3:00pm - SaturdaySat 23rd AprilApr 2011
Cherrywood Road | Att: 1879

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Cards' huge play-off test

Brian Caffarey
7:56am, Fri 22nd Apr 2011
Farnborough v Woking
3pm on Saturday 23 April 2011

The big Easter Saturday clash! The Cards, lying in fifth place but needing points to stay there, travel a few miles down the road to Farnborough, in second place and still hoping to overhaul Braintree Town for automatic promotion to the BSP. A bumper crowd is expected at the Rushmoor Stadium. Woking fans were asked to buy tickets in advance since the space to be allocated would be determined by the number of tickets sold but it’s hoped that tickets will still be available on the day for away fans.


Garry Hill has consistently said that the Cards need 76 points to be reasonably certain of securing a play-off place. That means getting 7 points from their remaining three games: a very tough call since it implies that in addition to getting three points from the home game against Weston-super-Mare on Monday – not to be taken for granted – the Cards can garner four points from away trips to Farnborough and, on the last day, Ebbsfleet United. So, Garry Hill’s side have to get at least one point from the Farnborough match to remain on target.

That would be hard enough with a full-strength side but Garry will be missing Adam Doyle, who’s been superb in defence this season, and his natural replacement, Reiss Noel, who’s also suspended. There has been much speculation about how Garry will re-shuffle his pack but he will be loath to weaken his midfield since Farnborough look particularly strong in that area.

By the time the two sides meet on Saturday, the table will have changed again since all their rivals meet this (Friday) afternoon:

Boreham Wood v Eastleigh
Dover Athletic v Basingstoke Town
Ebbsfleet United v Chelmsford City
Hampton and Richmond Borough v Braintree Town
Welling United v Thurrock

Cards fans will be hoping, in particular, that Ebbsfleet defeat Chelmsford City, who, along with Dover Athletic and Eastleigh, are also competing for the final play-off place, although Welling too, in 4th place, could still be caught.


Farnborough, who are guaranteed a play-off place, are 4 points behind Braintree Town but that gap could be extended to seven points before Saturday’s game if the Iron beat Hampton and Richmond later today. But Steve King has made it clear that, even if automatic promotion cannot be secured, they will want to secure the runners-up spot. King won the latest BSS Manager of the Month award, with Kezie Ibe securing the BSS Player of the Month award.

Farnborough approach this game on the back of three tough away games at play-off contenders, having won at Chelmsford and Eastleigh and lost at Welling. Working back from their last game at Chelmsford their last six results have been:

Chelmsford City 0 Farnborough 1
Welling United 1 Farnborough 0
Eastleigh 0 Farnborough 3
Farnborough 2 Bromley 2
Boreham Wood 2 Farnborough 4
Farnborough 2 Weston-super-Mare 0

Kezie Ibe is out injured and will miss this game and there are doubts too about winger Bradley Bubb. Jay Davies, who played for Woking in last month’s clash between the two sides, has been mainly on the bench for Steve King’s side since his move on transfer deadline day.


Woking 1 Farnborough 1
5 March 2011

If last month’s encounter is anything to go by, fans will be in for a very exciting encounter on Saturday. In front of a 2,123 crowd the Cards took an early lead through Kieran Murtagh, only to concede an equaliser in the 97th minute scored by Dale Binns. In between Steve King had been sent to the stands and seven players were booked.


See the earlier news item.

Come on, you Cards!

P.S. Don’t forget that the Cards are at home on Easter Monday afternoon to Weston-super-Mare and that all U16s are being admitted free.

Superb win for Cards

Brian Caffarey
9:19pm, Sat 23rd Apr 2011
Farnborough 1 Woking 2
23 April 2011

Garry Hill had targeted seven points from the Cards’ last three games but I suspect that not many Woking fans had believed that three of them would come from this trip to second-placed Farnborough. But Garry’s side had other thoughts and, from the kick-off, seemed much more determined than their hosts, taking a deserved lead midway through the first half through Elvis Hammond (pictured), adding to it soon after the break with an own goal and then having to hang on rather nervously at the end after Farnborough had pulled a goal back in the 82nd minute. This great result restores the Cards to fifth place. They now need to beat Weston-super-Mare at home on Easter Monday before seeing what result they need at Ebbsfleet next Saturday.

Missing Adam Doyle and Reiss Noel, Garry recalled Alan Inns from his loan spell at Boreham Wood – and what a superb decision that turned out to be. Inns proceeded to play a ‘blinder’, winning virtually every header and tackle and getting my nomination as ‘man of the match’.

Those who hadn’t been to Farnborough’s ground for a while probably found it hard to believe they were at Cherrywood Road, with an impressive stand largely finished behind one goal – and partially in use for the first time today – and other improvements in evidence. (I’m sure they don’t really need Darlington’s old stand too!)

There was an excellent turn-out from Woking fans on a warm afternoon. A welcome bit of cloud cover came over just before the kick-off and, much to everyone’s surprise, some wet stuff fell – in large tropical drops! – after the interval.

The Cards looked much the sharper side from the kick-off, with Moses Ademola getting a decent effort in as early as the fourth minute whilst, by way of contrast, McMahon over-hit the home side’s first free-kick straight out of play.

Inns, not content with dominating defence, then got some sort of contact on a cross, seeing the ball spin away for a goal kick. Michael Doughty, showing some excellent composure on the ball in midfield, made a nice crossfield run, slipping the ball into Elvis Hammond’s path but the Woking striker’s shot was just wide.

