Specsavers
BSBS
7:45pm - TuesdayTue 15th MarchMar 2011
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 1037

Woking
Woking
2 - 1

Hampton
Hampton & Richmond

Cards eye top five place

Brian Caffarey
7:46am, Mon 14th Mar 2011
Woking v Hampton and Richmond Borough
7.45pm on Tuesday 15 March 2011

The Cards hope to continue their fantastic run on Tuesday evening when they entertain Alan Devonshire’s Hampton side. Could this be the night when Garry Hill’s side break into the top five? Come down to Kingfield and give the team your support!

WOKING

The Cards have now notched up nine wins and a draw in their last ten league games, with only one goal conceded. That’s an amazing record at any level of football and brings huge credit on Garry Hill, Steve Thompson and their players. In the last couple of games, away at Weston-super-Mare and Thurrock, it’s been as much about character as it has been about fine football, with the side having to overcome poor pitches and very direct, physical teams. The players must be tired mentally and physically after such an exhausting schedule, and the pressure of having to win every game to make up lost ground must have taken its toll. But Garry and Steve will demand nothing less than total commitment again on Tuesday night as the side start a sequence in which home games predominate and in which, elsewhere, there are plenty of games between their rivals.

The Cards, lying seventh in the table, now sit only one point behind fourth and fifth-placed Chelmsford City and Welling United, all having played 32 games. But Eastleigh, with the same number of points as Woking, have played two fewer games and occupy sixth place. Tonight (Monday) Chelmsford host Dover Athletic, who sit three points behind the Cards but with a superior goal difference and with two games in hand. On Tuesday night, in addition to the game at Kingfield, Eastleigh travel to Dartford. So, if the results go Woking’s way they could jump to fourth place – or, conversely, find themselves drifting to eighth place. It looks as if it will be nip and tuck for the play-off places right till the end of the season.

Joe McNerney will be completing his three-match suspension, so Reiss Noel will no doubt partner Adam Doyle in central defence again. Could we see a debut for new striker James Walker at some point during the game?

HAMPTON AND RICHMOND BOROUGH

The Beavers lie in 16th place in the league with 32 points from 30 games. They are not out of relegation danger, being only seven points clear of the drop zone, so they have plenty to play for. They’ve not got a bad record away from home, winning four, drawing six and losing four, with 18 goals scored and 17 conceded.

The Beavers have had a good run recently, including a notable 3-0 home win over Chelmsford City but on Saturday they suffered a disappointing 1-0 defeat at home to Weston-super-Mare. Their recent results, starting with that game, have been:

Hampton and RB 0 Weston-super-Mare 1
Hampton and RB 3 Chelmsford City 0
Dover Athletic 1 Hampton and RB 0
Staines Town 1 Hampton and RB 2
Dartford 0 Hampton and RB 4

The win against Dartford ended a sequence of 15 league games without a win.

Two ex-Cards feature prominently in the Beavers’ side: Charlie Moone and Francis Quarm. Skipper Ian Hodges is an important influence, whilst Dave Tarpey gives width in attack.

PREVIOUS ENCOUNTERS

This season
Hampton and RB 1 Woking 2
30 October 2010

The Cards had Elvis Hammond to thank for grabbing all three points in this game. Woking fell behind in the first half to a Dean Inman strike and, although they applied increasing pressure after the break, it looked as though they were heading for defeat. But with five minutes to go Elvis turned his man and shot across the keeper to level the scores. Both sides then had chances as they sought a win. Three minutes into injury time Elvis was tripped in the box and then stroked the resulting penalty home. A good morale-booster for the trip to Brighton and Hove Albion in the FA Cup the following Saturday.

Last season
Hampton and RB 0 Woking 2
5 September 2009

This was the Cards’ best display of the season to date. Delano Sam-Yorke’s pace and power and the midfield industry of Mark Ricketts and Sam Sloma gave Woking the edge. Woking took the lead in the 25th minute when Craig Watkins was fouled just outside the box. Sloma’s superb, curling free-kick beat the keeper all ends up. The Cards kept their grip on the game after the break and the second goal came when Sam-Yorke swept home a neat pass from ‘man of the match’ Sloma.

Woking 3 Hampton and RB 1
23 March 2010

Woking’s Craig Faulconbridge-inspired revival continued with this well-deserved win. Playing some good football, the Cards took the lead in the 38th minute when Faulconbridge stooped to head in an excellent cross from Ricky Anane. Harry Arter’s departure after the break, with an injury, seemed to disrupt Woking’s rhythm, however, and it was a relief when substitute Charlie Moone prodded home after some clever footwork from Moses Ademola had set up a chance for Nathaniel Pinney. But the visitors reduced the deficit with a goal from Yarnie. A nervous final ten minutes ensued but a brilliant solo goal from Pinney wrapped up a 3-1 win.

