Grego-Cox equaliser not enough as league leaders prevail
12:00am, Fri 30th Mar 2018
Woking 2 Macclesfield Town 3
Vanarama National League
30th March 2018
Danny Whiteheadâ€™s late winner cancelled out Reece Grego-Coxâ€™s 83rd minute equaliser as National League leaders Macclesfield Town won a pulsating game 3-2 on Good Friday.
Charlie Carter opened the scoring for The Cards in the 20th minute before Blissett headed an equaliser a quarter of an hour later. Blissett was involved again, setting up an excellent volley from Tyrone Marsh early in the second half. Whitehead then grabbed a fortunate but crucial goal for the visitors to snatch the game in the dying moments of a cruel afternoon for The Cards.
The Cards welcomed their visitors to the Laithwaite Community Stadium with the home side looking to earn their first win in seven games. Goals from Joe Ward, Jason Banton and Inih Effiong earned an impressive 3-1 win for The Cards in the reverse fixture in early September.
Woking had the first effort on goal in the 7th minute after Anthony Cook cushioned a header in the path of Reece Grego-Cox, The Cards striker then fired a powerful volley from 20 yards over the bar. Woking started the game well, maintaining the ball comfortably in the awful conditions. Josh Staunton then gifted the visitors a clear sight of goal in the 15th minute after his misjudged header fell into the path Mitch Hancox. However, Hancox fired a poor effort tamely wide of Nathan Baxterâ€™s goal.
An industrious run by Carter a minute later then allowed Grego-Cox to force Shawn Jalal into a fumble inside the box, the ball trickled to Anthony Cook, but Jalal recovered well to smother at the second attempt.
The Cards strong start was finally rewarded as Charlie Carter scored from close range in the 20th minute. Jalal fumbled once again in the slippery conditions to allow the Woking top scorer to fire home. A good curling cross from Charles-Cook from the right found Carterâ€™s head and the midfielder looked to have spurned a golden opportunity as he guided a close range header straight into Jalalâ€™s hands; however, Jalal fumbled under pressure from Anthony Cook and Carter was there to fire in the rebound from six yards.
Cook nearly doubled Wokingâ€™s lead three minutes following the goal as he bent a free-kick just wide of Jalalâ€™s left post. Despite The Cards dominant start, the away sideâ€™s biggest threat was the home sideâ€™s undoing 15 minutes after Carterâ€™s breakthrough. 6â€™ 5â€� Nathan Blissett stooped to fire a guided header back across Baxter to restore parity for the visitors. Mitch Hancox provided an accurate cross from the left for Blissett to beat a combination of Jones and Staunton just outside the six-yard-box.
The Cards had, in general, been more than a match for their table-topping visitors in the first half and went into the break deservedly level.
Half-time: Woking 1 Macclesfield 1
The visitors dominated the early stages of the second half and eventually their dominance prevailed as Tyrone Marsh fired an excellent volley into the top corner. The dangerous Blissett flicked on another cross to the unmarked Marsh in the 54th minute and Marsh made no mistake rifling his volley into the top right corner. The visitors clinical nature was Wokingâ€™s undoing, but the home side was unfortunate to be behind.
The Silkmen were buoyed by having the lead for the first time in the game and were finding their feet after a shaky start. Anthony Limbrick opted to take off Chez Isaac and bring on striker Louie Theophanous just past the hour to enforce some attacking intent for the home side. The visitors effectively slowed the tempo of the game, disrupted any momentum that Woking tried to build.
Wokingâ€™s growing pressure in the final ten minutes earned themselves an equaliser. Reece Grego-Cox provided the final touch to Charles-Cookâ€™s driven corner in the 83rd minute. Macclesfield failed to assert their early second half dominance, allowing Grego-Cox to tap home at the back post. The visitorâ€™s manager John Askey was sent to the stands for dissent following the equaliser.
The league leaders did have the final say though on a cruel afternoon for The Cards in agonising fashion. Blissett looked set to win the game for The Silkmen as he guided a one-on-one effort past Baxter, but the ball stopped up in the muddy goalmouth. Unfortunately for the home side, Whitehead was first to the static ball and scored late in injury time â€“ a depressing end to a brave fightback from the home side.
Woking: Nathan Baxter, Jordan Wynter, Josh Staunton, Joey Jones, Louis Ramsey (Matt Young 75â€™), Kane Ferdinand, Chez Isaac (Louie Theophanus 63â€™), Charlie Carter, Regan Charles-Cook, Anthony Cook, Reece Grego-Cox
Goals: Carter 20â€™, Grego-Cox 84â€™
Subs not used: Sam Mason, Fabio Saraiva, Jason Banton
Macclesfield Town: Shawn Jalal, Jared Hodgkiss, Keith Lowe, George Pilkington, David Fitzpatrick, Callum Evans, Danny Whitehead, Danny Whitaker, Mitch Hancox, Tyrone Marsh, Nathan Blissett.
Goals: Blissett 35â€™, Marsh 54â€™, Whitehead 90+4â€™
Bookings: Marsh 52â€™
Subs not used: Sam Ramsbottom, Kieran Kennedy, Scott Burgess, Scott Wilson, Diego De Girolamoe.
Referee: Alan Young
Sponsors MOTM: Charlie Carter, The Woking top scorer scored the opener and worked well as always in the middle.