BURTON ALBION 2 WOKING 1
12:00am, Mon 12th Mar 2007
3pm on Saturday 10 March 2007
Woking dropped to 16th in the league, 3 points above the relegation zone, following a 2-1 defeat by Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium. The Brewers moved up to 6th, one point outside the play-offs.
Gary MacDonald started his second league game of the year, after a run out on Thursday against Merstham, in a back three alongside Jason Pearce and Tom Hutchinson. Curtis Osano and Adam Green started in wide positions, aiding Neil Smith, Ollie Berquez and Karl Murray in the middle. Craig McAllister partnered Giuseppe Sole up front.
Burton were out of the traps first with some early pressure in the Woking half. The first chance of the match arrived 5 minutes in courtesy of the Brewers? 13 goal striker Daryl Clare. A great cross from wide on the right was met by Clare in space in the area. His free header was brilliantly saved by Bittner, diving to his right to push the ball out for a corner.
Five minutes later Jon Shaw saw his shot deflected for a corner and John Brayford rose highest from the resulting set play but headed over under pressure from the Cards defence. Karl Murray hit back for Woking at the opposite end, turning and hitting a dipping volley just over from 20 yards. Burton again went on the attack shortly afterwards. John Brayford picked up a pass in midfield, ran forward and hit a fierce effort high over the bar.
Woking soaked up the early pressure and edged their way back into the game as the half wore on. A free kick on the half hour was met by the head of Hutchinson, but Kevin Poole in the Burton goal watched his effort clear the goal.
Gez got in behind the Brewers defence on a couple of occasions but the first goal of the game was one for the home fans to cheer about. Burton won a free kick 35 yards out and a long ball over the Cards defence found Darren Stride in space inside the area. He stretched and just managed to get a foot to it, poking the ball over James Bittner into the empty net.
Woking hit back straight away, driving forward in search of an equaliser. Craig McAllister had a chance a minute after Stride?s goal, shooting from just inside the area. Poole claimed, but was busy again soon afterwards. A Woking corner was headed out to Adam Green on the edge of the area. Adam hit a fierce shot back into the melee from 25 yards but watched hit shot sail over.
Woking got the goal they were searching for just before the interval. Gez was fouled to the right of the Burton area. Adam Green stepped up to take the set play. His cross fell to Craig McAllister who headed on past Kevin Poole to make it 1-1. There was still time for a looping header from Hutch to go just over, but the sides went in level at half time.
Half Time: Burton Albion 1 Woking 1
Burton went on the attack from the offset. A minute after the break Woking conceded a corner from which Brayford sent a glancing header wide.
The Brewers took the lead in the 54th minute through the same man. Adam Green conceded a free kick, a foul for which he was booked. Lee Bell hit a fierce shot goalwards which was deflected by the wall into the middle. John Brayford was on hand to bundle the ball over James Bittner to make it 2-1 to the home side.
Alex Nicholls had a chance shortly afterwards well saved by Bittner and Gez clashed with keeper Poole but referee Pawson adjudged there to have been no foul on the Woking forward.
Burton had a goal ruled out for offside on the hour, but Woking kept plugging away at the Brewers defence. Ian Selley made a welcome return to the midfield in place of Smudge for his first Conference start of the season and shortly afterwards Hutch found space and tried his luck from distance. He hit the target from 20 yards but unfortunately Kevin Poole stood in the way. Selley had a shot blocked in the 85th minute which looked like it could trouble the Burton keeper as the Cards pressed forward, but Burton held on for the win.
Woking didn?t lack for effort on this bright afternoon but the clouds are rolling in points wise with just 4 league wins since that memorable evening back in October against Aldershot. Here?s to hoping a 2-0 victory will be on the Cards for the return match on Tuesday night. I?m sure everyone at today?s match will also hope that Peter McGuire finally found his cousin in the club shop!
Woking: Bittner, Hutchinson, MacDonald, Pearce, Osano, Smith (Selley), Berquez, Murray, Green, Sole, McAllister (Lambu)
Subs not used: Gindre, Bunce, S. Cockerill
My MOTM: I can?t decide between Curtis Osano and Gary MacDonald so I?m choosing both.