ADMISSION

Adults - £12
Juniors (u16s) - £2
Concessions / Students - £8

MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

See the earlier news item for details of our great matchday programme, including the new ‘lucky programme’ attraction. Buy a copy and support the Club!

Come on, you Cards!

N.B. Don’t forget that the Kingfield Road Bridge is closed to vehicles. Pedestrian access will remain via a footbridge, but those travelling by car to the ground may have to take a diversion. For more details about the diversion, including a map, please see the Woking Borough Council website: www.woking.gov.uk/en...nmap

Ricketts's rocket rumbles Richmond!

Glen Harrington
7:35pm, Wed 16th Mar 2011
Woking 2 Hampton & Richmond Borough 1
Blue Square Bet South
15th March 2011



The Cards left it late for the third match in succession as a Mark Ricketts' thunderbolt, fifteen minutes from time, was enough to deservedly claim all three points. Ricketts’ strike came as welcome relief for those around Kingfield, who had previously seen Moses Ademola’s close-range opener cancelled out by Hampton substitute Dan Thompson.

Garry Hill, looking to make it ten wins from eleven, opted for two surprise changes to the side that overcame both Weston-super-Mare and Thurrock the week before. First, Reiss Noel dropped to the bench and, with Joe McNerney still suspended, skipper Mark Ricketts (pictured) was asked to play alongside Adam Doyle at the back, leaving space for Andy Burgess to make his full debut in midfield. Nathan Koranteng also got his first start down the left in place of the usually right-sided winger Craig Dobson, Moses Ademola switching flanks to accommodate.

The Beavers, in contrast to their hosts, had endured a torrid run of form, winning only three of their previous twenty-two league fixtures in a run stretching back to early October. Despite last week’s shock 3-0 victory over the Cards' play-off rivals Chelmsford, which had briefly shown some signs of revival, Saturday’s home defeat to Weston had left Hampton just seven points clear of the relegation zone and in desperate need of further points.

The game started slowly with Borough obviously eager not to give away an early goal, strikers Ian Hodges and ex-Card Charlie Moone providing the only real attacking outlets as they chased the long ball out of defence. However, it was the Beavers who came closest to opening the scoring, the hosts struggling to clear a goalmouth scramble resulting from a corner.

An early scare for a defence that had only conceded once in its last ten league games seemed to wake the Cards out of their slumber, Ademola jinking into the penalty area and winning a corner of his own. Adam Doyle was also causing immediate problems as the visitors struggled to deal with his physical presence from set pieces, the big defender sending a header straight across goal before Elvis Hammond volleyed over.

Woking soon got their passing game going and it seemed only a matter of time before Borough would crack under the pressure, another ex-Card Francis Quarm becoming the first name in the referee’s note-book for a rash challenge on Koranteng. Hampton were obviously frustrated by their severe lack of possession.

Two minutes later and it was the Cards' turn to almost break the deadlock, Kieran Murtagh producing a wonderful turn on the edge of the area to escape his defender, before hitting his shot straight at keeper Matt Lovett. Murtagh was to come close again moments later, as he was presented with a free-header by Ricky Anane, placing his effort just over.

Just past the half hour mark and the hosts finally got the goal their pressure deserved - Adam Doyle again causing havoc in the Hampton penalty area as he got the first flick to a Kieran Murtagh corner. Following deflections from several bodies the ball finally fell to Moses Ademola, who turned in from six yards.

Half-time: Woking 1 Hampton & Richmond Borough 0

At the break both managers made changes. Garry Hill was unfortunately forced to withdraw Burgess, who had looked impressive with much of his passing before picking up a slight knock. Reiss Noel was brought on in his place. This also meant a welcome return to midfield for Ricketts who, despite an impressive display at centre-half, gave the team a far more familiar look with his half-time switch. Beavers' Manager Alan Devonshire meanwhile opted for a change of forwards, Dan Thompson replacing Hodges.

What a change that would prove to make for the visitors as, just seven minutes past the interval Moone found himself clean through on Andy Little’s goal. Despite Little’s best efforts to smother the first effort he was only able to divert possession into the path of Thompson, who was left the simple task of rolling the ball into an empty net. Only the noise of surprise joy from the Hampton staff and supporters broke the stunned silence around Kingfield.

Despite heavy possession and pressure in the ensuing passage of play the Cards struggled to create chances with Hampton looking to protect what they had won. With twenty minutes to go both managers again took action, each looking to win the tie – Ollie Palmer replacing Koranteng for Woking, the Beavers bringing on Laurence Yaku in place of Moone.

Having been on the pitch for just seconds, Yaku almost gave his side a shock lead against the run of play as, closing in on Little, the Hampton substitute looked certain to produce a mirror image of his side’s earlier goal. This time, however, the Woking keeper made no mistake with his interception, diving at the feet of the striker and crucially diverting the ball clear.

