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Cards succumb to a resurgent Barrow

Andy Turner
12:00am, Wed 20th Feb 2013
AFC Barrow 2 Woking 0
Blue Square Bet Premier
19th February 2013

Woking followed up their disappointing defeat against Newport County last Saturday with an equally disappointing display against relegation-threatened Barrow, who scored in each half to secure a vital 2-0 victory in their quest to avoid the drop. To make matters worse, Lee Sawyer was sent off in the fifty-sixth minute for a foul on Paul Rutherford.

With Billy Knott nursing a hamstring injury and Bradley Bubb apparently ill, manager Garry Hill made 5 changes from Saturday's starting line-up. In came on-loan goalie Seb Brown, left back Mike Cestor, wide man Gavin McCallum and forwards Brett Williams and Jayden Stockley, so Woking lined up with Seb Brown in goal, Mike Cestor, Brett Johnson, Jack Parkinson and Adam Newton in defence, Gavin McCallum, Lee Sawyer, Adam Ricketts and Kevin Betsy in midfield, with Brett Williams and Jayden Stockley up front. Barrow included two Danny Rowe's and they proved to be a 'thorn' in Woking's side all night.

Barrow kick off and immediately Newton gets the ball, he releases Williams down the right and he shoots just wide. 5 minutes later McCallum is released down the left but shoots well wide. Barrow coming into the match, the excellent Richie Baker passes to Danny Rowe, who feeds Danny L Rowe and he shoots over.

The match changes in Barrow's favour in the 9th minute. Woking attack through Jayden Stockley, who heads on to Brett Williams, who then releases Gavin McCallum out on the left. He crosses in for Stockley to head down to Williams, who shoots. The ball hits the arm of Mike Pearson but the referee waves away Woking's penalty appeal. The ball immediately breaks upfield, Lee Sawyer loses it and Danny Rowe is released down the left. He goes past Adam Newton and into the box. Seb Brown comes out but the Barrow winger lifts his shot over the advancing keeper and into the net to give Barrow the lead.

Barrow are beginning to control the midfield with Richie Baker and Garry Hunter particularly influential. Paul Rutherford is also causing Woking a lot of problems down the right. The first card of the night is brandished after 16 minutes when Garry Hunter fouls Brett Williams on the halfway line and is cautioned. Barrow take the attack to Woking and after 21 minutes Adam Boyes receives the ball on the edge of the Woking penalty area. He easily turns Brett Johnson and shoots, but straight at Seb Brown.

Woking have a chance to test the Barrow keeper on 22 minutes when Kevin Betsy passes to Stockley on the edge of the penalty area. He's bundled over and Woking gain a free-kick in a dangerous position. Stockley takes the kick himself but hits the wall. Barrow immediately go upfield and Paul Rutherford crosses only to see the ball go agonisingly past the far post but Barrow gain a corner. Baker takes it and the experienced Efe Sodje rises unchallenged to head just wide.

Woking are struggling to control Barrow's midfield and nearly concede again on the half hour when a Richie Baker free-kick into Woking's box causes problems. Newton hesitates in clearing the ball and Danny L Rowe nips in to toe-poke the ball just past the post. Paul Rutherford is causing havoc down the right and puts in several dangerous crosses and it's Barrow who finish the half well on top with Danny L Rowe sending a shot just over the bar.

Half-time: Barrow AFC 1 Woking 0

The second half starts in similar fashion to the first when straight from the kick-off Brett Williams gets the ball and drifts into the left of the Barrow penalty area but shoots straight at the keeper. Barrow immediately break upfield with Paul Rutherford, who gets to the goal line and crosses. Seb Brown pushes away the cross but straight to Danny L Rowe, who crosses back in but Woking clear. After 49 minutes, Mark Ricketts is dispossessed by Danny L Rowe on the halfway line. He releases Adam Boyes, who goes past Parkinson and into the area. He shoots and Seb Brown blocks.

Woking fall further behind in the 53rd minute when Gavin Skelton goes down Woking's right. He passes to Danny L Rowe, who's fouled on the edge of the area by Lee Sawyer. The free-kick is almost in an identical position to Jayden Stockley's in the first half but, unlike Stockley, Danny L Rowe sends his kick superbly over the wall and into the bottom left-hand corner of Seb Brown's net to make it 2-0.

Shortly afterwards, Woking's night goes from bad to worse when Lee Sawyer lunges in on Paul Rutherford, upending the tricky winger right in front of the Woking bench. The referee has no hesitation in brandishing the red card, leaving the Cards with a mountain to climb. Garry Hill then brings on George Frith for Brett Williams and Woking have their best spell of the half following this change. After 65 minutes Adam Newton releases Betsy down the right. He goes to the goal line and gains a corner. McCallum takes the corner, which is cleared to George Frith on the edge of the area. He shoots, but just agonisingly wide. Soon after this, Betsy picks up the ball on the halfway line and surges through the Barrow ranks and into the area but ultimately shoots wide when well placed.

The match drifts somewhat now. Danny L Rowe shoots over when in a good position. Then Adam Boyes breaks clear into the Woking area but Brown smothers his shot well. Then finally good skill from Betsy on the left touchline gets him away from his marker. He passes to Loick Pires (who had replaced Jayden Stockley) but he shoots high and wide. The final whistle comes with Woking ultimately well beaten 2-0.

Overall, a disappointing performance by Woking especially when considering their recent good run. The absence of Billy Knott was clearly evident and the sending-off of Lee Sawyer didn't help. However, the fact that Woking were unable to really test a Barrow defence and goalkeeper which recently conceded 13 goals in two matches will be a worry to Garry Hill and Steve Thompson as they try to pick Woking up for Saturday's tricky trip to Southport.

Woking: Seb Brown, Adam Newton, Mike Cestor, Mark Ricketts (capt), Jack Parkinson, Kevin Betsy, Brett Williams (George Frith 59), Lee Sawyer, Brett Johnson (Adam Doyle 67), Gavin McCallum, Jayden Stockley (Loick Pires 76)

Unused subs: Joe McNerney, Elvijs Putnins

Cautions: Mark Ricketts 63

Sent Off: Lee Sawyer 56

AFC Barrow: Danny Hurst, Garry Hunter, Gavin Skelton, Mike Pearson, Efe Sodje, Paul Rutherford (Sean McConville 68), Richie Baker, Alex-Ray Harvey, Adam Boyes (Lee Mc Evilly 90), Danny L Rowe, Danny Rowe

Unused subs: Shaun Pearson, Matt Flynn, Tom Eckersley

Goals: DL Rowe 9, 53

Cautions: Garry Hunter 17

Attendance: 624

MOTM: Kevin Betsy – the few moments of quality and danger came from Kevin.

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