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Cards fail to grab chance

Brian Caffarey
9:22pm, Sat 13th Feb 2016
Woking 0 Guiseley AFC 1
13 February 2016

A below-par display from Garry Hill’s side, especially in the first half, resulted in the Cards passing up a great opportunity to move into the play-off places. Woking fell behind to an early goal and, although they perked up in the second half, they were unable to fashion an equaliser, let alone grab the three points they really needed.

On a cold, grey, damp afternoon the Cards lined up with Matt Robinson on the right flank in place of Bruno Andrade, with the on-loan Luton midfielder never looking comfortable in that role, and it was not until Andrade came on early in the second half that Woking began to come to life.

The Cards started sluggishly and almost went behind as early as the third minute, Jake Cole just managing to divert a shot for a corner after Gavin Rothery had been allowed to run into the box unchallenged. Woking responded with a blocked effort from Mark Ricketts and then Shaun Jeffers, put clear, had a fierce drive saved by keeper Steven Drench, who was excellent on the relatively few occasions he was called into action.

The visitors continued to threaten, racking up corners, with the Cards finding it difficult to clear their lines convincingly. But the Lions’ goal in the 9th minute came from a counter-attack. Scott Griffiths was caught upfield as an attack broke down. His defensive colleagues seemed unaware of the huge gap which he had left, Brian Saah getting across too late to prevent a cross coming in, which Liam Dickinson converted easily from close in.

As so often this season, the Cards’ prospects seemed to rest mainly on the skills of John Goddard as he went on a tricky run, putting in a dangerous cross. But when he worked a good shooting chance later he shot tamely at Drench.

Guiseley had a good chance to double their lead when Emile Sinclair left Joey Jones in his wake, only to be foiled by Jake Cole tipping his shot over the bar.

There was then a delay of some six minutes after Jeffers, with no one around him, suddenly collapsed. He was eventually stretchered off, with the rumours being that he had suffered a very painful back spasm. Gez Sole came on to replace him.

In the 38th minute Goddard’s clever footwork left two defenders for dead on the edge of the area. His fierce drive was palmed by Drench straight into the path of Sole but he mis-kicked horribly and so the chance went begging.

The six minutes of extra time produced a booking for a frustrated Ricketts and also one moment of brilliance as Keiran Murtagh’s back flick was followed by a fine, swivelled left-foot volley from Sole and a great save from Drench. Sadly, it was in contrast to much of Woking’s play in a very disappointing first half.

Half-time: Woking 0 Guiseley AFC 1

The Cards started the second half with a bit more urgency but were still finding it difficult to string any moves together. Bruno Andrade duly came on in the 56th minute, with Murtagh giving way. But it was the visitors who threatened first, with Cole again coming to the rescue, clawing Dickinson’s header away from under his bar.

However, Andrade was soon in the action, getting the ball into the box for Joe Quigley, who turned smartly but miscued his effort on goal.

Two minutes later the Cards’ defence opened up again, with Scott Griffiths saving the day with a tremendous sliding block as James Hurst looked odds on to score.

As the game continued to liven up, Robinson’s cross presented Goddard with a good chance but his shot skimmed the bar. The arrival of Jake Caprice, in place of Joey Jones, with Cameron Norman moving to centre back, injected yet more pace and urgency into Woking’s play, as he and Andrade combined cleverly down Woking’s right flank.

The Cards’ best chance of the half came when Quigley met Andrade’s cross, only to look with disbelief as Drench reacted superbly to block his effort. Other chances and half-chances followed as Sole put two free-kicks over the bar and Norman glanced a header wide. Goddard shot optimistically from distance but his effort was wide.

As the minutes ticked by and the Cards failed to find the net it became increasingly evident that they would be fortunate to retrieve a point, let alone grab the three that had looked a very decent prospect at 3pm. A Caprice cross-cum-shot swirled to land on top of the net and he also fired in a very dangerous low cross which was deflected away for a corner. Relieving Sole of free-kick duties, he managed to get his shot on target but it was a comfortable save for Drench at the foot of his post.

Into four minutes of added time Guiseley ought to have doubled their lead as Hurst crossed but Boswell’s free header was directed straight at Cole.

And so a very disappointing afternoon drew to a close, with the Cards yet again faltering against a team in the lower reaches of the table.

Woking: Jake Cole, Cameron Norman, Joey Jones (Jake Caprice 66), Scott Griffiths, Matt Robinson, Keiran Murtagh (Bruno Andrade 56), Mark Ricketts, John Goddard, Joe Quigley, Shaun Jeffers (Giuseppe Sole 29)

Unused substitutes: Chris Arthur, Nick Hamann

Booked: Mark Ricketts

Sponsor (Fernox) MOTM: John Goddard (pictured)

Guiseley AFC: Steven Drench, Ryan Toulson, Danny Lowe, Jake Lawlor, Gavin Rothery (Daniel Boswell 71), Daniel Hall, Will Hatfield, Liam Dickinson (Nicky Boshell 66) , Emile Sinclair (Adam Boyes 89), Robert Atkinson, James Hurst

Unused substitutes: Ben Parker, Anthony Dudley

Goal: Liam Dickinson 9

Booked: Will Hatfield and Danny Lowe

Attendance: 1182

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