It would prove to be the final chance the visitors had to double their account, and one they would deeply regret squandering. Straight up the other end and step forward Mark Ricketts for a moment of magic. Collecting possession thirty yards from goal, the Woking skipper, as always, looked around for the best passing opportunities available to him. There weren’t any. With the likes of Hammond and Palmer tightly marked and without a defender closing him down, Ricketts instead let fly, seeing his effort curve majestically away from Lovett and nestle soundly in the bottom right-hand corner. The teammates, who had already half turned away in disappointment at their captain’s wastefulness, instead howled with delight as assistant boss Steve Thompson only just managed to restrain himself from running onto the pitch and joining in the celebrations.

The home side were now dominant, and even had the confidence to hand another striker, James Walker, his belated debut in place of an injured Jay Davies – Moses Ademola dropping into midfield to keep the 4-3-3 formation. Indeed, the Cards twice came close to doubling their lead in the same move, Hammond’s clever back-heel teeing up Murtagh to smash the ball against the post, before Aswad Thomas's salvaged cross was headed over by Palmer.

With the Beavers unable to string together a significant spell of ball retention, it was the Cards who also had the best chance of three minutes stoppage time, Hammond yet again linking up and exchanging passes with Murtagh, before seeing his effort smartly kept out by Lovett.

So the Cards are fourth following the extension of an unbeaten run to eleven games in which Woking have won ten, kept nine clean sheets, and scored twenty-two times. Thanks to Monday’s 2-2 draw between Dover and Chelmsford and Eastleigh’s goalless draw at Dartford the next night, Garry Hill has now seen his team rise eight places since his late January takeover, losing just once at leaders Braintree and taking 31 points from a possible 36. Not bad at all!

In relation to the sides around them the Cards sit three points adrift of Ebbsfleet and two behind Farnborough, who have one and two games in hand respectively. However, it is worth remembering we travel to both teams in the final week of the season. Chelmsford, in fifth, have now fallen a point behind Woking having also played thirty-three times, Welling a point further back with a game in hand. The other two play-off contenders to watch are Eastleigh, also two points behind, and Dover, a further three, who both have two matches in hand.

As well as the Cards hosting freefalling Bromley, this week’s key fixtures include Welling playing both Eastleigh and Ebbsfleet. With Woking still to play just four games against teams around them, it is vital that points continue to be picked up in every game, however ugly those points may be.

The race for the play-offs looks set to go to the last day of the season. Something that’s starting to become familiar!

Woking: Andrew Little, Ricky Anane, Aswad Thomas, Mark Ricketts, Andy Burgess (Reiss Noel 45), Adam Doyle, Nathan Koranteng (Ollie Palmer 68), Kieran Murtagh, Moses Ademola, Elvis Hammond, Jay Davies (James Walker 77).

Unused Subs: Anson Cousins, Matt Pegler.

Goals: Ademola 34, Ricketts 72.

Bookings: None

Hampton & Richmond Borough: Matt Lovett, Graham Harper, Pat O’Connor, Orlando Jeffrey, Dean Inman, Dean Wells, Francis Quarm (Gustavo Mota 83), James Simmonds, Ian Hodges (Dan Thompson 45), Charlie Moone (Laurence Yaku 70), David Tarpey.

Unused Subs: Kraig Rochester.

Goals: Thompson 52.

Bookings: Quarm 16, O’Connor 31, Harper 90.

MOTM: Mark Ricketts – His match-winning strike alone making him more than worthy of the award. The defensive and organisational side of his game was as strong as always and he adjusted well to being asked to play in defence for the first half. A captain’s performance!

Attendance: 1,037
WOKING LINEUP
1Andy Little
2Ricky Anane
3Aswad Thomas
4Mark Ricketts
5Andy Burgess ('45)
6Adam Doyle
7Nathan Koranteng ('68)
8Kieran Murtagh
9Moses Ademola
10Elvis Hammond
11Jay Davies ('77)
BENCH
12Reiss Noel ('45)
14James Walker ('77)
15Anson Cousins
16Ollie Palmer ('68)
18Matt Pegler
Hampton & Richmond LINEUP
1Matt Lovett
2Graham Harper
3Pat OConnor
4Orland Jeffery
5Dean Inman
6Dean Wells
7Francis Quarm ('83)
8James Simmonds
9Ian Hodges ('45)
10Charlie Moone ('70)
11David Tarpey
BENCH
12Lawrence Yaku ('70)
14Kraig Rochester
15Gustavo Mota ('83)
16Dan Thompson ('45)

Garry Hill Interview after Woking 2-1 Hampton & Richmond

Mark Ricketts Interview

David Holmes
11:31pm, Tue 15th Mar 2011
Interview with Man of the Match Mark Ricketts following Woking's 2-1 win against Hampton & Richmond this evening.

Mark Ricketts:








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