over the bar, and whilst Baxter had to rush from his goal to punch away a Tomlinson cross, Halifax seemed happy to absorb the occasional Woking bout of pressure and wait for their chances.

Just after the half-hour mark, this approach paid off. A quick Halifax break released Kosylo rushing into the box, and the midfielder was happy to clatter himself into the leg of Richard Orlu, throwing himself down in what referee considered a clear penalty. Extensive protest from Orlu was futile; Kosylo picked himself from the turf to take the spot-kick, and smashed an unsaveable effort into Baxter’s top left corner.

Woking’s response was full of effort and bluster, creating chances with an increased intensity as the Shaymen looked to hold until half-time. Banton fired a shot straight at Sam Johnson just minutes after the Cards fell behind, and Woking’s best chance of the game came after a whipped Cook free-kick from the left caused mayhem in the box. With Johnson beaten and out of position, the goalmouth scramble could’ve gone anywhere, but was cleared despite shout for a handball by a Halifax defender.

Further pressure unfortunately failed to tell; Charles-Cook rifled an effort into the side netting, and just moments before half time, Anthony Cook forced a phenomenal save from Johnson with a half-volley that seemed destined for the corner. As too often this season, though, Woking had found their organisation and endeavour after falling behind, having used their dominance in possession to little effect against hard-working opposition. Whilst it seemed that the Cards had a goal in them, they had to do it the hard way.

Half time: Woking 0 Halifax Town 1

The second half saw no changes from either side, with both happy that elements of their game-plan had served them well. Halifax looked to keep the game tight and press Woking into mistakes high up the field, whilst the home side felt confident that they had the goals in them to turn the game around.

Just five minutes after kick-off, this latter conviction seemed validated. Excellent work from Banton down the left saw the winger roll the ball across to Charles-Cook on the edge of the box, and the Charlton loanee smashed a shot at goal that fell kindly to the feet of Carter, who was able to tap the ball into a relatively unguarded goal from close range. It was the perfect start for the home side.

The goal palpably shifted the momentum of the game, and Woking pressed forward with a renewed sense of purpose. Three consecutive corners from Nathan Ralph saw Halifax eventually manage to nervously clear their lines, and shortly afterwards Woking fans were surprised and pleased to see centre-back Josh Staunton trade two one-two passes through the middle of the pitch, travelling twenty yards before winning a free kick. Head were up, and it seemed that Woking could score if only they were able to find a quality ball in the final third.

As they pressed with an especially attacking midfield, however, they were open to direct Halifax counters, and the Shaymen looked dangerous on the break as the game went on. Orlu found himself caught on his heels by a long ball over the top of the defence on the hour mark, and was lucky that Tomlinson was called offside, with the forward bursting through one on one. Shortly after the Cards failed to close down substitute Raheem Hanley, who fizzed an effort across goal.

Just two minutes later, the gaps in defence told, in a particularly painful manner for Woking. With the Cards fail to deal with quick passing in midfield, a long searching ball for Kosylo managed to evade both Orlu and Ralph, who were happy to let the ball bounce rather than asserting themselves on the situation. Kosylo was the beneficiary, and his finish was admittedly fantastic, smashing a bouncing half-volley across Baxter and into the top corner. It was the second time in the game, however, that Woking had failed to make their pressure tell, and they’d been punished for defensive lapses as a result.

The goal seemed to take the wind from the sails of the Cards, and they fell into something of a lull, with Halifax happy to defend their tentative attacks. The introduction of Johnathan Edwards for Banton did little to refresh the attack, and indeed Kosylo could have had a hattrick if it wasn’t for a strong save from Baxter.

The home crowd weren’t entirely sure what it would take to wake Woking up as the game pressed on; as it turns out, what it would take would be to kill the game off. With the Cards stretched wide across the pitch, Halifax broke yet again, with Hanley on the left fizzing a superb pass out to right-back Michael Duckworth on the opposite wing, and former Hartlepool man serving the ball on a plate to substitute Thomson in the air. The new signing nodded a well-placed header low past Baxter to seal the game, and a chorus of boos rang across Kingfield in response.

Suddenly, with Halifax dropping off and the game seemingly lost, Woking found new impetus. Charles-Cook and Carter both had well-hit efforts saved by Johnson, and crosses from Ralph and substitute Fabio Saraiva were unlucky not to find their targets. Despite their intent, the well-disciplined Halifax defence forced the Cards to shoot from range; Charles-Cook and Saraiva both hit long-range efforts over the bar, and with just a minute remaining Woking were forced to go long-ball into the box, seeing Grego-Cox flash a header wide.

Ultimately, it was too little too late. There was further booing at full-time from dissatisfied fans, but there was also a sense of boredom, or even apathy. The pattern of the game had played out several times over the course of the season, and Woking now need to find something fresh from somewhere for an extremely tough game against a Wrexham side well-known for their exceptional defensive capabilities.

The game also followed a worrying trend of losing to lower-placed sides in the relegation fight; Woking have lost to Guiseley, Solihull Moors, Barrow, and Hartlepool this season, all of whom are closer to the drop than the Cards. Were it not for the exceptional form of the opening months of the season, Woking would now be staring down the barrel.

Woking: Nathan Baxter, Matt Young, Nathan Ralph, Josh Staunton, Richard Orlu, Joey Jones (Carter 6), Kane Ferdinand, Jason Banton (Jonathan Edwards 72), Anthony Cook (Saraiva 81), Regan Charles-Cook, Reece Grego-Cox

Unused subs: Sam Mason, Jordan Wynter

Goals: Carter 50

Bookings: Ferdinand 53, Ralph 54

Halifax Town: Sam Johnson, Matty Brown, Scott McManus, Jake Hibbs (Hanley 61), Michael Duckworth, Niall Maher, Nathan Hotte, Michael Collins, Matthew Kosylo (Oliver 86), Ben Tomlinson, Mike Fondop-Talom (Connor Thomson 73)

Unused subs: Tom Denton, Tom Nicholson

Goals: Kosylo 33 pen, 66, Thomson 80

Bookings: Tomlinson 14, Collins 37,

Referee: Adam Penwell

Attendance: 1,619

Sponsor’s Man of the Match: Kane Ferdinand
1Nathan Baxter
21Matt Young
3Nathan Ralph
5Josh Staunton
6Richard Orlu
4Joey Jones ('7)
22Kane Ferdinand
11Regan Charles-Cook
23Anthony Cook ('81)
10Jason Banton ('72)
20Reece Grego-Cox
18Sam Mason
15Jordan Wynter
12Charlie Carter ('7)
14Fabio Saraiva ('81)
29Jonny Edwards ('72)
FC Halifax Town LINEUP
1Sam Johnson
39Michael Duckworth
11Scott McManus
5Matty Brown
31Niall Maher
8Nathan Hotte
22Michael Collins
20Jake Hibbs ('61)
7Matty Kosylo ('86)
14Ben Tomlinson
33Mike Fondop ('73)
13Tom Nicholson
32Raheem Hanley ('61)
10Connor Oliver ('86)
9Tom Denton
23Connor Thomson ('73)

Woking 1 - 3 FC Halifax Town (Anthony Limbrick Interview)

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