Cards send Weston reeling to home defeat
5:11pm, Wed 21st Mar 2012
Weston-super-Mare 0 Woking 3
Blue Square Bet South
20th March 2012
Woking kept a tight grip on the leadership of Conference South with this dominant win, the most uncomfortable moments occurring only when they were already three up.
A tight ground and hard unforgiving pitch meant little time on the ball in the early stages of this match, where Woking had secured the narrowest of 1-0 away wins last season. Both sides traded midfield tussles for supremacy with Keiran Murtagh (pictured) already underlining his recent form with control and product in his promptings.
From the start Ademola driving down the right got his cross in and as the ball ran loose Kevin Betsyâ€™s shot was blocked
Good work on the left by Murtagh, feeding Betsy set up Giuseppe Sole. From outside the penalty area he fired home, high to the keeperâ€™s left. Rooted as he was, it suggested a deflection on the way but it was powerfully struck. The Cards were one up with only five minutes on the clock.
Soon Pepperell had Howe diving low to clutch at his near post in response. Murtagh exchanged passes with Davis to set Betsy loose in the box but his shot was blocked. The follow-up corner was put in by Paris Cowan-Hall on the line at the near post. Cheers were stifled as referee Plane penalised him with a card for using his hand. He was quickly followed into the notebook by Adam Doyle for upending his man down by the Cardsâ€™ left corner flag.
Weston were being forced back into their own half by Wokingâ€™s probing but would not give up the struggle and another sharp chance fell to Pepperell only for his shot to be blocked. Murtagh capitalised on Soleâ€™s tackling back to steal the ball and slip Cowan-Hall in on the left side of the area only for his flick with the outside of the right boot to be thwarted by the plunging Irish.
Treatment for an Inns head injury and worse the combative Adam Newton kicking out of play before sinking to the turf, either a victim of the pitch or a recurrent knee problem, led to a reshuffle. Tom Davis switched to right back giving Jack King a return to midfield from the bench. Were the wheels coming off the Woking wagon? Not a bit of it. Two goals in three minutes decided this encounter.
Cowan-Hall latched on to a probing pass via Davis and his change of pace took him beyond his man to the byline where he whipped the ball across low for Sole to sweep gleefully home from three yards. Before we could catch our breath Murtagh again threaded through for Betsy and he rounded Irish before coolly slotting home with players back on the line. Three up and his first goal back with the Cards.
There was still time for Brett Trowbridge to find space only to have his shot blocked and Adam Doyle to get caught playing football in his own area and concede a corner that came to nothing.
Half-time Weston-super-Mare 0 Woking 3
The Cards resumed the second half where they left off with King, put in by Murtagh, finding Irish diving at his feet on the edge of the penalty area for the danger to be cleared. Derek Duncan tried his luck from distance.
Nat Pepperell, a menace for the hosts raiding down the right, cut back his cross from the byline for Kane Ingram, who should have converted but his close-range header was deflected wide. The resultant corner was headed over by Price, when free, from 12 yards. Warning signs that the Cards would not have it all their own way.
Despite pressure it was still Woking who looked most likely. Betsy stole up on a central defender and picked his pocket to feed Moses Ademola only for him to be tackled before he could threaten.
Weston threw on Sahr Kabba for Marcus Duharty. It was soon clear what a thorn in the side he could be, giving Adam Doyle an uncomfortable last half hour in which he could have found himself warming the bench with a less reasonable referee. He had hold of the substitute striker several times in an effort to shackle him. Aaron Howe smothered one half-hit shot and another Peverell charge sent the ball flying across the six-yard box without a touch from the sliding Ingram. A while later Doyle let in Kabba, again on the right, with the same outcome.
Garry Hill shuffled his strikers with an eye on Eastbourne on Saturday, bringing on Wayne Gray for Cowanâ€“Hall and with ten minutes to go, Elvis Hammond for Gez Sole, receiving a warm ovation. The sinuous Betsy, still gliding down the left, contributed to another chance for Elvis to shoot wide.
Grubbâ€™s dipper from outside the area on the right was well held by Howe and then Alan Inns, still up after a free-kick, did get in close from Murtaghâ€™s set-up, but his â€˜goalâ€™ was ruled out for offside. Yellow cards were exchanged for Jack King and Ingram in quick succession
At the finish Ademola broke and Irish saved and then Gray, put in on the left, screwed his shot wide.
Woking: Aaron Howe, Adam Newton (Jack King 38), Derek Duncan, Keiran Murtagh, Alan Inns, Adam Doyle, Paris Cowan-Hall (Wayne Gray 72), Tom Davis, Moses Ademola, Giuseppe Sole (Elvis Hammond 80), Kevin Betsy
Unused Subs: Andy Little, Joe McNerney
Goals: Sole 5 and 42; Betsy 44
Booked: Cowan-Hall 19; Doyle 23; King 77
Weston: Lloyd Irish, Jamie Price, Martin Slocombe, Brett Trowbridge, Matt Villis, Jamie Laird, Dayle Grubb, Ben Kirk, Marcus Duharty (Sahr Kabba 61), Kane Ingram, Nat Peperell
Unused Subs: Nabi Diallo, Ben Cleverly, Chris Young, Marc McGregor
Booked: Brett Trowbridge 75
MotM: Murtagh - bossing key areas in that vital first half hour.