AFC Telford United 1 Woking FC 0
Blue Square Bet Premier
6th October 2012
A Darren Byfield penalty and red card early on for Cards’ Keeper Aaron Howe was enough for AFC Telford United to claim all three points at The New Bucks Head despite a staunch Woking show.
Woking failed to add to their points total away from home as they travelled north to Telford. An impressive display which defied their numerical disadvantage ended in disappointment as pressure never provided goals.
The early stages were full of drama. Just seconds in, a sloppy free-kick was conceded by Kevin Betsy and allowed Telford’s Steven Leslie to fire at goal from 30 yards from the set piece. The shot didn’t trouble Woking keeper Aaron Howe but a move a minute later did.
The ball was lost carelessly in the Woking defence and winger Luke Hubbins was allowed to utilise his burst of acceleration and skipped past a couple of players. Bouncing off of Adam Doyle (pictured) and creditably staying on his feet, Hubbins continued into the Woking box and focused on goal. One-on-one with the goalie and moving at pace, Hubbins knocked the ball past Howe, and this time ended up on the ground as the Cards’ keeper upended him in an attempt to win the ball.
Howe was promptly sent off and a penalty awarded.
Replacement Sam Beasant let Byfield, who already stood ball in hand at the penalty spot, wait as he slowly kitted up and stretched, eventually making his way onto the pitch for a disappointed Gavin McCallum, the outfield player sacrificed. However, when it came to it, Byfield slotted home the spot kick with consummate ease.
It took Woking a few more minutes to up their game and find the fluidity which has embodied their successful displays this season. Now with their man advantage, Telford continued to dominate. Woking were limited to working on the break and one such counter-attack, moulded from one-touch football and rapid passing, created a Pires chance, but the shot came from distance and was easily saved.
Telford were most dangerous from a number of free-kicks and corners. The numerical advantage would have been magnified had the hosts passed more creatively. Not to be ignored, however, were the steady and controlled efforts of defenders Adam Doyle and Joe McNerney, who tirelessly soaked up Telford’s possession and did not allow them to create a clear cut chance.
Telford were ultimately unable to capitalise and as the minutes ticked by Woking’s stout performance turned from dogged determination to renewed confidence to maintain possession and attack themselves. Betsy became a danger on the left flank, on one occasion beating his man with trickery and pace, but he ran out of room before he could deliver a cross. Elsewhere, Pires helped to relieve the pressure by challenging effectively in the air and holding up the ball. From his energy and persistence the ball was won and a chance created for Bubb, but his shot too was saved.
Nearing the close of the half, injury stopped play, but it wasn’t to any of the 22 players! Vigorous flagging brought play to a pause but it was the touchline official who required assistance. In fact, the linesman’s injury was so severe that he had to be replaced by the fourth official, who added to the disruption thanks to an extremely thorough warm-up!
Off again and a Telford free-kick was headed on toward the far post, requiring an impressive save from Beasant. At the other end a rare central run from Cestor ended in another shot held by Telford keeper Young. In the final minutes of the half Richard Davies received a booking for a soft foul and from the resulting free-kick a chance was created for Pires but once again the scoreline wasn’t altered.
Half time: AFC Telford United 1 Woking 0
Telford had the better of the early chances but it was Woking who soon began to control proceedings despite their numerical disadvantage. Jack Parkinson replaced Adam Newton, allowing for greater midfield mobility, and Mark Ricketts reverted to right back. Will Salmon typified Telford’s frustration when he hacked down Kevin Betsy and was duly booked. Soon afterwards goalscorer Byfield was replaced by Jonathan Brown.
The match continued with few chances for either side, the difference in numbers unnoticeable. Lee Sawyer began to tick and Betsy, Pires and Bubb were able to play, as a result, with a little more flair. In the 75th minute Pires was replaced by Dean Sinclair. Telford too made a change with Chris Sharp replacing Richard Davies.
For the remaining period Woking were completely on top. On several occasions one-on-one opportunities were created and chances made, but each time the keeper was equal to the shot. Particular openings came as Joe McNerney pushed forward, having his own shot parried wide and creating another through a decisive attacking header. Betsy, Bubb and Sawyer all saw efforts saved.
Sawyer, with just a few minutes to go and desperate to maintain the pressure, saw yellow after a rash tackle. In stoppage time, Telford had a chance to seal the win convincingly, catching Woking on the break, but substitute Steve Jones had his shot crash off the post. The last push in the game saw a Woking corner headed clear and the whistle blow, much to the relief of the Telford fans and players.
Woking: Aaron Howe, Adam Newton (Jack Parkinson 50), Joe McNerney, Adam Doyle, Mike Cestor, Mark Ricketts, Lee Sawyer, Kevin Betsy, Gavin McCallum (Sam Beasant 3), Bradley Bubb, Loick Pires (Dean Sinclair 75)
Cautions: Lee Sawyer 85
Sent Off: Aaron Howe 3
Unused subs: Brett Williams, Brett Johnson
Telford: Ryan Young, Will Salmon, Jordan Rose, Richard Davies (Chris Sharp 76), Liam Chilvers, Phil Trainer, Kris Taylor, Luke Hubbins (Steve Jones 46), Steven Leslie, James Spray, Darren Byfield (Jon Brown 65)
Cautions: Richard Davies 45, Will Salmon 61
Unused subs: Joe Collister, Nathan Rooney
Man of the match: Adam Doyle – Shifted position from left back to centre back and defended very well alongside Joe McNerney against the extra man.