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Cards clinch fourth straight home win

Glen Harrington
8:02pm, Mon 31st Aug 2015
Woking 2 Welling United 0

The Vanarama National League

August 31st 2015

John Goddard and new signing Jimmy Keohane scored the goals as the Cards maintained their one hundred percent home record with a comfortable victory over Welling United at the Laithwaite Community Stadium.

After a goalless first period, Goddard opened the scoring just past the hour mark, heading home Bruno Andrade’s deep cross into the corner of the net. Keohane then made the game safe with just over ten minutes to go, collecting a pass from Keiran Murtagh on the edge of the area before skilfully turning his man and firing past the goalkeeper.

The Cards were relatively untroubled defensively. Xavier Vidal came closest for the visitors, twice forcing Jake Cole to dive and push the ball away from danger, while Reece Harris clipped the frame of the goal mid-way through the first-half.

Garry Hill and Steve Thompson made two changes from the team that drew with Boreham Wood on Monday. Ismail Yakubu and Mark Ricketts, who both went off injured in that game, were replaced by Andrade and another new signing, Terell Thomas, who joined the club on loan from Charlton Athletic.

Elsewhere, Joey Jones, who also limped off last time out, was thankfully able to start, but Godfrey Poku – who replaced Jones in Hertfordshire – was missing. Keohane, formerly of Exeter City, was a surprise inclusion on the substitute’s bench alongside academy defender Andrew Mills.

This all meant that Woking started the game in a 4-3-3 formation, with Andrade and Kadell Daniel playing wide of lone striker Dan Holman. Goddard was then the most advanced member of our three man midfield, with Jones and Murtagh protecting the back four.

After a slow start, the game sparked into life just after the 15 minute mark, with Andrade finding space down the left and swinging the ball into the area. Goddard was in the right place at the right time but was only able to scuff his shot into the floor.

The chances continued to flow for Woking’s number 11 as a run and shot saw him fire just wide of the right hand post, before Daniel’s cross was headed back across the box by Andrade and our top scorer forced a decent save from goalkeeper Tom King.

But the best effort of the half came from Murtagh, who brought the ball down expertly on his chest before volleying towards goal. The brilliance of King, who needed his fingertips to push the ball around the post and out for a corner, was all that prevented the home side from taking the lead.

There was still time for the visitors to go close as well – a long ball over the top catching Cole out of position and forcing the goalkeeper to head clear. The ball went straight to Vidal, who responded with an audacious effort after spotting the home 'keeper off his line, but Cole was still able to recover and bat the ball away.

Half-time: Woking 0 Welling United 0

The second-half started in much the same fashion, with Woking enjoying the better of the chances in a free-flowing and entertaining game. Andrade cut in from the left and shot wide, before Vidal against tested Cole with a stinging shot from long-range.

Appropriately, it was Andrade and Goddard who linked up to provide the goal. The former picked up the ball wide on the left after the Cards had cleared a corner and burst clear down the flank. Despite the fans baying for the ball to be put across the box, Andrade turned instead and looked to have missed his chance, as the Welling defenders hastily retreated. However, he was still able to work himself the room to cross and provide the perfect ball to pick out Goddard arriving at the back post, who had the simplest of tasks to head past King and give the hosts the lead.

The goal gave the home side the confidence to push forward and search for a second – a strike which soon came from Keohane, just ten minutes after he had come on to replace Daniel. Murtagh passed the ball into his feet and he twisted and turned his way past the defender before firing into the bottom left hand corner of the net.

There was still time for Chris Arthur to go close with his ball across the box which missed everyone and for Mills, with his first touch after coming on, to loop a header towards goal, only for it to be hacked clear.

All in all, it was another very positive day for the Cards, who were after all without the core of the team – a leading centre-back, the captain and our main striker, Scott Rendell, who is of course out for the season.

Thomas was particularly impressive on debut. The 19-year-old looked thoroughly assured throughout – a remarkable achievement considering the fact that he’d probably only met the vast majority of his teammates earlier in the day.

The win keeps Woking firmly in the play-off places, just five points adrift of league leaders Forest Green Rovers. The Cards next play away to Macclesfield on Saturday, so why not make the trip if you possibly can and support the team as they look to extend their unbeaten run.

Woking: Jake Cole, Jake Caprice, Chris Arthur, Terell Thomas, Brian Saah, Joey Jones, Keiran Murtagh (c), John Goddard (Ben Pattie 87), Kadell Daniel (Jimmy Keohane 68), Bruno Andrade (Andrew Mills 90), Dan Holman

Subs not used: Giuseppe Sole, Nick Hamann

Goals: John Goddard 62, Jimmy Keohane 78

Cautions: John Goddard 42, Jimmy Keohane 86

Welling United: Tom King, Harry Osborne, Ben Jefford, Michael Chambers, Sam Corne, Harry Lee (Afolabi Obafemi 82), Reece Harris, Kevin Lokko, George Porter, Ricky Wellard (Kojo Awotwi 73), Xavier Vidal

Subs not used: Mike McEntegart, Zach Fagan, Tashan Adeyinka

Cautions: Ben Jefford 75

Attendance: 1,675

Sponsor's MOTM: Bruno Andrade – made the first goal for Goddard with an inch-perfect cross and caused constant problems for Welling down the flanks – initially on the left and then latterly on the right.

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