Devastating Woking hit local rivals for seven

Glen Harrington
8:45pm, Sat 24th Nov 2012
Woking 7 Farnborough 0
FA Trophy First Round
24th November 2012

Woking ended a run of four games without a win with a spectacular seven-goal thrashing of local rivals Farnborough in the FA Trophy.

The Cards' Blue Square South opponents were outplayed throughout as goals from Kevin Betsy, Jayden Stockley, Billy Knott and Brett Williams (pictured) put the result all but beyond doubt before half-time.

Stockley and Knott both netted for a second time shortly after the interval, before substitute Gavin McCallum’s header completed the visitors' misery with ten minutes remaining.

Winger Nic Ciardini came closest to striking for Spencer Day’s side, but his driven shot from the flank flashed wide of Aaron Howe’s left-hand post.

Garry Hill and Steve Thompson made three changes from last weekend’s defeat to Alfreton Town, with Brett Johnson replacing Jack Parkinson in defence, Lee Sawyer – returned from suspension – coming in for Dean Sinclair, and Knott making a welcome from return to injury to displace McCallum.

Farnborough’s side featured former Woking players Elvis Hammond and, as captain, Alan Inns. Aldershot loanee Reece Connolly also started for the men in yellow.

From the outset the home side’s slick passing and superior movement in difficult conditions looked far too much for Boro’ to contain.

The hosts needed just six minutes to take advantage of their early dominance, with Betsy turning his man on the edge of the area, cutting down the right and seeing his deflected effort trickle past Boro’ keeper Craig Bradshaw, somehow finding the net.

Wave after wave of red and white shirts continued to bombard the visitors' goal, and within fifteen minutes the lead had been doubled: Williams using all his strength to outmuscle Josh Huggins inside the penalty area and square for Stockley to tap home his first Woking goal.

Only the brilliance of Bradshaw prevented the Cards adding to their lead with each attack – the Farnborough keeper saving from Knott and Johnson, with the latter also seeing a header strike the underside of the crossbar.

Ciardini found a rare portion of space on the left flank midway through the first-half, but his flashing effort aimed at the bottom right-hand corner of the goal went comfortably wide. It would be the closest the visitors would come in the entire game.

A delightful interchange between Knott and Stockley forced another fine save from Bradshaw, but it was only a brief respite for the Boro’ keeper, who was soon beaten again – John Nutter’s hanging cross from the left-hand side nodded down by Stockley for Knott, who crashed an effort emphatically into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.

Within two minutes Woking were in again, and making everything look ever so easy. Kevin Betsy broke free down the right, and had all the time in the world to pick out a square pass for Williams. The Cards' born-again striker confidently side-stepped Huggins and stroked the ball past Bradshaw.

Half-time: Woking 4 Farnborough 0

Spencer Day sent his players out early after the interval, but it did little to slow the Woking players momentum or, more importantly, their growing confidence.

As always, Betsy appeared to be at the heart of all Woking’s good play, breaking forward and releasing Nutter down the left with an inch-perfect pass. Another excellent cross followed from the Lincoln City loanee, his effort allowing Stockley to slide in and prod home a simple fifth.

Williams was unlucky not to match his teammate and grab his second of the game, as his deflected cross from the right flank required Bradshaw to push the ball around the post.

Even a triple Boro’ change – introducing Dave Tarpey, Alfred Bosch and Medi Abalimba – still couldn’t change their misfortune, a Knott free-kick from the right-hand corner of the penalty area somehow eluding everybody and ending up in the bottom left corner of the net.

With the game already emphatically won, a delighted Hill and Thompson were given the ideal opportunity to rest players, particularly Knott, who was playing in his first game since 9th October. The Sunderland loanee was replaced by Sinclair, with Mark Ricketts and man-of-the-match Williams also making way for McCallum and Mike Cestor.

Content and comfortable, Woking’s ambitions turned to their defence, who were without a clean sheet since mid-August. However, a frustrated and isolated Hammond made a lonely figure in the visitors' frontline, allowing the Cards to venture forward in search of more goals of their own.

That was just what they got as McCallum, who was unlucky to miss out on the day’s starting line-up, flicked a Sawyer corner into the roof of the Farnborough net.

It should have been a brace for the pacey winger moments later, as he volleyed Cestor’s fine cross over the bar from close range.

The closing stages followed the same pattern as the rest of the game, with Bradshaw only increasing his reputation as the visitors' best player – saving well from Cestor, Stockley and McCallum inside the final five minutes.

Desperate for his hat-trick, Stockley had the Cards' final chance in stoppage time, but struck over after McCallum had cushioned down Nutter’s cross from the left.

All in all, it was a very encouraging performance against a surprisingly disappointing Farnborough side. Loan signings Nutter, Stockley and Knott all impressed again on only their second appearances for the club, while Williams’ dramatic improvement is a huge bonus and something that meant Loick Pires was unable to even find a place on the substitutes' bench.

With Parkinson and Adam Doyle also missing out on today’s squad, the Woking management team have an attractively large and morale-boosted squad to pick from in a busy upcoming Christmas schedule, which starts with a trip to Hyde next Saturday.

League action will remain a priority, but the £5,000 prize money won today against a team who are in their division’s play-off hunt is not to be sniffed at. The draw for the second round is made on Monday.

Woking: Aaron Howe, Adam Newton, John Nutter, Joe McNerney, Brett Johnson, Mark Ricketts (Gavin McCallum 62), Lee Sawyer, Kevin Betsy, Billy Knott (Dean Sinclair 62), Brett Williams (Mike Cestor 68), Jayden Stockley

Unused Subs: Sam Beasant, Bradley Bubb

Goal(s): Betsy 6, Stockley 14 & 53, Knott 32 & 61, Williams 34, McCallum 77

Booked: None

Farnborough: Craig Bradshaw, Josh Huggins, Olly Treacher, Dean Inman, Alan Inns, Reece Jones (Alfred Bosch 59), Daniel Bennett, Steve Laidler (Medi Abalimba 59), Reece Connolly (Dave Tarpey 59), Elvis Hammond, Nic Ciardini

Unused Subs: Jamie Norris, Marcus Moody

Goal(s): None

Booked: None

MOTM: Brett Williams – Continues to improve, his transformation in recent weeks has been astonishing. Scored one, made one, and could have had more.

Attendance: 979

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