Unbeaten Cards win away at old rivals Aldershot
1:37pm, Wed 10th Sep 2014
Aldershot Town 0 Woking 1
Tuesday 9th September 2014
Woking faced fierce rivals Aldershot on Tuesday evening as they looked to defeat them in a league match for the first time on their home turf for many years.
The Cards went into the game unbeaten, third in the table and fresh from their comfortable victory against Lincoln City on Saturday. Garry Hill started with the same team that delivered that excellent win as he looked to continue the fine start to the season. The superb attendance of 679 travelling Cards fans at a game watched by over three and a half thousand showed how much the supporters were determined to will their side on to victory.
The Cards maintained a determined and well-organised defence during the first half despite losing both captain Mark Ricketts and keeper Aaron Howe within the first half-hour. Several chances up front failed to find the back of the net in a scoreless first period.
The team continued to stay strong and performed well in the second half. A brilliant Giuseppe Sole free-kick in the 70th minute from 35 plus yards out opened the scoring. Woking held onto the lead until the final whistle to secure a famous victory.
Former Cards player Brett Williams had thrown down the gauntlet in the Non-League Paper before the match, but Wokingâ€™s defence played well and Gary Hill said in his interview afterwards that â€œMan of the Matchâ€™, Joe McNerney, â€œhad him in his pocket!â€� He also had warm praise for replacement goalkeeper Andy Little. Garryâ€™s half-time talk was along the lines of â€œDig deep and show what you are made of!â€� This group of talented, resilient and determined players certainly did just that!
The Cardinals had a chance early on when a Joey Jones shot went just wide of the goal in the 7th minute. Aldershot replied a couple of minutes later, but Josh Scottâ€™s header from close range went just over the bar.
Mike Cestor replaced Mark Ricketts, following his injury, in the 13th minute. Three minutes on and a Brett Williams cross was blocked by Joe McNerney.
Both teams pressed attacks home with little to show for it. 25 minutes in, Aaron Howe took a knock but carried on bravely. But it didnâ€™t look good and Andy Little was soon warming up ready on the sidelines.
Later on Josh Payne took a corner for the Cards. Smith, the Aldershot keeper, failed to gather but the Shotsâ€™ defence smuggled the ball away for another corner.
By now the injury to Howe had proved too bad for him to continue and Andy Little entered the fray. This was the veteran stopperâ€™s first competitive game since April 2012.
Josh Payne was booked for a foul on Jaydon Gibbs and then Wokingâ€™s best first-half chance then came as Dean Morganâ€™s 40st minute curling shot from 25 yards hit the Shots' woodwork. Finally, a Josh Payne shot was blocked by the Aldershot defence.
Half-time: Aldershot Town 0 Woking 0
The second half started with plenty of action as Dean Morgan was fouled after showing great skill, but nothing came from the free-kick. Shortly afterwards there was a scramble in the Aldershot goalmouth. Despite the scrappy play from both sides Woking stayed strong and determined.
Giuseppe Sole later demonstrated great bravery when he blocked a shot with his body. Shots' sub Dan Fitchett came on for Sam Hatton. Andy Little showed form as he punched clear a corner. Sole then had a 35-yard shot deflected for a corner.
On the hour mark Scott Rendell used great skill to hold onto the ball before releasing Theo Lewis. The winger was in a good position but sliced his shot wide of the goal.
In the 70th minute Scott Rendell was fouled and the defining moment of the match resulted. Giuseppe Sole stepped up to take the free-kick from 35 plus yards out. His superb strike flew past the keeper Phil Smithâ€™s outstretched hand into the far corner of the net. A moment of real class and one that sent the Cards supporters wild with delight!
A frustrated Aldershot struggled to reply and pressed forward as they tried, in vain, to find an equaliser. A Damon Lathrope cross found Josh Scott, but Joe McNerney, secure as ever, was on hand to clear the ball to the sidelines. Giuseppe Sole was then replaced by John Goddard to rapturous applause from the Woking faithful.
A foul on Scott Rendell in the 79th minute saw a Josh Payne free-kick cleared away by the Shotsâ€™ defence. Then a Brett Williams 86th minute header was well taken by Andy Little and that was as much as the hosts could offer.
Aldershot pressed but a resolute Cards side held firm. Three minutes of extra time meant further anxiety for Woking fans before the final whistle put an end to the long wait for a victory against Aldershot.
Next up, a home game against Chester on Saturday. Come down to Kingfield to support the Cards as they look to extend even further this wonderful unbeaten run!
Woking : Aaron Howe (Andy Little 32), Mark Ricketts (Captain) (Mike Cestor 13), Joe McNerney, James Clarke, Josh Payne, Scott Rendell, Giuseppe Sole (John Goddard 78), Theo Lewis, Dean Morgan, Chris Arthur
Unused Subs: Kieran Murtagh, Reece Beckles
Bookings: Payne (35)
Goal: Giuseppe Sole (70)
Aldershot: Phil Smith, Joe Oastler, Anthony Tonkin (Tom Derry 78), Damon Lathrope, Glenn Wilson (Captain), Sam Hatton (Dan Fitchett 57), Brett Williams, Josh Scott (Tristan Plummer 78), Jaydon Gibbs, Jordan Roberts, Kieron Forbes
Unused Subs: Dan Thomas, Nabi Diallo
Bookings: Forbes (69)
My MOTM: Joe McNerney