Farnborough had a couple of forays forward around the ten-minute mark, with one causing some nervousness in the Woking defence as the ball travelled across the area but the Cards were soon on the attack again, with a header from Inns, who, however, could not get any purchase on his effort.

At this stage, Woking were inclined to try to hit the front men too quickly, with several balls travelling straight through to Jordan, the Farnborough keeper.

The deadlock was broken in the 20th minute when Doughty hooked a superb ball over the defender and into Hammond’s run into the left of the Farnborough area. Hammond nudged the ball on and then deftly lifted it just wide of the advancing keeper, seeing it roll just inside the far post in front of the ecstatic Woking contingent behind the goal.

The home side gradually clawed their way back into the game but found it hard to get past the industrious Mark Ricketts in midfield and the stalwart defending of Inns and Joe McNerney at the back. A fluent Woking move in the 24th minute involving Craig Dobson, Ricky Anane and Elvis Hammond ended with Hammond shooting over but he’d already been flagged for offside. Ten minutes later Malcolm made a fine run into the box but was just thwarted and then McNerney made a crucial tackle on the half-way line as Farnborough broke quickly upfield.

After Doughty had been fouled Dobson tried to go for the top corner but his free-kick was well over the bar. At the other end, Inns blocked an attack but confusion followed as Anane nearly played Farnborough in accidentally.

From a Woking standpoint, it was now mainly a matter of getting to half-time with their lead intact. The burly defender Smith, up for an attack, swivelled but shot high over the bar. Aswad Thomas foiled another attack with some decisive defending in the corner. Another Farnborough free-kick briefly threatened but two home players got in each other’s way and the ball went harmlessly through to Andy Little. Inns and McNerney did their bit too to get the Cards safely through to half-time.

Half-time: Farnborough 0 Woking 1

Only five uneventful minutes into the second half the Cards doubled their lead. Andy Burgess curled in a free-kick from way out on Farnborough’s left flank. It was hard to see quite what happened as the keeper went for the ball. In any event he failed to take it, with the ball carrying on into the net. I was expecting the referee’s whistle to go for a foul – not that I’d seen one – but instead an own goal was awarded to give the Cards a 2-0 lead!

It now looked a long way back for a Farnborough side who, subconsciously, seemed to have settled for a play-off place rather than believing that they could still challenge Braintree for the title. Nevertheless, Malcolm went close in the 60th minute when some clever play round the box opened up a shooting opportunity, with his chipped effort going narrowly wide. Dobson almost gifted Steve King’s side a goal as his very rash flick as the Cards broke from defence let Binns in on goal but, fortunately for Dobson and Cards fans, he shot wide. Dobson soon found himself replaced by Nathan Koranteng but whether this was as a result of his ‘howler’ wasn’t clear.

By now the referee was adding names to his note-book with questionable frequency as Ricketts joined Anane on a yellow card along with several home players. Others were to follow.

As Farnborough pressed forward there looked to be chances for Woking to grab a third goal but no decisive openings materialised, although Ademola had a decent effort on target after robbing a defender. Farnborough looked intermittently dangerous as they moved the ball quickly around the edge of the Woking area but a brilliantly-timed tackle by McNerney averted the most pressing threat.

As the game moved into the last ten minutes of normal time it was beginning to look as though the Cards would claim a fairly comfortable win but an excellent, clean strike from MacDonald from the edge of the area in the 82nd minute – which gave Little no chance at all – presaged a nerve-wracking finale for Woking fans, exacerbated by the five minutes of added time. The Cards sought to use up time by keeping the ball in the Farnborough corner for as long as possible but McMahon volleyed over from one attack and, in injury time, a header went over the bar, with Little off his line. But by and large some steadfast Woking closing-down and tackling kept the hosts at bay, with the final whistle being greeted with jubilation by Woking fans.

Garry has now got to drum into his players that this terrific win will be no use at all if we don’t beat Weston-super-Mare on Monday!

Woking: Andy Little, Ricky Anane, Aswad Thomas, Mark Ricketts, Joe McNerney, Alan Inns, Craig Dobson (Nathan Koranteng), Andy Burgess, Moses Ademola (Ollie Palmer), Elvis Hammond , Michael Doughty

Unused subs: Dave Gilroy, James Walker, James Pullen

Booked: Ricky Anane, Mark Ricketts, Nathan Koranteng, Ollie Palmer

My MOTM: Alan Inns

Attendance: 1879

Farnborough LINEUP
1Michael Jordan
2Jay Conroy
3Craig Braham-Barrett ('90)
4Jack King
5Steve Robinson
6James Smith
7Daryl McMahon
8Gary Holloway
9Paul Booth ('74)
10Michael Malcolm
11Dale Binns
12Dean McDonald ('74)
14Owen Price
15Jay Davies ('90)
16Jamie Stevens
17Nic Ciardini
1Andy Little
2Ricky Anane
3Aswad Thomas
4Mark Ricketts
5Joe McNerney
6Alan Inns
7Craig Dobson ('65)
8Andy Burgess
9Moses Ademola ('86)
10Elvis Hammond
11Michael Doughty
12Dave Gilroy
14James Walker
15Nathan Koranteng ('65)
16Ollie Palmer ('86)
18James Pullen

Garry Hill Interview after Farnborough 1-2 Woking

Alan Inns Interview

David Holmes
8:28pm, Sat 23rd Apr 2011
Interview with Alan Inns following Woking's 2-1 win against Farnborough today.

Alan Inns:

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